We had a recommendation from a friend for this restaurant, Neon Pigeon, not far from us in the Clark Quay area in Singapore. I had had a few looks at the menu online before going, as always, curious about what kind of food we can look forward to. It became apparent it was modern Japanese fusion, but it left me intrigued about what to expect. Most dishes have something different about them. The look and feel of the webpage also heightened the senses. It is stylish and DARK.
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Due to high-heel restrictions, we took a cab there. As we arrived on this back street of Clark Quay, along Carpenter street, we dodged a few wheelie bins and aimed for the Neon Pigeon sign. After a little bit of confusion, we found the entrance door. We entered and got a warm welcome, and the atmosphere was intense from the first second. The music and the laughter were loud, and the interior was very DARK (I loved it). Little details of the decor and the staff made it clear that it was not just an average restaurant. We took a few minutes to look around and talk about the interior. Black walls, dimmed lighting mixed up with massive pulp fiction-type murals dominated the walls, and funky-looking pigeons were painted everywhere, thanks to Street artist ZERO (Zulkarnaen Othman). This is not a lunch restaurant, more a feeling of being in a nightclub. More about that later.
What is the drinks menu like at Neon Pigeon?
Following drinks: It took me a few looks to figure out the cartoon drinks list (I didn’t bother to look at that online); the menu was very cool, with manga pictures to present the drinks, but perhaps not so easy to read the text in the dark interior. No big deal since I got help from the staff to pick a non-alcoholic option; yes, I had a big night the previous day.
Rachel picked a “seatbelt and sake”, a purple concoction with a beautiful little flower. My choice was a “Lady Hinata”, described as a complex floral non-alcoholic gin drink; it was a good choice, as it turned out it was the only drink we had on the night besides our sparkling water.
Let’s get some food: There is no menu starter and leading course standard. Instead, it has various food groups, like a raw bar or a robata grill. You pick whatever you like and share. After some advice from the staff, we settled for five dishes. To my surprise, it didn’t take long before the first two dishes arrived.
Regarding the Grilled Octopus with Korean Army Stew, we both felt the octopus was a bit on the chewy side, but I loved the little bits of the stew, it packed a flavourful punch, and I would have loved to have more of that. The other dish was Wagyu and Rock Shrimp Gyoza, a nice dish, but it was overshadowed by the sudden arrival of the third dish, the Cauliflower! This dish is an absolute star; it had a nice saltiness and Yuzu flavour, which was just so moreish. It was a generous helping, and we could not stop eating this plate of goodness.
Quickly after that, we got dishes four and five. The New Zealand Miso Black Cod, you can’t go wrong with that combination. The cod was nice and firm, cooked to perfection. There was also a hint of truffle in there (I think) that I only smelt just before taking a bit, so subtle—finally, a generous helping of Teppanyaki Thigh. The teppanyaki dish was pretty standard and had nothing to write home about.
The food happened so fast that we spent little time looking at the crowd around us. As we were filling up, we slowed the pace and noticed how the mixed but somewhat youngish group was celebrating birthdays or having a good time. The staff seemed genuinely happy to be there, mainly when serving sake straight into the customer’s mouths from the large magnum bottle. I did mention the slight hint of a nightclub.
To summarise the experience at Neon Pigeon
To summarise the experience: great food and atmosphere. The restaurant managed to sell us the fantastic, fun and contemporary (and fast) concept. The Neon Pigeon delivered, and we will definitely return.
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Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I hope this post has given you the information you need before booking your next restaurant reservation in Singapore. If you have any recommendations, tips or travel advice, I would love for you to share them in the comment section below!