Actually, SPR MRKT have had their new menu for a few months now, but it’s taken us a while to visit on all 5 days to sample the whole menu. Losing our first batch of photos because of an HDD crash didn’t help either.
While I’m still bemoaning the loss of some of my favourites, like the beef broth and mushroom soup, I must say that there’s a lot to recommend from the new menu. Without further ado, then, here’s our lowdown:
The sundried tomato and parma ham salad was simple, but such a classic that it had to be good.
I really like the tomato and sausage linguine (pictured as a half portion – the kitchen nicely split it for us when they found out that we were sharing). The tomato sauce, made from scratch with more steps than I could follow, is very well balanced, without any of the tartness that sometimes accompanies a tomato sauce.
I love their pork rib soup – a Western take on a bak kut teh, complete with super tender pork ribs, diced potatoes and carrots in a clear but flavourful broth. There was some texture too, in the form of what I thought were little bits of lard. Instead, Chef Jo explained that they slow cook pigs’ trotters, then shred them and set them in a terrine with the aspic. Once it’s chilled and set, then chop it finely and add it to the soup. Brilliant.
Monday’s cake is Lemon Vanilla Chiffon. This looks frightening large, but it’s light as air and absolutely delicious. It’s a toss up whether this is my favourite dessert, or the bread pudding (available daily).
Tuesday’s a good day to come. On the menu are both the awesome tagliatelle carbonara, and a new and absolutely awesome dish – Blackened Fish and Chips.
Unfortunately we don’t have a photo of the fish and chips after the HDD crash, but check out SPR MRKT’s blog for a picture and write up. The fish is superbly fresh, and coated in a crisp, light batter that’s blackened with squid ink. You don’t actually taste the squid ink, but you can just about discern a depth of flavour that wouldn’t otherwise be there without it.
Actually, Wednesdays are pretty good too, with one of their best dishes available – the grilled baby squid salad. The chargrilled flavour from the squid is incredibly intense, remarkably so given how tiny they are. It comes with an anchovy dressing that packs a punch – a little goes a long way.
The chicken and sweet corn soup is comfort food, but definitely elevated. The corn kernels are crisp and sweet, and there are generous chunks of roasted chicken inside a not-too-creamy soup.
The duck rillette sandwich, which I would recommend on a croissant, is a guilty pleasure, given how the sandwich oozes tasty duck fat. Not a regular choice, but delicious all the same.
The BBQ pork ribs are pretty good too, as is their oxtail pasta. The default for the latter is penne, but we hate penne so we nicely asked if we could switch to a different pasta. They suggested pappardelle, which worked wonderfully.
Thursday’s more of a soup and salad, with only one main catching my eye. Salads are roasted daikon with sesame dressing, or warm potato with French beans and sour cream shallot dressing.
Soups are a French onion with an Emmenthal cheese stick, and parsnip with scallops. The parsnip is a particular favourite, with very generous portions of perfectly cooked scallops inside.
The crispy pork belly is divine. I like that the pork is not slow roasted and therefore overly fork-tender. It still has some bite, which is what I like in a good siew yoke. The pork is well seasoned, the skin is crisp, and it’s served with caramelised apples that go really well. Tip: get it with their fork mashed potato rather than the shoestring fries. Though their fries are awesome, I think the mash works better with this dish.
Ironically, if we had to choose, Friday would be our least favourite (relatively speaking). There’s a pumpkin and saffron risotto, with the pumpkin making a surprising appearance in the form of breaded fried cubes. The other main is a take on steak and eggs, with a grilled wagyu steak topped with a poached egg, served with mushrooms and a red wine jus.
I like SPR MRKT’s fine dining take on casual classics, and Friday’s selection is perhaps a bit too fancy for my liking. They’re still executed really well, but I’m personally just drawn to the other dishes more.
We’re just getting used to the new menu, so guys, please don’t change it anytime soon!
I could go everyday.
2 McCallum Street
Mondays to Fridays: 8am — 9pm
Saturdays: 9am — 4pm (Brunch)
Saturdays: 9am — 4pm (Brunch)