We’ve got intel on the hottest new restaurants that have opened in Singapore
This month we discover a little gem of a restaurant, Barracuda, offering great cuisine in smart digs; plus a wholesome kid-friendly restaurant opens in Rob Quay; there’s a new CBD spot for lunch bowls in the day or Asian cocktails with Chinese-style shooters at night; a Charcoal grilled meats restaurant opens in the heartlands; and more!
Barracuda — Mod European Hidden Gem
We are excited about this one. From a small 18-seater space on Maenam Beach in Koh Samui, Thailand to downtown Singapore, Barracuda has swum a fair distance to bring us his delicious modern European cuisine. Hidden behind a wall with only a hint of signage near Duxton, it’s easy to walk past this unassuming new restaurant. Enter through the vintage wooden doors and the affable owner, Chef Ferdinand, will likely be on hand to greet you. The interiors exude understated elegance, a dark palette of colours with low lighting with the cocktail bar set in the middle of the dining room. On the menu; stunningly plated Yellowfin tuna tartare with avocado mousse ($14), and plump Seared scallops with cauliflower purée and a salty-sweet caper & raisin vinaigrette ($19). Tight little parcels of Tortellini ($16), house-made of course, stuffed with salmon, lobster tail, and prawn are served with a deliciously rich flavoured shellfish velouté that just begs for a spoon to scoop it up with – or failing that, use a chunk of the complimentary bread served with your meal. For the mains, don’t miss one of the dishes famous in Koh Samui; Roasted French duck breast ($39), served on bok choy, with a rich fruity port wine and dried cherry sauce or Beef Fillet with black truffle pomme purée and Madeira sauce ($49). There aren’t that many independent restaurants in Singapore that tick all the boxes: good atmosphere, great food and decent service — but we have high hopes this might just be your new favourite place.
Barracuda, 9 Craig Road, Singapore 089669, Tel: (+65) 6260 4119, www.barracuda-restaurant.com
51 Soho — CBD Dining & Sichuan Cocktails
By the same folks behind Birds of a Feather and Halcyon & Crane, 51 Soho on busy Telok Ayer Street is all dark tones, with a mix of wood, brick and black steel panels. 51 Soho is aimed at luring you in for breakfast (Overnight Oats with berries $9.90), lunch (protein bowls like Smoked Duck Breast at $18.90, with baked curry cauliflower), dinner, or just cocktails and bar bites. Start with the Skewers — an elevated version of those served in Sichuan drinking houses. Cooked over fiery charcoal then brought to your table for further grilling, skewers come with a myriad of different ingredients from beef ($11) to pork ($7.50) in a house marinade dusted with an addictive spice mix or Padron Pepper with Halloumi Cheese ($8). The Soho Burger($28) is unusual in that rather than a burger patty, expect pulled beef so it’s a little messy to handle but the flavours are good with kimchi slaw and shoestring fries. Leaning more towards the Asian palate is Our Spicy Pasta($24); hot and sour spaghetti (made with Sichuan 六婆(Liu Po), 老干妈(Lao Gan Ma) and 豆瓣酱(Dou Ban Jiang) with crab meat, tiger prawn, ebiko and tomato confit. Cocktails are excitingly different — often served in specially made Chinese earthenware. The five different 51 Soho Specials are a fun take on Chinese shooters; these short cocktails are made up of Asian ingredients like Chinese rice wine, plum wine and bamboo wine, oozing centuries-old heritage. Look out for the Prosperity Cup ($88 for 9 cups); it’s a little on the sweet side with rice wine, rockmelon and white chocolate liqueur but served with an edible note of money!
51 Soho, 51 Telok Ayer St, #01-01, Singapore 048441, Tel: (+65) 9755 1058, www.facebook.com/51soho
BOTANY by Dazzling Café — Wholesome Asian + Western resto
Riverside BOTANY by Dazzling Café at Robertson Quay boasts lots of natural daylight in its white-walled interiors. The owner Cassandra Tan is a mother to two with a Western husband so she full well understands the need for wholesome food healthy enough to give to kids guilt free, to satisfy those who want Western flavours as well as those who are hankering after Asian dishes. The cuisine at BOTANY aims to satisfy all of these wishes. From the western side: hearty Cuppucino Mushroom Soup ($10+) full of texture, an Insta-friendly dish of Avocado Sourdough Toast with Egg ($18+) and from the Asian side Otah Chips ($13+) reminiscent of spam fries but of course healthy, dangerously moreish Taiwanese Chicken Bites ($13+) and the meat-free Impossible Mapo Tofu Bowl ($18+) using on-trend Impossible meat on top of Japanese rice with Silken tofu, Szechuan spices and a Sous vide egg. For the little one ones, there’s a small table inside to play blocks or colour, and outdoors there are scooting opps along the river making this a pretty kid-friendly spot for morning coffee or a meal.
BOTANY by Dazzling Café, #01-03, 86 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238245, www.botany.com.sg
Subrosa — Mod European “Private” Fine Dining
Subrosa is a private dining concept set in a restored shophouse where you book a few days before (you aren’t able to walk in off the street) and are served a five ($108/128 for lunch/dinner) or seven ($128/168 for lunch/dinner) course menu. We hear these guys make everything in-house, from the artisanal bread and truffle butter to the pickles. The cuisine is modern European with an Asian twist to some of the dishes. Think scallop with fermented melon, cucumber, dill, and smoked trout roe, Bloody Mary-infused shrimp and crab cocktail, or Hokkien mee with lobster and foie gras with roasted duck breast and blackberries.
Subrosa Private Dining, 369 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208997, Tel: (+65) 66100555, www.subrosa.com.sg
Homeground Grill & Bar — Charcoal grilled meats
Homeground Grill & Bar in the Boon Keng heartlands brings us charcoal grilled meats and seafood with a variety of homemade sauces, from red wine reductions to Thai garlic and chili. The restaurant has three sections to choose from, including high top seating outside best suited for bar bites and cocktails, and the main dining area with neon signs and an industrial feel. The Mixed Grill Platter ($72/for 2-3 people) features ribeye marinated in whisky, chicken legs, bratwurst sausage, butter and garlic tiger prawns, and Norwegian salmon served with baby potatoes, grilled mushrooms, and a green salad on the side. If you’re not looking to go full throttle with the massive Homeground Mixed Platter, there’s always the smaller Surf & Turf Platter ($42) or you can choose a specific meat or seafood a la carte (like Ribeye $26) and pair with some tasty side dishes like their charcoal grilled portobello mushroom topped with melted cheese, calamari with rum mayo, or potato skins with sour cream (at $8). The service is warm and friendly with co-owners, Restaurant Manager Chrystal and Chef Nellie, hoping to build regular clientele who will think of Homeground Grill as their home away from home.
Homeground Grill & Bar, 1088 Serangoon Road, Singapore 328188, www.facebook.com/homeground.grill
Minka — Japanese donburi bowls by day/ Sushi Omakase by night
Minka serves kaisendons/ chirashi bowls during the weekday lunchtime for the CBD crowds; Basic Sashimi Rice Bowl ($13) is the affordable chow option but more luxe offerings include Sashimi Rice Bowl ($19) and the River Eel Rice Bowl ($24), both of which come with a side of hot seafood soup. During weekday dinners and for lunchtimes as well as dinner on Saturdays, there’s a quick swap around and Minka becomes a sushi bar counter, serving sushi omakase sets at $68 and $98, using fresh seafood air flown in from Japan.
Minka, Oxley Tower, 138 Robinson Road, #01-06, Singapore 068906, www.facebook.com/pg/minkajapsg
The Affogato Lounge — Affogato & Cocktails
The Affogato Lounge at KēSa House on Keong Saik Road (which has seen so many great restaurants join its fold of late) is by the same good people behind The Affogato Bar at Cluny Court. The space is a cafe by day, housing the Affogato Lounge cafe classics (sandwiches, grain bowls, salad bowls and of course affogato desserts), and when night descends the space becomes The KēSa House Lobby lounge serving a specially-curated cocktail menu alongside alcoholic affogatos.
The Affogato Lounge, 55 Keong Saik Road, #01-02, 089158 Singapore, www.theaffogatolounge.com
Read more: New Restaurants April
In other foodie news:
- Chinese restaurant Min Jiang relocates from Rochester Park to Dempsey Hill with a new design concept and a new menu crafted by Master Chef Goh Chee Kong to showcase the intricacies of Cantonese and Sichuan cuisines. Min Jiang, 7A and 7B Dempsey Road, Singapore 249684, Tel: (+65) 6774 0122
- Former Michelin winner Bacchanalia has undergone a transformation (new décor, head chef and menu) and is now known as Vianney Massot Restaurant with Chef Vianney Massot (formerly at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon) in charge. A la carte dishes are available throughout lunch and dinner with a 2-course lunch menu starting from $68++, while the 7-course degustation menu is available from $338++. Vianney Massot Restaurant, 39 Hongkong Street, Singapore 059678. Tel: (+65) 6909 6360
- JAAN helmed by Chef Kirk rolls out a brand-new spring menu of redefined British dishes, after having being credited as Singapore’s highest climber in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 (rising 12 spots to 32nd place).
- Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura Singapore edition (the one-of-a-kind experience by chef Massimo Bottura of three Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana) has announced an extension to run at The Arts House Singapore until 2 June 2019. Lunches start at 4 courses at $128++. Click here for more details!
- L’Entrecote has opened up a branch at Customs House (in addition to Duxton Hill location) with a Ricard Bar which will feature an all-new bar Menu.
- Vietnamese NamNam at Wheelock Place has reopened with new dishes like Vegan Pho and a new web-based ordering and payment platform. From 05 April – 04 July 2010, register on NamNam’s web platform for the first time to redeem a free side of Crispy Chicken Bites with Sriracha Mayonnaise (worth $6.90). Existing registered users will also enjoy 10% off every transaction!
- Blue Label Pizza & Wine will be opening up a second location on Orchard, in Mandarin Gallery a short skip away from their sister restaurant Luke’s Chop House & Oyster Bar at The Heeren.
- Resorts World Sentosa’s ‘RWS Street Eats’, is a 10-day event showcasing delicacies, snacks and desserts from both regional and local spots all under one roof. This year’s ‘RWS Street Eats’ will also boast a total of 24 stalls, offering a wide variety of deliciousness.