Communal

  •  Add: 12 North Canal Road, Singapore
  • Tel: 6221 7790
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sat (1130am-230pm, 6pm-10pm)
  • Website: http://www.communal.sg/
  • Great because of..: Fried Chicken, Friendly Chef & Staff, Bar Counter Seats

Our affinity with counter-seat dining is simply mind-boggling. Fish and I would always end up at eateries which require some form of precarious perching on a high bar stool while we dine (cases in point: Esquina and Foodbar Dada). On one of our impromptu dinners after work where she kindly obliged to have a bite with me (even though dinner was waiting for her at home), we decided to check out a new establishment in our  workin’ hood – Communal, which featured a 16 seat bar-counter setting.  Now, I love dining at bar counters because that means I get to ogle at plates of food being prepared (and.. probably some chefs too? erhem) but when Fish arrived, she decided that she had enough of it (the counter seats, not the ogling) and I was then banished to a booth seat for the rest of the night. Boo. No more ogling.

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Communal is a restaurant that serves up what I would call a refine American fare. Needless to say, the prices are pretty ‘refined’ as well. BT sums it up real good by describing Communal as “When Gourmand Meets Fast Food”. This eatery is helmed by Singapore-based American chef Ryan Jette who was the ex-executive sous chef at The Sentosa Resort & Spa. He has also had his run at Michelin-starred restaurants like The French Laundry. Whats most impressive about Chef Ryan though was his genuity in caring for his diners. He ran out of the kitchen a couple of times to check on us and provided a series of bite-sized creations (that we did not order) in between orders. Really down-to-earth, personable and friendly!

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On to the food.

Lobster Mac and Cheese Gratin ($20): The sauce here isn’t too thick and gooey, so if you aren’t a fan of the ‘lemak feel’ every time you dig into  Mac&Cheese, the version sold here would be great for you. The sauce is made up of 3 difference cheeses: parmesan, grueyere (my favourite!) and white cheddar. Served with toasted bread crumbs, nice textures abound within each bite. I wasn’t too impressed with the lobster though. I was happy with their genorisity, there were huge chunks in there but it was probably salted a little too heavily while boiling?

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Fried Chicken ($18): 1 x drum stick and 1 x thigh meat for $18? yes, you heard right. Exorbitant prices aside, both Fish and I were soooo impressed with the ‘juiciness’ of it that we kinda swore that was the best fried chicken ever on the face of this planet. It was really well seasoned too. The major let down was the sauteed spinach  sides which was drenched in probably a jar of salt. Besides the priciness and the salty spinach, this star dish is something you should definitely get when you’re there.

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Monkey Bread ($7): this is as American as it gets. Small pieces of cinnamon bread compressed together, typically served during breakfast. A visual feast, something unique (not your usual molten lava cake, brownies and the likes..) but not as yummy as I thought it would be. The bread was pretty dry. It was served with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with what I think is maple syrup. However, the syrup refused to be infused (rhyming not intentional) due to the dryness of the bread.  Maybe it was one of their off days.

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Overall, this atas ‘fast-food’ diner serves some decent American-inspired food. Its a little pricey but its pretty much on par with most new establishments in town. The friendly crew is definitely a plus. I might head back there to try out the burgers and array of side dishes. It might not be as homely as what we can get back in the states but I am sure it is as good as it gets here on the equator.

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