Monday, May 12, 2014

Life is Beautiful on Duxton

Blues, jazz, fried chicken, and urm alligators..... All these are synonymous with New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. And newly minted Life is Beautiful seeks to bring some of the soul and spirit of NOLA, with its warm Southern hospitality, to the already bustling Duxton through its casual dining and bar concept. The lion recently picked this venue as the spot to celebrate Mr Stevie Wonder's hatch day. He was hoping to experience a little of the Nawlins’ spirit as they celebrated a friend's milestone in life.
A picture of Louis Armstrong. Short-haired, black man in his fifties blowing into a trumpet. He is wearing a light-colored sport coat, a white shirt and a bow tie. He is faced left with his eyes looking upwards. His right hand is fingering the trumpet, with the index finger down and three fingers pointing upwards. The man's left hand is mostly covered with a handkerchief and it has a shining ring on the little finger. He is wearing a wristwatch on the left wrist.
Picture Source: Wikipedia
This man immediately comes to mind - with his gravelly singing and inventive
playing of the trumpet and cornet - when the lion thinks of New Orleans.
Louis Armstrong is a legend.
Wu zao pai, yes, no signboard that hints of its presence at
this intersection of roads in Duxton. But come late and you
might have to wait unceremoniously in line. 
Useless Fact of the Day: Louisiana was named after Louis XIV,
King of France from 1643 to 1715.
Come in a group cos most plates here are meant to be shared. 
It's not straightforward, authentic NOLA fare here but
"new school Cajun & Creole kitchen favourites with a modern
twist".  You can even find "Gator" on the menu, yeap alligator.
Louisiana is home to the distinct cultures of the Creoles and Cajuns.
They are melting pot, rojak cultures. Creole takes a little from the French,
Spanish and African cultures whereas the ancestors of Cajuns came from
west central France and Arcadia.
This place has received gushing reviews concerning their superbly executed cocktails.
Try classic cocktails that pay homage to NOLA's storied history like the Ramos Fizz,
Vieux Carres and Sazerac. Female bar extraordinaire Tyler Hudgens is the brains behind
the tipples and she boasts pretty impressive credentials. Too bad the group decided to
go for beers instead :( hiah... ...
This 4,000 sq ft minimalist space featuring much raw concrete and handcrafted
timber furniture soon gets pretty packed with a wonderful energy and vibe.
Open concept kitchen and bar.
 Live spinning from a DJ.  Just too bad again that lion and friends did not stay
long enough for this. In fact, it was so bustling early into the night that he couldn't
even hear the background music.
Food here is by Switzerland-born, Australia-raised head chef Robert Staedler -
former head chef of Ku De Ta Bali and consultant chef to Singapore's
now-defunct Supperclub. Pecan Waffles with Roasted Beetroot and Onion Jam.
Surprisingly, Lion loved this weird combi. Very pricy at $22 though.
Hangar Steak, smoked corn and butter shrimp salad ($73). This mammoth hunk of
a meat was a challenge to finish even among the 7 peeps. The beef was tender
but came a little too bloody for the squeamish group. Doneness is determined by
the chef.
Pot of Pulled Pork, Crackling and Duck Fat ($21).
Another great side to go with drinks.
The pulled pork was rather salty, so eat it together with bread.
8 oz tin cup fried shrimps ($18). 
The table's favourite snack of the night. Check out the
cool Tito's Vodka mule copper mug flown all the way from Texas.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($38). A twist on the traditional dish of fried chicken
and waffles. Here, succulent chicken is coated with waffle crumbs instead and
deep-fried. An interesting take and another must-order dish.
Roasted Bone Marrow Brioche, Horse Radish and Parsley ($21).
They were a little stingy with the bone marrow bits.
It was not the lion's favourite dish as the marrow texture was rather jelly-like
instead of custard-soft.

Overall, the lion would recommend this joint for its good vibe and as an after-work drinking spot to experience a little of that joie de vivre that is characteristic of the region. LIB has certainly broken the mold and spun their own take on traditional NOLA dishes, making the experience a little more extraordinary. The dishes are well-balanced, less heavy handed on spices but definitely not lacking in flavour.

Life is Beautiful
99 Duxton Road
Singapore 089543

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