I’m a bit sad to finally put this in writing, as for some reason it makes it seem a bit more real. But it is true and in less than one month we will no longer be residents of Islington.
Moving primarily to be closer to work, the sad thing is that we will really miss all the good food we have access to in and around Islington and the North East.
The positive news is that I’ve discovered Singapore Garden.
Situated on a rather residential corner of Swiss Cottage, Singapore Garden looks rather formal for something that so local. The wait staff are attentive, polite and dress in typical Singaporean dresses which brought back very fond memories of Singapore Airlines long-haul. Kitted out in typical Singaporean drapes and colours the overall feel is far from tacky but rather a very modern, subdued elegance.
Visiting the restaurant for lunch, the tables are set with formal wine glasses, but are quickly whisked away when we politely declined wine. An iced jug of water arrived without question. Big tick.
The menu contains a rather overwhelming list of pan-Chinese food so on initial glace I was a little sceptical whether I was going to be fed authentic Singaporean meal. It wasn’t then until we found the area titled ‘Singapore and Malaysian specialities’ that we found the food words we were after – rendang, assam and sambal. Being lunch and looking for a one plate meal, we settled on Fried Kway Tiao and Singapore Laksa.
The Singapore Laksa (£8.50) was a generous curry laksa choc full of seafood, vegetables and (some would call mandatory) fried tofu puffs. For me a perfect laksa base needs to have a balance between cream, curry and spice. The laksa broth at Singapore Gardens managed to be both perfectly creamy and curry at the same time with a subtle spice which was easily pumped up with the addition of chilli. Without a question probably one of the best laksa soup bases I have eaten in London.
The fried kway tiao (£7.50) was not as successful, and whilst the fried rice noodles had a nice char, and the egg was well cooked through the noodles, the dish lacked any other excitement. Portion-wise it was much more generous than say Sedap, but again I have always though the portions at Sedap to be a little mean.
Despite only trying two dishes here, I am rather excited to have good Asian food in my new ‘hood. No doubt I will be visiting Singapore Gardens more frequently in the future so I hope to expand this post at some stage. The restaurant also has a rather interesting cocktail list which I hope to try on my next visit.
Upon leaving the restaurant, we noticed that the Swiss Cottage branch of Atari-ya has set up shop a few doors down, bringing to the North West all the fabulous sushi the group sells from their Acton shop. And whilst our move is still another month away, I am pretty keen to make another visit shortly if only to give it a go. Sushi anyone?