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Topping our fave new restaurants in Singapore this month: Have you tried Justin Quek’s luxe Asian inspired cooking at uber plush Chinoiserie, or the stylish new whisky lounge Room For More in Dempsey yet? This month we delve into affordable Japanese fare at Hokkaido-Ya and Isaan cuisine at Un-Yang-Kor-Dai; lose the feeling in our tongues over at fiery Sichuanese feast stop Chengdu Restaurant; cool off with cute Merlion popsicles from Leeu SG and sip inventive cocktails at Amrith.
Chinoiserie — Modern Asian by Justin Quek
After closing his Sky on 57 restaurant last year, homegrown celebrity chef Justin Quek brings two news concepts to Marina Bay Sands. JustIN (which we’ll tell you about next month in Foodie News Flash) and Chinoiserie. Chinoiserie is the plusher sister, with sumptuously decorated rooms (including five private dining rooms that can be hired for small to large groups), where the well-heeled will come for fine dining Chinese. It’s all about luxury here, so fine and rare wines and spirits? Check! Extravagant delicacies on the menu? Double check!
There are two set menus: Amuse Bouche at $128++ and Seasonal Amuse Bouche at $200++. On the former you’ll find Japanese Hamachi with Black Truffle Dressing, Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao and Wok-Fried Kampot Black Pepper Beef to name just a few dishes, while the latter menu boasts Duck Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao with Truffle Cream and Spanish Ham, French Oysters with Ginger Flower Dressing and Pan-roasted Kagoshima Wagyu Beef.
Chinoiserie, Galleria Level, B1-15, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Tel: (+65) 6688 7782, www.justinquek.com
Room for More –– Contemporary Whisky Lounge
There’s a new whisky lounge in Dempsey that oozes stylish charm. The ethos at Room for More is that “there’s always room for the cultivation of more whisky lovers”. This contemporary whisky lounge by Beppe de Vito, restaurateur-chef of the ilLido Group offers the world’s most notable distilleries and whisky houses. The aim is to make whisky appreciation accessible and affordable. There’s a handy description for each of the whiskies which are also categorised by flavour profile. Newbies will love the soon-to-come digital menu quiz which will help you understand your whisky personality! Selected whiskies are available at happy hour prices (Mondays to Thursdays, 3pm-7pm), such as the Yamazaki Distillery Reserve (from $18 a shot) and Macallan 12 Years Old Double Cask (from $16 a shot) but outside of happy hour prices remain affordable with most available by 30ml shots (from $10) and 60ml double pours (from $18). Cigars are on offer, as well as light bites like cheeses and cold cuts.
Room for More, 40C Harding Road, Singapore 249548, Tel: (+65) 68776977, www.roomformore.sg
Leeu SG – Merlion Ice Pops
Leeu SG has set up shop at the Esplanade, a short hop, skip and jump from the Merlion so that when you buy your ice pop shaped like a Merlion ($3.80) you’ll have everything you need for Instagram heaven. The ice pop comes in national colours of red and white (strawberry cheesecake flavour). Also on the menu: durian ice cream tarts and slushy frozen boozy drinks in local flavours. Read all about our quirky National Day eats here!
Leeu SG, #02–07 The Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Ave., Singapore, 039802 Singapore, Tel: (+65) 94897433, www.esplanade.com/explore-esplanade/eat-and-drink/leeusg
Amrith by The Song of India — New Cocktail Bar
From the Singapore cocktail pioneers who brought you Nectar, Amrith is well worth adding to your cocktail bar list. Nestled in the front garden of the Michelin-starred The Song of India on Scotts Road, it offers innovative cocktails that won’t break the bank. Tom Yam Nam Sai is an explosion of Thai flavours that includes Lemongrass Kaffir Sous Vide Vodka and a shrimp reduction. Other tipples include the beautifully presented King Williem’s Tea Party that comes complete in a tiny glass teapot alongside baby housemade macarons. These guys aren’t messing around — every single cocktail we tried was amazing. With names like The Peranakan and Katong Laksa, Amrith is the perfect place to celebrate Singapore’s upcoming birthday. And with bar snacks provided by The Song of India, how could you go wrong?
Amrith, 33 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228226, Tel: (+65) 6732 1365, www.facebook.com/amrithbythesongofindia
Hokkaido-Ya — Affordable Japanese
Hokkaido-Ya (which translates to Hokkaido-shop), is a fast casual, self-service restaurant by established Japanese restaurant chain Sushi Tei. Hokkaido specialities are served here – including Truffle Salmon Don ($10.90), Aburi Mentai Bara Chirashi Don ($14.90), ramen, plus a range of white curry dishes – made with cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, onion and garlic powder, cooked with milk – which are rarely seen in Singapore. Try the Bara Chirashi Don ($13.90) of sushi rice from Niigata (Japan’s rice capital), piled with fresh Norwegian salmon, tuna, Hokkaido scallops, homemade tamago, sweet prawns roe and whelk. We were also pretty impressed with the nifty face recognition (first in SG) self-service ordering kiosks for shorter queue times.
Hokkaido-Ya, 1 Harbour Front Walk #02-153, VivoCity, S098585, Tel: (+65) 6376 8387, www.facebook.com/hokkaidoyasg
Un-Yang-Kor-Dai – Isaan Thai
Un-Yang-Kor-Dai, meaning “Anything goes”, is a 70-seater Thai restaurant import newly opened in Singapore at Boat Quay. The restaurant specialises in Northeastern Thai, or Isaan cuisine. Signature dishes include Phad Thai Tom Yum with Seafood of fresh squid, prawns, egg and tofu. Thanks to the open-kitchen concept, you can see what Chef Ja is up to. He may be hard at work making the sauces which are all made in-house — like the Isaan Spicy Dipping Sauce, which goes with the Isaan Beef Ribeye Steak to give it some real kick.
Un-Yang-Kor-Dai, 57 South Bridge Rd, #01-02, Singapore 058688, Tel: +65 6787 8575, www.facebook.com/Unyangkordai-SG
Chengdu Restaurant — Spicy Sichuan
Chengdu Restaurant is helmed by renowned Sichuan restaurant chefs Qing Jun and Jing Xiao, who have worked at notable hotels in China and cooked for celebrities like Jacky Cheung and Jay Chou. On the menu: fiery authentic Sichuan cuisine. Dishes include Spicy Grilled Frog Skewer presented on a straw boat with dry ice for maximum wow factor; Fish with Green Pepper Soup; and something unique – the first and only Giant Sesame Ball in Singapore. This is a signature dessert at Chengdu Restaurant, inspired by traditional sesame glutinous rice balls. The recipe is a closely guarded secret — the dough is handmade and proofed for several hours, then crisp-fried for a whopping 20 minutes, while being constantly rotated to retain its spherical shape.
Chengdu Restaurant, 74 Amoy Street, Singapore 069893, www.facebook.com/成都Chengdu
Hungry for more Foodie content? Read these:
Quirky National Day Eats
New Restaurants in Singapore this July: Foodie News Flash
Cheapest Set Lunch Deals in SG
Lead image credit Backyard Kitchen