Located in a shophouse amid a slew of South Asian business and food outlets, the high-ceilinged CreatureS is a visual treat with its stucco-style concrete walls embellished with rough brushstrokes and pretty flower paintings. The multi-page menu might be familiar reading, but many of the beloved Asian dishes are given an inventive reworking. Hainanese chicken rice, for instance, is presented in rolls, while the lamb rendang is served as a ragout in shepherd’s pie. The duck and pear salad is both sweet and sour, but would perform better with a touch more spice. Kyoto Desker sees a slab of fresh tofu covered in baked lotus root and herbs sitting on an addictively creamy sauce of sesame, chilli and century egg. Applause for an excellent miso cod (tender, sweet and finely caramelised with excellent, herbaceous brown rice balls) and the crab dish served in a heady, spicy lemongrass-rich spicy curry broth. Save space for the outrageously good (and outrageously large) chocolate cake made in-house—it’s a dense, moist, mountain of a slice that’s enough for four, served with an intensely flavourful coconut ice cream and a wonderfully balanced salted caramel sauce. The wine list isn’t huge, with a mixture of reds and whites from New Zealand, France, Italy and Spain. Staff are warm, engaging, and unflagging in their enthusiasm, but at times can be a little too attentive.
• The lunch menu is a real deal—$28 for an appetiser, main, dessert and drink.