Foodies, add these new restaurants to your must-try list!
This month there are a lot of Editor’s Picks as the number of great new restaurants are at an all-time high. #Sorrynotsorry! From three Michelin-starred Alvin Leung’s latest restaurant to a dark highball den serving stellar sushi to new openings in Duxton and Dempsey (where Chef Ming of Lolla is back!), read on for all the latest in new restaurant openings in town. Warning: don’t read with a rumbling tummy…
Table65 —Culinary theatrics at RWS
Table65 has opened its doors at Resorts World Sentosa, taking over the spot where the late Joël Robuchon’s restaurant used to be. Table65, named after Singapore’s country code, is helmed by renowned Dutch chef Richard van Oostenbrugge from one Michelin starred Restaurant 212 in Amsterdam. The name of the game here is fewer rules. Instead, a little culinary theatre awaits! There are no waiters. The chefs (mostly Dutch from the Amsterdam restaurant) serve you themselves, explaining the dishes of their creation. The kitchen takes centre stage bang in the middle of the dining room. Long counter seats are set up, framing the kitchen to watch the chefs in action prepping each dish. Rather than all hush-hush fine dining, it’s more about bantering with the chefs. There are two tasting menus priced at $148 and $218 for five and eight courses, respectively, or a la carte options are available. The amuse bouche set the tone – three stunningly artful dishes starring fish with complicated concoctions, and emulsions. There’s magic in each course — the bone marrow dish looks like a bone filled with marrow. It is not. It’s a jelly made with smoked herringbone filled with veal tartare, cockles and beluga caviar. The kelp ravioli with shellfish velouté, Belon oyster, and grilled preserved lemon hugged together with creamy hazelnut literally makes me laugh out loud in glee — it’s that good! One of the desserts called “Birch” has tree sap in it, and they’ve theatrically reinterpreted Mille Feuille (literally thousand leaves) in a clever, creative and playful way. Go for the fun food, and go for the fun of watching a kitchen full of energetic, enthusiastic chefs dressed in black work their magic.
Table65, Hotel Michael, Level 1 (Opposite Lake of Dreams), Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269, Tel: (+65) 6577 7939, www.rwsentosa.com/en/restaurants/table65
15 Stamford by Alvin Leung —Reinvented Asian
15 Stamford by Alvin Leung is the swish restaurant designed by the late Jaya Ibrahim, newly opened at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore. Chef-Founder Alvin Leung, made famous by three Michelin-starred Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, has pulled together favourite recipes from around Asia. Dishes are refined and elegant without as much – if any – of the culinary molecular engineering that the Demon Chef is known for. Whole Boston Lobster with Mangosteen, Tomato and Spicy Thai Dressing ($58) [featured in our lead image] offers a taste of Thailand, while the Korean-inspired Spicy Tuna Tartare ($26) with housemade gochujang delivers on flavour, spice, and texture. Mix in the accompanying Son-in-Law Egg and scoop up the cold tuna with the Prawn Crackers for a sharing starter. From Malaysia, the 72-Hour US Short Ribs Rendang with pretty pink pickled cabbage ($68) featuring sous vide beef chunks in a spice-packed rendang, received blissful nods of approval from everyone around our table. 15 Stamford by Alvin Leung in its elegant setting with quality cuisine is a spot we have earmarked for entertaining our out of town guests for a dip into different Asian flavours without the necessity of a plane ticket.
15 Stamford by Alvin Leung, The Capitol Kempinski Hotel, Singapore, 15 Stamford Road, Singapore 178906, Tel: (+65) 6368 8888, www.kempinski.com/en/singapore
JAM at SIRI HOUSE — Sharing plates and cocktail trolleys
JAM at SIRI HOUSE in Dempsey is the new restaurant/bar that is part of multi-hyphenate SIRI HOUSE (part showroom, events space, retail and art gallery featuring works from Thailand’s young artists and designers). Ming Tan (former Lolla Head Chef and current co-owner of Park Bench Deli) and Jeremy Cheok (previously from Garang Grill) are the guys behind JAM at SIRI HOUSE. Sit at the canary yellow bar stools and get a good look into the kitchen helmed by Chef Ming and backed by a fully Singaporean culinary team all hand-picked by self-taught Chef Ming himself. Start off with hand-dived Scallop Carpaccio ($30) cut into thick slabs with yuzu and truffle dressing, pops of savoury trout roe and threads of Kizami kombu for texture. The pasta in the Pappardelle in a Crustacean Sauce ($33) is handmade of course, topped with charcoal grilled tiger prawns and finished in sauce painstakingly reduced from prawn and lobster heads for maximum umami flavour. If one dish stands out amongst many great dishes it is the deceptively simple Cod ($38) crispy skinned and cooked so delicately in ginger and garlic, sitting in a clean tasting mushroom dashi and with smoked asari clams. Leave room for desserts by pastry chef Charis Wong. Whether you’re here for lunch or dinner, nothing quite says “work’s over” like the sight of the cocktail trolley being wheeled out for that first tipple of the evening. You can also order up craft cocktails by Mark Tay (from Sunday Punch).
JAM at SIRI HOUSE, Blk 8D, #01-02 Dempsey Hill, Dempsey Road, Singapore 249672, Tel: ( +65) 9667 0533, www.sirihouse.com
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Kilo Kitchen — Sharing Plates in Duxton
One of our favourite spots for dinner, Kilo Kitchen has up and moved from Kampong Bugis Road after nearly eight years (though the Charcoal Club still remains). With Kilo Kitchen’s new digs at 97 Duxton Road comes a more sophisticated atmosphere that sees Executive Chef Manel Velero back in the kitchen after a culinary sabbatical at a few top Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe. We love that Kilo has retained some of the raw aesthetics of its Kallang location, but now there are floor-to-ceiling windows, alfresco seating, modern lighting and plush cushions to make it all feel a little bit more refined. There’s a lick of fire to many of the dishes thanks to the apple-cherry-jarrah wood-fired grill. Do not under any circumstances do the no-carbs thing — you must order the Pan ($7) of grilled bread with the most bombastic confit garlic dip. Crab Croquettes (2 for $8) juxtaposes hot crispy croquettes against cold basil dip and proves another hit. Grilled Avocado ($10) with buckwheat puffs, Wasabi Tuna Tartare ($22) served with a massive nori dusted crisp, and then something a little more adventurous, Beef Tongue Tacos (2 for $18) with apple miso slaw and jalapeño pesto. Main courses – if you get that far – include Atas Lentils ($26) with manchego, bacon, truffle, and egg yolk, or plump for the Grilled Fish of the Day (market price). And if Kilo Kitchen has revved you up to party (try their Makgeolli Passion $20) if you need a little kickstart), know that sister bar Kilo Lounge, is now just steps away at 21 Tanjong Pagar Road. Whisper into the friendly manager’s ear before you leave and he will sort you out with free entry!
Kilo Kitchen, 97 Duxton Road, Singapore 089541, www.kilokitchen.com
Restaurant JAG — Fine Dining in Duxton
Restaurant JAG is another newcomer to Duxton Road, housed in a two storey shophouse with intimate seating for just 26 people on the first floor, plus an open kitchen where Michelin-starred chef Jeremy Gillon is at work. On the menu is fine dining French cuisine inspired by Savoie using sustainably sourced produce. A three-course lunch is $58, while the 5-course is $108 and dinner starts from $108 for five courses, all the way up to 10 courses at $218. Head on upstairs to the bar/lounge for drinks and bar bites like Beef Tartare ($28) and Croque Monsieur ($26). Chesterfield sofas beckon — it’s a welcoming spot for a post-prandial drink.
Restaurant JAG, 76 Duxton Road, Singapore 089535, Tel: (+65) 3138 8477, www.restaurantjag.com
Chi Kinjo — Highball Den and Super Sushi
The people behind Sum Yi Tai, Mona Lounge, and Eliza sure like a good story! The third character of their narrative is Chi Kinjo (ask them to tell you about the lady behind the name). Chi Kinjo is a Sushi & Izakaya restaurant (upstairs) and basement bar (downstairs). On the menu: contemporary Japanese cuisine helmed by the very talented Chef Lamley Chua, who has worked in restaurants like Michelin-Starred LP+Tetsu. The menu is divided into five distinct sections; Starters, Maki, Aburi Nigiri, Hot Small Plates and Hot Big Plates. The food here just may challenge what you already know about Japanese cuisine with its surprising twists. Order up the dangerously easy to drink Shiso Watermelon ($14) of Shiso Sake and freshly pressed watermelon juice, and then tuck into Chi Kinjo’s 80s Spicy Tuna Roll ($16) sprinkled with smokey bonito flakes. Get your cameras ready for the Crouching Tiger Roll ($20), a stunning dish incorporating three different types of prawns — crunchy prawn tempura and tiger prawns wrapped with rice, all sprinkled with sakura ebi for crunch. If you are here for the cocktails, the Kaffir Lime Karaage ($15) will see you through; it’s a bowl full of deep-fried lime marinated crispy chicken alongside an inventive charred red pepper mayo dip. Dark reigns over light at Chi Kinjo, but the tiny space upstairs has more light to appreciate your food, while drinkers can hide in the darker den downstairs.
Chi Kinjo, 29 Stanley Street, Tel: (+65) 6221 3665, www.chi-kinjo.com
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Teppan Kappou Kenji — Omakase
Helmed by chef Kenji Okumura, Teppan Kappou Kenji is a modern Japanese diner offering a multi-course menu (from $150) in Kappou-style featuring signature teppanyaki dishes plus sushi, sashimi, sukiyaki, and hotpot. The intimate space seats up to 45 guests, with a private dining space, 12 counter seats, or opt for the chef’s table, which seats 6-8 people.
Teppan Kappou Kenji, 99 Tanjong Pagar Road, #01-01, Singapore 088520, Tel: (+65) 9152-3118, www.teppankappoukenji.sg
Hokkaido’s Baristart Coffee — Newly arrived in SG!
Speciality coffee + latte art + a choice of milk is what you’ll find at Hokkaido’s Baristart Coffee, newly opened in Singapore this month. The original Baristart Coffee rose to fame in Hokkaido thanks to the premium Hokkaido milk (of which there are three different types to choose from). Their specially imported Hokkaido milk will also be the highlight of a range of desserts created by a team of Japanese pastry chefs.
Hokkaido’s Baristart Coffee, 65 Tras Street, Singapore 079004, Tel: (+65) 6904 3169, www.facebook.com/Cafe/Baristart-Coffee-Singapore