Keong Saik Snacks by Jason Atherton
The first - and only - time I ate at Esquina, I went away liking the quality of the food, but I was also turned off by the high prices as well as the upscale approach to it all. Indeed, I was so discouraged by it that I really had no desire to go to his restaurant at the Gardens by the Bay when it opened later.
But when I heard about his next establishment (49 Keong Saik Road, 6221-8338), I got interested. After all, it was supposed to be a cheaper, casual place serving hot dogs, but presumably with the same respect for quality ingredients as Esquina up the street? Cool. Some "snacks" before dinner sounded like exactly what I needed after eating nothing but leafy greens and fruit all day.
I liked it. I didn't get the aforementioned hot dog, but I liked the tuna tartare above as well as the salad I got along with it. Granted, each of these little plates ran about S$17 (US$14), so it wasn't as cheap as I had thought. But it was definitely cheaper than Esquina, and the service was respectably fast too. I'll come back here again.