Morsels in Little India, Singapore
Little India is not where I would have expected to find a place like this (35 Mayo Street, 6396-6302). But after navigating our way past a bunch of seedy hostess bars and refurbished office supply shops, we finally found it: a small-plates counter-seating (and yes, paper napkins) kitchen that wouldn't be at all out of place back home. Indeed, apparently the chefs trained at the CIA in Napa Valley, so I guess that explains a few things.
Anyway, we ordered away at a number of dishes, all of which were tasty and of good quality. My favorite was that squid ink risotto above, with its tender and perfectly grilled octopus. Today's roasted pork belly special was moist yet crunchy, while the steamed clams were unique in that they were done in a kimchi fig broth. It sounded weird, but it worked.
Now, of all of the counter-seating, paper-napkin places that seem to have proliferated in Singapore recently, my favorite by far is still Lolla. But I'm nonetheless happy that there are suddenly so many of these cozy kitchen-side views in town now, most of which are serving respectable food. And while normally I'm not big on fusion either, these guys did a decent job of putting it to their advantage without making it annoying. It was worth coming to.