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. Check out this month’s serving, including bingeworthy bagels, VERY good Vietnamese, and the first Singapore restaurant from celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Mrs Pho House – Best Vietnamese in Singapore?
Mrs Pho House is the sister restaurant to Mrs Pho – the casual restaurant on Beach Road long known as the go-to place for pho and banh mi. With Mrs Pho House on Rangoon Road offers a more extensive menu. If all you know of Vietnamese food is rice paper rolls and noodle soup then this spot will throw the doors of delicious Vietnamese cuisine wide open for you. The restaurant is casual hipster with graffiti art and beaded curtains. Grab a Saigon Beer ($6.90) and chow down on an order of Starfruit and Beef salad ($7.90), a superb medley of flavours, slices of tender beef and sweet tangy star fruit. Other interesting dishes include Grilled Beef La Lot ($7.90) — beef mince wrapped in betel leaves, Banh Xeo ($12.90) of crispy edged egg crepe stuffed with prawn and pork, and Mamma’s Stewed Pork Belly ($12.90). Their tagline is “House of Seafood” and the menu boasts a whole section from Long Live ‘Gong-Gong’ ($10.90) to Love You Long Time ‘Lala’ ($10.90) and Saigon Chili Prawns ($12.90) — spicy enough to make you clamour for a glug of their famous Salty Lemonade ($4.50). Pricing at Mrs Pho House is affordable and allows you to order a feast of dishes to share. The most expensive thing on the menu is Crab ($32), offered in a few different ways from tamarind sauce to dry chilli and pork floss. Don’t miss their famous Lucky Meatballs ($6.50) or the Grilled Pork Chops ($9.90) — finger licking good. This spot is worth making a trip across town for. We will be back, that’s pho sure!
Mrs Pho House, 221 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218459, Tel: (+65) 9173 1083, www.facebook.com/mrsphohouse
Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill – Satay, Cocktails & Buzzing Vibes
Violet Oon has done it again. She has only gone and opened one of our favourite spots of the month with her Satay Bar and Grill at Clarke Quay. The decor is similar to that of National Kitchen by Violet Oon at the National Gallery – dark woods and dim lighting, black and white family photographs on the wall, and a sea of jade green that complements the Peranakan original tiling that we are so smitten with. If you are planning a girls’ night come here, date night same again; in fact this spot pretty much ticks all the boxes with its great atmosphere and stellar grilled food. Beef, Chicken, Prawn, Pork Satay and even Tripe Satay ($14-20 for three skewers) comes with perfect char and use good quality meat grilled till tender and served with the housemade sauces, full of the fresh spices Violet Oon is famous for. Interesting starters include the Silver Fish Fritters ($12) – flattened into a disc and fried and served with chili sauce, or the classic Kueh Pie Tee ($17). New dishes on the mains menu range from the Kunyit Lemak Sotong ($26) – grilled squid in a chilli and turmeric laced sauce – to Chilli Padi Sambal Prawns ($35) and Barramundi in Garam Assam Sauce ($32) of pineapple, ginger flower and laksa leaf. For dessert tuck into Singaporean classics made upmarket: Chendol with Durian Pengat Sauce ($15) or the die-die must try Tapioca cake ($10) served warm and sticky with Gula Melaka Sauce and a quaint pot of coconut cream on the side.
Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill, 3B River Valley Road, Unit #01-18, Clarke Quay Tel: (+65) 9862 6002, www.violetoon.com
Schmear – Delicious New York-Style Bagels
Schmear brings breakfast bagels to Singapore, New York Deli-style. Schmear is a cafe at Quayside Isle, Sentosa Cove with alfresco seating popular with families and dog owners. It would be hard to find a bagel shop with a better outlook. The view takes in the sea and the moored uber yachts. Bagels are housemade and hand-rolled by the owner daily. The menu spans breakfast of Challah French Toast ($15) – a very tasty Jewish bread reminiscent of brioche made in-house, then dipped in egg and fried – to Ricotta Pancakes ($14), but it would be rude not to start with one of their bagels. We can report good things about The Southwestern ($11) of two eggs sandwiched between your choice of bagel with cheese, guacamole and sriracha hot sauce and equally, the afternoon menu of Philly Cheesesteak ($18) with thinly sliced beef, pepper jack cheese, capsicums and onions, served with fries or salad. For kids you can’t go wrong with a cinnamon raisin bagel, and there’s a choice of cream cheese schmears from strawberry to chocolate and even sun-dried tomato! For drinks we recommend the All Press coffee, cold-pressed juices ($8) and smoothies like their delicious Refresh ($9) of kale, mango, banana, almond milk and honey.
Schmear #01-03, 31 Ocean Way, Singapore 098373, Tel: (+65) 6334 3832, www.facebook.com/schmearsg
Atlas Bar – Extravagant Art Deco Bar
Atlas has taken over the ground floor lobby of the unique Parkview – that immense building near Arab quarter that is more commonly known as the Gotham Building. Gone are the wine angels, replaced instead by an imposing 15 metre tower holding over 1,000 bottles of Gin from every corner of the world, which takes pride of place behind one of the two gold gilded bars that mark each side of the 690-metre long lobby. If you have only marvelled at this building from afar, now’s the time to venture in and order yourself a G&T, or even a high tea when they start offering this next month. The space – styled after Art Deco Europe – is beautiful in its opulence and grandeur with immense soaring high ceilings and an abundance of bronze and gold, all adding to the Gatsby feel. Head Bartender Roman Foltan (of Forbes’s ’30 Most Talented People Under 30′ fame) whizzes up Art Deco-inspired cocktails while Executive Chef Daniele Sperindio, formerly of The Tippling Club Group, is in charge of Atlas’ all day dining (from 8am breakfasts till dinner). The cuisine is modern European fine dining with a touch of Art Deco. For starters the artful plate of Galicia Mini Scallops with little discs of concentrated Clear Gazpacho Jelly ($26) or the Bruschetta Triumph of the Sea with blue prawn tartare, sea urchin and oscietra caviar ($28). While the Risotto ($24) may look a little on the anaemic side, rest assured this dish packs one flavour punch of sunchokes and sweet onions and just may prove to be a winner despite stiff competition with meatier mains of the Slow Braised Short Rib ($32), beautifully plated but modest in portion size.
ATLAS, Parkview Square 600 North Bridge Road Singapore, 188778, Tel: (+65) 6396 4466, www.atlasbar.sg
Morsels – Creative Small Plates in Dempsey
Morsels has moved to Dempsey and Chef Petrina has taken the opportunity to add some fresh new dishes to the menu. The space is behind Tawandang Microbrewery, a cute little room decorated with close knit furniture of wooden tables and two counters, including a chef’s table overlooking the open kitchen. Start with the Isigny Oyster No.3, a signature dish with fancy new presentation ($6/piece) consisting of a memorable mouthful of kumquat shrub, pickled kaiso seaweed and Mexican tarragon. Kasu-Cured Hiramasa Kingfisher ($22) places dainty slices of fish on top of mild rhubarb aioli, pickled grapes, pistachio praline and ikura. Old favourites like the Steamed Venus Clams ($24) with the addictive buttery sweet fig broth (elevated with housemade kimchee and pickled wakame) is still on the menu (collective sigh of relief). Packing in the flavour are new dishes of Snake River Farms Kurobuta Char Siu ($24) — robust pork alongside fermented pineapple sauce, Szechuan style pickled cucumber, homemade char siu sauce and watercress. There is a lot of fermenting, pickling and homemade broths in this kitchen; such a great win for healthy eating without compromising on immense flavour not to mention aesthetics. As Morsels is now open for lunch (unlike at its previous location), expect affordable sets as part of the Lunch Noodle Bar, which changes daily. It might be Morsels’ Beef Noodles ($25) which comes with appetiser of Vietnamese inspired crepe and raw bok choi salad, but the star is the wonderful broth simmered for 48 hours and then served with grilled beef flank, beef balls, and rice vermicelli. On Tuesdays they have free corkage. Need we say more?
Morsels, #01-04, 25 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249670, Tel: (+65) 6266 3822, www.morsels.com.sg
25 Degrees Burger Bar – Affordable Burgers
25 Degrees (named, it is said, after the temperature difference between a raw and well-done hamburger) takes up the odd shaped narrow corner space of Hotel G next to our much raved about Ginett next door. 25 Degrees Burger Bar has branches in Los Angeles, Chicago, Bangkok and soon Macau. There are five burgers in all at $14 each (fries are extra) but you can craft your own burger too, plus hot dogs, salads and syrupy milkshakes galore. Interesting burger options include the Number 4 with seared yellowfin tuna, and Number 3 with (a little too mild) green chilli, chipotle and avocado. The Number 1 is probably still the best bet – 200g USA Angus beef, crescenza cheese, gorgonzola, strips of smoky bacon, caramelized onions and Thousand Island sauce in a housemade bun with gherkins, tomato and lettuce served on the side for you to add in at will. Weekday lunch burger sets are a steal at $18, which includes a signature burger, fries and half a pint of beer or soda (11am-3pm) and also keep their happy hour in mind (daily 3pm-7pm) for 1-for-1 on all sides, half or full pints of Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, and even cocktails!
25 Degrees, Hotel G, 200 Middle Road, Singapore 188980, Tel: (+65) 6809 7990, www.hotelgsingapore.com/dining/25-degrees
Poké here, poké there, there’s a poké shop everywhere
Three newcomers have joined the poké craze. If you are a sucker for this Hawaiian rice and sashimi bowl be sure to check out our roundup of the best poké places in town!
Poké Doke – CBD Poké
Poké Doke is a small shop at Millenia Walk with seating. Order poké at the counter and tuck into cubed raw Ahi Tuna, Norwegian Salmon or veggie Shitake Tofu ($12.50 to medium $14.90 and large $18.90) with a choice of rice or soba noodles ($1.50 extra), plus a soup of the day ($2.90). There are a range of sauces and a good choice of toppings including onsen egg, jellyfish and crispy fish skin.
Poke Doke, Millenia Walk, Raffles Boulevard #01-95, SINGAPORE 039596, Tel: (+65) 9181 9140, www.pokedoke.sg
Alakai – Poké Plates at Everton Park
Hawaiian owner Lon has joined the tidal wave of Poke places splashing over Singapore at the moment. Alakai Poke offers a different way of plating poke in neat brown boxes (or plates if you eat in) with scoops of rice, potato mac salad and fish side by side instead of loaded into a bowl. Pre-designed plates include the Yobo Poke Plate ($13.45) of Salmon, spicy k-mayo, 2 scoops of white rice, potato mac salad and cucumber kimchi. Read more about Alakai here.
Alakai, 3 Everton Park, #01-79, Singapore 080003, Tel: (+65) 6094 4957, www.facebook.com/alakaicompany
Makai Poke – Affordable Poke at Tanjong Pagar Centre
At Makai Poke, bowls are more affordable than some at $9.90, which includes a choice of rice or salad, a choice of marinated salmon or tuna plus toppings of avocado, Japanese cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatoes, salmon roe, and pineapple (tinned not fresh and then grilled slightly).
Makai Poke, #B1-08, Tanjong Pagar Centre, 7 Wallich Street, Singapore 078884, www.facebook.com/makaipokesg
The MICHELIN Guide Food Festival
MICHELIN Guide Singapore Street Food Festival 2017 will be taking place on the 14 April and 15 April 2017 at The Coliseum, Resorts World Sentosa. Tickets cost $20 (which includes $20 worth of credits to use at all stalls) and are available for two seatings, 6pm to 8pm and then 8.30pm to 10.30pm. The first batch of tickets sold out so another 100 tickets were released on 17 March 2017 – if you haven’t gotten yours yet click here quick for tickets!
Hot Off the Hob:
The Dempsey Cookhouse and Bar by Jean-Georges Vongerichten is open at COMO Dempsey next to Candlenut. Michelin-starred Chef Vongerichten cooks up contemporary cuisine from Asian – Yellowfin Tuna Noodles and Crispy Salmon Sushi with Chipotle Mayo – to more traditional pizzas and pastas plus desserts like Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae with Popcorn.
House of Anli Bistro the tropical homeware and retail store opens a classy bistro at mummy-fave Tanglin Mall so there’s now a new spot for ladies that brunch on NZ eggs and sourdough, for high teas and that cup of All Press coffee.
Pret a Manger is coming to town! What took you so long we ask? Sadly CBD folk will have to wait a little longer for their gourmet sandwich as Pret will be opening at Changi Airport Terminal 3 in Q2. Cheese and pickle breath on the plane here we come!
The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck will also be hitting up Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 soon for Asian comfort food like Hot ‘N’ Sour Soup and Potstickers, along with Wolfgang’s Herb Roasted Half Chicken served with broccolini.
CRAVE joins Changi Airport Terminal 2 for Singapore classics of Nasi Lemak, Chicken Rendang, Squid Otah and a box of Kueh.
IPPUDO brings out a new flavour of its Ramen: Tom Yum Tonkotsu Ramen marries IPPUDO’s signature tonkotsu broth and authentic Thai tom yum soup with two jumbo prawns. Available from 3rd April at select outlets – only 30 bowls a day so hurry!
Keisuke Takeda launches their 14th dining concept – Teppanyaki Hamburg Nihonbashi Keisuke Bettei for Japanese hamburger steaks grilled on a hotplate and served with sauce, eggs any style and a wide ranging salad bar.
There’s a new classy jazz offering in town at Monti with its stunning views across the Fullerton Waterfront and an open-air rooftop terrace. Local jazz legend, Jeremy Monteiro and other musicians will perform nightly plus there’s a new ‘Jazz Dinner Menu’ $160 for 2 pax (3-course meal and a jazz-inspired cocktail).
Lead image sourced via Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill