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’s bumper crop features a delectable deli loaded with Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, upscale yakitori, fine dining in Paragon and much, much more. Get hungry, mamas!
Nesuto is a little sweet haven on Tras Street brought to you by the same folks behind Shuu by Koki Tamagoyaki, the choux pastry located in Raffles City. If you are looking for gourmet tea with your mama or a sweet treat post dinner, this is your spot.
From layer cakes like the green Matcha Souffle Sponge to the black Goma Sesame to our all time favourite Le ’Mmm ($9/slice) an Espresso Dark Chocolate layer sponge cake that manages the oxymoron of being fudgey yet light, with a Valhrona Jivara 40% Milk Ganache, this tasty number complements the floral light Lychee Oolong Tea served in glass teapots ($9) and pretty porcelain teacups.
Entremets of miniature detailed cakes line the counter from the Noisette Rocher ($10.50) which looks like a massive fererro rocher chocolate with its Guanaja 70% ganache covering hazelnut praline mousse, caramelised hazelnut feuilletine and almond dacquoise, to the Suzette ($9.80) a cube shaped mousse-cake playing on the classic crepe suzette flavours of Grand Marnier and orange with the addition of caramel dulcey 32% cremeux.
Nesuto, 53 Trans Street, 01-01, Singapore 078992, Tel: (+65) 69202922, www.dear-nesuto.com
Mojo does grain bowls right. There are lunch time queues to prove it. Order ahead for a quick pick up or else get there early for your choice of healthy bowls ($10-15). Choose your carb (like brown rice, cha soba quinoa), a protein (salmon, chicken thigh, prawns or beef steak) plus a very good selection of vegetables both hot (Charred Corn with Garlic Confit, Miso Aubergine, Wok Fried Broccoli) and cold (Black Bean Salsa, Avocado and Pesto Tomatoes).
We liked that each side was seasoned well with its own sauce and flavours, from house-made quick Kimchi to Thai Papaya salad. The counter literally heaves with colourful dishes. Top it off with a choice of sprinkles (Seeds, Furikake or crispy Shallots) and a dressing. For $2 add in a sugar-free Iced Green Tea or a sweet Lemonade. Cleverly, there’s a different concept come night – cocktails are shaken up alongside your bowl of MOJO Chirashi ($23), Foie Gras & Grilled Beef Ribeye ($25) or Yakitori.
MOJO, 204 Telok Ayer Street, S068640, Tel: (+65) 6220 0723, www.facebook.com/mojosingapore
Steamroom with The Pillar and Stones (SRPS) in Orchard Central mall is bang on trend being a multi-concept designed by local artist Wong Lip Chin. It comprises retail (collections by Emporium of Modern Man), an art lab offering workshops, plus a cafe and restaurant. Steamroom refers to the coffee and tea segment where a special Steampunk machine brews 10 single origin Chinese teas at the perfect temperature (90 degrees we are told), while off to the side is the restaurant The Pillar, where Chef Stephan Zoisl uses ‘colours and textures of ingredients to showcase art on a plate’.
The food here was the highlight of the multi-concept. Vietnamese Spanner Crab paired with sweet apple puree and dehydrated apple is an artistic and gastronomic delight as is the other crab dish, a main dish of al dente Fregola in a comforting lobster bisque with crab meat – slightly less Instagrammable in appearance but delicious nonetheless.
For dessert the dish ‘Inspired By Red’ ($14) features a palette of red with raspberry sorbet, strawberry mousse, strawberry meringue, and a mix of fresh and freeze-dried red berries.
Steamroom with The Pillar and Stones, 181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central, #03-08, Singapore 238896, Tel: (+65): 6592 0571, www.facebook.com/pg/steamroompillarstones
Ergon, the Greek deli-cafe has opened its first Asian branch here in Singapore at busy Suntec City (opposite Gudetama Cafe). With stores in Europe including two branches in London, Ergon brings Greek artisan produce to the masses. Greek wine, jars of Tzatziki and Feta Cheese Dips line the wooden shelves while the deli counter is stocked with Olives, Greek Pies and Pastries.
Between the deli shelves and counter, wooden dining tables tempt you in for brunch or mezze. These guys cook exclusively with organic eggs, organic milk and artisanal cheese as well as using locally baked sourdough bread. The brunch menu is extensive with everything from“Pastourmas” of Spicy Pastrami and Salami atop the most addictive Sweet Pepper Spread and Fried Eggs ($16) to an array of Sandwiches ($10-$12) plus Homemade Pies, Pancakes with wonderful sounding combinations like Hazelnut Praline and Nuts ($16) to Greek Sweets like Kataifi with Walnuts and Syrup best eaten alongside a cup of coffee. The dinner menu focuses on “Toasts” and Greek Mezze like Stuffed Vineleaves ($15) and Feta Stuffed Sweet Red Peppers ($10) to Dips of Hummus ($11), Smoked Aubergine ($12) and Smoked Cod Roe ($12). Toast combinations are eclectic and a welcome change from the norm from the Grilled Octopus on Hummus ($24) to the Smoked Mackerel with Lemon-Olive Oil ($21).
ERGON, Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard, #01-365/366/373/374, Singapore 038984, www.ergonfoods.com/restaurants/singapore
The Butcher’s Kitchen is The Butcher’s first restaurant bang in the centre of bustling Suntec, taking up a small corner next to the escalators.
The Butcher’s Kitchen is open to all the elements of the mall, given there are no walls to render the restaurant cosy. Nonetheless there is a good selection of antibiotic and hormone-free meats on display, some of which are organic and grass-fed.
Dishes of grass-fed Nolan Tenderloin ($38) are melt-in-your mouth tender, served with aubergine and zucchini vegetables (fries is extra), or another popular choice the Lamb Rack ($35) perfectly cooked and with a minty sauce. If you’re looking for a spot of lunch with the kids they do a kids menu (from $8), and pizzas plus set lunches at $15 of a soup, a main (like beef stroganoff pasta or Pork Cutlet and rice and an Iced Tea) and in addition vegetarian meals including pizzas. Service can be patchy. Their gelato selection is impressive with 35 flavours from the bizarre (Chilli Crab and Tiger Beer to the more scooped up – Tiramisu, Strawberry and Lychee).
The Butcher’s Kitchen, Suntec City Tower 1 &2 (north wing), 02-472, Singapore, Tel: (+65) 96160111, www.facebook.com/thebutcherskitchensg
Birders opened by actor Adam Chen, is a modern dinner-only yakitori and sake bar. While the yakitori section sees different cuts of meat (mainly chicken) on skewers, the toppings are more upscale than your average. The atmosphere too, leans away from the male dominated blue collar smokey drinking den to a more inclusive vibe.
Yakitori-wise there’s Heart ($4), Tail ($4) in moreish garlic shoyu, Chicken Skin ($4) with salt and lime, and our favourite, the Tsukune ($4.50) of chicken meatballs with a dipping sauce of Tare and wobbly onsen egg. Curry Croquettes ($10) is another hit, filled with potato, minced chicken and an umami curry sauce while upscale dishes include Foie Gras atop poached radish in a flavourful dashi ($16). Birders curates their own sake from Japan, and interestingly there are a few sake brands here like the Kaiun that are offered by the cup 180 ml (from $15).
Birders, 55 Tras Street, Singapore 078994, Tel: (+65) 8748 4585, www.facebook.com/birderssg
Inside 63Paragon on the fourth floor of Paragon, tables are tucked in close together overlooking the open plan kitchen complete with Josper grill. The cuisine, ‘seasonal food without borders’, is made up of small and large sharing plates. Portions are on the small side but flavours and presentation are spot on.
Toriyama Japanese Striplion 150g ($60) is charred to perfection, juicy and tender complemented by yuzu soy, yet the modest serving (150g) will leave you clamouring for more considering there are no sides. More bang for your buck is the Wagyu Hotdog ($22) or the 63Chicken Rice of Poached Chicken Thigh, Rice, Juilliene Cucumber, and a house-made chilli and ginger sauce ($18).
Brunch served between 9am and 4pm daily is popular too: we had a pang of jealousy when we eyed a pretty plate of French Toast ($15) with Nutella and Berries shimmying past. There are eggy items like Scrambled Eggs on truffle Toast ($20) or the Full Fried Breakfast for $20. This establishment welcomes kiddos, but isn’t quite geared up for them – there are no high chairs nor kids menu (but if you order them the French Toast it may work in your favour if they can’t finish the portion, wink).
63Paragon, 290 Orchard Road, #04-09 Paragon, Singapore 238859, www.63celsius.com/paragon-menu
Ce La Vi may offer the same stunning 180 degree views of Singapore but interiors, chef and menu are all new. Executive Chef Joseph Sergentakis is at the helm now, and he brings with him his experience of working in Hong Kong’s Cafe Gray Deluxe and Mr & Mrs Fox.
The cuisine keeps to the same vision of Modern Asian while interiors see more Asian colours of Chinese reds and jade greens. As you enter, golden ornaments dangle from the ceiling of the bar emulating the spiral incense burners of Asian temples.
On the menu: Poached Foie Gras on a bed of Puy Lentils topped with crunchy hazelnuts and sweet pomegranate jewels ($34), Hokkaido Scallop Ceviche ($34) a vibrant dish of scallop and oyster ceviche with pops of tart sweet pomelo in calamansi lemongrass dressing, with mains of ‘Black Market’ Rangers Valley Ribeye ($55) – a hands down winner of a dish for meat lovers showing off the wonderful Asian bold flavours of house made kimchi, heady gochujang sauce, warm sweet potato flour noodle salad and tender sliced rib eye.
Ce La Vi, SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, Tower 3, 1 Bayfront Avenue Singapore 018971, Tel: (+65) 6508 2188, www.sg.celavi.com
The Palmary has set up shop in a restored shophouse on Owen Road. There is a small restaurant on the first floor with more seating upstairs in a darker lounge space. The menu offers mainly Western dishes with some Asian slants. Squid & Salsa ($10.90) sees pan seared squid with a tropical mango salsa for starters, while mains span the very French “Quack!” ($18.90) confit of duck with mash and sautéed spinach to the Asian chilled Soba with Cod ($17.90).
While prices remain affordable which makes sense given the location, some of the dishes are not as interesting as they could be. The Butchers Cut ($24.90) however is a real crowd pleaser – hanger steak served medium rare with a red date soy jus served with root vegetables, scoring big on taste and presentation and certainly value for money.
They do some interesting cocktails too, best for those with a sweet inclination: Na Palm ($18) will make quite a entrance (we won’t spoil the surprise) and is a sweet fruity typical blend of Plantation Jamaican Rum, Dark Rum, Grenadine syrup, Passionfruit Pineapple and lime. For something more zippy, try Big Papa ($16)which has Rebel Yell Bourbon, Apricot Brandy, Black Date Syrup, citrus and Mezcal.
The Palmary, 142 Owen Road, Tel: (+65) 6909 1431, www.thepalmarysg.com
Mo-ii is a small new café in GSH Plaza, serving up All Press Coffee, fresh juices and Sourdough Toasts with different toppings from Sliced Avocado and Chilli Flakes ($5.50) to The Usual Suspects ($6.50) of mashed avocado, tahini, microgreens, cherry tomatoes and a poached egg.
It is run by a nutritionist who shuns refined sugar and preservatives. The Smoothie Bowls ($6.9-10.9) come with homemade granola, together with a frozen smoothie of fruits: in the case of Summer Dream, dragonfruit, mango, banana, then topped with granola, blueberries, strawberries, jackfruit and chia. For something more substantial there is Poached Salmon ($13.50) or Chicken ($12) on Quinoa Salsa salad.
Mo-ii, 20 Cecil Street, #01-07, GSH Plaza, Singapore 049705, Tel: (+65): 8251 4776, www.facebook.com/moii.singapore
Bottega has just opened up another branch on Hong Kong Street. We raved about this little Italian deli-restaurant’s first location in Tanjong Katong here. This branch however may have some way to go before it has the same reaction.
The concept space stays the same, a deli selling Italian produce and restaurant all in one. We liked that at this location you can sit at the counter and sip your cafe or aperitif. However, while the pizzas in Tanjong Katong would have us driving across town for, here they have changed things around to mixed results. For pizzas on the ‘degustation’ tasting menu, dough is ‘steam baked’ without toppings, then the bread is sliced and ingredients (like Porcini cream, Parma ham and Taleggio cheese $14.80) are added on afterwards, deconstructed style.
Three styles of ‘normal’ premade pizza ($13.80/14.80 al metro) are offered too alongside focaccias with toppings, plus many similar dishes from the Tanjong menu of antipasti, pastas and a mean Tiramisu at an affordable $4.80.
Bottega, 31 Hong Kong Street, 01-01, Singapore 059670, Tel :(+65) 98503630, www.bottega.sg
- Shokutsu Ten Japanese Food Street – Its third outlet opens at Great World City with five dining venues, including Ichiban Boshi, Shimbashi Soba (daily made buckwheat soba), Kuriya Japanese Market and new brands Men-ichi Sapporo Ramen and Ami Ami (Seafood & Sashimi to Robatayaki grilled meat).
- Sunday Brunch at FYR Cycene Ond Drinc now happens fortnightly – great news for carnivores. FYR (pronounced fire) dishes out prime meats, including a whole suckling pig on the spit, beef steaks, lamb, bratwursts, chicken plus fresh seafood and assorted vegetable skewers. Prices are per skewer or plump for the Caveman Platter ($60/platter, min 2 people). To keeps the little ones busy, face painting, “cave” drawings, caveman dress-up plus a kids menu of goodies.
- Gourmet retailer DEAN & DELUCA has launched a weekday Breakfast Set at $10 which includes Butter Croissant with Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Eggs or a Breakfast Burrito with Pork Sausage, Scrambled Eggs, Potatoes & Guacamole – with a coffee of your choice.
- Ginett is now in on the Brunch action too (weekends 11.30am – 4pm) from Smoked Salmon Egg Cocotte ($11) to Pork Belly ($16).
- Tiong Bahru Bakery has cooked up some new interesting dishes from the PB&B Burger (pancakes, spiced pork belly, salted caramel, toasty brulée bananas, ricotta cheese, crunchy peanuts, sweet maple syrup) to healthier treats like the Rainbow Rice Bowl.
- After a two-and-a-half month renovation, the three-storey Millenia Walk outlet of Paulaner Bräuhaus has reopened as Asia’s model flagship store. This is the go-to place for German beers on tap accompanied by Pretzels, Pork Knuckle, Pork Schnitzel, and tempting desserts like Apple Beignets.
- Art deco bistro The Black Swan has had a menu revamp. Highlights include the Chophouse section of Rice Fed Ribeye ($78), Tajima Wagyu Striploin ($60) or the Australian Porterhouse Steak dry aged for 60 days (for 2-3 people at $134) plus not to miss desserts like the Cookies & Cream ($16) of three decadent dark chocolate cookies with white chocolate ganache which comes with a vanilla milkshake spiked with Baileys Irish Cream.