Beast and Butterflies at M Social - Review [Media Invite]

Beast and Butterflies, located at M Social, is anything but your usual 'hotel food'. For one, even though it's located on the hotel premise, the place separates its branding from M Hotel. In terms of physical space, you have to walk a separate a separate stretch in order to reach the restaurant from the hotel.

The place itself is full of modern vibes - there is an installed bar panel with a reflective black marble surface, facing two flat television screens. This is the first thing that greets you when you enter. Look beyond and there are dining tables behind that are laid out in a fairly relaxed setting. Suitable for both big groups and small groups.

Treasure Pot "Pen Cai" - 盆菜 ($68++ for dine-in/$84 for takeaway)

This staple at Chinese New Year dinners is only available from now till 11 January. The version here is meant for 4. The usual components of mini abalones, dried scallops, dried oysters, prawns, fatt choy, pork belly, fish maw and vegetables can be found here. The gravy was slightly too salty, but this should be fine if had with plain rice.

Oyster Shots ($10/pair)

The oysters have a fresh briny flavour. Eat in one mouthful together with the shallots. At this price point, one can't complain and really there's nothing to complain. A must for oyster lovers especially.

Spam Fries ($10) with nacho cheese dip

I have lost count of the number of times I've had good spam fries. The ones here make my list of really good too. Crispy on the exterior and cut thick enough so you still bite the meat. Not sure whether the accompanying nacho cheese dip is even needed.

Duck Crispies ($15) 

Don't judge by its wanton-like ordinary looks. I did, and almost missed out had I not decided not to take it by appearance only. Like the name suggests, this was not just crispy, but SUPER crispy. The wanton skin encasing the filling shatters with a light pressure before yielding to the moist, shredded duck meat within. The duck meat is seasoned to just right. There were 2 platters of this served, and I wondered why there were leftovers. Whoever didn't try these little ones missed out big time. This is a must-order.

No. of Tiaras: 4.9/5

Ham Hock - Full German Pork Knuckle ($35)

At first look, this looks like the chinese roasted pork. Structurally, it really is. However, the meat cuts are thicker and less salty than the chinese sio bak so you can just have it on its own. The most memorable part is the crispy skin. It's one of the crispiest, if not the crispiest, pork skins I have ever had. The first bite is a satisfying huge crunch, and every subsequent bite after is still the same loud crunchiness. Oooo. This is good for at least 3-4 to share. Don't attempt it on your own, unless you are a meat warrior. 

Dip into the accompanying nam jin sauce, which is the chef's own mix, is similar to Thai chilli sauce, but with less heat and definitely delectable. 

No. of Tiaras: 4/5

Beef Ichiban ($68)

This is the piece de resistance for me, out of all tasted here. It looked dry at first when cut, as there were nary a lot of red juices. I nearly dismissed it, till the first bite. The meat is a pretty pink hue that yields neatly to every slicing. The sweetness is complemented by the savoury sauce, a deceivingly simple-sounding soy-mirin-garlic. 

Just a little part of oiliness with the most part juicy and lean and a crispy crust outside. It has my steak preference down pat. This is by far one of the best steaks I've had and I'd so return for this (when purse strings are looser). 

Wooly Pork ($35) 

This slab of Mangalica pork,was bouncy-chewy in texture with meat sweetness in every chew. I ended up sitting and chewing in silence, enjoying the flavour. 

The construct of other elements here bring a "Korean" feel to the dish. The brown rice crispy patty is a plain canvas to balance the slightly overly salty sauce and its crispness is reminiscent of the burnt rice bits in a hot stone bibimbap. Then there's kimchi, interestingly paired with lady's fingers. This is something to return for. 

No. of Tiaras: 4.3/5

Wok-Fried White Clams

These didn't disappoint, but neither did it wow. I'd pass these over for the other more interesting dishes on the menu. 

No. of Tiaras: 3.5/5


For sweets, the Dessert Extravaganza ($25) is a four-part assortment of desserts. Of these, the yogurt and lime mousse cup was the best, with a yogurt base and sprinklings of biscuit crumble with strawberry. I love 'orh nee' (yam paste) so I was thrilled by the idea of yam brulee. However it was too sweet.

The chocolate and banana crumble was fanciful to watch in that the chocolate will melt when you pour as you pour the fudge, but that's about it. Again, sugar overdose. Neither did the mango sticky rice work out - rice was 'lemak' (coconut-ty) enough and the mango wasn't that sweet. 

No. of Tiaras: 3/5

Other desserts were the Cup Cloud: strawberries, basil ice cream, butter cake and balsamico pearls and Matcha Lava.

Not quite sure about the combination in the Cup Cloud, in which the elements seem to run separate instead of complementary. The basil ice cream is interesting though. 
No. of Tiaras: 2.5/5

The Matcha Lava dessert fared slightly better. The warm green tea cake had enough matcha flavour, but didn't quite have that lava flow we were anticipating when we cut it. The molten matcha ganache was more dense. When eaten with the cake, the combination again was too sweet.  

No. of Tiaras: 3/5

To round off, there were certainly more hits than misses. The hits were great hits (beef ichiban!! wooly pork!! duck crispies!!!) at that - certainly a place I'd return for quality food at a reasonable price point and setting.

Many thanks to Beast & Butterflies for the invitation. 

Beast & Butterflies
90 Robertson Quay
Level 1
Singapore 238259
Tel: 6657 0018
Open daily from 12pm -2.30pm; 5pm - 10.30pm; 11.30pm-12am