Isthmus, finally!

After reading countless newspaper and flogger reviews, all good by the way, I was excited to finally have lunch at Isthmus last week. I love the wooden deck. Made from old chengai wood, it must’ve cost a small fortune but completely worth it. It adds character to the modern red interior. We sat next to the huge windows because we were still thawing from our meeting in a freezing cold room. By the end of our meal, my back was starting to feel rather hot.

Sis and I ordered the quick lunch platter which had their signature blue lotus dumpling, gravlax, oyster shooter, simply avocado and I still don’t know what the last one was. The blue lotus dumpling was so pretty but the taste was a little bland as the dumpling skin was far too thick. The oyster was fresh and succulent but I didn’t have the shooter because there was just too much vodka in it for lunch! The avocado was wrapped with eggplant and deep fried. Sis liked it so much, she ate all of hers and half of mine. The gravlax was smokey and salty, but too salty for me to eat it on its own like that. I don’t know what the last one was. It tasted like woo kok, without the meat. Very tasty and nice with the slightly tart sauce. The sauce was pretty - bright orange and dark chocolate in colour, it looked like a spider squashed by the “woo kok”.
Sis ordered the signature duck which I seem to remember as Harajuku Duck but somehow I think I could be wrong here, huh. The duck looked radiant like it just stepped out of a tanning salon. Her skin was golden and luminous (and crisp! Maybe one too many trips to the salon), a ruby red sauce on the plate like bright scarlet lipstick on a collar. The meat fell of the bone and was wonderfully tender. I wasn’t keen on the sweet plum-like sauce because it reminded me of the late 90's when fusion food was rampant. Otherwise, the duck was lovely with the salad.

My honey mustard lamb cutlets were beautifully done. The meat quality was good and it was lovely and rare, but not bloody, in the middle. I also liked the creamy sauce with wholegrain mustard. The most disappointing dish was our partner’s dish. She had ordered some sort of soupy udon. It was forgettable to say the least. The two desserts we ordered may not have been a reflection on the rest of their desserts. The durian bavarois was not as smooth as I would’ve liked and merely reminded me of chilled lau lin goh. As for the pineapple tartin, we were expecting a tart tatin. We should’ve read the menu properly because the dessert was just thin pineapple slices served with a smooth mango ice cream. Probably the healthiest dessert I've had in a restaurant, apart from fresh fruit.

While I can’t say that I am as impressed with the food as some of my other fellow floggers, I will say that every single dish in Isthmus is visually appetising. They make food look fun, vibrant, happy and tantalising. Looking at these pictures just make me want to eat it again eventhough I wasn’t blown away by the taste. I will definitely return for dinner, but maybe only when the Head Chef is back from Melbourne.


  1. ah, so you've finally been. i love the avocado thingie.


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