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Anniversary Festivities - Part 2

Posted on Wednesday, March 6, 2013

We had such a good experience at Artichoke Cafe last year on the day that Justin and I got together that we decided to come back again this year to celebrate! I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they had changed up their menu a bit, and even old dishes had a new twist to them - for the better!

One of the first to arrive for the dinner time seating - the crowd comes in later!

Date for the night :}

We liked it so much last year, we ordered the Mezze Dips ($7.00++ each, $20.00++ for three) again - hummus (a must!), babaganoush (another favourite), and the labneh. It probably sounds pretty foreign if you're not a regular eater of Moorish / Turkish / Middle Eastern cuisine, so here's the break down!

Hummus is a pretty typical dip in the Middle East, and is made up of mashed chick peas with drizzles of olive oil and plenty of spices. I like how Artichoke mixed it up a bit and decided to sprinkle on some paprika as well for colour and for a little extra spice. It's as yummy as hummus gets here in Singapore. Yum yum.

Babaganoush is mashed aubergines with olive oil, and the Artichoke version topped it off with pomegranate and chives. It was smooth and creamy, possibly yummier than the hummus judging by how quickly Justin wiped it off!

Lastly we had the Labneh - it's actually a kind of Greek yogurt cheese with za'atar, or a Middle Eastern herb that's kinda like thyme. We tried this last year and liked it, so we ordered it again. It's much richer and thicker, so combined with all three dips and the bread, it was all pretty filling - and we haven't even started on our mains!

This is the only new dish we tried this year, replacing the Forgotten Grain Salad because I didn't like it too much. It was a bit dry and too... grainy. Haha. I'm so glad we chose the Local Mushrooms ($18.00++) - as a huge mushroom lover, this was absolutely amazing! Served hot and pan fried in butter, the mushrooms were covered with in gooey melted sheep's cheese and truffle oil - I'm not sure what types of mushroom were inside, but there was so much variety and such  generous portion that made it really worth it.

Their new and improved Bacon Chop ($30.00++) has the additional toppings of a Onsen egg and more veggie - most significantly the addition of brussels sprouts, that were cooked in such a way that they tasted unbelievably like KFC chicken!!! I am not kidding. If I ever learnt to cook vegetables this way, I think I would never have issues getting my future kids to eat their greens. The main part of the dish was of course, the slow-cooked candied pork belly that was sweet and fatty, we burst the egg over everything, and it was so, so sinful.

Whenever Justin and I talk about Artichoke, the one thing we always rave about the most is this - the Date Pudding ($14.00++). I had never tasted anything like this before - a warm sticky pudding soaked in smoked milk, covered in crushed bits of peanut, caramel brittle, sea salt and goodness knows what else that makes it so sweet and crunchy! The only thing I'm not quite liking is their new addition of cold coffee jelly, which didn't complement the warm and moist texture of the pudding, so i just avoided it. But overall, lip-smacking!

Artichoke is all about communal dining - because the best dishes are shared. Located in the mysteriously secluded Sculpture Square right in the center of Selegie, it is definitely worth the trip down. I have a strong feeling that we'll be back next year!

Artichoke Cafe & Bar
161 Middle Road
Sculpture Square
Tel: 63366949