Blackbird Bistro and Bar [Permanently Closed]

While roaming at Dhoby Ghaut, I was surprised to find a New Zealand themed eatery hidden in plain sight! Situated at Handy Road in the stretch between Plaza Singapura and the Cathay, Blackbird Bar and Bistro spells charm. The well-done interiors, good music, and friendly welcome by staff elevated the initial impression of the restaurant. There is ample seating space as the restaurant is deceptively large. If you are watching a movie at the nearby theaters or looking for good happy hour deals or brunches, this place shall not disappoint you. Their 1-on-1 cider deals are totally worth getting during happy hours.

The Orders
I was in a bread and cheese kind of mood and ordered the ‘Summer Squash’ sandwich. What I love about a good grilled sandwich is that as you bite into it, the whole combination should be crispy, gooey, salty and comforting in all ways. This sandwich was all that and more. It had grilled aubergines, zucchinis, capsicum, basil pesto and brie on Turkish bread. The bread had a nice panini press feel to it and is worth trying. The fries on the side were well done and this item is quite filling.

Summer squash sandwich

Summer squash sandwich at $13.90


We also ordered the ‘Rigatoni’ as the pasta main. It was cheesy and piled high with vegetables. The pasta was slightly overdone and the dish needed a little more seasoning. A decent dish, but not one of their best efforts.

Rigatoni

Rigatoni at $17


As we liked the food, we decided to try the desserts as well. Their ‘Fig and Honey Ice cream ‘ definitely looked like something that should not be missed. Seated on a soft bed of berries, this huge scoop of ice cream looked regal. The sprinkled icing on the sides made it look like a planet in the solar system. Extremely tasty, highly recommended.
honey and fig icecream

Fig and honey ice cream at $5


Chocolate fans will not be disappointed with the next dessert offering. The ‘Lava Cake ‘ was an eruption of luscious chocolate. When we cut into it, the ganache flowed right out of the center. The scoop of vanilla ice cream lent a nice balance.
Chocolate lava cake

Chocolate lava cake at $10


Since the dessert portions were huge and were pocket-friendly, we also tried the ‘Custard Cake’ which was the daily special.
Daily Special

Daily Special at $5


I had heard about their charcoal buns and would have liked to try them if Blackbird offered a vegetarian burger on their menu. For their affordable bistro food, top-notch desserts, friendly service and the ambiance, Blackbird Bar and Bistro should not be missed.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Bistro food ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Dhoby Ghaut/Bras Basah
Address: 6 Handy Road, Singapore 229234
Timings: Tue-Sun: 11.30am – 3pm ; 6pm – 10.30pm
Website: http://www.blackbird.com.sg/
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Sweet Potato Patties/ Sweet Potato Sandwich Filling

After trying out a few recipes, I have realized that sweet potatoes can be as versatile as potatoes. They can be baked, fried, sautéed or grilled – and the dish turns out to be good each time. While thinking of how they can replace potatoes, it struck me that I could make them into a patty, slather some ketchup on them, and make some delicious burgers. I have also tried them as a filling inside sandwiches and they are pretty good that way too. The sides can be ketchup or coriander and mint chutney and the dish feels totally complete. They are easy to make and can be served in parties too.

Recipe Details :
Makes: 8 patties
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp gram flour/besan
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Oil as required

Method:

  • Boil the sweet potatoes in a lidded vessel on high flame for around 20 mins. The skin will start peeling in the water which is fine. Switch off the flame.
  • Now wash them under cold water and peel them completely.
  • Mash the sweet potatoes and add the remaining ingredients including the spices. Mix well to form a smooth mixture
  • Brush a saute / non-stick pan with a little bit of oil and place it on medium heat.
  • Sweet potato patties on the pan

    Sweet potato patties on the pan

  • Make a round shape of the mixture in the palm of your hands and place it gently on the pan as shown in the above pic.
  • Cook one side for about 3 – 5 mins and then flip. Brush the other side with a little oil. Dab the patties slightly using a spatula and make them slightly thinner. Cook until brown. Flip till you see both sides crisp as shown in the picture below.
  • Sweet potato patties

    Sweet potato patties

  • I used the the extra mixture as a sandwich filling with toasted bread. That tasted equally delicious with the crisp and crunchy toast balancing the delicious sweet potato filling.

Tips :

  • Be careful while peeling the sweet potatoes post boiling. They will be very hot.
  • Cook the patties on a medium – low flame and do not crowd the pan.
  • If you’re sweet potatoes seem to be on the sweeter side, increase the spice and lime to compensate.

Communal [Permanently Closed]

North Canal Road is a place where the whole street is stacked with restaurants offering varied cuisines. I made my way to Communal for dinner – a casual American diner situated in Raffles Place. It has striking black marble steps at the entrance which lead into a brick long bar counter and some cozy booths. The place has limited seating and reservations are highly recommended. There are long bar-style seats on the pavement outside, but it can get humid as the meal progresses. The smoke around can disturb you a bit if you are sensitive.

The Orders
The menu encompasses everything – right from soups and salads to mains and desserts. They have an interesting set of salads and I went for the ‘Salad of Butter Lettuce’ which had a combination of beets and hazelnuts. The salad was well balanced as well had great texture and bite. It was a healthy start to the meal. We then ordered the ‘Vegetarian Sandwich’ stuffed with veggies and had fries as the side. The sandwich was well made and each bite was packed with flavor. The ‘Communal Burger Deluxe (C.B.D)’ is also highly recommended.

Vegetarian sandwich

Vegetarian sandwich at $12

I got lucky and was able to try the ‘Vegetarian Pasta’ which was their ‘Special of the Day’. It was home-made pasta, which added to the taste and the sauce was clean and bright. It was also very visually appealing.

Vegetarian pasta

Vegetarian pasta around $18


Unfortunately I could not try their desserts, but their milkshakes seemed interesting. On the whole, there is definitely more potential to the place in terms of food offerings. Placing of fans on the outside for ventilation would help. The serving staff were very friendly. They have wallet-friendly Happy Hours in the evening from 7 -8 pm and offer lunch sets. The freedom to try different cuisines and yet stick to one’s roots of being vegetarian or drawing parallels between similar dishes from different cuisines adds another dimension from a foodie’s perspective.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: American Diner / Casual Dining ★★★
Nearest MRT: Raffles Place
Address: 12 North Canal Road #01-01, Singapore 048825
Timings: Mon-Fri (Lunch):11.30 am-2.30 pm; Mon-Sat (Dinner):6 pm-10 pm
Website: http://www.communal.sg/