Date of Visit: November 20 2013
4Fourteen is another restaurant by chef Colin Fassnidge of Four in Hand (my review here and here) with Carla Jones as head chef . It opened last year and was the talk of ‘Twitter-town’ – in essence, Fassnidge had alerted the world of the imminent arrival of his new venture on April 6 by tweeting over 8000 times to his 4000+ followers.
The stripped-raw high-ceilinged warehouse space with industrial downlights was efficiently divided into an open kitchen backed with green tiles, white marble island bar, timber wine cave at the back, red vinyl banquettes along the right side of the open-plan room and bentwood table-sittings. Coupled with brisk and warm service makes this a very smart casual diner.
Since it was a busy restaurant and practically full every night the last couple of times we dined there, we decided to try our luck without a reservation today . As luck could have it, we got our table and were the lone diners there, thus receiving plenty of attention from the friendly waitstaffs!
The restaurant menu was designed with sharing plates in mind – ‘Something to nibble; Small plates; Large plates; Salads and starches’. This is modern comfort food with generous hearty portions. We ordered 2 small sharing plates and 1 large sharing plates to start.
The House Smoked Mackerel ‘Rillette’ came first, it was drizzled generously with a very green coloured pesto oil and accompanied by a watercress and sliced radish salad. The rillette was a very soft and smooth, spreading easily on the chargrilled sourdough bread. Although rather oily, it was delicious and make a fine appetiser.
The next small plate was Charred Lamb’s Tongue. We’ve had beef tongue often enough and decided that a lamb’s tongue will make a nice change. There were 4 slices of tongue to share together with cos, sliced radishes (again), and a long strip of char-grilled sweet pickled cucumber The toasted baguettes could were as hard as stiff cardboards, cutting the roof of my mouth – 👎 . Nevertheless, my dining companion and I enjoyed the charred and smoky lamb’s tongue which were tender to the bite. This is also a very moreish plate rendered by tahini dressing and the very refreshing mint-cucumber jelly- going well with the smoky charred tongue and pickled cucumber.
I liked the idea of vinegared mint-cucumber gelée and no doubt, I shall be making these at home as cool-me-downs during the hot sweltering summer!
Our main was the Roast Skate Wing Bouillon. This is a full-flavoured broth dish, the ham hock imparted smoky saltiness whereas the mussels gave the sweet freshness reminiscent of the ocean – kinda of land and sea collide! 😜 The skate wing was slightly under-cooked so the flesh did not flake off the bone. All forgiven – no worries – as the soup was delicious.
Although we were rather full, we could not resist the temptation of dessert…
It was tough decision but in the end we chose Roast Pineapple, Coconut and Yoghurt which was ample for 2 to share. I am not a fan of fresh pineapples, but roasted pineapples is another story – the pineapple was sweet and juicy sans the acidity. Under the lime sorbet was the creamy yoghurt panna cotta. Other supporting items to the dish were thick-cut roasted coconut flakes, flaxseed tuile and strips of cucumber -which I normally won’t associate with dessert! Still, they came together beautifully – taste and presentation-wise!
It was a fantastic lunch. The lunch bill came up to around $130 (+1 glass of wine + sparkling water +tips), on par with fine dining prices in the City and not exactly ‘casual neighbourhood prices’, could price be the reason that we were the 2 lone diners in the restaurant that day – perhaps it gets busier for dinners and over the weekends. We shall see!
At the time of posting, 4Fourteen scored 74% out of 235 votes