With a name as quirky as Table Manners, it is hard not to do a double-take when we passed this little gastrobar hidden in a corner of Changi City Point. The sleek layout had been thoughtfully planned, with wooden furniture and quirky quotes adorning the walls, adding a casual vibe to the chic atmosphere.
But what truly makes this place a gem is the timbre-decked pavilion. Set against a backdrop of lush greenery with a koi pond to boot, we couldn’t resist opting for al-fresco dining both times we were there.
The emphasis of Table Manners is on their drinks (they are after all, started by the good people at A Thousand Tales who are behind Cafe Fables and Bar Stories). On-menu drinks include a virgin mojito sorbet mocktail ($9) and an enticing strawberry shortcake cocktail ($16, or $12 between 5-8pm daily). We were told that they are able to customise drinks to suit any palate, even if one were odd enough to crave a spicy or bitter drink.
We sampled a not-yet-named mocktail of watermelon, lemongrass and thyme that was pretty enough to warrant envious glances from the next table. This refreshing citrus drink with ever-so-subtle undertones of herbs had our gastric juices working for the meal ahead.
The menu is comprehensive, with a bar bites ranging from the typical truffle fries ($6) and spicy wings ($7.50) to more creative options like ebiko mussels ($8.50). We picked the mushroom risotto balls ($7.50) and were pleasantly surprised to be rewarded with crispy little morsels that gave way to a creamy mash of risotto. Ask for the accompanying home-made sauce, akin to a less salty version of mentaiko, which brought a whole new dimension to the nibbles.
The aglio olio ($14), a simple dish made exciting by a huge grilled pork sausage, was satisfying if not particularly spectacular. We’d advise going for the pasta al fungi ($14) instead; a generous portion of toothsome, al-dente fettuccine drenched in a luscious pesto cream perfumed with earthy mushrooms and garlic bits.
Pass on the Arcadian Chicken ($16) and Grilled Pomodoro Chicken ($15), which unfortunately tasted like something you’d be able to whip up at home; there are items on the menu that are better worth your calories.
Which immediately brings us to our favourite item on the menu: the King’s Burger ($16), a 70%-beef-30%-pork patty which turned out surprisingly juicy and flavourful. Not a King’s burger without a reason, the sizeable patty was topped off with a smorgasbord of bacon, gherkins, cheese, and a sunny-side up egg, completed with a serving of truffle fries.
We already had our eyes set on three desserts, and we blame the tempting display at the counter. The lemon cheesecake ($5.50) was a piquant, citrus-tinged treat that managed a creamy texture without being overly rich. Kudos to the chef for perfecting the sea salt chocolate caramel tart ($6.50), which was smooth, sticky and oh-so-decadent. The tiramisu was the only disappointment; we enjoyed the crumbly bits with the mascarpone cheese, but a tiramisu simply isn’t one without our pillowly rum-soaked lady’s fingers.
With its hearty grub fare at student-friendly prices, and its after work chill-out vibe, we are sure it won’t be long before this little gastrobar starts drawing in the after-work crowd from the Changi area.
#01-68/69 Changi City Point
5 Changi Business Park Central 1
Tel: +65 6604 7669
Daily: 11am to 12am
Words and photographs by Sarah Lim.