[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]ucked amid luxury boutiques at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, fried chicken specialist Bird Southern Table & Bar presents guests with a dilemma. Should they follow the tone of the posh locale and chic modern-rustic interiors and slice into their meal with a fork and knife, fine-dining like? Or give into instinct honed by decades of tearing into fried chicken and use their bare hands, etiquette be damned?

Roll up your sleeves. Cutlery seems superfluous when diners are presented the chicken, watermelon and waffles platter.

Rest assured that if it’s the latter, no one will blink an eye and wet towels are on hand. The restaurant is southern hospitality serving southern comfort food, the first to open in Asia from the 50 Eggs group that is already established in Miami and Las Vegas. And boy, is it a refreshing departure from the current wave of healthy eating.

The Fare

The restaurant dubs itself as approachable fine dining, which means diners get “ninja service” – stealthily attentive – and premium ingredients such as oysters and waygu in a relaxed atmosphere. The highlights, of course, are the signature Lewellyn’s fine fried chicken, whipped up from a 100-year-old recipe, and Bird’s expansive range of bourbons and bourbon-based cocktails.

The menu, with its staples of St Louis style pork ribs, shrimp n’ grits, swine burger, cheese and watermelon, and fluffy buttermilk biscuits makes for a mouthwatering read. But to sample what Bird is capable of, check out its September tasting menu in conjunction with Bourbon Heritage Month. Here, raw oysters and smoked trout roe; foie gras and biscuit; chicken, watermelon and waffles; and salted caramel pudding, are paired with cocktails that will perk the tastebuds.

Pick your own ambience

The restaurant’s varied spaces will appeal to different groups of diners. There’s the picturesque al fresco seating on the second floor facing Marina Bay for that after-work drink and snacks; private dining rooms that can seat 6 to 30 for that special gathering; bar seating; and open restaurant area. But no matter where you have plonked yourself, Bird’s recipe of blue jazz and fried chicken, extensive bourbon line-up and cocktail sampling, makes for a boisterous evening in waiting.

Open from 11am to 2am daily. The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, B1-07 (Galleria Level) & L1-82 (Bay Level).  T: 6688-9959.