When Glen and Daniel Ballis – the same father-and-son-team behind Moosehead – created Maggie Joan’s, the intention was to bring life to the backlane of Gemmill Lane in an inconspicuous way, adopting an attitude of ‘in the know’ for those who seek out its industrial chic ‘underground’ bunker. Three years on and Gemmill Lane is now known as the home of Maggie Joan’s and continues to allure with its cool sophisticated vibes.
Seumas Smith, has taken on the role of Group Executive Chef and now fronts the kitchen at Maggie Joan’s.
Seumas Smith, formerly Head Chef at Moosehead, has taken on the role of Group Executive Chef and now fronts the kitchen at Maggie Joan’s. He brings inventive ideas to the table and his creations reflect his affinity for sourcing the finest seasonal ingredients from small or artisanal producers – an approach that comes naturally having grown up surrounded by the land and seas, and his culinary training in the top restaurants that practise the same philosophy like Michelin-starred Lords of the Manor and Dinner by Heston in London.
The new lunch and dinner menus highlight a Modern European flair and finesse, but remains undoubtedly approachable while creative in flavours and presentation. In every dish, each component is made from scratch as a way of respecting the integrity of an ingredient, resulting in satiating light and pristine flavours.
Freshly made sourdough bread with handmade butter and sea salt.
Contemporary in every sense, the Shiso tempura, taramasalata, nori & lime zest is a welcoming bite, as is the Rice cracker, yuzu shimichi, dill & ikura.
Hamachi crudo, almonds, salmon roe & edamame
Beetroot, smoked crème fraîche, walnuts & burnt honey
Beetroot, smoked crème fraîche, walnuts & burnt honey features the often forgotten vegetable in two ways – pickled and barbecued in the INKA charcoal oven – that will entice with its comforting earthiness when perfectly complemented with crème fraîche that has been smoked over hickory wood chips, candied walnuts, fresh pomegranate, peppery upland cress and a dressing of burnt Scottish Heather honey sourced from Prince Charles’ Mey Selections.
The entrées will tantalise the palate with creations such as the Hokkaido scallops, ponzu, apple & kohlrabi; a thoughtful combination of sliced scallops marinated in a housemade ponzu sauce topped with the highest quality Kristal caviar.
Barramundi, mussels, cavelo nero & parsley nage
The dining experience reaches a new high with the mains. The Barramundi, mussels, cavelo nero & parsley nage is a pure taste of the sea, from the delicate flavour of the locally farmed fish to the briny savouriness of the mussels caught just off the island of Chef Seumas’ hometown. The dish is further enhanced with a rich stock made from roasted fish bones as well as aromatics.
Meat lovers will appreciate the layered complexity of the Spiced lamb, salmorejo, black garlic & salsa verde. Australian lamb loin is first crusted with a spice mix of sumac, cumin and dried coriander, then grilled in the INKA oven. To go along, a pair of mini braised lamb buns are baked in-house – similar to dinner rolls but a notch better.
In convivial feasting style, the hearty sharing dishes from the grill will excite even the most ravenous of eaters with servings of the Duroc pork chop, apple purée & pork sauce and a 300g O’Connor grassfed ribeye with burnt lemon.
The vegetables and salad selection are not to be sidelined, but given the due recognition for being unforgivingly scrumptious, so much so you can eat it on its own, or as a great accompaniment to the mains; such as the Roasted carrots, ricotta, apricot & rosemary and Fried potatoes, pickled mustard seeds, crème fraîche & chives.
Desserts hold their own with delightful sweets like the tropical Coconut panna cotta, prosecco & grapefruit, Blackberries, yogurt sorbet & shiso, Chocolate, hazelnut & morello cherry, as well as freshly baked Apple tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream and the Tart of the day using the best fruits of the season.
Chocolate, hazelnut & morello cherry
Coconut panna cotta, prosecco & grapefruit
Blackberries, yogurt sorbet & shiso
Petit Fours in special container
Spatial refreshments to Maggie Joan’s offer more reasons to dine at this sophisticated ‘underground’ restaurant located within an old shophouse. The outdoor area is renewed with an overhead canopy, making it a idyllic spot in the olive tree-lined back alley to linger in an atmosphere of the backstreet tavernas and trattorias of the Mediterranean and their sun- drenched rhythms.
Step through the anonymous steel door entrance into Maggie Joan’s and be greeted by a fusion of industrial chic and stylised domesticity. Aesthetic movements have been made with the removal of the only round table in the house that once sat next to the kitchen at the back of the restaurant. It gives way to a shelf in distressed wood that adds character to the space and serves as a bar housed with bottles of liquor and house-infused concoctions for cocktails. The elegant crystal chandelier that used to hang above the round table is now upfront where the stretched wooden banquettes are.
Furnishings in the private dining room remain with a handcrafted wood table that stretches across the middle of the room and three glamorous crystal chandeliers. What makes this cosy nook more distinctive in ambience is the addition of vintage posters that adorn the walls, enlivening the space for intimate gatherings of family and friends.
Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar
110 Amoy Street #01-01
(Entrance from Gemmill Lane) Singapore 069930
Tel: (65) 6221-5564 www.maggiejoans.com
Opening Hours Monday – Friday: Lunch: 12 pm – 2.30 pm Dinner: 6 pm – 11 pm
Saturday: Dinner: 6 pm – 11 pm
Closed on Sundays