Stroll down the historic lanes of Ann Siang Hill and you’ll find a tidy resto-bar with a flair for outrageous cooking and swanky cocktails. Introducing Oxwell & Co – the brainchild of a group of Brits who wanted something uniquely British in Singapore; basically a place they could hang out at and call home.
Exterior of Oxwell & Co
Staying true to the design of the conservation shophouse, the interior walls on the ground level were deliberately left cracked and stained. Entangled copper pipes and beer taps with ink markings are fronted by a snazzy bar table top, while rustic wooden tables fill out the strangely stylish space.
To soak up the ambience, we had a couple of drinks, beginning with Oxwell’s rendition of the Pina Colada ($20). Instead of the textbook version, resident mixologist Luke Whearty’s (who also happens to be the head bartender of sister bar Operation Dagger) creation was an exquisite blend of creamy scorched coconut cream and pineapple juice laden with rum.
Next up, a classic Gin & Tonic ($16). We can safely say the folks at Oxwell & Co make one of the best G & Ts in Singapore! Sufficient heat and absolutely refreshing.
Then, the bar grub arrived. Oxwell’s Pork Scratchings ($6) are flavoured with an mix of peppers and chili powder – a delightfully crispy snack to enjoy with beer. Even better was the Crispy Corn Kernels ($5) – an savoury innovation by Head Chef Nic Scorpion (formerly of Tippling Club). After we almost wiped out both snack bowls, the Oyster Scampi ($10) – oysters cooked in deliciously greasy batter – made its way to our table, which was also quickly devoured. Oxwell & Co definitely gets two thumbs up from us in this department.
Crispy Corn Kernels
For round two, we headed up to the second floor of the restaurant; expect a casual laid-back bistro environment with a nice view of the street below. Our first starter came in the form of Steak Tartare with Egg Yolk and Sourdough Toast ($24). The components of the toast and raw beef dovetailed nicely and we were loving the sour yet juicy bursts of flavour we got from both ingredients.
Steak Tartare with Egg Yolk and Sourdough Toast
This was followed by another robust dish of Packham Pear and Stilton ($22), featuring Colston Basset Blue Cheese, Endives, and Pickled Walnuts. The cheese was wonderfully pungent – just the way we like it. The endives and pickled walnuts were nothing fancy on their own, but they complemented the cheese well.
Things, however, went south with the Cape Grim Porterhouse Steak ($45) served with Coleslaw, Brussel Sprouts, and Maple Butter & Chips. The portion was huge, but we were expecting the steak to be cooked evenly at the very least, plus it was done inconsistently, with patches of raw interspersed with cooked parts. We were disappointed, considering how good a time we were having thus far. Despite this, the sides the steak came with were lovely and faultless.
Cape Grim Porterhouse Steak
Finally, we had the all-time British favourite – Fish and Chips ($26), with sea bass as the fish of choice. The fragrant flesh delicately breaks up into tiny morsels, melting in your mouth every time, while the battered skin was an excellent mixture of crisp and soft. A real life-saver from the previous dish, if you ask us.
Fish and Chips
Overall, Oxwell & Co is a great place to have dinner and a couple of drinks after work. Quirky, innovative, and true to its roots, this is a gem that needs some shining, but only just.