Located at the fringe of Singapore’s business district, specifically at the dead end of Gemmill Lane, is Luke’s Oyster Bar & Chop House. It is opened by Spruce’s former chef and owner Travis Maisero, inspired by classic European eateries of yesteryear, as well as new-American cooking styles.
“The design by renowned architect Antonio Eraso invokes the feeling of a well-warm Parisian brasserie, while encapsulating the spirit and conviviality of the classic American oyster bar.”
Mmmhmmmm, indeed. The first thing that will strike you about Luke’s is its smart poshy exterior
Cornbread. To start off, we were served mini homemade cornbread muffins with paprika-spiked butter. It was warm and crumbly, but a little to dry for my liking. It was decent nevertheless, and the butter was definitely something unique. Somehow, I felt it gave the dish some sophistication.
Oysters served with champagne mignonette & lemon ($70 for 10)
Last but not least, oysters – something you cannot miss in an oyster bar, especially at Luke’s. Having grown up in Boston, Chef Travis appreciates the joy of eating freshly shucked oysters and is more than willing to share the joy with all of us. He sources his oysters directly from the waters around Massachusetts and the North Eastern coast of the continent, and flows them in regularly a few times a week. Each oyster costs $7 per piece, $42 for ½ dozen and $84 for full dozen. But of course, you might also want to consider having them during Happy Hours which is 4pm – 7pm everyday, and after 10pm on Thurs – Sat as you can get ½ dozen oysters and a beer for $34.
The oysters we had that night were mostly from Massachusetts while one, the Malpeque, was from Canada. Needless to say, the oysters were indeed extremely fresh and properly shucked. My sister even said that it was comparable to the ones she had in Boston! Plump, Juicy and briney, here’s the place to go if you want the real deal.
Travis’s Tomato Salad feta, mache, cucumbers & beetroot ($23): The tomatoes were sweet, but I felt that this was just a decent salad. Nothing wayyyy over the top.
Boston Halibut ($65): Catch of the day. Served alongside coleslaw and tartar sauce, this was a major let down. The fish was overcooked, making it dry and tough. It was a substantial portion though, but definitely not worth the price tag.
Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes Maryland style, grain mustard & coleslaw ($45). Remember that I mentioned that my mum is on the search for the best Crab Cakes? Well these are the best crab cakes in Singapore, just close behind the ones at The National in New York. It was a thick cake, filled with lots and lots and lots and lots of sweet fresh crabmeat, fried in an extremely thin batter. Ok you get the point, it was STUFFED with crabmeat. The mustard sauce was thick, creamy and a hearty one, which complemented the crab cakes just perfectly.
Luke’s Bone-In Tenderloin Au Poivre 300gr. Peppercorn crust & mustard cognac jus ($69). ‘The origins of the term chop house is a classic one derived from the European continent, and its common understanding today is a restaurant that specializes in serving prime steaks and chops expertly sourced and butchered’. The waiter recommended the tenderloin and so of course, we went with it. However, we felt that the peppercorns were slightly too overpowering. Maybe just a little too much. That said, the beef was perfectly cooked – juicy, and tender. The ribeye would have been such a better call.
Lobster Mac and Cheese ritz cracker crumbs ($26). Definitely the best Mac and Cheese, but it was good enough. It was cheesy + lobster goodness and nothing can beat this classic comfort food. However, even with the ritz crackers, I felt that it needed just a touch more salt.
Now the best part of the meal (apart from the oysters) – desserts. I’ll try my best to explain and describe them but honestly, words can describe how fantastic/awesome they are. Hence, GO TO LUKES AND TRY THEIR DESSERTS!! THEY ARE THE BEST!!
Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies stout milkshake ($16). 2 HUGE ASS COOKIES – Crispy, crumbly and buttery on the outside, but gooey and chewy on the inside! Just how we like our cookies to be 😀 They were lavished with chocolate chips and I definitely enjoy biting into each one of them and finding myself licking chocolate of my lips every time. The idea is to dip the warm cookies into the milkshake but I guess you could eat it anyway you want it ie. Finish the cookies, and then the milkshake. The milkshake on the other hand, was alright. I felt that it needed more stout to be considered a ‘stout milkshake’. BUT NOTHING GETS BETTER THAN THESE COOKIES 🙂
Double Fudge Chocolate Brownie peanut butter ice cream ($16). Another decadent dish. The brownie was just fudgy and chocolaty and DARN GOOD. The ice cream had a smooth and creamy texture and the peanut butter flavor was definitely distinct. Best part of all was that it wasn’t too sweet. Accompanied on the sides were melted marsmallows and salted caramel popcorn! And that’s what brings this dish to another level. Take a bite of the brownie with the ice cream and enjoy each bite as you sink your teeth into the fudgey goodness. And then have the marshmallow and the popcorn together, and you get sweet and salty all in the same bite. So good. I’m drooling right now.
The food at Luke’s is definitely old-school favorites with a fresh and wholesome twist. It demonstrated that simplicity, when well-executed, is not to be underestimated. However, this is a place for occasions and definitely not for regular visits due to the awfully high prices. If you’re in the mood for a splurge, then this is the urbane place to go.
Service was warm and pleasant. Knowledgeable, yet not intrusive, polite waiters dressed in tuxedos parallel those in a Parisian brasserie. They were constantly in the look out for us, checking on us every now and then.
Evidently, Luke’s is suitable for business lunches, dates, a good bottle of wine, after work drinks, oysters and conversations lasting into the night. But of course, it is also
“an inspiring atmosphere for solo diners hankering for a great glass of wine and quality good, whose companion is the next big idea scribbled on a napkin”.