We’ve got intel on the hottest new restaurants in town…
This month Whitegrass reopens at CHIJMES, plus we tuck into delicious vegan ice cream at Forum Mall; plan how to beat the queues for lobster rolls at newly opened Burger & Lobster; and check out a new Mexican chicken rotisserie.We find an upmarket dim sum spot at Jewel, Changi worth the trip, plus we dish out the deets on a new secret bar off Keong Saik Road (the HK original is No.1 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019) and keep you posted on all the foodie happenings in Dempsey and more…
Burger & Lobster — From the UK to SG!
Burger & Lobster has come to town! It’s one of the latest restaurants to open at Jewel Changi Airport in Canopy Park, Jewel’s topmost floor (so expect spectacular views of the Shiseido Forest Valley, and that IG star the 40-metre high HSBC Rain Vortex). Burger & Lobster is known for their signature lobster ($65), prime beef burger The Mayfair ($25) with house-made pickles, onions and a secret B&L burger sauce, and probably the star of the show, the Original Roll ($40) which sees tender lobster meat enveloped in a buttery, toasted brioche roll. There’s also something exclusive to Jewel for tourists to dabble in local flavours – the Sambal Glazed Lobster ($65), a mildly spicy fusion of dried shrimp, chilli and Asian spices. Live lobsters will be flown in from Nova Scotia, Canada while the beef is from cattle ranchers in Nebraska, U.S.A. We wonder how long the queues will be here (we’re still having nightmares from Shake Shack!)? Burger & Lobster is open till 3am so there’s an idea!
Burger & Lobster,#05-203, Jewel, 78 Airport Boulevard, Singapore 819663, www.burgerandlobster.com
Whitegrass — Reopens with French Japanese Cuisine
Exciting news! Whitegrass reopens at CHIJMES with new Head Chef Takuya Yamashita (previously the Head Chef at Tokyo’s One Michelin-starred Ciel et Sol). Whitegrass is currently only open for dinner, where you can expect classical French fare with a modern Japanese twist showcased in five- and eight-course dinner degustation menus ($168/228 respectively) using specialty produce flown in from Japan. The ‘Bresse Pigeon’ (pictured) exemplifies Chef Takuya’s classical French background; with a roulade of French pigeon and foie gras wrapped in savoy cabbage and served with pomme purée. We can’t wait to check this one out!
Whitegrass, 30 Victoria Street, #01-26/27 CHIJMES, Tel: (+65) 6837 0402, www.whitegrass.com.sg
Chico Loco — Dirty Clean Eating
Eating clean? So last year. Chico Loco on bustling foodie haven Amoy Street is about to shake things up with some #dirtycleaneating. Confused? The peeps behind Super Loco and Lucha Loco bring affordable “fast casual 2.0” dining to the good people of Singapore. And we thank them, ‘cos this joint dishes out protein-rich meals of finger-licking grilled chicken (antibiotic-free, hormone-free, cage-free and organic-fed…starting to see the clean eating side come into play?). Chico Loco brines the chickens for 10 hours in an umami-sweet solution, then bastes them with a secret house blend of 11 herbs and Mexican spices before spit roasting them for an hour. The result: tender, flavourful, succulent meat served with your choice of house-made sauce (we loved the chimichurri yoghurt and Mexican BBQ sauce). Chicken is served in three sizes –Quarter ($9), Half ($17) and Whole ($32). There’s also dry rubbed lamb shoulder ($12) for 125g, $23 for 250grams and Mexican sides of corn, guac or rotisserie fat rice with tomatillos ($4). You can also choose to have the meat served pulled on top of the weekly Salad Special ($13 + $7 for chicken and $8 for lamb). They’re open nice and early 8am for brekkie for Chicken & Egg Sanga ($12), Avocado Toast ($15) and Acai Bowls ($12), and stay open late for the drinking crowd where there’ll also be bites like the must-try Mexican Prawn Toast $13 (Burnt ends bread stuffed with Tiger Prawns).
Chico Loco, 102 Amoy Street, Singapore 069922, Tel: (+65) 9738 7828, www.chico-loco.com
Min Jiang — Fine Dining Chinese at Dempsey
Min Jiang has relocated from One North Rochester Park to Dempsey, and this new restaurant is a real beauty with bright interiors designed by Ernesto Bedmar offset with plenty of natural woods and rattan. There’s also a new menu by award-winning Master Chef Goh Chee Kong offering fine dining Cantonese and Sichuan cuisines. The handmade dim sum are worth a special mention: Steamed ‘Goldfish’ Prawn Dumplings ($4.80/each) are almost too wonderful to eat — little goldfish dim sum ‘swimming’ in a delicate egg white sauce. Don’t miss the shocking naturally blue Steamed Blue Pea Truffle Vegetable Dumplings, and the clever Steamed Crabmeat, Prawn and Vegetable Dumplings shaped like a stingray amongst the selection in the Deluxe Dim Sum Platter ($38). If you are feeling flush, splash out on Stewed Noodles with Lobster ($118) and Legendary Wood-Fired Beijing Duck ($118/whole duck) where the duck is carved tableside and served with crepes and condiments. If you are hankering after shredded duck pancakes order the Crispy Silver Hill Duck. This spot is definitely one to book for an impressive dim sum brunch on the weekend and makes a lovely indulgent spot for a weekday lunch.
Min Jiang, 7A and 7B Dempsey Road, Tel: (+65) 67740122, www.goodwoodparkhotel.com
Shang Social — Dim Sum, Cocktails and more from Shangri-La @ Jewel
Shang Social boasts three different spaces depending on your mood; DINING for upmarket feels with pretty plush seating inside or an alfresco table with Rain Vortex views (stunning at night though do note the hourly music accompanied shows that vie for your attention); the more casual Chinese-style marketplace called MRKT; and the BAR. Start with a cocktail like the Pandan Pandemonium ($20) before making your way to the DINING room where Huaiyang, Sichuan and Cantonese dishes are all served. Tuck into the highly recommended Signature Pan Fried Bun with Pork ($5.80 each), a plump parcel that is steamed then fried so that the dumpling is part soft, part crunchy and filled with piping hot juicy pork. Other highlights include the Spicy Sichuan Chicken (pictured above), and the Red Garoupa fillet Stewed In Pea Mash Soup with Pickled Peppers and Chinese Cabbage ($78 to share). If you’re unfamiliar with this dish – try it, it’s a delicious cloudy soup with sour flavours thanks to the salted pickled veg, complemented by chunks of sweet fish. For dessert, there’s the refreshing Double Boiled Snow Pear with Peach Gum and Aloe Vera or head back to the bar for a post-prandial cocktail.
Shang Social, Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Boulevard, #01-219 to 222 Singapore 819666, Tel: (65) 6346 0260, www.shangsocial.com
Kind Kones — Vegan ice cream
Kiddie-mall Forum has a newcomer that kids (and their parents) will be equally excited about! Kind Kones is an all-natural vegan ice cream parlour — free from dairy, refined sugar, soy, gluten, and other artificial additives. If you are looking for an (almost) guilt-free dessert, this comes close! Their philosophy of being kind translates to kindness to your mind, body, and the planet by eating right. The founder Serina started the brand in Malaysia with the idea to make ice cream healthier and so house-made cashew milk, coconut and sometimes almond milk is used as a base. The taste? Pretty darned delicious we say! Flavours will change regularly but current favourites are the Chocolate Sorbet, Strawberry and the Almond Brittle, and there are some more unique flavours too from local Haw Flakes to Blue Planet (blue thanks to natural Butterfly Pea flower) and Pandan Gula Melaka. Toppings include homemade gluten-free butterscotch caramel, strawberry chia jam sauce, quinoa crunch, and peanut & sesame brittle. There are other vegan desserts on offer from gluten-free Chocolate Ganache Cake to Sweet Potato Brownies. A cute kid’s colouring station with a free book exchange is handy to keep the kids busy while mama queues (expect long ones!).
Kind Kones, Forum The Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road B1-27, Singapore 238884, www.kindkones.com
Yujin Izakaya – Sake and Bar Bites by Les Amis
Yujin Izakaya is a sake and izakaya grill bar run by a husband-and-wife duo with the backing of Les Amis Group. It’s a mix of industrial décor with exposed walls and Japanese manga on the wall (done by a 16-year-old novice digital artist no less!). Chef-owner Freddie Lee is behind the charcoal grill serving up hot and cold appetisers alongside smokey grilled skewers. On you’re settled in with a cocktail like the refreshing Sparkling Yuzu ($11) or glass of sake in hand, order up the Katsu Sando ($16) of US Beef, on toasted bread, smeared with Pommery mustard, or go for the individual skewers of handmade meatballs Tsukune ($6). Cold appetisers include homemade pickles ($6), raw cauliflower and asparagus salad ($7) and Hamachi sashimi ($15), while skewers range from Iberico Pork jowl Tontoro ($15) to the Ox tongue Gyutan ($12). For something a little more hearty, slurp down Inaniwa Udon ($18), slippery noodles in a full flavoured, soul warming prawn broth with prawn tempura. Kanpai!?
Yujin Izakaya, 56 Zion Road, Tel: (+65) 62350429, www.yujinizakaya.com.sg
Chuan Hung The Noodle Place — Sichuan Noodles
Chuan Hung or ‘Sichuan Alley’ serves a Sichuanese traditional fare of Mian Yang rice noodles in a choice of clear or red soup broths, topped with braised beef and pig intestines. If you’re still peckish there are side dishes like Fried Crispy Pig Intestines or desserts like Liang Gao made with hand-ground glutinous rice. Like all good noodle shops, Chuan Hung is a tiny diner hidden in a side alley.
Chuan Hung The Noodle Place, 51 Telok Ayer Street, #01-01, Singapore 048441, Tel: (+65) 9755 1058, www.facebook.com/chuanghungnoodle
Restaurant JAG — Fine Dining in Duxton
Restaurant JAG is an intimate spot taking up the ground floor of a two storey shophouse with seating for just seven tables. The open kitchen sees Michelin-starred chef-owner Jeremy Gillon at work prepping his fine dining French cuisine using plentiful herbs and seasonal produce from Northern France in each course. A new spring menu awaits using green and white asparagus, purple artichokes, morel, and edible flowers and indigenous herbs from Haute-Savoie. Lunch starts from a three-course meal $58, while dinner ranges from a five ($108), seven ($168) or 10-course meal ($218) for the ultimate gourmand experience. The hospitality and service here is worth mentioning. Chef Jeremy (the J and G of JAG) bustles affably around table greeting guests as does MD Anant Tyagi (the ‘A’ in JAG). The food is art on a plate. From the delicate Canapés to the Amuse Bouche and mains, each dish a delicate balance of flavours and style. Favourites of the new Spring Menu include the starter of Bouleau mushroom with smoked foie gras, layered on a homemade bread crisp wafer with mushrooms ice cream and a fine dusting of mushroom meringue, as well as the Lamb with purple artichoke, artichoke puree and a creamy side of mushroom polenta. Desserts provoke curiosity with the clever inclusion of vegetables – stunning red slivers of beetroot in one, red pepper coulis in another.
Restaurant JAG, 76 Duxton Road, Singapore 089535, Tel: (+65) 3138 8477, www.restaurantjag.com
The Social Space at Marina One — Healthy Lunch & Sustainable Goods
This lovely light space at Marina One provides the CBD lunch crowd with healthy Smoothie Bowls like the Pink Flamingo (Dragonfruit, Papaya, Banana, Soy Milk, Honey) and The Hulk (Matcha, Banana, Spinach, Avocado, Mint, Coconut Milk, Honey), or Open-face Toasts with avo and egg, roast eggplant and miso, or smoked salmon and cream cheese. Organic teas, speciality lattes, kombucha and a selection of baked goods from APSN (Association for persons with special needs) complete the offering, with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and a surprisingly serene view given the central location. Plus you can stock up on cleaning products at The Refillery while you’re there!
The Social Space at Marina One, 5 Straits View, Marina One #01- 03 Singapore 018935, Tel: (+65) 6655 0221, www.thesocialspace.co
The Feather Blade — Proper Steaks
First as a pop-up on Club Street, now here for real, The Feather Blade inspired by the Flat Iron in London’s Soho does “proper steaks”. There’s just one main steak on the menu The Feather Blade ($21) plus daily specials featuring undercuts like Bavette, and Chuck Eye. Accompanying sides are extra from Truffle Corn to Parmesan Spinach at $7 each. As in the London branch of The Feather Blade, show your receipt on your way out and you’ll get a free scoop of ice cream to eat on your way home.
The Feather Blade, 90 Club Street, Singapore 069458, www.thefeatherblade.com
The Old Man Singapore — Innovative Cocktails
The Old Man Singapore is a bar concept by the cocktail legends behind The Old Man Hong Kong, the Winner of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019. There is no signage for The Old Man here in Singapore; just look for the pineapple lamp along Keong Saik Road, near Kesa House. The Old Man Singapore pays homage to iconic American novelist Ernest Hemingway. There are nine innovative cocktails ($17) inspired by Hemingway’s libations of choice and named after his classic novels. There’s a lot of science and experimental behind each cocktail, and the room at the back hides equipment for fat-washing, sous vide cooking and rotary evaporation. The Green Hills of Africa is a favourite: a refreshing combination of rosemary-infused pisco, turmeric and tamarind cordial. Other concoctions are on the quirkier side; The Snows of Kilimanjaro boasts marshmallow gin, lacto-fermented raspberry, citrus and a grating of gruyere cheese. If you have time to kill, order something deadly like Death in the Afternoon and chew the fat with the affable Head Bartender and Managing Partner Andrew Yap and his team.
The Old Man Singapore, #01-04, 55 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089158, www.theoldmanhk.com
In other foodie news:
- Les Bouchons moves to that kid-friendly, pet-friendly space beside the playground at Rob Quay and launches a new Sunday brunch menu. If you haven’t tried their Grilled Black Angus Rib Eye Steak with free flow homemade French fries you are missing something special, while the kids will be happy with Nutella crepes!
- Culina at Como Dempsey moves to bigger, better digs, still in Dempsey but now closer to parent company COMO. The new location sees a large food market with speciality stalls, a bakery, florist, wine bar and delicatessen, as well as a buzzing modern bistro. Pick your favourite cut of meat or seafood at the counter and have it cooked and served at the Bistro. This spot is always busy with lunchers sitting at the bar with oysters and bubbly or relaxing alfresco.
- Sun with Moon Japanese Dining & Cafe has a new menu featuring Kaisen Yukke ($13.80) a dish of fresh salmon, tuna and yellowtail mixed with an onsen egg that you wrap in sheets of nori, new nabe dishes ($34.80) of different soups that bubble over burners at your table, filled with seafood or meat and veg and served with rice to pressed sushi Unagi Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi ($19.80) or the pretty Paradise Roll ($12.40/4 pc) of scallop sushi rolls with avocado and asparagus.
- JYPSY the chic-casual casual Japanese concept from PS.Cafe launches a new lunch menu. While evenings see sharing plates and cocktails, for lunch more one-person bowls have been introduced so look out for the Tempura Snapper Chirashi ($16), the JYPSY Cali Chirashi ($18) with pickled crab. Groups of 8 pax or more can plump for the lunch at $38++ per person with sharing appetisers like JYPSY Salmon Tacos, JYPSY Cali Rolls, Crunchy Cabbage Pile and Nest of Fries plus one main each).
- Singapore Lager, a new premium lager proudly brewed in Singapore, has launched, promising local beer lovers a new and refreshing mainstream pour. Singapore Lager is the first beer under the Tuas Brewing Co., a new concept from the beer geeks behind Trouble Brewing, who currently supply more than 70 venues with their locally-made bespoke brews.