When it comes to restaurants in Robertson Quay, Summerlong stands out with its slice of Mediterranean beachside living
A “city beach” dining concept in Robertson Quay? You can imagine my scepticism finding any beach escape right next to the CBD, but Summerlong gets it right on the money with its summery beach furniture, breezy interior, and colourful cocktails. Just as important, though, is its menu that offers a comprehensive selection of dishes from the Mediterranean region.
My culinary adventure to the Mediterranean began with the fava bean puree, smoked ham, and mint served with Lebanese flat bread. It was a well-balanced starter – the mint and ham in an intriguing balancing act between refreshing and smoky flavours.
For me, the highlight of Mediterranean food is char-grilled octopus. I usually prefer mine with minimal seasoning, but Summerlong’s rendition was very carefully seasoned with garlic and honey so as not to overpower the octopus flesh. The octopus here has a distinctive crust, caramelised by the honey, no doubt.
Mediterranean cooking also makes ample use of lamb, and representing this meat on the menu is the braised lamb in pastry with grilled apricots and spiced lentils. The tender lamb in its crisp pastry shell is a toothsome snack, one I’d love to have accompanying a cold beer.
It’s not all meats here, however; the spiced broccoli dish with tahini added a bit of green to the table (we’re all for healthy living). Its topping of hazelnuts and assorted seeds added a nice bit of texture to the dish. Another vegetable dish well worth trying is the charred eggplant with confit garlic, tomato and young basil. The hearty dish was a showcase of fresh Mediterranean ingredients. Along with the spiced broccoli, I was served a generous portion of Mediterranean smoked pork ribs. The tender meat was easily teased off the bone, and the sprinkling of pomegranate seeds added a certain freshness (that I’ve now come to expect from most of the dishes here).
Aside from the octopus, the other highlight of my meal at Summerlong was the Persian fried chicken with a trio of sauces – harrisa, dukkah, and a mint-honey sauce dipping sauce. Fried chicken, of course, is an art form in itself – you want a light, dry crust with tender flesh that’s not dried up, and Summerlong nails that. The sauce that impressed me the most was the mint-honey sauce that I’m almost reluctant to describe, because it was such a pleasant surprise. The honey base stuck to the chicken easily and brought with each bite a sweet, refreshing mint kick.
Now, any mental image of myself enjoying a meal by the Mediterranean beach includes a cold drink at hand, and Summerlong’s drink offerings complement the food delightfully. The bar offers a cocktail menu featuring colourful beach-y drinks like the Medius Terra Fizz and the Summer Mule (a more tropical take on the classic Moscow Mule). If you’re more of a beer drinker, spring for the Deschutes Freshly Squeezed IPA. Despite being an IPA, the beer goes light on the hops and is definitely one of the more climate-suitable IPA-style beers you can get.
With its host of sharing-dishes, breezy beachside vibe, and its boozy bevy of cocktails, Summerlong hits all the right notes on its quest to bring a slice of Mediterranean beach life to the city.
Summerlong, #01-04, 60 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238252. Open Tue-Fri 5pm-12am, weekends 11.30am-12am. Closed on Mon.