PUBLISHED September 21st, 2020 06:00 am
Among the businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, clubs in Singapore are possibly the worst-hit. While many of our city’s hottest party spots remain shuttered, though, one nightclub is rising creatively above adversity. Making a smooth pivot from dancing to dining, Zouk has transformed its luxe Capital lounge space into pop-up restaurant Capital Kitchen.
Since the pandemic, this household name has been exploring a number of ventures to stay afloat – from the sale of bottled cocktails to renting out their club space to Lazada for live-streaming. Capital Kitchen, though, might just be its greatest hit yet. Drawing on the kitchen of RedTail Bar downstairs, it serves up a menu of Asian and Western delights alongside cocktails, sake, and wine. Housed on the second floor of the Zouk complex, pulsating colour and toned-down tunes build up an otherworldly ambience here.
After taking in the dim and intimate space, the first starter we dug into was the Eggplant Parmigiana (S$15). This highly-praised Italian favourite is well-balanced without the cheese and tomato sauce being too overwhelming – it might even make a convert of staunch non-aubergine eaters.
We enjoy exploring daily specials and we were looking for something on the lighter side, so the Pan Seared Hokkaido Scallops (S$22) fit the bill perfectly. Topped with ikura and served on a creamy bed of cauliflower puree, this juicy starter pops with umami. The texture of the cauliflower, though, took a little getting used to.
The much-anticipated mains lived up expectations in terms of flavour and quantity. The meat from the slow-braised Lamb Shank (S$38) is so tender that it easily falls off the bone with a tug of the fork. Not overly gamey, its flavour is retained and balanced well by the luscious gravy. Seafood and pasta lovers alike should go for @liski_li’s Fiery Gamberi Aglio Olio (S$25). The seasoning between the seafood and pasta is consistent and flavourful. Those afraid of spice won’t have to worry as the heat is fairly mild.
The star of the show was undoubtedly the dessert – Paparch Burnt Cheesecake (S$15). Zouk’s collaboration with this local home baker was much-anticipated, given Paparch’s month-long waiting list for just a slice of their creamy goodness. Boasting a caramelised exterior that gives way to a molten center, this is one piece of heaven you won’t tire of. The price is steep for the portion but hey, at least you won’t have to count down the days to get your hands on it.
You’ll find it hard to enjoy your meal and the vibe at Capital Kitchen without a tipple or two, so we tried the Asam Guava and Teh Ping from Zouk’s locally-inspired bottled cocktails (S$68 for 500ml, serves 5). Borrowing from our beloved bubble tea and served with tapioca pearls, the vodka in the latter was overwhelming on the first sip and did not gel well with the milk tea. Adding ice helped mellow it out. We approve of the Asam Guava – a smooth blend of guava juice and vodka that was amped up with tangy plum-powdered sugar crystals lining the rim of the glass.
Capital Kitchen is located at 3C River Valley Road, The Cannery, #02-05, Singapore 179022, p. +65 9006 8793. Open Wed-Sat 5pm-11pm.