I confess that when J first suggested meeting Humpback for dinner, I had no idea where that restaurant was or that it even existed. Irony of being a food blogger, sometimes, my friends are just more up to date on ‘what’s new’ than me. Despite that, it’s always great to visit a new place in town. 

Humpback is the latest venture of the owners of Jigger & Pony and Sugarhall. This time, it’s a seafood themed place with an emphasis on oysters.  We went there on polling day which was a public holiday in Singapore and as it turns out, many other restaurants were either closed or fully booked. Humpback advised J to walk in and luckily we were able to get seats at the counter without waiting too long.

Sitting at the counter is pretty cool. It affords you a front row view of the crew preparing drinks and shucking oysters.

Despite the seafood theme, the menu is still pretty comprehensive, offering other meats and non-seafood related dishes. Pretty smart move, just to ensure that the menu satisfies all customers.

As this was after all an oyster bar, J and J had some oysters to share. They had the hama hama  (hood canal, Washinton USA) ($3 each). The menu describes it as everything a pacific oyster should be, from a fifth generation family farm, slow growing, strong shelled oysters, grown the old fashioned way directly on the beach, clean, crisp flavours with a sweet cucumber finish. I didn’t have any since oysters are not really my thing. J is a recent convent to oysters, so she attacked them with some gusto and both of them enjoyed it very much.

Kale – with buttermilk, pear, kale chips, pecan nuts ($14) – this was a really good combination, nice contrast with the kale chips and pear.

Hamachi ceviche – avocado, yuzu, radish, almond ($22). Hamachi = yellowtail tuna. The tuna was seasoned well, with no fishy taste.

Pork collar – pear texture, frisee, orange glaze ($16). “Pear again!”, was J’s reaction when she saw the plate. I had to laugh and a distant memory from Masterchef came to mind when Gordon Ramsey chastised a pair of contestants for using the same sauce on two dishes that they had presented to the judges. It’s true though, using the exact same ingredient for two dishes seems to show a little laziness on the part of the chef. Nevertheless, the pork was cook well and was really tender.

Beef short rib – grain fed 120 days, carrot puree, broccolini ($23) – this was executed well. If there is one thing that the owners do know, and I have experienced the same at Sugarhall, is that they do know how to cook beef well.

Manila claims – edamame, pork belly, kombu broth ($18). I found the broth a little too light, though pairing the clams with the pork belly is always a good combination.

Figs & Beetroot – ash cheese, candy walnut, burnt orange ($15). Interesting combination which wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t my favourite either. I suspect that I’m still not used to eating too many sweets as part of a savoury dish.

Humpback only offers two desserts on its menu and we got both to try

Fernet panna cotta – bitter cocoa, orange ($8). When this came out, J remarked “oh this looks like an IPhone!”
Well, jokes aside, this panna cotta was pretty decent and we all enjoyed it.

Valrhona chocolate mousse – berries compote, fresh cream ($8). Another simple, but good dessert.

Overall, we all came away with pretty good impressions of Humpback and we all felt that it was a place that we wouldn’t mind visiting again – even if you’re not an oyster fan.

Add: 18 Bukit Pasoh Road

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