LOCAL BITES WITH A TWIST | TASTE OF HOME

Walking into CreatureS feels like you’re walking into someone’s well-decorated home. The vivid-coloured walls, fresh flowers on every table, and cheery greetings from service staff are details not often found in commercial restaurants.

It might as well be one, since director Dennis Chong started out as a home cook who simply enjoyed hosting gatherings for friends. After moving on to hosting private dinners for charity auctions, he and his partner Chong Kok Keong made the leap to opening their own 60-seater restaurant last year, at a three-storey conservation shop house at Desker Road.

“We essentially enjoyed cooking for people, but being first-time F&B owners we wanted to make sure to do this comfortably, within our expertise. So we mirrored the restaurant to our home, except with more tables and chairs,” says Mr. Dennis, who used to be a photographer. It’s also how the restaurant earned its name, he says. From the two phrases – creature comfort (referring to how they want to serve people food that brings them comfort), and creatures of habit (referring to how they hope customer will return).

A first glance at the menu might spark a raised eyebrow, with quirky names such as Ah Gong Fried Chicken & Ah Ma Noodles (S$23) and Crazy Cheong Fun Revolution (S$18), but that doesn’t mean the flavours aren’t there. The former is a tasty pairing of fried boneless chicken coated in garam masala and la mien, served with a side of chinchalok mayanaise, while the latter is a comforting platter of minced chicken that goes with either steamed cheong fun (rice noodle roll) or lettuce, topped with a spicy coriander dip.

It’s quite an eclectic mix, especially when next to more traditional dishes such as Laksa (S$24) and Babi Pongteh (S$22), but according to Mr. Dennis, that’s exactly what they intended.

“It’s just like how we cook many dishes when at home – whether Asian, Italian – so that’s what we are doing here,” he explains.

“Our method of cooking is very traditional. We try not to do things like sous vide because we want to stick with honest, home-cooking techniques. We want to reach a middle ground of serving outside food that’s fundamentally very homey – like curry made from scratch, boiled in a big pot. And we don’t freeze it for storage, so when we sell out, we sell out.”

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