This bistro’s gluten-free credentials are no more than a footnote, and that’s just the way they intended.
Nestled in tranquil Yong Siak Street, just opposite Books Actually, The Butcher’s Wife’s pastel-shaded floral safari theme stands out. It used to be Open Door Policy, a dairy- and gluten-free establishment. Now the people behind it, Spa Esprit Group, have shuttered it and re-opened a modern European, gluten-free restaurant in its place. Its menu hopes to be big on taste and make ‘gluten-free’ no more than a reassuring footnote.
Says the chef patron behind this project, Diego Jacquet, who also helms BoCHINche in Amoy Street, “Because a gluten-free diet means one cannot have normal bread and pasta, the biggest challenge we took up for the menu is giving many colors and flavours to each dish, hence defying conventions because many people think gluten-free food is tasteless. The Butcher’s Wife has proven them otherwise.”
Following head chef Diego Carlos Quispe’s departure recently, BoCHINche’s Fabrice Mergalet is the one seeing to this promise, making sure that the menu entices without elements such as wheat, barley and rye. For instance, there is the tapioca & mozzarella bread ($9), which is on the denser side, but light and chewy and irresistible with a thick slab of miso charcoal butter. And using cauliflower cous cous, the quinoa salad ($25) with pomegranate and toasted sprouts, is fresh and piquant—perfect for a light lunch. The chestnuts papardelle ($29), made with caputo flour and chestnut flour, comes in decently silky tresses. Served with eight-hour braised ossobuco ragu and candied walnuts, it makes for a moreish dish.
Alongside, you’d find other usual suspects that go well with drinks at the bar, such as the crispy pig’s ears ($16) and the grilled octopus ($27). For dessert, the simple and satisfying chocolate ganache tart ($15) does the trick. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood, this bistro makes for a welcoming pit stop.
19 Yong Siak Street. Tel: 6221 9307