Media Tasting at Cicada Restaurant
Cicada is a newly opened multi-concept dining venue in Clarke Quay. Serving modern Asian cuisine, Cicada spans two storeys – the first is an all-day dining bistro with cocktails on tap and late-night desserts, whilst the second floor offers live mandarin jazz lounge and Asian-inspired tapas with a wide selection of whiskeys, sakes and cocktails.
Cicada has 7 cocktails on tap. Some of the interesting cocktails include Iced Kopi (grey goose vodka, black tears spice rum and toffee nut) and their signature Cicada Sling – you would have to try this for yourself but there are hints of pineapple, lime, gin and brandy notes.
Shortly after we were seated, we were served two appetisers – Beer-Battered White Bait (S$12) and truffled edamame (S$9). The latter was topped with honey chicken skin, which gave it additional crunch and a slight saltiness. Use your fingers when eating the edamame for maximum flavours as the beans inside are not seasoned.
On the other hand, the beer-battered white bait topped with wasabi snow – freshly grated when served at the table – and wasabi mayo was crisp and light; an appetiser we highly recommend.
Cicada’s take on Chinese dumpling is the Smokin’ Dumplings. Instead of the usual dumpling skin, Cicada chose to use crepe skins instead, and the eggy flavour definitely stood out in these bite-sized babies. There are 3 stuffing options – truffled foie gras (S$22), truffled mushroom (S$14) and pork and mushroom (S$14). The smoky taste didn’t quite come through for this dish, but it’s an interesting dish for the adventurous.
The Cicada’s Nori Tacos served in trios, has got to be one of our favourites of the night. There are three different flavours – Salmon Belly Cubes with Japanese Pickles (S$14), Korean Beef Bulgogi with Kimchi Slaw (S$14) and Pan Seared Foie Gras with Peanut Sauce and Pickled Cucumbers (S$18). The crispy nori shell complemented the tender meats.
Another small bites option is the Cicada’s BaoBao Trio, which is Cicada’s take on burgers, but replacing burger buns with steamed mantous. This is also available in 3 flavours – Chicken Katsu with Rojak Salad ($12) and Aubergine & Mushroom (Crumbled Aubergine & Mushroom with terriyaki mayonnaise, $12) and Crispy Prawn Kakiage (battered prawn and vegetables with wasabi mayonnaise, $14).
Moving on to the mains, the Sakura Ebi Capellini (S$22) stood out the most for us. The capellini is served all dente and packed full with flavours, sitting atop a char-grilled king prawn and topped with sakura epi, bonito flakes and shredded nori.
Cicada’s take on oriental braised duck leg (S$24) features fork-tender duck leg drenched in oriental herbs and five-spice duck jus, except that the flavours might be too overwhelming for those with a lighter palette perhaps due to the richness of the duck jus. The Chinese element in this dish comes through the crispy yam balls.
For sharing dishes, we tried the Grilled Vegetable Platter ($35), which is suitable for 2 – 3 persons, comprising of Impossible Meatballs, char-grilled sweet corn, hoisin shiitake mushrooms, US Jumbo Asparagus, baby carrots, baby potatoes and cherry tomatoes. The sun-dried tomato pesto dip augmented this dish and we happily wiped it clean.
The last savoury dish was the Char-Grilled Spatchcock ($42), suitable for up to 4 persons. The chicken is marinated with a middle-eastern spice rub and would be served whole (for photos) before it is brought back to the kitchen and chopped for your easy consumption. It comes with rojak salad, potato gratin and sautéed mushrooms as sides.
We were stuffed before desserts were served, but nothing stopped us from trying all the available desserts. First, we had the Purple Sweet Potato Panna Cotta (S$12), which was a pretty shade of purple and had a pudding-like texture. Unfortunately, the sweet potato taste did not come through and paled in comparison to the other desserts.
The Sticky Date Pudding ($14) was served with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice-cream and topped with some crumbs. The sponge pudding was delightful and would definitely appeal to those with a sweet tooth. However, we recommend sharing this dessert to avoid it being too cloying towards the end.
The Cicada’s Chendol (S$12) was the most refreshing dessert, although it was nothing innovative. It was classic chendol well-done, with an additional scoop of coconut ice-cream and grass jelly.
Saving my favourite for the last is the Yam Mille Feuille (S$12). Combining the Western Mille Feuille dessert with Chinese flavours, the slightly grainy yam paste piped between the layers of the crispy pastry was reminiscent of “orh-nee”, especially when paired with the coconut ice-cream served on the side.
Our meal at Cicada was satisfying for our bellies and felt like an escape from the busyness of the city and definitely a great addition to Clarke Quay.
*Service charge(10%) and GST(7%) applicable.
Share this post with your friends and loved ones.