I get that I do get spoilt for choice where food is concerned. But all the “reviews” you see here on my blog are entirely my own opinions. And every meal was paid for. With my own money. Or the boys. So when I say I am not particularly impressed, there usually is a reason.
Don’t get me wrong. Neon pigeon has a nice vibe. And it’s one of those cool, trendy places where if you want to go out on a Friday night, without actually having to GO OUT and CLUB and all that.. then this would be the best kind of in-between. The whole place sort of feels a bit like you are dining in a club-like atmosphere. Similar to Meat Liquor. Loud, trendy music blaring. Graffiti. Pigeon related of course. I giggled a little because I was secretly jealous at one point of a pigeon mural that was sporting headphones. (We were seated pretty close to the speakers.) And of course.. there were small tables that you huddle over that remind you of days at the Wine Bar in Zouk. Totally in sync with their “modern urban izakaya” theme.
When you order sake- you get to choose your own sake cup. A nice, personal touch. And one thing they did get right – staff.
Very attentive. And friendly. And one of the owners (or the owner himself) is insanely H.O.T. Even most of the crowd is attractive. With a very good LGBT – andro and hetero crowd. But it is a casual place that gets insanely busy, so don’t get all snappy with the staff. Food does take a long time. Remind them nicely once in a while. And being nice always pays off.
That said, I can’t figure out whether or not this place is so hip it is almost painful. Or just full of people just slightly past their prime (myself included) painfully trying to be hip.
Everything was.. ok. Pretty good. But nothing wowed me enough to say… OMG… I am definitely going back.
There was definitely one dish that I ordered three times though – MARINATED HAMACHI: ume somen noodles, shiso, ponzu. It knocked my socks off. We ordered three. We also did have the tsukune sliders that are not featured in the photos, because despite everything that we ordered – 10 dishes in total … all four of us were still hungry after dinner. And two bottles of sake.
I actually went for bak chor mee after.
Note of course, that you can have small, or large servings of all the food items you order. And since there were four of us, we mostly ordered the larger portions.
CHILLED CUCUMBER: crushed chili peanuts, nori, goma – delicious and refreshing. But, feels like something I could replicate at home.
3 x MARINATED HAMACHI: ume somen noodles, shiso, ponzu – possibly my favourite dish. It was both an appetite opener as well as an all around balanced dish. I loved the tartness of the flavours combined with the cold noodles that were done just right. (Thankfully. Not soggy and bloated at all.)
SMOKED BABY BACK RIBS: sake barbecue sauce (Not too bad.)
SMOKED PORK BUNS: pickled daikon & ginger, umeboshi hoisin (Also not too bad. But the House of Dandy does a killer version! And they are a bar.)
SLOW COOKED OCTOPUS: cauliflower purée, shichimi (Good texture. Nice puree. But nothing wowza.)
MISO ROASTED PUMPKIN: sugar snap peas, crispy garlic, egg yolk (Sort of like a paella. But was… ok. I thought it would fill me up…)
HOUSE SMOKED BACON: crispy pork skin, spring onion, egg yolk (It had bacon! And I’m not hard to please once you have bacon. But.. I still wasn’t full.)
TSUKUNE SLIDERS: pickled kyuri, tare aioli (Actually, I was glad we ordered this last. Because it was pretty yummy. And at least made me think… ah. Ok. Not bad. But the slider patties are not that much bigger than Ikea meatballs.
The bill came up to $580 ++. For 4. At an Izakaya. And I was still hungry. Sigh.
Maybe it was because we were walking around for so long that day before we finally got to a restaurant that would sit us. The Keong Saik area is INSANE on a Friday night. But, just to see if I was just being a grouch, I checked in with the Mr.
“So.. what did you think of Neon Pigeon, babe?”
“Meh..” he muttered, with his hand rotating up and down like the flaps of an airplane wing.
Well. At least I didn’t have to remind him which place it was.
*mutters under breath* Like after a pretty expensive meal we had in Telok Ayer. O_O
But don’t take my word for it. Go check it out. After all, it has TONS of rave reviews. And I could be wrong. I just don’t like leaving restaurants still hungry! Imma big girl.
WHAT: Neon Pigeon
WHERE: 1, Keong Saik Street, #01-03
WHEN: Monday to Saturday, 6pm to midnight
Reservations available only for groups of eight and above
Parking: If you are going on a weekend. I would urge you not to bother. Unless you want to bust an artery.