We list out our favourite restaurants of the year, kicking off with a review of Artichoke, helmed by the ‘bro’ behind dude-Sin cuisine
Artichoke is my go-to restaurant for a casual night-out with friends. With its relaxed vibe, and consistently amazing Middle-Eastern cuisine, this is one place I can’t resist going back to time after time.
Why do I love it?
Owned and run by famous local chef, Bjorn Shen, Artichoke hits the right notes with flavour, its laid-back ambience, a well-priced selection and an all-round dining experience. Bjorn clearly has a sense of humour – he doesn’t take life too seriously – and it comes out in the menu and creativity in flavours.
I love the cheeky suggestion to “Get Dirty” with their Lambgasm – a whole-roasted bone-in lamb shoulder (order in advance). And the quirky lolly bags provided at the end of the meal are a fun touch too.
Sharing is caring
Artichoke serves brunch and dinner with a focused on shared plates, and the food has a Moorish / modern-Australian influence. The standout dishes are the fried Brussels sprouts ($18) – I don’t even like Brussels sprouts, but this is my favourite dish on the menu – and super smoky babaganoush ($8). They do some pretty good seafood and meat dishes too, like the hot skillet prawns with harissa ($38) and slow-roasted lamb shoulder ($38, a smaller portion of the Lambgasm).
In five words…
Bjorn Shen’s work of art
With Artichokes’ reasonably-priced wine menu, friendly sommelier (who lets you try everything) and generous sharing portions, this is, hands down, one of my favourite restaurants in Singapore. I don’t want to oversell it, but honestly, I don’t think I can.
Artichoke, 161 Middle Road, Singapore 188978, p. 6336 6949. Open Tue-Sat 6.30pm-10.30pm (for dinner), and Sat-Sun 11.30am-3.30pm (for brunch).