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-size pieces just for you. This month is truly packed, with everything from smoothie bowls, to peak-value set menus (under $50 for five courses!), to delicious cocktails and mod Middle Eastern.
Audace – Upmarket Modern French [CLOSED]
Unlisted Collection sure knows how to pick ‘em. New restaurant Audace (replacing the Coccotte pop-up at Wanderlust Hotel) might just be one of the best meals we’ve had all year. The space remains much the same save the odd wall decor, though new to Audace is the shelf of herbs that line the kitchen window — these have been foraged from the Swiss Alps by the chef’s friend. The Chef in question is Michelin Star-awarded Chef Jérémy Gillon from Le Montana in France. His upmarket French bistro fare uses local ingredients, often with Asian flourishes. A la carte dishes will change weekly, though signatures will remain: Pork Belly Marinade with Beetroot ($38 to share) and the favourite Braised Octopus ($19), a charred tendril of octopus alongside a stalk of grilled spring onion, pickled vinegary onions and a puree of smokey sweet umami onion, scattered with hazelnuts for crunch; this dish hits all the right notes on flavour and texture. For dessert, try audacious combinations like the Poached Pear ($13) with green curry and white chocolate, though it is the Macaron ($11), that we had a soft spot for — a humungous cookie filled with black Colombian coffee jelly offset by speculoos cream and just begging to be eaten with your hands if you dare. If you’re after a set menu, dinner has a 4- and 6-course meal ($68/98), while set lunches ($28/34 for 2/3 courses) are a steal. They also do Sunday brunch (11:30am-4pm) priced at $68 for 5 starters, 6 mains and more. Plenty of reasons to go back, then!
Audace, Wanderlust Hotel, 2 Dickson Road, Singapore 209494, Tel: (+65): 6298 1188, www.audace.com.sg
Brine – Affordable Modern Bistro
Brine is a tiny 20-pax outfit under Hotel Clover in Kampong Glam. Helmed by Chef Christopher and the peeps behind the more casual The Laneway Market in Katong. Brine is alarmingly good value. The 5-course menu comes out at under $50! And we are not talking skimpy dishes here: portions are good sized, ingredients are top notch, tasty and beautifully plated. Brine has a homey feel to it kitted out in pale woods, with concrete walls and a minuscule kitchen and counter where chef assembles the dishes right in front of diners. It really feels like you are dining at someone’s home. Only that someone is a chef. There is no a la carte, but the set menu changes regularly (though long time favourites will remain). This includes the Dashi Risotto, an umami-packed flavour bomb of a comfort dish, the tender dashi flavoured risotto is sprinkled with dehydrated shitake mushroom dust and topped with dehydrated crunchy enoki mushrooms for texture. A dish of Mussels cooked in Garam Masala, topped with parmesan and served with a crackly poppadum is another one to look out for. Mains might consist of seared smoked duck, perfectly pink and tender served on an artful splash of beetroot juice, with beetroot powder and cherries. Go right this second and it’s free BYO on alcohol until they get their wine license — but even when they do, we think this spot will still come out as great bang for your buck.
Brine, 775 North Bridge Road, Tel: (+65) 8748 0788, www.facebook.com/brine.singapore
Summerlong – Beach Chic Mediterranean
Let’s just come out and say it. Summerlong you are a beaut! We are totally in love with the decor here: think lots of wicker, a white washed palette and swinging chairs — it’s like Bali meets the Mediterranean. Summerlong is by the same clever folks behind Fat Prince, The Ottoman Room, and Neon Pigeon; need we say more? Ok then, food is by Chef Justin Hammond, and hovers around the healthy Mediterranean theme. Lots of dips to load the table up with: Lemon Garlic Hummus with Minced Lamb, Fava Bean puree and Roasted Sweet Potato & Chili Hummus. Mains include Persian Fried Chicken with mint sauce and harrisa ($25), and Mediterranean Smoked Pork Ribs with a pomegranate glaze and dukkah crust ($35). For weekend brunch there’s Falafel Scotch Egg with avocado and preserved lemon ($22), or our favourite, the Smoked Salmon with Sous Vide Egg, Capers and Shallots on Rye ($20), or Blueberry Pancakes drenched in lemon butterscotch maple syrup ($18). For kids, a whole menu thats healthy and more interesting than the usual: think Garlic Prawns with Rice pilau at $14 or Chicken Pot Pie at $10 – hello!? Plus of course soft serve heaven ($4+) topped with chocolate, candy or fruit. That should keep ‘em quiet while you sip your excellent coffee (by A Stimulant by SARNIES ), or make your way through a pitcher of cocktails. Don’t go and tell everyone though, cos we still want to be able to book our weekly table!
Summerlong, 60 Robertson Quay #01-04, Singapore 238252, Tel: (+65) 6235 1225, www.facebook.com/Summerlongsg
Amò – Hong Kong Street Modern Italian
Amò is the latest restaurant to join Hong Kong Street’s growing foodie scene. This smart-casual Italian restaurant is by restaurateur-chef Beppe De Vito of the ilLido Group (which includes &Sons, Aura and our favourite, Braci). Amò has nailed the atmosphere with dark woods, exposed brick walls, low lighting and vintage mosaic floor tiles (retained from the original 1950’s shophouse). Plus there’s an alfresco courtyard out the back, with tropical wall illustrations by local artist Venetia Stravens. The Italian menu is more modern than completely traditional: pizzas are Napolitano style with a doughy crust and a sunken-in centre of interesting toppings: Friarielli (broccoli), Pancetta and Smoked Mozzarella on a base of Pumpkin sauce ($28), or the Bone Marrow, Pesto and Anchovy ($29). Pastas are homemade and include Kurobuta Pork and Sunchoke Ravioli ($32), or the showstopper of a dish, Spaghettoni with Boston Lobster and Tarragon ($78 for 2). Weekdays beckon with their 3-course set lunch ($28) including appetiser, choice of pasta, pizza or main, and dessert (plump for their Caramel Banana Tiramisú, $18) including coffee or tea.
Amò, 33 Hong Kong Street, Singapore 059672, Tel: (+65) 6723 7733, www.amorestaurant.sg
The Affogato Bar – Asia’s First Affogato Bar
The Affogato Bar takes classic affogato (a shot of espresso poured over a scoop of ice cream, traditionally vanilla) and gives it some va-va-voom! Here, you can choose fancy pimped up affogatos like the Death by Chocolate ($13.90) of chocolate sorbet, brownie, and chocolate streusal, to the Pot of Honey ($11.90) or the Banana Ramble ($12.90) of butter pecan ice cream with banana cake and fresh banana and pecans. Coffee is unsurprisingly at the heart of this spot and is sourced from Dimattina Blends from Melbourne — an espresso shot of coffee is served with each affogato and is paired to complement the dessert. Crack into the Carota Carota ($13.90), which consists of carrot cake sponge, a big scoop of carrot cake ice cream studded with raisins and walnuts, finished with pretty swirls of home made cream cheese. As you pour the accompanying coffee over this, the rich, floral coffee soaks into the sponge, complementing the cold ice cream and sweetness of the dessert.
The Affogato Bar, Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Road, #01-04B, Singapore 259760, www.theaffogatobar.com
Coriander Leaf Grill – Tandoor Burgers and Grill
Coriander Leaf Grill on the ground floor of The Screening Room (by the same people behind Coriander Leaf at CHIJMES), offers charcoal-grilled burgers and meats with Asian flavours. Interesting salads include Burrata with Spiced Lentils ($18) and the refreshing Watermelon Turkish Cheese Salad ($16). Coriander Leaf favourites like their Baby Lamb Chops ($38) are on the menu here, too, while new items include the 150-Day Grain-Fed Angus Onglet Steak (200gm) with Bulgogi glaze ($29), and Harissa Chicken Burger ($20), a meaty burger starring chicken cooked in the tandoor oven with a minty coriander sauce and crunchy pickled onions in a brioche bun. Move over Heinz, we were impressed with the array of housemade relishes and sauces served on the side, from tomato chutney to mustard made from East Indian mustard seeds. Don’t miss their cocktails (by Liam Baer), all too easy to knock back: especially Coriander Leaf Lemonade ($17) with Rye whiskey, elderflower, lemon juice, mint, orange blossom water and soda, or the Bangkok Mule of Vodka, mango, kaffir lime and house ginger beer.
Coriander Leaf Grill, 12 Ann Siang Rd, Singapore 069692, Tel: (+65) 6532 3357, www.corianderleaf.com/grill
Catchfly – Cocktail Bar
Downstairs from Coriander Leaf Grill is American-style cocktail bar Catchfly, led by Head Mixologist, Liam Baer. Exposed brick walls contrast against upscale teal armchairs and a handsome back-lit bar heaving with niche American spirits. Cocktail creations include Salad Days ($24), which is made by cooking tomatoes sous vide in premium gin for two hours before adding Gentian liquor, Bianco Vermouth, and a hint of pink peppercorn and smoked olive oil. For something lighthearted give the Self(ie) Adored ($23) a whirl – we won’t spoil the surprise but don’t be camera shy when ordering this concoction of Bison Grass Vodka with Raspberry, Shiso, Lemon, Elderflower and Rosehip liquor. Bar bites include Kimchi Beef Chilli, Corn Chips and Spiced Edamame.
Catchfly, 12 Ann Siang Rd, Singapore 069692, Tel: (+65): 6222 7183, www.facebook.com/pg/catchfly.sg
Coocaça – Acai Smoothie Bowls
Coocaça (pronounced “coo-ka-sa”) just off Orchard Road is the perfect post-shopping pitstop for a refreshing Smoothie Bowl ($11.90-12.90). For the uninitiated, smoothie bowls are like smoothies but using blended frozen fruit to give them that spoonable texture. Pure Vida sees Acai, Strawberries, Blueberries, banana and coconut water whizzed up and topped with granola, more fruit, homemade almond butter and a free standard topping. Grab this to go or chope one of two small tables to have your smoothie bowl served in a coconut shell for the real Brazilian deal. Health nuts, check out their Palawan Smoothie Bowl with Spinach or, for chocaholics, the Sao Paolo with the addition of almond butter, soy and cacao. Homemade salads ($5.50) include Curried Chickpea and raisins, an Edamame Salad and a Black Bean Salad plus they do regular smoothies, too.
Coocaca, 1 Grange Road, Unit #01-03, Singapore 239693, Tel: +65 9627 1171, www.facebook.com/coocacasg
Bistro November – Experimental Zero Waste Dining [CLOSED]
Chef John Paul Fiechtner teams up with Unlisted Collection for Bistro November (taking over from Restaurant Ember). The restaurant is so called because it will be, as the song says, gone in November when the lease ends. Till then, Chef JP (from defunct Thirteen Duxton Hill) will be foraging at local markets for the eclectic ingredients that go into his nose-to-tail cuisine. A fan of ‘zero waste’, Chef JP uses discarded sugar cane husk from stall owners to make into sugar cane flour for some of his amuse bouche offerings, or the unwanted frogs’ livers from other vendors to make his charcoal black frog liver parfait. On the ever-changing Chef’s Tasting Menu (8 courses at $78/ 3 course lunch sets at $35) might be the head turning dish of Brined Mutton Tartar in chamomile with salted plum, foie gras, daikon sheets and grated macadamia, or the deceptively simple pre-dessert of baby corn presented alongside a teaspoon on a strip of corn husk. Dishes here are experimental enough to be polarising. For wine lovers, award-winning Australian sommelier Sally Humble is on hand for wine pairing.
Bistro November, 50 Keong Saik Road under Hotel 1929, Singapore 089154, Tel: (+65) 90541435, www.bistronovember.com
Jade – Fancy Cantonese at The Fullerton Hotel
Jade may be an iconic name at The Fullerton Hotel, but it feels all shiny and new with its recent revamp complete with a new colour palette of duck egg blue. The exquisite wallpaper depicting a forest of colourful birds first grabs your attention as you set foot in Jade, which is resplendent with light even at dinnertime; high ceilings and light fixtures abound. The 120-seat restaurant (which sports two private rooms) is themed around the aforementioned birds: starched white tablecloths are set with chinaware of the exotic peacocks in extraordinary pastel colours. At the heart of Jade is its gourmet Cantonese cuisine, which has been given a breath of fresh air by Executive Chinese Chef Leong Chee Yeng. There is a Cantonese set menu ($58 for a minimum of two diners), with 12 courses including Roast Pork Belly; Braised Homemade Bean Curd with Angel Gourd; and meltingly tender Wagyu Beef with Spring Onions and Ginger. Standouts include: Baked Lemongrass Char Siew Lamb Rib Loin ($23) – the char siew sauce is house-made – and the Simmered Egg Noodle with Boston Lobster and XO Chilli Sauce — part of the six-course set menu featuring Jade’s signature dishes ($118), which also includes Peking Duck wrapped in housemade pancakes.
Jade at The Fullerton Hotel, 1 Fullerton Square, Singapore 049178, Tel: (+65) 6733 8388, www.fullertonhotels.com/the-fullerton-hotel
Kogane Yama – Customisable Tempura Don Bowls
Kogane Yama is a tendon bowl shop by the people behind meat stew restaurant Masizzim and Korean fried chicken chain Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory, which is right next door to Kogane Yama at Bugis Junction. ‘Kogane Yama’ means Golden Mountain (of fried golden brown tempura). The menu is short and sweet; choose between the Chicken Bowl ($13.80) of battered tempura chicken fillets, Prawn Bowl ($13.80), Vegetable Bowl ($11.80) of long beans, carrot, shiitake and enoki mushrooms, sweet potato and green peppers, or the have-it-all bowl, the Mixed Bowl ($15.80) which along with the aforementioned chicken, prawn and vegetables, is topped with a a shard of seaweed, a battered shiso leaf and ebiko. Choose Japanese rice or noodles of Soba ($1 extra) or thin Udon ($1 extra) the latter two served in a hot dashi. There’s a choice of sauce to go on top from the original garlic, sesame oil, shoyu sweet savoury umami to three ascending chilli sauces. Bump your meal up to a set for an extra $2 to include two extras of Chawanmushi, Miso soup and free flow Green Tea.
Kogane Yama, #02-50, Bugis Junction, 200 Victoria Street, Singapore 188021, www.facebook.com/koganeyamasingapore
Hot Off The Hob
- Two-Michelin-starred Odette has a new Spring/Summer menu, bringing Chef Julien’s most cherished food memories to life in his French cuisine with Asian touches. New dishes include Foie gras with Japanese abalone in a smoked eel dashi consommé, and The Matured Duck ‘Excellence’ Mieral served two ways with puree ‘Cardinale’, glazed beets and pickled cherries. The duck is house dry-aged: first stuffed with hay, then hung to tenderize.
- Vending machines for hot ready-to-go meals? The future is here: Chef-in-Box VendCafe at Ang Mo Kio MRT and Lakeside MRT stations pops out fried carrot cake, nasi lemak, and Thai green curry all below $6 and served hot!
- Luxury Belgian chocolate brand GODIVA Chocolatier opens its first café here in Singapore in ION Orchard. Known for their chocolates of which there will be plenty on offer, Godiva will also be selling Chocolixirs and Soft Serves.
- Chinese Noodle Bar by Blue Lotus is open at 2 Science Park Drive. Head here for northern-style dumplings and la mian like the Signature Crispy Pork Lard Truffle La Mian, Grilled Giant King Prawn La Mian and a vegetarian Truffle Mushroom & Beansprout La Mian.
- Epicurean Market is back on 11 – 13 August at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre. This time there will be a new Singapore street food experience in a traditional two-storey shophouse, and a cocktail bar inspired by local flavours. Look out for new restaurants Lavo (a multi-concept restaurant, lounge bar and nightclub at MBS) and Japanese ramen restaurant chain IPPUDO, plus celeb chefs with their signature dishes that Epicurean Market is well known for.
- Botanico at The Garage has new menus: set lunches which include a choice of Hokkaido Scallops Carpaccio, followed by Glazed Beef Cheek and ending with Ceiba, a warm organic dark chocolate soup. Sundays see a 4-course brunch set menu (oysters, lamb tartare, Pasta All’uovo and Chargrilled Wagyu Flank — not your average boring Eggs Ben that’s for sure!).
- SPRMRKT Kitchen & Bar at Robertson Quay now does brunch (Oxtail Eggs On Sourdough $24), as well as an alluring Weekend Roast ($34) choose between 180g Pork Belly or Wagyu Rump which comes with Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, Mushrooms and a Yorkshire Pudding. Their dinner menu is new, too, with dishes like Malbec Oxtail Pasta ($32) with handmade pappardelle and Twice Cooked Chicken Roulade ($28).
- PS.Cafe Harding Road now does breakfast from 8am with dishes like the Egg & Bacon “Bunwich”, healthy numbers like the Superseed Granola of coconut yoghurt parfait, blackberry compote, honey or the Kale Florentine with poached eggs.