Gluten-free food doesn’t have to be bland; just because there’s an absence of wheat protein, the food shouldn't be vanilla. Instead, Mariana Campos D’Almeida, head chef of The Butcher’s Wife, has charmed diners through sharp savouries by invigorating Brazilian cooking with a dash of Asian influence and gut-friendly fermentation culinary techniques.
Spurred by popular demand, the three-year-old establishment abolished fixed meal hours and introduced a singular all-day menu. Beat the heat and start with some Kampong Cocktails. Although The Butcher’s Wife champions natural wine pairings curated by Drunken Farmer, this new tipple alternative upholds the bistro’s minimal waste philosophy and fermentation practices to perfectly complement its Brazilian-Asian flavour profiles. We stan the refreshing and bubbly Soursop Fizz and the rum-anchored Spiced Pineapple Calamansi.
Communal dining is encouraged with a variety of starters for sharing. Get acquainted with an authentic taste of Brazil via Pão de Queijo, a classic cheese bread moat with a chewy mochi texture. D’Almeida’s updated version is made from fermented tapioca pulp and a special cheese combination that the kitchen had to make as queijo de minas isn’t easily available in Singapore. Oh, and spread it with the house-made tomato chilli sambal for an added kick.
Sago in batter? Desserts, yes. But the former is uncommon. D’Almeida uses sago and desiccated coconut to form a crunchy coat over deep-fried prawns. Dip the Sago and Coconut Prawns into a tasty açai berries-based mayonnaise, which showcases D’Almeida’s clever use of the Amazonian superfood.
Another noteworthy dish is Bacalhau Mantecato, inspired by Baccalà Mantecato, the Venetian classic of whipped dried cod on polenta toast. The latter is swapped out for a crispy fermented chickpea toast that melds Italian and Indian taste traits. Bacalhau, which means cod in Portuguese, is a summerlike treat.
Give your gut some love with the moreish Moqueca. A traditional Brazilian seafood stew derived from D’Almeida’s family recipe that reminds of Asian curry but is milder and less dense, this dish is paired with toasted banana oats farofa, which speaks of D’Almeida’s affection for Singapore’s Cereal Prawns.
If cravings call for a lighter meal, the vegan “Land Tuna” Salad should fulfil. It’s a neatly portioned bowl of Myanmar brown rice, sunomono cucumber, sweet peas, edamame and wasabi sauce—just toss and devour. Otherwise, carb chasers can also try the Southeast Asian favourite, Marinated Chicken Thigh Dosa—a crispy crepe made with fermented lentils and rice that wraps the chicken thigh (locally sourced) dressed in tangy fermented cashew cream and pickled chayote.
You must save some stomach space for sweets like Tapioca and Coconut Fudge. A dead ringer for the tapioca cakes found at mobile snack carts in the past, D’Almeida’s elevated version features a crispy skin with warm and tender insides that’s drenched in gula melaka, and is paired with fragrant bitter coffee ice-cream churned from Common Man Coffee Roasters beans.
The Butcher’s Wife is located at 19 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168650.