Skyve might be a cheeky play of words on the act of idling around at work we're all guilty of committing every once in a while (you know you do it too), but there's absolutely nothing lackadaisical about Skyve Elementary Bistro & Bar. This is the new F&B concept brought to you by the very same team behind the popular Table 66. The latter might be gone, but Skyve, a casual redux of its predecessor, is bigger, and better than before.
What is it: Long-time customers of Table 66 would not be strangers to owner/chef Vincent Teng's preference for the sous-vide technique (method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath for a long time), which is also heavily featured at his sophomore effort with co-owner Celine Tan. But instead of just modern European dishes served previously at Table 66, Skyve now offers everything from breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch, dinner, tea, and even bar grub at friendlier prices without compromising on quality.
The look: Housed in the old campus of Monk's Hill Secondary School, Skyve plays up the school theme extensively throughout its compounds and decor, from the mismatched classroom-like chairs in the main dining space and quirky rocking chairs in the lounge area, to even a whimsical outdoor swing.
We love the touch of playfulness that goes into the conceptualizing of Skyve, in the a la carte menu fashioned after a thesis and cheeky paper placemats that resemble worksheets. We especially appreciate the one which teaches us how to skive like a pro at work -- helpful, thanks!
Must-try: Food at Skyve is described as modern bistro, and accordingly, dishes on the menu are largely familiar comfort food prepared using a slew of modern culinary techniques, including of course, sous-vide.
The sous vide egg benedict (S$18++) and Skyve seared beef tartare (S$22++) are both old favourites from Table 66, and it's obvious why both make a reappearance on the new menu. The egg benedict features a wobbly golden yolk siting atop a bed of spinach leaves and overturned portobello mushroom cap. Throw in cherry tomatoes and crunch iberico ham strips and you have a infinitely more interesting version of the brunch favourite that impresses with flavours and textures.
The beef tartare is also appealingly robust, with just a slight bit of searing -- perfect for beef lovers who don't like their meat quite so raw. The yolk here is of a custard-like consistency, and the way to enjoy the dish is to mix it thoroughly with the beef tartare, and serve with the accompanying bruschetta.
Also impressive is the confit of duck leg (S$34++) where, thanks to sous-vide, the meat falls off the bone beautifully with just a slight pull of the flesh. The meat is tender with a perfectly golden and crackling skin. The accompanying caramelised vegetables however are a tad overpowering with its maple syrup sweetness. Undergoing the favoured sous-vide treatment too is the spring chicken (S$32++), a simply done but heartwarming dish of succulent chicken, cream corn, broccolini and chicken jus reduction.
One of the note-worthy new additions is the vegetarian beet burger (S$30++), which comes with an intriguing vegetarian patty that has all the chewiness of meat but is made from beet. The patty also has a lovely smoked aroma which, according to chef Teng, is the result of the addition of a "smoked liquid" -- the burger gets the char grilled aroma without being subjected to the process which dries the patty out. The burger comes accompanied by addictive truffle frites.
Desserts also hold their own against the main courses. The Textures of Hazelnut & Chocolate Cake ($14++) in particular, with hazelnut mousse, chocolate caramel creme, feuilletine crust and cherry coulis, is a burst of flavours with every bite.
Also look out for: The enticing Skyving Hours, which runs daily from 8:30am - 8pm). Yes, that's practically the entire day -- what better excuse to have a drink in the middle of the day? Half pint Hoegaarden and Stella Artois go for S$5 and housepour wines are 1-for-1, featuring 3 types of red and white housepours from S$12++ per glass. Skyve's walk-in glass wine cellar also features more than 70 labels and bottles start from S$55++.
Skyve's bar also serves specialised cocktails like the Old-School Mojito ($16++), made with premium rum and embellished with fresh mint sprigs, as well as bar bites like the Skyve Pizza ($14++) and Skyve Beef Tartare Bruschetta ($22++).
Verdict: If you're looking for a spot to literally spend an entire lazy day at, then Skyve's your go-to-place. Great, wholesome and unpretentious food, irresistible drink offers -- we'd gladly skive here any day.
Skyve Elementary Bistro and Bar, 10 Winstedt Road Block E, #01-17, +65 6225 6690 www.skyve.sg