It is positioned as a gluten-free eatery but the oddly-named restaurant, The Butcher’s Wife, could well pass as yet another modern European eatery, albeit a casual one, with the ubiquitous semi-open kitchen and a neat row of banquettes lining the entire length of the restaurant.
Looking at the menu of snacks, starters, mains and desserts, gluten-intolerant diners do have a buffet of options to pick from.
The crisp-on-the-bottom and fluffy-in-the-middle gluten-free focaccia ($9) topped with sliced oven-dried tomatoes, sweet caramelised onions and fresh basil is an appetite-piquing opener, a pretty one at that.
For starter, you may want to try the buñuelos ($15), Argentinean fried dough ball. Here, they use Italian gluten-free flour and mix it with kale and garlic before deep-frying it to order. It passes muster, but the dip of tumeric aioli that arrives as a side has barely a whiff of turmeric.
The pumpkin gnocchi ($23) performs better. Although the morsels of potato and pumpkin gnocchi are hardly the airy and pillowy standouts we’ve tried elsewhere, the savoury sage butter with Parmesan and a hint of lemon makes up for the textural shortfall.
But you haven’t tasted the best of The Butcher’s Wife till you try the chestnuts pappardelle ($29). Osso bucco is cooked in an oven for eight hours, in fact overnight, shredded and tossed with homemade chestnut and cashew nut flour-made pappardelle, candied walnuts and finished with parsley and Parmesan. The resulting velvety sheets of pasta arrive warm in the embrace of gloriously rustic osso bucco flecked with sweet and crisp bits of candied walnuts, every bite a savoury and somewhat textural delight.
Coming close to second best is the octopus ($27) cooked over the plancha grill and blanketed in a cloud of celariac foam with deep-fried capers, celariac cubes, a puddle of tuna mayonnaise as well as toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds salsa. Complicitly crowded with perhaps too many ingredients, the dish is admitedly tasty and that’s all that matters.
If you have space for just one meat dish, we’d pick the delightfully smoky grilled Black Onyx shoulder steak ($49, 350g) with triple-cooked wedges over the tougher-than-leather roasted pork belly ($24). And much to our chargrin, that’s all the meats that are on offer on the menu. There is also a beef and marrow burger that we did not try but that’s for another time.
For an eatery named The Butcher’s Wife, the sheer lack of carnivorous options is puzzling. But if you order the chestnuts pappardelle with osso buco, at least you will leave a very happy camper.
19 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168 850; thebutcherswifesg.com; +65-6221 9307