The kind of bar where everybody knows your name...
Bringing his “use local whenever you can because it travels less and tastes better” ethos over from his restaurants Stone Nullah Tavern, Linguini Fini and Posto Pubblico in Hong Kong, Chef Vinny Lauria continues to champion produce from as close as he can get his hands on it. Uniquely, Vinny travels to the farms themselves, whether they be fish, frog or vegetable, to make face-to-face contact with his suppliers to understand what they are doing and how they are doing it in order to ensure that he’s getting the best for his guests and establishing good relationships along the way.
It’s this approach that seeps into every aspect of The Guild and injects life and hospitality into the restaurant, which has resulted from a teaming up with Rohit Dugar of Hong Kong’s home-grown Young Master Brewery. The restaurant features a bar full of taps of Young Master’s famed brews (SG$10) to pair with the chef’s renowned cuisine.
Chef Lauria’s marrow bruschetta is an invention inspired by the famed comfort-food dish from Blue Ribbon Brasserie in New York, but he uses local frogs from Jurong Farm to achieve the gelatinous texture of marrow, combining Chinese hasma with oxtail marmalade for his own version. The chef also has his own interpretation of a classic Chinese-American dish in the form of General Tso’s frog’s legs. The oysters hail from Pulau Ubin (who knew?) and he uses fresh local greens, bringing Singaporeans their favourite vegetables prepared with his own distinct style. And there’s only one dessert on the menu, a chocolate-like buah keluak ice cream that makes use of this deeply complex Peranakan nut.
Here’s a look at some of the dishes we tried:If you’re already a fan of French onion dip (SG$7), the chef’s surprise ingredient will give you new appreciation for it – but don’t ask what it is until after you’ve tried it and are already hooked
Incredibly creamy local oysters (SG$6) with strong briny notes and a slight mineral finish
A polenta-fried version of local oysters with chilli jam and hollandaise (SG$7) for tang, crunch and sweetness all in one
Marrow bruschetta (SG$$22) – see above for the secret ingredients!
For Hong Kong fans of Stone Nullah Tavern’s mac ’n’ cheese (SG$18) –
this is a last meal kind of dish
Charred baby corn with buttered grits (SGD$12) – veggie comfort food
Umamiwurst with homemade sauerkraut and XO mustard (SG$22) – a bangin’ banger
Butter-roasted chicken (SG$25) for amped-up comfort food
BBQ stingray (SG$32) is skate wing dry-rubbed and coated in a sugar snap pea citronette
A little branded tipple before home time
Like the Great Bambino himself – Babe Ruth – who is referenced on the menu, The Guild hits it right outta the park with top flavours and inventive comfort cuisine. It’s the kinda place you want to hang out because it’s full of people with whom you want to hang out. It helps that the chef is like an Italian nonno who treats everyone like family and simply loves to feed ’em all.
55 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089158, +65 6224 1262
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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