There’s no denying Kampong Glam’s hip quotient—full of happening spots like Maison Ikkoku and Blu Jaz—and it’s recently welcomed more independent newbies such as this one. While not located on the more popular streets of Haji Lane and Arab Street, that’s part of the charm of this restaurant, bar and café tucked away on a little street called Jalan Kubor.

Set up by Le Cordon Bleu grad Abby Lim, Symmetry’s a cool space with raw brick walls and distressed metal elements with a bar counter that proudly displays its fire engine red Slayer (think of it as the Ferrari of coffee machines). In the daytime, the grub channels more laid-back café with brunch and lunch items including croque monsieur and Eggs Benedict.

At night, the menu’s decidedly more sophisticated with composed plates such as whole baby barramundi with fennel. Our understated starter of lightly-dressed quinoa studded with cranberries and hazelnuts ($18) was an interesting combination of textures and flavors; the sweetness of the fruit played nicely off the nuttiness of the hazelnuts and the citrus-driven dressing. Of the mains, both the braised pork cheek with tagliatelle coated in mushroom cream and arugula ($26) and satisfying, full-flavored 18-hour braised beef short ribs ($38) are good options—although the former’s a more generous, filling serve if you’re hungry.

Perhaps the most experimental of all the offerings are the desserts, a prime example being the beets sorbet ($16): a somewhat mismatched, if well-intentioned, combination of milk pudding, lavender, raspberries, meringue, pistachio and shiso. Unfortunately, prices tend on the steep side of things, especially considering the fact that portions are modest at best, and service can be a little rocky. But if you’re after a quiet spot for dinner, this is a decent bet.

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