PLONK, which is also known as an Australian slang for inexpensive wine, is the latest addition to the food haven at Serangoon Gardens. At first glance, the restaurant may appear to be an uppity, contemporary spot to unwind at, with all the latest hits like Jessie J and Jamie Foxx playing in the background. However, one mustn’t be fooled by its minimalistic aesthetic, because PLONK quickly unfolds into a vibrant and flavorful Australian tapas and wine bar, managed by an attentive service crew bursting with hospitality. These endearing staff not only serve your meal, but also a heartfelt smile to go hand-in-hand with a genuinely hospitable enquiry of “How has your day been?”.

Unlike similar competitor, Salt Tapas & Bar, Plonk offers a smaller variety of 15 tapas, but compensate for the smaller menu by striving for quality over quantity. The tiger prawns with tomato, almond and chilli salsa ($10) consists of fat, succulent tiger prawns garnished with a salsa sauce that comes off more garlicky than spicy. Although it had “chilli salsa”, the dish was not overwhelmingly spicy, and was refreshingly tasty with the commendable freshness of the prawns.

The grilled chicken skewers with harissa [a hot pepper paste made out of different red peppers and spices] ($8) weren’t anything special except for the fact that the usually tough and dry chicken was especially tender. The harissa, though mild, was still able to masking the barbecued taste of the chicken.

The Ibérico ham, mushroom & marinated artichoke pizza ($19) is a 10” thin-crust pizza, perfect for sharing. Unlike Skinny Pizza, the thin-crust pizzas here don’t have the problem of crumbling. Instead, it was still able to hold the weight of the generous amounts of huge chunky portobello mushrooms and artichoke. The earthy taste of the mushrooms balanced out the saltiness of the Ibérico ham slices and artichokes, allowing the pizza to be bitten into without being too rich in flavor despite the greasiness.

It took a while for the entrée to be served, but the wait for the Tri-tip Wagyu steak with mash ($42) was worth every minute and dollar spent. The rangers valley meat, shipped from Australia, was cooked to medium rare perfection, as the juicy tenderness comes through with every bite. Reminiscent of the significantly pricier Morton’s Steak House, you’re left reeling at the quality of the meat and the precision with which it was cooked. The time-tested combination of beef and potato lives up to its reputation, as the creamy mash complemented the steak despite being a little salty. The sautéed garlic cloves and blanched mustard greens gave the dish a dimension of flavours and texture which allowed the dish to be enjoyable, and not boring at every bite, making for the star of the night.

Despite the fact that desserts are meant to put a sweet ending to your meal, they are often made too cloying. The sticky date pudding with fig & honey ice cream ($11), thankfully, wasn’t. You might want to consider sharing this with your friends, as it comes in a big serving and the sticky date pudding starts to get boring after a while. The ice cream, on the other hand, was a refreshing change from the usual vanilla, with a distinct honey taste that was more floral than sweet. 

Sangrias are a must when it comes to having tapas, and they come at $12 a glass at Plonk! If you’re unsure whether to get the red or white sangria (which has a drier taste), you can always try both.

If you’re not a fan of small bites and prefer a more substantial meal that’s not as limiting as their dinner mains, you can always come down over the weekends to try their breakfast and lunch mains, when they’re opened at 9 am instead.

PLONK’s prices, compared to restaurants such as Aston’s, may be a little steep, targeting the working class rather than youths.  But, the fact that it isn’t merely a place to dine at, but rather a place of indulgence to unwind in with your friends or colleagues, makes every dollar worth it.

Rating: 3/5

Price rating: $$$

Address: 7 Maju Avenue, Serangoon Garden Estate

Telephone: 6286 4688

Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 5 pm – 1 am,

Sat – Sun: 9 am – 2 am