Nestled along Rowell Road (between Little India and Jalan Besar) is Sideways Singapore, a wood-fired dining concept that does both brunch and dinner. I was recently invited by Sideways Singapore to try out their new menu, but ended up learning more about their restaurant and the awesome people behind it.
Sideways Singapore is a recently opened, sister food establishment to The Hangar. It’s currently housed in a refurbished 100 year old shophouse.
Unbelievably, the restaurant is just under 6 months old but it is already full of character. The chairs, tables, wiring, pretty much everything was put together by Singaporean Pav, who co-owns Sideways Singapore with his Italian partner, Giulia.
When we spoke with Pav and Giulia, they both seemed to really love living in Singapore (having lived overseas), and they both hoped to create something special and unique for Singapore.
As for the menu, almost everything is cooked in a beautiful wood-fire oven, which was lovingly made from scratch by Pav.
He shared with us that it took him 3.5 weeks to finish building this oven, and I was really impressed by his ability to pick up these skills and to be able to make his very own oven!
The ambience at Sideways Singapore is very welcoming, almost warm and homely, there’s lots of natural ambient light that filters in in the day time. And I hear that Sideways Singapore is even more magical at night, so I’ll have to come again.
I like the attention to detail everywhere, and the beautiful tiles on the flooring provide a reflection of the 100 year old shophouse’s Singaporean heritage.
Even the outdoor washroom round the back has its own unique charm 🙂
Don’t forget to check out the exposed exterior wall of the shophouse, which is covered in a beautiful, almost 3D-esque street art created by two American graffiti artists back in 2010.
Before I forget, let me tell you about the food!
First, we tried their delicious signature wood-fired sourdough [$4+].
The bread served at Sideways is made fresh daily.
They do sourdough, ciabatta, everything! So if you want to buy a loaf, do give them a call in advance (I’ve listed their telephone number at the end of this post).
The wood-fired sourdough was definitely one of the best sourdoughs I’ve had in Singapore. It’s really unforgettable.
Really airy, crispy, fresh, soft and fluffy in the centre! A must-order at Sideways. The portion was generous/just nice for me, and we had it with an avo pesto dip [$9+] made from feta, pesto, basil, tamarind, olive oil, pepper and mint. Really good, savoury stuff and so easy to spread on the sourdough. I’m craving it just thinking about it. It’s really tasty.
Next, I tried the Sicilian Crostini [$12+] which is spicy nduja spread, creamy burrata with mint served on wood-fired sourdough toast.
This is one of their mains. It’s really hearty, filling and full of flavour. If you’re a big eater, order this. The sides of the sourdough was really gorgeously charred and crusty! Taste-wise, I found that the dishes we tried all had a commonality among one another, I think it lies in the use of mint, basil and pepper that gives the food at Sideways its own original character. We found it hard to label the cuisine at Sideways – it seems to be a melting pot of different influences, that comes together to form its own sort of identity. I wouldn’t say it falls under fusion per se, but it is a mixture of different food cultures.
Next, we tried the oven baked artichoke. On its own, we found it pretty vinegary and tasted quite pickled. I felt like it could pair nicely with a drink, or maybe couscous? Perhaps pita? I’m not sure what people generally eat artichoke with, I usually have it on pizza. Besides artichoke done this style, Sideways also does a fried version, which actually sounds pretty good..
After that, we tried something new on their menu – Stuffed Pita with Veg [$16+]. This is their wood-fired pita filled with eggplant, peppers, pesto, melted mozzarella and sprinkled with parsley. It’s a little like a calzone, and tastes similar to the other items we tried! I think this is worth ordering if you are craving something very homely and easy to eat. I suspect that this stuffed pita with veg would be a hit with children.
Last but not least, we tried the Cauliflower Steak [$12+].
The cauliflower is cooked in the wood-fire oven and has a nice, lightly charred flavour. The cauliflower is topped with a beautiful beetroot tahini and lots of sesame, pepper and parsley. The tahini has a rich and wonderful sesame flavour, and the tiny cubes of beetroot were delicious – very fresh and floral and not at all earthy or muddy tasting. Again, the flavours in the tahini were rich and yummy.
I think the successful dishes which really worked at Sideways were those with a mix of more plain, light flavours combined with more richer, more intense flavours to balance it out. I particularly liked the signature wood-fired sourdough. Highly recommend it, together with the avo pesto dip. Also recommend the new cauliflower steak with beetroot tahini. It’s super good.
Who I think would enjoy Sideways Singapore:
– People who love cafe hopping and finding new restaurants in Singapore;
– Vegetarians and vegans as the menu is pretty veg friendly;
– Anyone who feels ambience is very important in a dining setting;
– Anyone who LOVES bread;
– Anyone who loves tapas, small plates, appetisers, hummus, tahini, etc;
– Anyone who likes oven baked fish, lamb, veg;
– Anyone who likes fusion / a variety of different food cultures; and
– Anyone who is bored of what Singapore has to offer and wants an escape from the Central Business District and crowds in the shopping malls.
Sideways Singapore is truly a new experience, both visually and food-wise! It really felt like travelling to a different part of Singapore I’ve not seen before.
To end this post, I want to thank both Giulia and Pav for hosting us and letting us try their delicious food as well as explore their beautiful wood-fired restaurant.
It’s certainly worth a visit and if you are in the neighbourhood, make sure you don’t miss it! And be sure to try all of their yummy wood-fired food and let me know if you enjoyed it 🙂
Address: Sideways Singapore,
109 Rowell Road,
Tel: 6291 3441
Opens on Tuesdays to Sundays
Tuesdays to Fridays: 11.30am – 11pm
Saturdays: 10am – 11pm
Sundays: 10am – 4pm