I first spotted Hey Handsome roughly two months ago when my friends and I attempted to enter the restaurant, not knowing that the place was not yet open for business. From the outside, the place looked very interesting with its cozy, industrial chic vibe.
Upon a little research, I found out that the team behind Hey Handsome was the same team behind one of my favorite dining destinations, Your Local. I knew I had to go back and try this place soon. I wasn’t able to go back as soon as I had hoped though. The place was always packed! I tried to make a reservation a few times too, but was never successful.
Two months later, I finally got lucky with my reservation! Whew! Once seated, we carefully selected our combination of small plates and mains. We appreciated that the server patiently described the menu, which he carried around on a blackboard. We appreciated that he clearly knew the food well and even offered his opinion on his personal favorites.
My group loved Peranakan food (Malay, Singaporean, Indonesian), but there were still non negotiables for some (thus, no lamb tonight). Still I think our selection was pretty good.
We went for the following:
Minced Duck – Tasty and very cleverly presented. But be prepared for the heat! The charred cabbage also added extra oomph to the dish.
Beetroot Paneer – I don’t think you can go wrong with paneer. I always get my palak paneer fix in my neighborhood Indian restaurant. But their version was fancier with quinoa. I loved it but I would go for my traditional paneer over this anytime.
Seabass with Nasi Lemak – This was supposed to be a stand-out dish. I liked it but was happier with our other choices.
Soft Tofu – This was the bomb! The century egg sauce made a whole lot of difference.
BBQ Beef shortribs – I wasn’t expecting a lot. This seemed like the safest choice. But it was actually my favorite among the mains.
The drinks were quite interesting. Our group tried the Magic Milk (or fancy lassi) and Donkey Punch (really refreshing mix of lemongrass and ginger).
Overall, it was a good experience. The food was good; the ambiance better. But for Peranakan cuisine, I much prefer the way it’s served in traditional restaurants or hawker stalls.