“Why This Restaurant” is a short series of posts about the restaurants we work with – their cuisine, our wines, how and why they work together, and of course the people.
We were introduced to Bryan and Petrina by our coffee supplier (Nylon – highly recommended) several months before Morsels opened. They had just secured the lease on their Mayo Street space, and were sourcing personally, mindfully for food, coffee and wine, of course. Over spicy heritage food at Immigrants (yes, another one of the restaurants featured this August), we discovered the many things we shared – a love for Damian’s homemade tau-cheo (soy bean paste), friends in common, time in northern California, and a belief that at their best, restaurants have distinct personalities.
This belief is immediately obvious at Morsels – the slightly mismatched furniture, the laidback but not slipshod vibe, and a menu which marries Singaporean sensibilities with Californian cuisine. Ingredient-driven (e.g. they marinate their own olives, grow some of their own vegetables, and make their own kimchi), unfussy techniques, and bright, clean flavours. We always have the steamed clams with kimchi fig broth, a lesson in balancing umami, salt and acidity, and it’s always fun to pair wines with this dish in a counter-intuitive way. The off-dry 2011 ‘Opale’ (Viognier from the Northern Rhône) from Eric Texier amplifies the umami in this dish, while the natural sweetness of the clams comes through with the thrilling flavours of Thomas Carsin’s 2010 Esperance (Pineau d’Aunis, a rarity).
Some might question why a Singaporean couple would choose to cook such clearly ‘Western’ food, but we think that misses the point of Morsels. More than ever, local chefs now have the chance to train and work abroad, gaining exposure to new ingredients, techniques and most importantly, guests. By the same token, Singaporeans who travel have become more receptive to different cuisines and ideas, helping to build a more diverse and resilient dining ‘ecosystem’. We’re delighted that Bryan and Petrina have chosen to return to Singapore to be a part of this, and hope you will find just as much joy in their distinctive, delicious dishes (and our wines).
Address: 35 Mayo Street, Singapore 208316
Phone: +65 6396 6302