First of all, I must admit that not many places get me excited about trying the food. Don Ho has invoked a sense of curiosity not only about the food concepts but also the interesting interiors as one enters the floral Hawaiian inspired restaurant.
Where you wine and dine
With warm lights, wooden furniture paired with plants and floral wallpaper, the interiors “transported” us to a dining space on a tropical island.
This slick modern notion extends to the bar, and the open concept kitchen, communal dining table, and tightly integrated seating arrangements aim to draw your attention away from the mobile phone and instead focus on the conversations with other diners.
To quench your thirst
We tried the OHANA (SGD24)- The Lover rum, Havana 3 years rum, pineapple, lemon, demarera was sweet, sour and refreshing and came in a really interesting cup in the shape of a face. The seemingly fruity drink packs a punch so be warned.
The AKALA(SGD21) – Sailor Jerry rum, mixed berries, passion fruit, lemon, mint was another fruity and refreshing drink that came in a cup with a panda face. The panda leaves were smoked before placing into the cup, and is supposed to impart pandan scents as you enjoyed the drink.
On your plate(Earth/Land/Sea/sweet ending)
CRISPY EGGPLANT(SGD14) spicy, fragrant sauce, parsley. Parsley haters can take heart that the intense pungent flavor was not present in this dish. The dish reminded us of tempura eggplant that you would get with tendon, suitable for sharing.
MILK PORK BELLY (SGD16) with spiced apple, chayote salad, date jam was cooked to perfection with a crispy exterior. The date jam brought a sweetness that complimented the salty pork, and the spiced apple was a classic complement to a roasted pork dish.
CRAB & LEEK(SGD20) Crab cakes with a spicy tomato chutney were crispy on the outside, and the crab filling was fluffy on the insight. We could not really taste the leek flavor, but what brought out the dish was the spicy tomato chutney. The warm, smoky and savory chutney was addictive and was the perfect pairing to the crab.
PAN SEARED HAKE (SGD20) red harissa, walnut crust, tempura padron was our favorite dish of the night with a moist and tender red harissa that was well seasoned. The textural elements such as the walnut crush and tempura padron brought contrast to the soft fish.
We ended on a sweet note with the SELF SAUCING CHOCOLATE PUDDING(SGD14) vanilla bean ice cream, hazelnut praline. The vanilla bean ice cream was rich and creamy, which complimented the thick chocolate(with a hint of salt we suspect) extremely well.
How much to order? – The food portions are not large, so you might want to order 4-5 dishes if you are dining here for 2pax.
DON HO impresses with slick decor, inviting interiors and food that is executed on point. The concept is sound, immerse yourself in the inviting floral environment paired with good food and drinks. This just might be your next location to impress a date or to host an after business get together.
DON HO – Social Kitchen & Bar
1 Keong Saik Road, The Working Capitol Building,
Tel: 6223 5001
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.