Dibs Restaurant & Bar

Last night I had dinner at the newly-opened Dibs with my Bestie and the food experience was close to a revelation. Dibs describes itself as “serving up modern European cuisine” but called it is basically Asian-Western Fusion food. I read a few favourable reviews and knew I had to check it out. Luckily, my Bestie was equally game. It was a Thursday but by 8pm, all the tables in the restaurant were occupied; a good sign and a relief that there were other thrill-seekers like me other there. We decided on three of their widely ordered dishes and I found it strange when the food took a while to arrive. Then I realised all three were meant to arrive at the same time. No big deal as I was elated to see the crab cakes!

Here is what we had yesterday evening:

meat butter – $15
veal marrow, teriyaki, bonito, parsley, baguette

This was served alongside the baguette which I did not touch. The marrow was thankly flavoured due to the teriyaki sauce and the large pieces of salt provided much-needed seasoning to the bland marrow. The silky, buttery and oily texture of the marrow was contrasted with the bonito flakes. While enjoyable, marrow is always lost on me, and I have never understood the hype of it.

crabcakes – $30
crabcakes, bisque, leeks, togarashi
I was most looking forward to this dish. Ever since I saw pictures of Ruth Chris’s Crab Cakes when it first opened in Singapore, I have been craving for this ever since. Dibs provided an unusual way of serving the cakes by providing Lobster Bisque and grilled Leeks to complement the crab. The crab cakes were so good. The smooth Lobster bisque was rich and creamy, and acted like a loose gravy to the fried cakes. The grilled leeks were lovely with it’s subtle sweetness; contrasting perfectly with the savoury crabs and bisque.

This brought out the crab cake snob that I never knew existed. It was almost entirely crab with no hints of flour as a binding agent. The stuffed crab meat were seasoned with onions and cayenne peppers and were so light it came apart easily when I greedily tore into it. Crispy thin pankocrusted-exterior contrasted very nicely with the interior.

charred lamb – $28
lamb ribs, coriander, root vegetables

Boy oh boy was this quite magnificent! My only complaint was the small portion; just two and half ribs?! The ribs were described as “exceedingly tender” and this showed when it fell apart onto the plate when I tried to lift it out. I would have preferred the top of the lamb to be more charred and crispy but damn, the meat was too tender for me to think about it!

Dibs was enjoyable but I would be more tempted to bring my family and friends back if the food portions were bigger and heartier. I understand it is a small plates concept but somehow I can still imagine bring friends back to other small plates establishment like Lolla but not Dibs. Still, this establishment proves that Fusion can be so so wonderful and any stigmatism should be shelved.


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