Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
All rights reserved
All food photos are of REAL food with NO photoshop
The inspiring and irascible Travelling Gourmet TM drives to South Bridge Road to find…
MONOCHROME Fusion Bistro at 291, South Bridge Road. Here, in this chic and cool bistro…almost everything is in Black and White. Hence the name Monochrome! Charcoal black geometric murals on the white walls hand painted by co-founder Ivan Seow and his colleagues give the bistro a minimalistic atmosphere. Ivan is not only a restauranteur but also an estate agent.
I came to try the cuisine and I was happy to be warmly welcomed by Kevin Chua, the Marketing Manager . The eclectic Menu features dishes having a tantalizing fusion of Italian, Thai and Japanese influences. Normally, many Chefs and Gourmets are a bit wary of fusion cuisine. As my good friend, Chef Martin “Yan can cook” Yan likes to say: fusion can mean con-fusion…However, I hasten to add that the fusion cuisine here has been done with subtlety and is deliciously harmonious. The décor is clean and crisp with ninja black tablecloths and black chairs that contrast with the surgical white walls. The porcelain plates are also in stark black and white colours.
I began with velvety Tomato Soup garnished with Micro Greens and Quinoa Grains. One taste told me it had been made without any cream. I liked it. Many of the dishes served here have a healthy twist. Nowadays, diners are very health conscious. Gone are the days of heavy creams and sugar laden desserts and lots of fattening Carbohydrates!
For starters, I chose the specialite de la maison of Monochrome Black and White Chorizo Meatballs. Encrusted with black and white sesame seeds (surprise surprise!) the tasty meatballs were surrounded by wafer thin shavings of Bonito.
The Truffle Fries are also very pleasing…redolent with the intense and addictive aroma of Truffle oil and dotted with bits of black truffle. The portion is very generous!
One of my main courses was the house speciality of Monochrome Squid Ink Risotto. Plump big white Scallops contrasted with jet black risotto rice and Shimeji mushrooms. Black and white again! All around were jade green Edamame beans and I liked the crunch of the toasted Quinoa grains on top! There are also Alfalfa sprouts. This is a fusion of Italian and Japanese cuisines.
Try too the Pan-Seared Barramundi on chunky Potato Mash with Grilled Asparagus, Pomodorini (cherry tomatoes) and slinky Bechamel Sauce. Mmmmm…the flavoursome 35mm thick chunky Barramundi was very satisfying. Actually, I am more of a Carnivore but I also like seafood. I decided to check the core temperature of the Barramundi with my CIA thermometer. It was good at 66 degrees Celsius. I paired this with the Somerton Moscato 2014 with its crisp and refreshing nuances of lemongrass and wild bush honey…Did you know that Barramundi has another name? It is…Sea Bass.
A word about Quinoa…
Quinoa is actually a seed and provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Quinoa is a gluten-free and cholesterol-free whole grain, is kosher for Passover, and is almost always organic. Quinoa was a staple food for thousands of years in the Andes region of South America as one of just a few crops the ancient Incas cultivated at such high altitude. It is now a very “in” food and many Chefs like to incorporate Quinoa in their cuisine.
Queen Marie Antionette used to say, “Let them eat cake…”
Accordingly, I decided to sample the Black Chocolate Cake and the Mint Chocolate Cake. Standing 80mm tall, they were titanic! You can taste lovely aromatic mint in every morsel of the Mint Chocolate Cake. I also recommend the Black Sesame Ice Cream! With the sweet treats, a nice cup of Cappuccino.
In life, sometimes things are not always black and white…but in this bistro they are, Ha! Ha! 🙂 To live well you simply must eat well and drink well! Enjoy!
Ivan Seow, The Travelling Gourmet TM and Kevin Chua
Monochrome Fusion Bistro
291, South Bridge Road
Tel: 6221 1798
Hours: Mon to Th 11am to 10pm
Fri, Sat and Public Holidays 10am to Midnight
Sun 10am to 5pm
Here is a clip from the classic Film Noir movie “The Big Sleep”
Of course, it is in Black and White…