RIB Soul Food at Haji Lane has halal gumbo and jambalaya

Like many others, I had nothing to do during the circuit breaker period. I was watching hours and hours of YouTube videos until I came across an introduction to Cajun food by the Babish Culinary Universe. Since then, I’ve always been curious about what gumbo and jambalaya taste like—until I got the chance to try these dishes at RIB Soul Food along Haji Lane.  

In case you didn’t know, RIB Soul Food is part of The Halal Mixologist’s restaurant repertoire including Wanderlost, a popular rooftop restaurant and bar at Bugis+!

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Food at RIB Soul Food

While waiting for the mains to arrive, we got the Creole Corn Ribs ($8.90++) as an appetiser. This features quartered cobs of roasted sweet corn, slathered with honey and a blend of house-made spices. 

Upon the first bite, I was impressed with how sweet and juicy each kernel of corn was. This paired well with the spicy seasoning on top too. However, the seasoning was insufficient for each quarter, so the corn tasted bland on the side with no seasoning.

Then came our mains: this huge plate of Louisiana Seafood Gumbo ($24.90++) featured seasoned rice and a generous portion of seafood gumbo, which comprised a stew with prawns, clams, mussels, and fish cooked in a dark roux. You can opt for the gumbo to be spicy or non-spicy, and we chose the latter. 

This dish was particularly addictive. I liked that the rice absorbed the briny, seafood umami flavours of the gumbo. Alas, here’s a tiny miss: the prawns and fish lacked the firm texture of fresh seafood and were instead quite soggy and mushy. The mussels and clams, however, still had a satisfying chewy texture and were of good quality.

The next main was the Jambalaya ($28.90++). This new addition to the menu starred a spicy seafood stew containing prawns, mussels, clams fish, and meatballs served atop a bed of rice. This dish may sound similar to the previous dish, but the subtle sweetness of tomatoes made it distinctly different from the seafood gumbo.

My favourite part of the dish was the juicy meatballs, which were super fragrant from the spring onions within. These would have paired well with the rice, but unfortunately, the overcooked rice was not a very good vessel for carrying the rich flavours as it was too moist to soak up the stew properly.

Moving on, the Build-Your-Own Ribs (from $22.90++) was our top pick. This is a fully customisable dish, where you can choose between beef short ribs or lamb ribs, two side dishes, and a sauce. We went with the lamb ribs with a side of hickory BBQ glaze, mac and cheese, and cheesy grits. 

These ribs were not very gamey, and the succulent layers of fat in the lamb ribs rendered them incredibly juicy. They tasted great without the sauce, but you can dip them in the BBQ glaze for extra sweetness. 

For sides, I liked the mac and cheese the most. The cheddar-based roux offered a mild, cheesy, and creamy flavour, complemented by a subtle tang from the sour cream. Also, the char on top added a layer of depth and smokiness to the overall taste. 

To end our meal on a sweet note, we got the New Orleans Chocolate Souffle ($10++). The souffle kept its height even after the prolonged shoot, which was quite impressive as this baked egg dish tends to flatten quickly. The treat was also topped with crunchy cornflakes which paired well with the chunky texture of the cake. However, the cake became slightly jelak after some time as it was too chocolatey and heaty. 

The Halal Mixologist is best known for their mocktails, and we would be remiss not to try some of them here. Their Vampire’s Venom ($15++) was the most interesting as it was served in an IV drip bag.

This mocktail boasted a combination of strawberry, mint, and orange flavours. I liked that the mint and orange cleansed our palates so that we could eat more! This drink was a bit sweet though, so I recommend it only if you have a sweet tooth.

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Ambience at RIB Soul Food

RIB Soul Food is a cosy restaurant in the heart of Haji Lane, which is a seven-minute walk from Bugis MRT Station. The dining space can host about 50 people with both indoor and outdoor seats. This means you can soak up the vibe of the gorgeous al fresco seating when it’s cooler at night.

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The verdict

All in all, visiting RIB Soul Food was a great way to try Southern cuisine without having to fly to the other side of the planet. Even though they could have used fresher ingredients, it was a great experience trying grits, jambalaya, and gumbo for the first time! 

For more good food to lift your spirit, check out our Choon Hoy Parlor review, where we tried dry laksa and lard-topped rice. Or if you’re in the area, read our Bugis food guide

Address: 8 Jalan Kubor, #01-01, Singapore 199207
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 12pm to 10pm, Fri-Sun 12pm to 10:30pm
RIB Soul Food is a Muslim-owned eatery.

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Photos taken by Paula Formantes.
This was a media tasting at RIB Soul Food.

The post RIB Soul Food Review: Cajun-Inspired Restaurant By The Halal Mixologist In Bugis appeared first on EatBook.sg – Local Singapore Food Guide And Review Site.

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