I was supposed to give J a birthday treat but due to our clash in schedules and his inability to figure out where to go, this treat was delayed till now. He finally suggested Dibs Restaurant & Bar, which is a modern European restaurant located at Duxton. The restaurant is relatively new.
We visited the restaurant on a Saturday night and found it to be half full. I sort of expected it as we were nearly half an hour late but the server was happy to accommodate us. Usually, the busier places would have given up our seats. We started the night with a beer for J and a katutama umeshu for me. After settling down, we decided on our dishes and placed our orders with the friendly staff. I was quite happy to find the cockles in the menu. The humble shellfish is cheap and not as popular as the others due to its taste. I recall Fat Man tried one in my laksa and nearly puked. The cockles here are partially cooked with chilies and bacon dashi, as well as a generous amount of garlic. It was delicious and reminded me of the ones we had at Two Chefs, though those were raw. However, I couldn’t taste any spiciness in the dish. Meat butter was essentially veal marrow with teriyaki sauce and bonito flakes. The clever fusion of east and west worked well together. We spooned bits of marrow on the warm baguette and ate happily.
Our mains consisted of crab cakes and beef short ribs. The beef short ribs were very good. It was very flavorful and tender. In fact, the texture reminded me slightly of beef tongue. However, the accompanying daikon (i.e. radish) fries were too oily and tasteless. I will switch them for normal fries instead the next time. Both of us did not quite like the crab cakes. The taste of crab did not stand out and the bisque was overpowering. When mixed together, all we could taste was the bisque. In general, the food is good but a tad expensive. Mains are between $25 to $34, which is not cheap, considering the portion and the general ambiance of the restaurant. The restaurant’s decor is very simple and the mood is more casual. Our overall bill came up to nearly $150. I am not so sure about paying so much again.