Luke’s Oyster Bar & Chop House

For those in the know, Travis Masiero needs no introduction. Formerly the founder and owner of the ever popular Spruce in Phoenix Park, his newest baby is Luke’s Oyster Bar & Chop House set just off Club Street. If the name wasn’t enough of a giveaway, the display counter of oysters on ice in the front should make things clear. The feel of the place is classy yet relaxed, everything from the L-shaped marble top bar to the crisp white linens to the vest-wearing servers channels a chic brasserie, while the food is inspired by comforting American classics (think along the lines of pot pie, mac & cheese, and crab cakes), with an emphasis on East Coast favorites (it’s no coincidence that most of the seafood’s sourced from there). A perfect example is the clam chowder ($17), done in a creamy New England-style with nuggets of littleneck clams and potato cubes; one of the best in the city. Pass on the pedestrian tomato salad with feta, cucumber and beetroot ($23) and opt instead for the spectacular M.F K. Fisher’s Oyster Pan Roast with bottarga ($21), served alongside sea urchin buttered-toast (Masiero’s not pulling any punches with this one). But it’s not all about the seafood here, the meat is good too. The fennel-spiced bone-in pork chop ($60) was an easy choice, a substantial enough portion and complemented beautifully by house-made apple jam; although we’ll be the first to admit that 60 bucks for a pork chop (yes, we know it’s Kurobuta) without any sides is a little much to shell out. Throughout the meal, we were impressed by the attentive and well-trained service. We didn’t even make it to dessert (despite how tempted we were by a slice of key lime pie), but if their other offerings are anything to go by, we doubt we’ll be disappointed. It’s also open till late, a real bonus in our book. Our one gripe—Travis, just turn down the music several notches, please.Don’t miss: Clam chowder. It’s one of I-S Magazine’s 50 things to eat in Singapore before you die (2012).