I take my Friday nights and girly dinners very seriously. It’s a celebratory occasion (as well as ridiculous effort) to coordinate 5 busy girls – sometimes I even invite more friends along because life is a party. The most recent Friday night, I as usual, made a judgement call from my carefully curated top 100 must-try eat-and-drink list, but due to a few messy turn of events, the girls and I stumbled and settled upon East 8 New York Tapas in the City Hall area of Singapore. What a legendary decision.
I only read the welcome sign as “tapas”, I tend to see only what I want I guess! Was slightly disappointed at first when I discovered that I wasn’t going to get authentic Spanish tapas, but ‘the feels’ quickly faded away once I came to terms with the term “fusion” and the plates started arriving.
From hungry to happy, this is what the 5 girls picked for our tummies -
1) FRESH HAMACHI WITH SESAME, SOY DRESSING & BLACK CAVIAR
2) HOKKAIDO SCALLOPS YUZU MISO DRESSING & SHISO
3) YELLOWFIN TUNA CHUNKS TOPPED WITH LEMON AVOCADO
4) ROCKET SALAD, SWEET PEAR, CHERRY TOMATO, ROASTED PINENUT, SHERRY DRESSING
5) US PORK CHEEK BRAISED IN ASIAN STYLE REDUCTION
6) BAKED SWEET PAPRIKA PORK BABY BACK RIBS
7) SOY YUZU BEEF INFUSED TORCHED SLICED ARGENTINE TENDERLOIN
8) BAKED ARTISAN CIABATTA BREAD, OLIVE OIL x 2
9) RICH CHOCOLATE POT WITH MACERATED MIXED BERRIES
Number one - Service, now, wow. We were welcomed, ushered, seated, and served our first dishes all within the first 15 minutes. The staff (Singaporean!) were so good, I feel bad looking back at it now that we didn’t leave a tip. They definitely deserved a generous one. I took down their names though, as I always do – please give Xinghui, trainee Zhixiang and Peter a pat on the back for their cheerful attitudes.
Number two - Do note, first of all, that the online reviews are right and the place is small. Softly lit industrial chic radiates from wall to wall, and space is rather stretched, barely accommodating rows of wooden tabletops. It could ease tensions if a couple of tables on the main floor are taken out, but I dig the choice of lounging in the alfresco area or main indoor air-con area. Our small group was put in Loft 1, perfect for up to 7 people.
Number three - Maybe we got lucky, but there was no bad dish in the list that we greedily ordered.
Nothing sucked and the standout dishes for me were the scallop sashimi, raw tuna chunks, US pork cheek and argentinian tenderloin.
Some quick thoughts – Did the quality of the dishes remind me of my meals in New York last month? Yes. Could we have ordered or eaten more? Yes.
You have to pay for bread, but compliments to the ciabatta’s crispy exterior and warm chewy goodness on the inside. It was such a hit that I had to order another serving – please don’t forget that we are five fitness and very carb-conscious girls.
Our only minute gripe of the night is that somehow, our dessert order was lost in translation. One of the service staff anxiously explained that he had keyed it in the system during our last Kitchen call for orders, but it somehow had failed to go through. The dessert menu is a sweet but short selection of two and we were unable to enjoy the hot dish (banana tempura), but we did scrape the plate of the rich chocolate symphony, which was excellent. The sweeties love their sugary treats.
We were so full and sleepy at this point that it hardly bothered us anyway and we let off the poor flustered boy with playful beady eyes. Service was otherwise extremely prompt and attentive – the way to this food-starved girl’s heart is undeniably, lots of attention.
Drinks flowed from chardonnay to smooth sake, and my favourite sips were from the Brooklyn iced tea. Total food bill not including alcohol was about $30 per person.
TUMMY TIP: Go to East 8 with a group of friends, and eat all the things! I want to come back and drink the epic-looking watermelon soju (available on Thursdays only) that I saw in East 8’s Instagram pictures.
EAST 8 NEW YORK FUSION TAPAS
Mon-Thurs: 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Fri: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am
Sat: 6:00 pm – 12:00 am