Foodies, add these new restaurants and cafes to your must-try list!
Looking for date night inspo or a fun new restaurant to add to the list? This month we tuck into some of the best burgers in town at Three Buns Quayside and Mo & Jo Sourdough Burgers, mango lobster rolls at Rizu, and handmade artisanal pasta at Bar Cicheti. The Obelisk makes Editor’s Picks with its affordable upmarket cuisine, we go wild over the sky-high views at Skai, and we bring you news of blue soft serve, “guilt-free” cakes and kappo-style cuisine.
The Obelisk — Affordable local-inspired European cuisine
The Obelisk is reminiscent of a bunker — albeit a pretty swish one with rose gold interiors and a sleek cocktail bar counter lining one side. Singaporean flavours run through both the cocktail and food menu. Start with a Floral Ivory ($18) made with clean tasting Five XP Brandy and St Germain, or a stunning Royal Chrysanthemum flower or the Willow ($18) featuring vodka, green bean, pandan and Coconut Milk. Chef Warren has designed a menu of local-inspired European cuisine with surprisingly affordable prices. Starters range from Chilli crab sliders of homemade mantou, with corn and smoked aioli ($9) to Watermelon tartare ($14). The latter is a head turner of a dish; it’s a vegetarian’s answer to beef tartare. Made from dehydrated watermelon presented like tartare, flavoured with coriander and served with crackers, it makes quite the conversation starter and is not to be missed! Another interesting fusion of East-meets-West is the Bak chor mee scotch egg ($16) with pickled sprouts. For mains: a spicy Masala chicken cannelloni, offset by the sweetness of pumpkin puree ($18), Hanger steak, served medium rare with charred leek and smoked mash ($28) and Claypot rice, with chorizo, marinated yolk, preserved mustard green, ikura, and seaweed. If cocktails don’t float your boat check out their beer o’clock deal where, from Monday to Saturday from 5pm-8pm you pay the hour you order — so 5pm sees you sipping on a $5 beer, $6 for 6 o’clock beers and so on!
The Obelisk, 61 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088482, www.theobelisk.sg
Bar Cicheti — Artisanal Pasta and Wine Bar
Bar Cicheti is the new sister restaurant of Cicheti (which does super pizzas and sharing plates) on Kandahar Street. This spot housed in an old Peranakan tiled shophouse in foodie haven Keong Saik, is all about artisanal handmade pasta and boutique wine.The menu is almost exclusively pasta, all handmade by Chef Lim Yew Aun and team, and in addition, there are two seasonal meat and fish selections that will change regularly. Pasta dishes come in two sizes so order the small portion and have a few to try. Black Fusili ($15/28) made with squid ink, Japanese sea urchin and anchovy crumbs has a spicy kick to it, or there is the Fresh Lobster spaghetti (market price) and Gnocchi with fermented garlic parmesan water and pepper ($14/24). A favourite is the Agnolotti beef cheek ($15/28): delightful meaty parcels with buttery umami fondu bruno and parmigiana sauce. If the terrific starter of Beef Brisket Meatballs ($15) in a deeply flavoured tomato sauce is anything to go by, the tomato-based pasta dishes will be a hit, too (find a large selection of them in the three course Lunch Set at $30). For dessert — Tiramisu with Amaretto, or Chocolate Torte. The wine needs special attention here, too: Bar Chicheti showcases small batch producers from boutique, independent vineyards. Look out for the organic, bio-dynamic and orange wines.
Bar Cicheti, 10 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089264. Tel: (+65) 6789 9806, www.facebook.com/barcicheti
Three Buns Quayside — Family Friendly Burgers
Potato Head Family’s award-winning burger and cocktail brand, Three Buns, comes to Robertson Quay. This is big news for families — a new brunch and dinner spot where the kids can scoot freely outdoors before chowing down on quality food! Hurray! Helmed by Executive Chef Adam Penney, Three Buns Quayside pride themselves on their grass-fed Australian meat, and do burgers with plenty of Asian twists. Highlights of the new entries include the Red Man Burger ($28) made with a generous portion of Beef Rendang, topped with coconut mayo inside a soft coconut bun made from coconut oil. Another hit is The Bun DMC ($16) of Angus beef patty with a watermelon relish, fried shallots, onion puree, cheese, and Three Islands Mayo — really delicious stuff! It’s good to note that all sauces and condiments are made in-house, from the smokey ketchup to the mayo. Vegetarians are catered for as well: The Truffello ($15) with truffle and Portobello mushrooms is slathered with a rich garlic miso truffle butter sauce, and served with cold slaw with truffle oil. Fries are extra — get the dirty ones (Miso Dirty Fries, $9, are drenched in miso béarnaise, smoked chicken sausage, floss, chives, and scallions) if you’re feeling naughty. Kids’ meals are super cute here — $14 sees two little beef burgers and a portion of skin-on fries with a little milkshake (made with proper homemade ice cream, no less). You’re not gonna believe what’s for dessert? More. Burgers! This time it’s an ice cream burger for the sweet-toothed, including the Vanilla Guerilla ($9) with dark choc demi brioche buns, sandwiched vanilla ice cream, and gula melaka coconut butterscotch sauce. Seriously we can’t even! P.S. if you are here with non-burger eating mates, dump them! No seriously, there are hot dogs on the menu and rice bowls, too — everyone’s a winner!
Three Buns Quayside, 60 Robertson Quay, #01-01 Singapore 238252, www.threebuns.com
SKAI –– Contemporary grill with sky-high views
Newly opened SKAI boasts killer views of Singapore’s stunning skyline (it’s on the 70th floor of Swissôtel The Stamford), a great buzzy atmosphere and top-notch food with a Japanese influence. The restaurant manages to ooze sophisticated casual (like the no-makeup makeup look) with its range of comfortable seating, warm lighting and sleek maple wood edges that give off a tranquil Japanese zen. The cuisine focuses on contemporary Josper-grilled prime cuts of quality beef and sharing plates of refined seafood and fish with a Japanese influence. Welsh Chef Paul Hallett is at the helm, curating starters of Chopped Angus Beef with Fermented Shitake: finely chopped premium Angus Beef seasoned with a confit egg yolk, citrussy Ponzu sauce and topped with caviar, fermented Shitake mushrooms, and garlic chips. Chef Koo Jee, Winner of the Singapore Pastry Cup 2017 creates desserts to marvel at. The Caramelised Soy Bean Cheesecake consists of delicate creamy soybean cheesecake, miso fudge, citrus jelly and a lemon sorbet — the caramelisation part done at your table. The Yuzu White Chocolate dessert is really a work of art; white chocolate, lychee coulis and yuzu cream come together in a delicious visually arresting piece de resistance — not cloyingly sweet thanks to the uplifting palate cleansing yuzu that balances the creamy white chocolate. Definitely one for a date-night booking or to impress clients.
SKAI, Level 70, Swissôtel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178882, Tel: (+65) 6837 3322, www.swissotel.com
Rizu –– Sushi & Modern Japanese
Rizu, the 36-seater boutique Japanese restaurant on Duxton Hill, is all about contemporary Japanese cuisine: sushi nigiri, interesting maki rolls and gourmet sashimi. The interiors are all dark walls and dim lights with Jazz playing in the background. Owner Hisamizu Takahashi has sourced interesting sakes — like the Kamonishiki Junmai Daiginjo (Niigata) made by a 25-year-old scientist — to complement the food. Ikedukuri, live seafood sashimi flown in from Japan and kept in fish tanks, is touted as one of the dishes to order – there’s Boston Lobster, Geoduck and Abalone to choose from – all served in an impressive bowl of chipped ice with the shellfish on display. The clear winner in our books was the range of delicious sushi nigiri on offer: from Horse Mackerel ($4/1 pc) to Jumbo Sweet Shrimp ($10/1 pc) and Maguro Toro ($12/1 pc). The signature rolls are something special, too – especially the Mango Lobster roll ($26/8 pcs) which surprises with slivers of sweet mango, and the Crunchy Spicy Tuna Roll ($24/8pcs). The menu is diverse with everything from cold plates of Beef Tataki and Urchin Carpaccio ($26), to the interesting fusion dish of Squid Carbonara with salmon roe ($12), fill-your-belly rice bowls ($22-50), and premium mains like the Wagyu A4 Striploin Steak ($58/150 grams) and the Miso Marinated Grilled Black Cod ($25). Duxton Hill is always a popular spot for post-work drinks and a cheeky mid-week meal and the variety on offer just got more interesting with newcomer Rizu adding modern Japanese fare to the mix.
Rizu, 39 Duxton Hill, Tel: (+65) 69048880, www.rizu.com.sg
Mo & Jo Sourdough Burgers — Sourdough Buns & Burgers
Baker & Cook founder Dean Brettschneider and Chef Jenna White have just launched Mo & Jo Sourdough Burgers over at Greenwood Avenue. This clean-cut neighbourhood burger joint promises good old fashioned burgers — none of the pimped up fanciness, just house buns, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and relish (all homemade) and honest patties (Australian grain fed beef) seared on the cooker before your eyes if you’ve scored counter seats. The bun is 15% sourdough, so it’s not as dense and chewy as the original loaf and more suited to a burger bun. Flex your hands for these bad boys as the serving is larger than your average burger. Alongside the Holy Smoke of beef patty, smoked bacon, and caramelized onions there’s a fish burger (fresh Australian barramundi with lemon and caper mayo), a pulled pork burger, and even a chicken burger – ‘Naughty CCC’ – crumbed and fried chicken breast, with camembert cheese and cranberry sauce (this is Chef Dean’s fave). Need more sauce? Just help yourself at the sauce and pickles station. Order up the refreshing Baker Boy Summer Ale (4.8% ABV), which is dangerously easy to drink. If you are here for brekkie, Mo & Jo does a bottomless Allpress filter coffee ($5), hangover cure Chorizo Hash’ for the parents, and ‘Vanilla Iced Cinnamon Buns’ which sounds like something the kids will go crazy for!
Mo & Jo Sourdough Burgers, 8 Greenwood Avenue, Tel: (+65) 6463 4626, moandjoburgers.com
Duxton 41— “Guilt-Free” Cakes
This new cafe on Duxton Road is a dark den, displaying Thai silk goods for sale as well as the main draw: “guilt-free” cakes and bakes. Desserts are made with monkfruit sugar, which is known for its low impact on the body’s blood sugar levels and also for having zero calories. Chef Wyatt is a self-taught baker and has a keen interest in nutrition, experimenting with protein powder in his cakes and eliminating fat where possible. Guilt Free Mini Loaf Cake ($5) is a sugar-free version of your fave cake in miniature form. When we popped in it was carrot cake: moist, sweet but not overly, just dense enough to feel satisfying and topped with a light frosting. Sugar-free soft-serve changes flavour regularly – you can vote for your fave on the Duxton 41 Instagram stories! The vegan brownies are pretty exciting – crusty on the top and moist in the middle – so good you may need two. Some of the creations may be a bit quirky for the non-fitness fan like the Tropical Rainbow Eclair ($4.50) – a pastry filled with watermelon puree with isolate whey and, unusually for this concept, there’s the option of having a wine pairing with your dessert, too. Overall we love the fact that this new dessert cafe is investing in more expensive, healthier sugars (which isn’t reflected in the dessert price so bravo!), so we can finally, just maybe have our cake and eat it!
Duxton 41, 41 Duxton Rd, Singapore 089505, Tel: (+65) 6224 1941, www.duxton41.com
Aqua S –- Blue Soft Serve
Aqua S brings its cool blue soft serve from Sydney to the #eatingfortheinsta crowd in Singapore. This little spot is underground within the Orchard MRT station so it’s not really a place to linger — though there are a few seats. The soft serve comes in three flavours, two of which will change every two weeks. The Signature Sea Salt is a cool blue colour with a creamy texture and a faint salty aftertaste. The current two flavours are Lychee and Thai Milk Tea, though bookmark the 1st and the 16th of the month when these will change — we hear the next flavour is set to be tofu! The soft serve comes in a black waffle cone for maximum photogenic cred (or a cup if you so wish). Pretty up your soft serve with flame-grilled marshmallows, a swirl of candy floss or caramel popcorn — all made on the spot.
Aqua S, Orchard Xchange (within Orchard MRT Station), 437 Orchard Road, B1-01, Singapore 238878, www.aquas.com.sg
Esora — Japanese kappo restaurant
The Lo and Behold group have been a hive of activity and this time they open their first Japanese establishment – 26-seater Esora, helmed by Chef Shigeru Koizumi. Formerly from two-Michelin starred Odette, Chef Koizumi offers kappo-style cuisine, with each dish prepared with extreme detail drawing on nature for inspiration. Micro-seasonal ingredients will be used in each dish for a fresh, modern Japanese set meal beginning with a selection of snacks followed by Koizumi’s signature dashi, amuse bouche and a further ensemble of courses featuring ingredients like the highly desirable beef Omi Wagyu, served with white maitake, amanaga pepper and aged akazu. The seven-course and nine-course menus are priced at $188++ and $248++ respectively with an optional Tea pairing at $38++ and $48++ for the seven-course and nine-course menus respectively.
Esora, 15 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore 238964, +65 6338 8035, www.restaurant-esora.com