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Middle Eastern Brunch Review @ Artichoke Singapore

Last Sunday, I finally visited the highly raved Artichoke for their brunch meals with some other bloggers.
Feast of the day, courtesy of owner

Where is Artichoke?

Artichoke is a Middle Eastern­ inspired restaurant located at Singapore’s Arts and Heritage district (at the junction of Middle Road and Waterloo Street)— which means it is accessible from Bras Basah MRT (exit E), Bugis MRT, Rocher MRT or Bencoolen MRT, but with a walking distance of 5 to 10 minutes. To be exact, Artichoke is well hidden behind a yellow non-profit art heritage called "Objectifs". If the restaurant is opened, you should see a yellow crate with opening hours positioning at the front gate and a booth selling t-shirts and other stuff. Yes, Artichoke also designed t-shirts with cool phrases loved by all swag kids (I can literally image Bjorn saying those lines, this is so like him)!
Hidden like a house beside the yellow building
Artichoke sells cool t-shirts too

What is good at Artichoke?

As background context, Bjorn Shen is the chef-owner of Artichoke and the author of the Artichoke cookbook. He is also well-known for being the judge on MasterChef Singapore on Mediacorp's Channel 5.

Honestly, I can't rate if the food is worth the price as I don't know the exact price for each dish. But, if you were to ask me what's good at Artichoke? My answer would be EVERYTHING, TRY THEM ALL!

Labelling his cuisine as "dudestronomy", every dish prepared by Bjorn Shen himself is innovative and of PREMIUM quality! I think Bjorn is crazily clever— I cannot imagine how he knows what ingredients to put together to produce his one-of-the-kind, non-traditional, yet incredibly addictive flavoured dishes! At times, Bjorn travels to seek inspiration. He came back with new ideas to create yet another new innovative menu using different flavours and ingredients from the Middle Eastern. For first-timers to Artichoke, do come with an open mind and an empty belly. You will not regret it!
Bjorn fed us well

Jaw-Dropping, Must-Try Artichoke Brunch!

Every time a new dish is served, the whole table filled with "wow!" and "Woah!". All the food totally reflects Bjorn's personality. In terms of plating, the food is definitely not "instaworthy", yet the generous amount and the taste are absolutely worth dying for! But, that's what matters right (we pay for the food)?!

When we were asked about our favourite dishes, all of us pointed to a different dish. The most voted dishes from the brunch menu were—"Fried Cauliflower Salad" and "Artichoke Fried Chicken". The remaining dishes got at least one vote from different individuals.

Our feast kicked off with the "Devils on Horseback" which is not in the menu. This dish took my breath away with its harmonious flavours using wagyu ham, mint and almond. I hope this dish will be listed on the menu soon, it's so good (if you eat beef)!
Devit on horseback

My favourite dish is the "Fried Cauliflower Salad". Ironically, as its name implies, this salad dish is not as healthy as you think it is. I hate cauliflowers, but I have to admit that deep-fried cauliflowers actually tasted amazing! Together with a 5-minute egg, miso hummus and a fresh baked toast (surprisingly soft at the inside and crispy at the outside!), this dish is heavenly mouth-watering. If I can only have one choice, this will be the dish I order again.
Fried cauliflower salad

Next, is the "Artichoke Fried Chicken"— a staple that seldom goes wrong. One bite into these drumsticks and you will feel the pickles and spices from Middle Eastern exploding in your mouth! The buttery and garlicky cream sauce is so addictive that we actually took the chicken, the fries and the bread and began mopping up the entire plate. Very delicious and drool-worthy. Now, my boyfriend is the most supportive fan of this sauce, so for sure, we will order another plate of fried chicken on our next visit.
Artichoke fried chicken (& best sauce!)

Both my boyfriend and I are not a big fan of herbs like parsley (in fact, he doesn't even taste any food containing parsley). However, we love the 9-inch "Green Machine" pizzas! Personally, that's my third favourite main dish for the day— because Green Machine is a vegetarian pizza filled with a generous amount of abalone mushrooms! I love mushrooms!
Green machine, 9-inch pizza

There is also another pizza called the "Cheeseburger Lahmacun". This is a non-vegetarian pizza containing beef, cheese and many other ingredients.
Cheeseburger lahmacun, 9-inch pizza

My fourth favourite will be "Shakshouka". The whole pan was in red tomato sauce. Thus I was not expecting much. Little did I know that two eggs were simmering in the sauce, along with some melted Haloumi cheese in within! This dish is also available with a roasted lamb variant instead of cheese.
Shakshouka

Finally, Bjorn also served us "Mezzes Platter" which is the closest dish to an authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. This dish is made up of four of this week's best vegetable dishes from the Kitchen. I found the falafel (breadcrumb crusted quinoa balls) most interesting.
Mezzes platter

Dessert

To end your meal, I recommend you to get your hands on "Date Pudding". Honestly, the whole bowl of dessert does not look appealing. However, all of our faces lit up after trying the first mouth. The taste was unexpected— It's like mixing jelly with a pudding of a grainy texture, kept at just the right amount of sweetness and coffee taste. Ok, I can't describe, you have to try for yourself.
Date Pudding

For people who dislike coffee, you might prefer "Malabi Split" and "Soft Serve Ice Cream". Malabi Split is relatively sweeter as it consists of strawberry ice and coconut pudding. Meanwhile, the ice cream is relatively saltier and tasted like toffee sweet in an ice cream form, with a pinch of sea salt.
Malabi split
All desserts

After the meal, I fully grasped the understanding and imagination of "stuff that a fat kid dreams about".

Ambience and service at Artichoke

With the popular music playing in the background and backdrops of 60’s soul and 90’s hip­hop, the whole place has a warm and relaxing vibe. This place is a great spot to meet up with friends for food or alcohol, gather for a party/event or dine with your romantic date. As the restaurant opens up onto a cosy courtyard, you can have different experience dining at both indoor and outdoor.
Front interior design 
Indoor dining area
Outdoor dining area

I heard that the restaurant is almost full-house every day, especially on weekends. Therefore, I highly recommend you to make a table reservation if you would prefer to dine indoors. Believe me, you will be planning your next visit after your first meal there. At least, I can't wait to return and see what else Chef Bjorn has up his sleeves!

Another plus point is that Chef Bjorn is a happy-go-lucky person who pays attention to customer service. Despite being a famous chef in Singapore, I observed that Bjorn did make an effort to go around mingling and engaging with the other customers. His enthusiasm, humour and energy further improve our dining experience.
Bjorn is always ready for a photo

Before we left, we were also given a brown bag with some yummy gummies that reminded me of childhood! Such a sweet and thoughtful gesture.

Contact Artichoke

Opening hours
Website: www.bjornshen.com/artichoke
Facebook: www.facebook.com/artichokesg
Instagram: @artichoke_sg
Address: 161 Middle Road, Singapore 188978
Contact: +65 6336 6949 | hello@artichoke.com.sg

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