It’s off the beaten track, and for many, it can be a challenge to find, tucked away as it is on the third floor of PoMo, a shopping centre that most people would not have any reason to step into. But if you do find yourself along the Selegie Road/Prinsep Street vicinity, the Clan Restaurant is a good choice for a smart meal.
Yes it is the same one which used to be in Bukit Pasoh, which made a splash at the beginning but fizzled out with its confused food, karaoke interiors and stained upholstery. Now, beyond a different address, owners, too have changed and I must say, the food here is better and the stains are no more. Still modern European, the dishes have a distinct Spanish touch to it.
Head Chef John Ng and Pastry Chef Guang bring their youthful energy into the kitchen and you can see their creativity and brimming ideas on the plate — though perhaps a little unrestrained.
Of the parade of dishes I tasted that lunch, the signature Clan’s Pasta ($18) of angel hair, crayfish dressed with truffle oil and caviar was a highlight even if it was predictable. This was one of two dishes carried over from its Bukit Pasoh days. I also liked the charred octopus ($24), nicely grilled with a hint of deep charred flavours and a firm bite without being too chewy; and the truffle mushroom soup ($16), which was rich in flavour, but with a texture lighter than most cream of mushroom soups, tasty without weighing heavily in your belly. But if you prefer a richer broth, the lobster bisque was very good ($18). Unlike most lobster bisques which tend to be too salty, this was just nice, well balanced with the sweetness of the crustacean and a moderately rich texture.
For mains, the Clan’s summer menu features a delightful Iberico pork ($40) done “char siew style”, hinting of sweet with a suitably spicy addition, pan fried til slightly charred. All those deep flavours was nicely matched with smoked artichoke cream, quince paste and charred scallions. The meat was tender and juicy, and all the elements came together for a lovely comfort-filled dish.
The Dorper Lamb ($44) was an interesting dish which pulled in yellow curry, fava beans and mushrooms. Unfortunately the flavours were a bit too hard and didn’t complement each other well, even though the meat itself was nicely done. On hindsight, the Wagyu beef loin would make a better choice, itself being another signature comprising quite a large portion of sliced beef, served in a leaf over heated stones. The portion is substantial which makes for pretty good value at $48.
Desserts on the summer menu are fruit forward, light and mainly chilled. And I get the impression Chef Guang has a bold experimental approach as all the desserts I tried were unconventional, definitely out of the box, and mostly excellent. Have the Peach Two Ways comprising a playful mix of yellow peach and lim compote, a particularly refreshing soursop granita and pulled together with muscovado ice cream. The fruit flavours were sweet and substantial, and made for a most delightful end. If you prefer the luscious creamy mouthfeel to round up a meal, the Summer Fool is a great alternative. It is a indulgence of heavy, light and royal cream, mascarpone, meringue, summer fruits, caramel, candied walnuts and every good sweet thing tossed in. It looks like a mess, but it was pretty addictive.
I was told that the restaurant gets pretty full for weekend dinners. But it was very quiet during the lunchtime I was there. The restaurant’s location at PoMo is a bit of a challenge I imagine, as it isn’t a very inviting building to be in, which means you’ll be making a special effort to go there. Given that there aren’t many smart restaurants in the vicinity, this would be a good choice if you didn’t want to venture further. But the restaurant would need to do quite a bit more to give people a reason to make that special journey, not just once but again and again. That can be a challenge.
The Clan itself sports a monotone interior, minimalist and spacious and tasteful, but the greys and browns tended towards looking cold. The good food and attractive prices make up for this, particularly its 6 course set menu at $78++ and which offers 4 to 5 choices for the different courses and which makes for a particularly tempting proposition. The Clan also has a set lunch at $29++ for two courses, and $38++ for three. One dines free for every three paying guests.
1 Selegie Road, #02-01 PoMo
Tel: 6222 2084