Pidgin Kitchen & Bar
This industrial-chic 60-seater is one of the latest around town to serve up Mod Sin (modern Singaporean) cuisine. While its a cool place to dine— complete with a bar counter made of sleek, dark metal beams—chefowner Adrian Ling’s dishes are undoubtedly solid. The dishes are creative but not just for the sake of innovation; the components actually work together. Standouts include chicken rice arancini. the rich bak kwa (pork jerky) mac and cheese, and kaya bread and butter pudding for dessert.
The buzz: Chef-owner Adrian Ling of contemporary European restaurant Pamplemousse Bistro + Bar has revamped his Dempsey space with a whole new concept: Pidgin, a modern Southeast Asian joint with a focused locally-inflected menu.
The vibe: This 60-seater is narrow and cavernous, with a cool bar counter made from sleek dark metal beams. But there are also charming little touches that keep the place from feeling cold or intimidating: rustic pottery pieces—made by restaurant staff on a company bonding excursion—and a funky wall embossed with restaurant names they’d bandied around before settling on Pidgin.
The food: Western classics infused with regional ingredients. There are snacky starters like chicken rice arancini ($8), as well as rich bak kwa mac and cheese ($20) and savory razor clam tau suan ($20) for mains. Desserts would be likewise familiar to anyone who’s grown up here, including kaya bread and butter pudding ($15).
The drinks: Asian-inspired cocktails such as the Nin Jiom Old Fashioned ($20), featuring High West double rye, fernet branca, pipargao syrup and angustura bitters, plus the sweeter Masala Apple Strudel ($20), with Laird's Straight Applejack, chai, lemon and egg.
Why you’ll be back: Ling offers a real fine version of Mod Sin cuisine here: It’s creative but not just for the sake of innovation—the components actually work together. If you’re entertaining visitors or are new to the island yourself, this spot’s a great introduction to local flavors.
Eat this at Pidgin Kitchen: Bak kwa mac & cheese. It's one of I-S Magazine's 50 things to eat before you die (2013).