Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Highlander Bar and Restaurant

Clarke Quay is currently the hippest, coolest place in Singapore's fickle clubbing and dining scene. It has a good mix of retail outlets, restaurants, bars and entertainment spots, all set in a charming and quaint historical heritage site. There is much to see, do and eat at Clarke Quay.

One interesting new addition is Highland Bar and Restaurant (Block 3B, The Foundry, #01-11 Clarke Quay, River Valley Road, Singapore 17901 Tel: 6235 9528) which serves authentic Scottish cuisine. I have yet to encounter a restaurant in Singapore which is dedicated to Scottish cuisine, and was delighted to find that Highlander Bar and Restaurant is committed to providing its diners a uniquely bona fide Scottish experience - from the traditional antler chandeliers and contemporary stills of Scotland adorning the interior to the lovely Scottish music and the tartan kilts worn by all its waitstaff!

One notable attraction is its warm and inviting wood-panelled bar, which features an extensive range of more than 200 whiskies by the glass (prices ranging from SGD 10 to SGD70 per shot)!

I started my meal with a traditional Scottish dish not commonly found in these parts– Haggis (SGD 15). Haggis is sheeps’ innards (heart, lung and liver) minced with onions, oatmeal and spices encased in sheeps’ intestines and boiled. It was served with “neeps and tatties” (turnips and potatoes). The haggis was tasty and hearty and didn’t smell strongly of offal. I was assured that the haggis is as authentic as it gets, as it is sourced directly from Scotland, and is not in anyway modified for the local palate. The “neeps and tatties” were smooth and creamy and went well with the hearty haggis.

The Scotch Eggs (SGD 10) were my personal favourite. The hard boiled eggs were wrapped in minced beef, dipped in breadcrumbs and then deepfried. They were light and crispy, and not at all oily or cloying. The best part was the whisky-infused mustard mayonnaise which provided a tangy creamy lift to this dish.

The Venison Sausages (SGD 18) were savoury and meaty, with a tasty spicy bite. Like the haggis, these delicious bits were sourced from Scotland to ensure that authenticity is not compromised.

My other favourite is the White Mealie Pudding (SGD 16). It’s not a dessert, it is actually savoury dish made with white mealie (a type of coarse grain, similar to oatmeal). It was delicious. It was nutty, crunchy and chewy with a unique texture. It’s not something that one can easily find outside of Scotland, so I would recommend that you try this dish here.

My main of Highlander Game Pie (SGD 28) was a hearty, rich stew of venison, quail and sausage, topped with a flaky crispy puff pastry. The meats were tender and were sufficiently infused with the rich stock in which they were cooked.

If meat is not quite your thing, go for the Grilled Royal Deeside Salmon (SGD29) which was well seasoned with rosemary and accompanied by a delicate whisky hollandaise. The fish was still pink in the centre and flaked off easily.

There are quite a number of desserts on the menu, and I would certainly have liked to try more.

As it is, I only had room for the Cranachan (SGD10) which is again a traditional Scottish dessert made of oats soaked in whisky, cream and honey and served with fruit coulis in a tall glass. It’s like an ice cream parfait, minus all the unwanted calories.

Highland Bar and Restaurant is a little piece of Scottish haven right here in Singapore, with everything reflecting the pride and history of Scottish heritage. Highland Bar and Restaurant offers a unique and truly enjoyable dining experience, which I would highly recommend.

Zen's postscript: This post has been published on AsiaOne Wine and Dine at

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