Pyxiemoss Restaurant and Bar

The buzz: A modern European restaurant on North Canal Road, Pyxiemoss is the new permanent home of often-seen food consultant and chef Tim Ross-Watson, a bare-bones operation specializing in small sharing plates that give comfort food a gastronomy flourish.

The vibe: Formerly the premises of ill-fated Indian restaurant D’Bell, the long shop house space has been completely stripped of its previous finery. The long open kitchen resembles your food-nerd friend’s kitchen, messy in a studied sort of way, the wood-and-metal furniture is no-frills, the bare walls have some cool water damage, the glass cases on the bar have tiny little turtles and the liquor bottles hang on hooks. The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and Lynyrd Skynyrd play on the abundant wall-mounted speakers, and a Harley Davidson is positioned in front of the facade window. (It belongs to the chef, we are assured, and he actually drives it to and from work.)

The food: With European, British, Indian and Southeast Asian touches that highlight the chef’s heritage and experience, we’re not quite sure what’s going on with the menu—but we like a lot of it. Take for example the flavor-packed Seaviche ($8), a vegetarian dish with sea coconut strips tossed with chilli, coriander, lime juice and some crispy-fried corn kernels, served with hickory-smoked corn tortilla chips. It’s the kind of dish that you can eat over and over again, but still feels suitably fussed over by the kitchen. Ross-Watson is also big on reducing waste and using all parts of his ingredients, so a dish like Not Just the Tip ($14), a take on the Waldorf salad, involves not just celery but also crispy-fried celery leaves and celeriac, in addition to barley, green apple, Stilton and candied walnuts. There’s also a short bar bites menu after 10:30pm onwards, for $3 and up, involving simple hearty stuff like the Picaroon (cream cheese and pickled pork skin wrapped in bacon, served alongside beetroot macaroon). If we had to be picky, we’d say a meal here feels less like a coherent dinner and more like a tasting for your friend’s big, fat hipster wedding next month.

The drinks: Try the Ginger Julie ($18), made using Monkey 47 Gin, shiso sake and grapefruit juice, or SRWMC ($22), their rendition of the underrated white Negroni which uses gin, two types of vermouth and Suze gentian liqueur.

Why you’ll be back: You want to nibble and graze over drinks or are an industry friend.