Maggie Joan’s in Amoy Street

A nondescript door along an empty back alley is the entrance to Maggie Joan’s.

Pull open the door and you’ll see a cozy and dimly lit restaurant, and a friendly waitress ready to show you to your seats. Speaking of seats – make sure you have reservations as the popular, months-old restaurant gets packed.

Step in and you’ll see two rows of tables and an open-air kitchen in a cage.

We were led past this and around the corner were a few more tables, where we were seated.

And then it was time to order! Here are our starters:

The Roast Jerusalem artichoke, & manchego ($8, above). The artichoke, which tasted like potato, came with manchego cream and cheese and mixed seeds and nuts. Would have preferred more texture in this dish.

The signature Egg, dukkah & saffron mayo ($6, above). The egg, which is poached then fried and coated in dukkah and served with saffron mayo shaped like an egg yolk on the side, was a lovely introduction to the Egyptian spice blend, which is still not widely found in Singapore.

Here are our mains:

The Swordfish, Tabbouleh ($29, above) was cooked with the insides still pink and moist, and was served with a non-traditional tabbouleh. The bursts of sweetness from the dried fruit, creaminess of the sauce and crunchy nuts were a lovely contrast. This perked up the meal after the rather average appetisers.

The Roast bass, pesto & marinated tomatoes ($28, above) came drenched in a flavourful pesto soup and the marinated tomatoes were tart and juicy.

The Grilled Iberico pork jowl, prunes, & cauliflower ($36, above), served with marinated prunes, pickled cauliflower, fried curry leaves and creamy cauliflower puree (yum!), was melt-in-the-mouth tender.

We also ordered the Rangers Valley strip loin & salsa verde ($88), which was cooked to the right doneness, though it looked smaller than a sharing portion, and a side of Fried potato, ricotta, bottarga ($9). The fish roe provided a light, salty crunch. Delicious! (Forgot to take photos of both).

Then it was on to desserts!

The much-raved-about Orange cake, yoghurt & pistachio ($10, above). The orange cake, a dense slice of loaf cake completely soaked in orange syrup, was just alright when compared with the other two we ordered.

The coconut and mango tart (above) – the special of the day – featured perfectly complimentary fruit and was of just the right sweetness. Everyone was raving about it, so simple yet delicious.

The Goat’s cheese, raspberry, muscatel & bee pollen ($10, above). The goat’s cheese was pleasantly pungent and earthy; perfect with the sour raspberries. I couldn’t make out the other accompaniments with the explosion of flavours in my mouth.

It was the perfect ending to the meal with a tiny glass of Limoncello ($15, above). I was enjoying sips of it, but my companion, who seemed to be enjoying it more than me, accidentally (or purposely haha) downed the remainder. I guess I’ll have to return for more (:

Maggie Joan’s
110 Amoy St
+65 6221-5564

Tips: The restaurant’s address is listed as 110 Amoy Street, but its entrance is found along the back of the shophouse, near Gemmill Lane. Also, it can be very cold deep in the bowels of the restaurant, though you get a view of the chefs, so if you’d like more warmth, request a table closer to the entrance or bring a sweater.

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