|Cocktails, Dinner, Finger Food, Light Snacks
|Clarke Quay, Fort Canning
Cicada is a modern multi-concept creative dining and entertainment spot located at Clarke Quay. The venue spans two stories and has a decadent, comforting and pleasant ambience due to the modernist and minimalist earthy inspired interior. And when coupled with the lush foliage and natural light, one can truly feel as far away as possible from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Boasting a bistro-style vibe, Cicada specialises in contemporary dishes that are inspired by Asian cuisine and reflect a touch of French culinary techniques and flare. It also offers late-night snacks, desserts and not one but seven cocktails on tap, which we’ve been informed are the most in Singapore.
The extensive menu is developed by the Director of Operations and F&B Culinary Director at Cicada, Chef Derek whose culinary career is fuelled by his passion for Asian cuisine. Continue reading to see which of the many cocktails, desserts and more intrigued us.
Cicada’s ingenuity can be experienced or rather sipped on by paying a visit to the cocktail bar and trying the seven cocktails concocted with high-quality ingredients and spirits. We kicked off our night by trying three cocktails namely;
Made using Hendricks gin, lemongrass syrup, lemon juice, and Thai basil, Thai Collins is lighter and feels a lot more refreshing thanks in part to the hint of lemongrass and basil. With a subtle gin taste, this cocktail is perfect for someone looking to ease into the night.
For those looking to start off the night with a bang!, Farang will get you there. Concocted with Remy Martin VSOP, ginger syrup, kaffir lime water, and lime juice this cocktail is tangy and has a stronger alcohol taste.
An ode to the iconic Singapore Sling, Cicada’s take on this classic cocktail is light and the perfect drink to start off the night with. Some of the other cocktails offered are Iced Kopi; topped with whipped cream which is equal parts sweet and buttery, Chocolate Mojito, Fennicillin and Quayside Aperol Spritz.
Before we tell you about the savoury dishes and desserts, we have a quick PSA for all of our Prosecco lovers. Cicada also offers five different Bellinis for you to casually sip on.
The menu comprises dishes ranging from light tidbits, shareable platters, mains and tempting desserts.
Paired with a wasabi mayo dip and topped with freshly shaved wasabi snow, the crunchy battered and deep-fried snack is the perfect accompaniment with drinks. This laid back finger food is a classic that one can never go wrong by ordering it as the crispy beer batter and mix of spices make this a truly addictive starter.
This adaptation of Edamame is anything but the usual, steamed version commonly found. The Truffled Edamame skin has a light truffle smell and is topped with honeyed chicken skin. Even though the flavours are on the pod instead of the beans, we give it points for coming up with this combination which makes this starter worth trying.
Smokin! This signature star dish was one of the highlights of the night for us. Even before tasting this interesting take on Chinese dumplings, we were awed by the spectacle of a presentation, as Smokin’ Dumplings come in a shroud of applewood smoke, so get your cameras on. Making use of crepe skin for dumplings gives them a sweetness and softness which perfectly complemented the diced buttery foie gras filling.
It’s Taco Time! And at Cicada they take their tacos seriously by offering them in three different combos which are very well thought of and the flavours complement each other really well.
As the name suggests instead of using fried tortilla shells, Cicada uses crispy Nori shells (seaweed tempura) that go delightfully well with the tender meats.
The three tacos you can choose from are; Salmon Belly Cubes with Japanese Pickles; the pickles cut the fattiness of salmon belly which melts as soon as you put into your mouth, Korean Beef Bulgogi with Kimchi Stew; which is similar to having beef bulgogi ssam but with a taco instead of the usual lettuce and Pan Seared Foie Gras with Peanut Sauce and Pickled Cucumbers; our favourite of the three, the rich, buttery foie gras is enough to make you reach in for more.
The option of this small bite is Cicada’s take on slider burgers. Staying true to their inventive and creative nature, these three burgers use steamed mantou buns instead of the usual burger buns. The chewy buns offer the sweetness that counters the savoury patty extremely well. The three options are; Crispy Prawn Kakiage which is paired with battered prawn and vegetables along with wasabi mayonnaise. The Chicken Katsu comes with a crispy chicken fillet and rojak salad. The delectable rojak sauce enhances the flavour of the breaded fillet. Last but definitely not the last is our favourite of the three, The Aubergine and Mushroom which features crumbled aubergine and chewy soft mushrooms topped with teriyaki mayonnaise.
The first of four mains, Sakura Ebi Capellini is char-grilled king prawn, topped with sakura ebi, bonito flakes and shredded nori. The seasoning is perfectly coated on every strand and the shrimp oil and the smoky char-grilled flavours made us fall in love with this really appetising dish despite it being a bit salty.
Featuring five-spice duck jus, the braised duck leg is falling off the bone tender covered in oriental herbs. With each bite, one can feel how well marinated the leg is, and with such rich jus, it might just prove to be on a bit of a heavy side for some, which makes this a perfect dish to share.
Not forgetting about the vegetarians, this shareable platter includes char-grilled sweet corn, hoisin shiitake mushrooms, US jumbo asparagus, baby carrots, baby potatoes, and cherry tomatoes accompanied with sun-dried tomato pesto dip. Each ingredient is able to retain its natural and fresh flavour thanks to the high-quality produce used, which makes the platter even more refreshing.
Marinated with a middle-eastern spice rub, the whole chicken has crispy skin, a juicy interior and a slight smoked-kissed taste. The middle-eastern spices such as cumin, ground ginger, cinnamon bring a controlled amount of heat and a wave of flavours which are further enhanced by the pairings of rojak salad, cherry tomatoes, potato gratin and sautéed mushrooms.
Cicada has brilliantly come up with a way to pair desserts with their cocktails. Each dessert has a special match of cocktail which when tasted together are surprisingly quite amazing. Do ask for advice from the staff about the inventive pairings.
The visually appealing desserts were started off with Sweet Potato Pudding accompanied by coconut milk and mixed fresh fruit. We found the pudding to be a bit hard in texture.
The Sticky Date Pudding was one of the desserts we would happily visit again for. Served with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice-cream, the mix of texture between the rich warm buttery butterscotch, cold vanilla ice cream and sponge pudding remained appealing after each bite.
Taking a refreshing take on the local favourite, among all the creative, fusion and innovative dishes, Cicada’s Chendol offers a classic and well-known taste we are all familiar with and enjoy. For all of our sweet tooth having patrons, this dessert hits the right spot.
The second favourite dessert of the night is the fusion between the Chinese and Western flavours exuded in the Yam Mille Feuille. The yam paste placed between the crispy buttery pastries along with the coconut ice cream and fresh berries makes this dessert a definite masterpiece.
If you are looking for a classy place to hang out, have some amazing food and get your cocktails on, then you won’t find a better spot than Cicada. The beautiful interior, friendly staff and inventive menu will make your night one to remember.
|Cicada @ Clarke Quay
|Block C, 3 River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, #01-10
|Mon-Thurs: 4.00pm to 11.00pm
Fri-Sun: 3.00pm to 11.00pm