Perch has been one of the few restaurants which we wanted to visit ever since Jewel Changi Airport has opened its doors — a concept by the folks behind 1855 F&B (some may know them better as 1855 The Bottle Shop), 1855 F&B also operates a number of other concepts which includes TONITO Latin American Kitchen also at Jewel Changi Airport, both WAKANUI Grill Dining and The Spot that are located within Marina One, Restaurant Born along Neil Road, and Path Restaurant at Marina Bay Financial Centre. Perch is conceived as an all-day casual dining concept based on the description of the establishment mentioned on their website; the dishes are also said to carry an Asian-European fusion element in their conception. Being an all-day casual dining concept, it seems that Perch does allow its patrons to have quite a bit of flexibility in terms of their preferred dining experience at Perch — apart from serving up dishes ala-carte, Perch also does serve up a prix fixe set menu as well as set meals that are also good for two / three pax or up to four pax even. For the ala-carte menu, the menu is split into categories such as Small Plates, Appetiser & Salad, Pasta & Noodles, European Mains, Asian Mains, Big Plates, Side Dish and Dessert and Cheese. Beverages available at Perch includes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks; the former includes selections of House-Infused Gin & Tonic, House Pour Wines, Beer & Spirits and Classic Cocktails. The selection of non-alcoholic drinks comprises of Mocktails, Coffee, a selection of tea sourced from TWG Tea, Soft Drinks, Juices and Water.

We initially are quite torn between going for the Grilled Australian Pork Jowl and the Steamed Baby Seabass with Tom Yum Broth — after taking a look at the elements that is being featured in both dishes, we decided that the Grilled Australian Pork Jowl was the more interesting dish of the two, especially considering how the Grilled Australian Pork Jowl was an item that is part of the European Mains section of the menu and was a dish that sees more Asian influence in the fusion elements than the Steamed Baby Seabass with Tom Yum Broth. The menu describes the Grilled Australian Pork Jowl to come with elements such as Kimchi Barley, Braised Daikon, and Bulldog Vinegar Jus; a dish that one can say has quite a good balance of European influence in its cooking technique whilst using some Asian elements in its ingredients. The pork jowl itself was pretty well-executed on its own, the pork jowl was tender and juicy; does not need much effort to chew through whilst also being meaty without carrying any undesirable porky stench with it. The Bulldog Vinegar Jus comes drizzled atop the pork jowl; it helps to add an earthy, tangy note that helps to cut through the meatiness of the pork jowl. The pairing of the the pork jowl with the Kimchi Barley was one that we felt was especially genius though; the Kimchi Barley can be described as the accompanying carb / starch element in the Grilled Australian Pork Jowl, replacing that of the usual pasta / grains / mash that one would typically expect to find it an entree. Digging into the Kimchi Barley, the bits of barley helps to add a good bouncy chew that adds so much texture to the dish, complimenting the pork jowl — the kimchi-infusion for the barley further adding a bright, tangy and mildly spicy note to the dish that should do fine for those whom are tolerable to low levels of spiciness. It is needless to say that the Grilled Australian Pork Jowl was an item that was mopped up in no time.

Having tried a couple of dishes from Perch apart from the Grilled Australian Pork Jowl, we were actually quite impressed with the execution of the dishes here. Truth to be told, we did not know quite what to expect when we had stepped into Perch; sure, we have heard quite a fair bit about how the food is like at Perch from social media ever since they had first opened its doors, though the concept does feel a little all over the place considering the variety of menus that it attempts to serve up. Looking past all of that now that we have given Perch a try, it does seem that Perch has been pretty clear about the concept that it wants to bring to its patrons all along — other dishes that we have tried at Perch includes the Duck Leg Confit, Pan Fried Golden Snapper, and the Fried Cauliflower. While the dish with the least Asian influence that we had ordered would be the Pan Fried Golden Snapper, the Pan Fried Golden Snapper was nothing short of being satisfying — there is nothing that would go wrong when one pairs up a rich and creamy Saffron Beurre Blanc with a boneless fish fillet that is smooth, moist and flaky; the addition of poached pear adding a soft crunch and a slight sweetness to the dish. On the other hand, the Fried Cauliflower here was the crowd pleaser — coming with charred florets, the dish seems to feature Gruyère cheese that has been flame-torched atop the cauliflower; the inclusion of dried longans being an interesting touch in an attempt to incorporate an Asian fusion element to the dish. For individual diners looking for a meal at Perch, the mains from the Pasta & Noodles, European Mains and Asian Mains sections of the menu ranges between $20++ to $49++ — we find this to be a reasonable price range considering the quality and the execution of the food that they serve; Perch is after all an establishment that is more alike a bistro than a casual dining concept especially in terms of the fare that they serve up. For those looking for a place to impress a date or a spot to bring the folks to that serves up something familiar to their taste buds, Perch is a spot that is worth making a trip to; we look forward to be back to try more of their dishes some day!

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