Isn't it funny how everyone's talking about the gentrification of Jalan Besar (and not too long ago, Tiong Bahru) but no one's really talked about North Canal road? I mean, you have Sur (new South American kid on the block), Mad Men Attic Bar, and the Communal practically inches away from each other. And they're all amazing, by the way. It's almost a little too good to be true. See, working in the CBD has its perks, it's not all about the communal squeezing in the trains twice a day, pun not quite intended.
Fried Chicken, $18
By the way, anyone here caught the very first season of MasterChef? You know, where the youngest contender of the show, Whitney Miller, won the title of first ever U.S. MasterChef? How her good ol' Southern cooking trumped foie gras, beef wellington and sea scallop ceviche? Or maybe you would recall how she dropped her main course (country fried chicken, of course) 7 minutes before time was up but managed to get another one done in the nick of time? It was one intense finale. I saw my curiosity about the cuisine of Southern United States swell to unbearable proportions, although clearly still not quite enough for me to put myself on a plane. Well, fast forward to almost three years later, I've finally gotten a taste of the South at The Communal. I have to say, the kitchen here serves up a glorious fried chicken. It isn't tasty in the Kentucky kind of way (whatever you make of this statement). Instead, it tasted real, carefully seasoned and surprisingly moist even for the breast section. Comes served with excellently prepared roasted potatoes, too.
Cornbread with Honey Butter, $6, Lobster Mac and Cheese Gratin, $20
The kitchen treated all the diners to samples of their cornbread that night. If you enjoy Kenny Roger's corn muffins, get a portion of this to share - you won't be disappointed. The Communal's lobster mac and cheese was comforting and fully enjoyable (I was so glad it didn't arrive drowning in cheese), with enough lobster chunks for the price tag to feel completely reasonable.
Braised Beef Cheek, $24
I have always been a grilled steak over braised beef kind of girl, but oddly enough, I actually found myself enjoying the beef cheek. It was as good as any served at the top tables considering it isn't wagyu, that is. The jus was delicious, and needless to say, you will find yourself mopping it up with the mash.
Monkey Bread, $7
Monkey bread is another of those things I've been meaning to try ever since I saw a particularly mouth-watering how-to here. Man, I wish I've been acquainted with this cheeky creature earlier. What's not to like about cinnamon dusted dough? Especially if it comes with a scoop of ice-cream. Can cinnamon anything ever go wrong? It's better than cinnamon rolls, too, since the dough is softer, more pillowy, and ironically, less like bread.
Have I mentioned that happy hours are 5-8pm, where you get 1-for-1 cocktails and a bucket of five Stella Artois bottles at $45? I don't think you need more persuasion to give The Communal a shot, right? Besides, you gotta love the exposed brick walls. See you there, fellows!
Recommendations: Cornbread with Honey Butter, Fried Chicken, Lobster Mac and Cheese Gratin, Braised Beef Cheek and Monkey Bread (Menu)
12 North Canal Road
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