The Peak Bistro – You can now dine at Senior Police Officers’ Mess!
Constructed in 1931 within the enclave of spacious black-and-white bungalows, the Senior Police Officers’ Mess (SPOM) along Mount Pleasant Road was built by the British Government’s Public Works Department.
Originally intended as a home for unmarried British officers, the living quarters were on the upper floor while the ground floor held the anteroom, dining room and bar. A small catering corp prepared meals for these British Police Officers. Friday nights were social nights when music, dancing, and laughter, filled the rooms.
Gone were the days where you get to see the catering corp. Today, the Mess even has tennis courts, an air-conditioned lounge and a gymnasium. There is also a modern restaurant called “The Peak Bistro”. What makes it better is, the restaurant is now OPEN TO PUBLIC (reservations only)!
A subsidiary of the Swatow Group of restaurants, The Peak Bistro features Anglo-Chinese Cuisine that promises to excite your palate on all occasions.
Some of the appetizers we tried include Foie Gras ($18), and Escargot with Garlic Herbs ($16 half dozen). Served with apples that are warm and glazed, the foie gras has a firm yet creamy texture. The escargots are nice and buttery.
You need to get your hands on those Buffalo Wings ($8/4pcs, $11/6pcs, $15/8pcs). Inspired by Korean fried chicken, the crispy wings and drumlets are coated with either spicy or garlic sauce. The sweet garlicky flavour paired flawlessly with the crisp and juicy wings, making them really addictive.
Sirloin is one of my least-favorite cuts as it’s usually lean, making it difficult to be done just right. But when executed well, it can be tender when cooked medium rare and sliced across the grain. This is a pretty good Grilled Australian Sirloin Steak ($28). It is savory, juicy and encased in a perfectly charred crust. The steak is served with rosemary flakes, and a baked truffle butter potato with sour cream and chives. Drizzle some beef jus to brighten up the taste.
Served in a claypot, the piping hot Steamed Fish Head “Nonya” Style ($22 half / $38 whole)
is a winner. It features red snapper fish marinated in a sour-spicy curry gravy, accompanied with ladyfingers and tomatoes. While the thick curry gravy might be too piquant for some, you can have it with rice and prata to tone down the spiciness.
The Garlic Crispy Chicken ($18) surprised me. Hidden underneath the thick crispy skin is tender and moist meat that tasted just about perfect with the aromatic crunchy minced garlic. My favourite dish of the lot has to be the Sauteed Australian Beef Cubes with Garlic Flakes ($22). The chunky beef cubes are cooked to the right doneness to retain most of its natural flavours. The addition of garlic crisps truly helps to bring the dish to another dimension.
The Herbal Mutton Soup ($10) was served in a small beautiful pot. What sets the soup apart from the rest, is how clear and clean it tastes. No gamey taste, and surprisingly light. Other note-worthy dishes include Poached Spinach with Crabmeat & Egg ($16) and Sauteed Scallop with Asparagus in XO sauce ($28).
If you need carbs, go for the Abalone Steamed Rice ($16), Beef Hor Fun with Egg Sauce Gravy ($14) or The Peak Bistro White Bee Hoon ($14).
Another surprise find in the menu is Kueh Jong Kong ($6). The authentic ones are wrapped in banana leaves but they aren’t easy to find. Here, it is served in a martini glass, with beautiful layers filled with rice flour, pandan and palm sugar. They also serve Homemade Almond Cream ($6) and Double Boiled Snow Pear with Red Dates ($8).
Dining in the SPOM is a quite an experience. They even have a private room large enough to accommodate 12-16pax! There is no signboard at the entrance to direct you to the restaurant, but not to worry, ask any police officers and they will be able to guide you there. Remember, you need to make reservations!
The Peak Bistro
Address: 153 Mount Pleasant Rd, Singapore 298341
Phone: 6250 1717
Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays | Lunch: 11am to 3pm | Dinner: 6.00pm to 10.00pm | Saturdays and Sundays | Breakfast & Lunch: 930am to 3pm | Dinner: 6.00pm to 8.30pm
This post was brought to you by The Peak Bistro.