Islands-inspired communal dining in Sentosa
Taking cues from islands big and small from Polynesia and Southeast Asia, Native Kitchen specialises in islander cuisine, dishing out comfort food inspired from the native diets of islander communities. Come here for an experience that is the dining equivalent of a staycation.
The hype: Within Sentosa’s central cluster of properties made up of Village Hotel at Sentosa, The Outpost Hotel and The Barracks Hotel, sits Native Kitchen, an all-day diner with a refreshing take on islander cuisine from Refinery Concepts, the same people behind household names like The Marmalade Pantry, Oriole and Kinki.
The vibe: Taking cues from islands big and small from the Maldives, Polynesia and even Singapore, Native Kitchen looks and feels tropical, channeling laid-back holiday resort vibes that entices you to almost forget you’re still, well, in Singapore.
You’ll easily find a congenial spot in this spacious 470 sqm restaurant, with tables and chairs spread out to only sit a comfortable 133. Big groups will not only appreciate the wide berth, but also the generous communal table in the middle resembling a large plank of driftwood.
The food: Native Kitchen specialises in islander cuisine, which simply means they get inspiration from the native diets of people living on the many different islands around the world, but mostly from Polynesia and Southeast Asia. From the Hawaiian archipelago we get items like the satisfying Big Kahuna Burger ($28) and Big Poke Bowl ($22), while the Bebek Goreng ($25) hits home with a tender yet crispy duck leg and deliciously spicy sambal sauce even Indonesians will likely approve of.
Seeing as there are countless islands to take inspiration from, many of the items are actually a confluence of ideas. Take the Island Ceviche ($18) appetiser, where lime juice- and coconut milk-cured barramundi is served in a coconut husk topped with freshly-sliced cucumber, carrot and ginger.
Whatever you may get, a common thread you’ll find is the comforting nature of the food. This is especially pronounced from the locally-inspired dishes like the Chilli Crab Linguine ($30; the same fan-favourite you get at The Marmalade Pantry) and the eponymous Native Kitchen’s Nasi Lemak ($20). The latter is easily the must-have item here, a plateful of fragrant coconut rice, fried chicken thigh, ikan bilis, petai, achar, egg, and of course, homemade sambal.
But we’ll also be remiss not to mention the Kalbi Short Rib Loco Moco ($24), a bowl of rice and thick mushroom gravy you mash together with fall-apart short ribs and poached egg, where every spoonful is an umami-laden explosion of flavours in your mouth.
The drinks: In line with the islands theme, you’ll find refreshing juices ($10) and smoothies ($12) here, filled with all the stuff that’s good for your gut—like kale, berries and almond milk. Cocktails wise, classics like mojito ($20) and pina colada ($19) are stiff enough and gels well with the vibe of the place. Otherwise, there is a decent selection of beers and wines (even organic ones) you can pick from.
Why you’ll be back: To feel like you’re dining in a resort island like Bali, or if you feel like getting away from the mainland for an experience that is the dining equivalent of a staycation.
|Address:||Native Kitchen, Lobby Level Village Hotel at Sentosa, 10 Artillery Ave., Singapore, 099951 Singapore|
|Area:||Sentosa and Harbourfront|
|Price Range:||$ - $$|
|Open since:||April, 2019|
|Opening hours:||daily noon-10pm|
|Report a correction|