We’ve got the lowdown on all the hot new restaurants in Singapore this month, mama!
Hey, mama! Need a quick shot of inspiration for a night out on the town (no kids that is!)? Here’s our pick of Singapore’s latest restaurants and newest bars, condensed and served up in tasty bite-sized pieces just for you.
French-inspired Japanese pâtisserie Henri Charpentier has 82 locations across Japan but they have only just opened their first international dessert shop right here in Singapore at lovely Dempsey Hill! This dessert salon should become a teatime hotspot with its indoor lounge and spacious outdoor terrace for little tête-à-têtes over fancy pastries and desserts, including their famous Crêpes Suzette ($18), oozing orange and Grand Marnier flambéed at your table for extra pizzazz. Also on the dessert trolley: beautiful pastries, artistically presented tarts, madeleines and financiers. Henri Charpentier, 9A Dempsey Road. Singapore 247698. Tel: (+65) 64795518
With Chijmes’ beautiful revamp come some exciting new additions to the restaurant scene:
El Mero Mero, an offshoot of Señor Taco, takes up residence in the latter’s former spot. The cuisine is still Mexican but there are some exciting modern takes, and presentation is pretty as a picture too. They even make all their salsas and tortillas in-house, plus they’ve teamed up with Singapore’s roof garden ComCrop to grow their own habaneros and tomatillos! The menu is interesting and diverse, with dishes like Grilled Octopus, Corn Cream, Black Garlic, Tajín Ash ($28), or Veal Sweetbreads Flambéed, Cauliflower Cream, and Huitlacoche (a delicacy which ranges in name from corn truffles to corn fungus or smut! $22). For us, though, tacos were stars of the show: Tacos Al Pastor ($26) of Kurobuta pork, pineapple, onion, coriander and salsa served on a corn tortilla; Veal Tongue, Oxtail, Onion and Coriander on a flour tortilla ($34); and the most magnificent Taco Pescado Coster ($39) with fish, onion rings, shishito pepper, tomatillo serrano salsa on a flour tortilla. The deal-clincher here is their peaceful alfresco seating overlooking beautiful Chijmes – it makes the perfect setting to sit back and enjoy a few cocktails. Try the El Mero Mero ($18) – which actually means the ‘main man’ – an extremely drinkable concoction of Mezcal Orange, fresh lime and agave. El Mero Mero, 30 Victoria Street #01-20, Singapore 187996. Tel: (+65) 6337 1377
Another newbie at Chijmes is Here & There, a Kushiyaki bar serving up grilled skewers of foie gras and wagyu ($12), marinated fatty tuna ($12), spicy garlic miso pork belly ($7), and wagyu steak ($9). Head there for their Tuesday “Shuck and Suck” oyster nights featuring $2 fine de Claire oysters (with min spend of $20 pp). Here & There, Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street, #01 – 11/12/13/18, Singapore 187996. Tel: (+65) 6333 0116
Speaking of oysters, new oyster bar Southbridge has flung open its doors to spectacular 360 degree views over the marina from Boat Quay. The menu knowingly beckons to date night planners with its promise of oysters and bubbly (from Prosecco at $12/ glass to a bottle of Dom Perignon at $288). Fresh oysters are served with a choice of sauces like ponzu and yuzu, or chilli, garlic and calamansi ($20 for 6 before 8pm, $24 after) or try hot oysters with bacon and cheese or avruga caviar ($30 for 6). For something more substantial: Lobster Rolls ($28), Chilli Crab Croques ($18), and Pork Sliders ($12) are on offer too. If you’re looking for that post-work tipple, there are cocktails like La Piscine ($22) made with Prosecco, vodka, elderflower, soda, and fruit, or The Elgin’s ($18), with Abelha Silver cachaça, pineapple and homemade cinnamon-salted caramel. Southbridge, 80 Boat Quay, Singapore 049868. Tel: (+65) 6536 5818
FOC (which contrary to local expectations is not pronounced as an acronym but as a word, meaning ‘fire’ in Catalan’) has a pedigree to be proud of: Michelin-starred Chef Nandu Jubany from Barcelona (consulting chef), resident chef Jordi Noguera (whom you may remember from Foodbar Dada), and mixologist Dario Knox from Catalunya Restaurant. The menu is tapas, often with a twist. Standouts are the deliciously refreshing and intriguing Watermelon Gazpacho with charcoal smoked olive oil ice cream ($12), tender Octopus Galician style with smashed potatoes ($22), and the Black Mediterranean “Paella” ($22) – squid ink paella flecked with little chunks of squid and topped with sweet prawns, clams and garlic aioli.Don’t miss their cocktails – shaken up with quite a show by Dario. Smells Like Gin Spirit ($14) of Lemon-Agave Gin, Basil, Lemon-Basil Tincture, Sugar and Lemon is a refreshingly sweet and sour lip smacker, and the Bloody Jordi of Tequila Blanco, Lemon, freshly pressed cherry tomatoes, celery vinegar, Kimuchi no Moto and smoked salt – ($14) another tasty, spicy number. For something fun and really rather fabulous, end your meal with a burger. Bear with me, the FOC chocolate burger ($12) is dessert heaven; the bun is white chocolate ice cream topped with sesame seeds, the burger chocolate ice cream, strawberries for tomatoes, mango in place of cheese and a leaf of mint for the lettuce – eat with your hands before it melts. 28 Hong Kong St down the road (one of the Worlds 50 Best Bars) finally has a partner in crime! Foc, 40 Hong Kong St, Singapore 059679. Tel: (+65) 6100 4040
New craft cocktail spot Hopscotch Bar has popped up in the courtyard of the former traffic police headquarters – Red Dot Traffic Building – by the same people who brought us Mixes from Mars and the Mars Bar. They promise ‘molecular mixology’ in true Singaporean style using ingredients and flavours that are local-lah! Their style is adventurous (Mars Bar is famous for its Chilli Crab cocktail) so expect beautifully presented, exciting offerings like the ‘Arab Street’ ($23) [pictured], reminiscent of the Arab quarter and its shisha smelling streets – made with G’Vine Nouaison Gin, homemade pomegranate syrup, saffron rose water, apple juice and citrus. This cocktail even comes with ‘shisha’ smoked over it! Hopscotch Bar, 28 Maxwell Road, #01-04, Singapore 069120. Tel: (+65) 6327 4820
Wander the picturesque streets of Spottiswoode for some shophouse envy and you’ll stumble across Chotto Matte on the corner of Blair Road. This Japanese spot has something for everyone, whether you’re popping in for an after-work drink or nibble – from Japanese Whisky with Wagyu Yakitori ($9) to a glass of wine and a cheese platter, they seem to have it covered! But those in the know are heading straight to the back door to the tiny sushi counter for some omakase with Chef Chee. Just name your budget (starting from $100) and he’ll conjure you up little delights of sushi of yellowtail, sea bream, tuna, scallop, and squid. Maybe some Teapot Soup of boiled down fish bones, tasting deliciously sweet and good-for-you. Or grilled fish like horse mackerel or stingray fin. If you’re lucky there may be deliciously springy noodles made entirely of fish, which he has to beg from one of the only places to still make them in Japan and then have hand-carried to Singers. For now they’re only open for dinner, but come November they will be serving bento box lunches from $19.90. Chotto Matte, 54 Blair Road, #01-01 Singapore 089954. Tel: (+65) 6222 8846