Was scrolling through social media pages and found the accounts of the newly-opened Armenor located at 7 Purvis Street — the establishment has taken over the former premises of Santa Fe Tex-Med Grill, and is a “casual modern European restaurant” that aims to give classic European cuisine a modern twist. The interior has seen a total revamp from its former tenant; with a more bistro-style setting, the design language can be said to be of a modern chic style — concrete-esque walls with wooden fittings and a brick-esque look for its bar counter, the suede cushioned seats do add up to the other furnishings for a slightly upscale sort of vibe. Plants also adorn the interior for a feel that makes the space seem closer to nature, whilst the yellow hue for its lighting is warm to the eyes, yet dim enough to create that sort of “classy” atmosphere. The menu at Armenor comprises of sections dedicated to Entree, Soup & Salad, Appetisers, Beef, Pasta, Pizza, Dessert and Kid’s Menu — small bites are also offered here; items which are good to pair alongside their extensive beverages menu that comprises of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options where the latter includes milkshakes, coffee and mocktails just to name a few. Prices of the pasta here are at $25 before service charge, while the pizza are priced at $20 before service charge — the beef ranging from $33 to $45 before service charge; pretty in-line with their focus on providing a menu at a more accessible price point.

Of all the dishes which we had tried, the Classic Carbonara was the one which we found to be pretty memorable. Featuring elements such as Guanciale Cured Pork, Fresh Egg, Spaghetti, Shaved Parmesan Cheese, Black Pepper, the Classic Carbonara is done in a way that is authentically Italian — purists will note how there isn’t any cream nor bacon used here; just egg, pork cheek, cheese and pepper all done with the sauce being reduced to a point where there is enough to coat the pasta. While the Classic Carbonara here checks all of the boxes of a traditional Carbonara, we enjoyed how the noodles were done just al-dente here carrying just the right bite — each strand of noodle being sufficiently coated by the eggy sauce. What we really liked was how the Guanciale Cured Pork provided (which they were also pretty generous with) had a sort of flavour that was typical of Chinese waxed meat — incredibly savoury on its own but gives the eggy pasta a hint of meatiness from its fats that was especially delicious; also provided some form of chew as a textural contrast as well. Those seeking for an authentic Carbonara would most likely be satisfied with the one served here at Armenor — pretty surprised how this item wasn’t actually listed as a Chef’s Recommendation given it’s quality.

Overall the experience at Armenor is a pretty pleasant one; for one, the environment is pretty soothing and warm but we note that the service here is on-point (though it may also be possible that they had the time to since we were pretty much the only table there for the night) — friendly staff who are genuinely into making connections with their patrons through small talk and also gathering constructive feedback, which made our visit especially welcoming. Food here is also genuinely decent; no doubt there are some items such as the Tricolour Panna Cotta that requires a bit of fine-tuning to achieve some sort of balance between the various elements, but there are also items such as the Classic Carbonara that deserves a mention. Let’s just say that Armenor is a spot that works for dates, family dinners and even a night’s out after work alike — would really like to see them uphold the same level of hospitality as time passes; not a lot of places do make their guests feel at home at this price point, but this is something that Armenor does seem to do well at that sets a difference against other establishments out there.