Foodies, add these new restaurants to your die die must try list!
Looking for date night inspo or a fun new restaurant to add to the list? This month we check out a quirky spot for cocktails and tartares, two new Michelin starred Chefs open restaurants, a Tibetan restaurant woos vegetarians, a Chengdu-Western Cafe makes one of the best eggs benny we’ve had, we find a spot offering tasty Asian with killer views and more!
Restaurant Zén –– Michelin Star Chef
Halycon & Crane — Chic Chengdu-Western Cafe
Halycon & Crane is a little nest of calm inside Paragon Mall. By the same people behind Birds of a Feather, this café is smartly decked out with Chinese wooden umbrellas and screens, low (for a mall) lighting and a pretty colour scheme. Halcyon & Crane is inspired by Chengdu, the charming city in China’s Sichuan province where the cafe owners come from. The menu is a blend of modern European cuisine with a Sichuan influence. We ordered the King’s Chicken Hash Benedict ($21) – not the usual take on eggs ben and all the more exciting for that. This dish features house-made English muffins topped with gong bao chicken packed full of flavour, sous-vide egg and Cheddar cheese. All with a side of spiced roast potatoes! Lighter options range Pistachio & Apple Birches Muesli ($17) for breakfast to Smoked Tuna Tataki Salad. The Specialty Beef & Tomato Braised Rice ($28) is a comfort soul dish of 16 hour cooked Angus brisket, in a tomato base with kamut, buckwheat and barley grains or for something spicy the Chicken & Mushroom Capellini noodle soup ($23). Halycon & Crane have got the afternoon tea crowd in mind with their all-day desserts: Avocado Cheesecake ($16), Berries Trifle & Cheese in a glass ($15) or the Matcha Molten Lava. Don’t miss coffee which is the heart of the business. The Beetroot piccolo and latte is a coffee platter featuring two coffees: a pretty pink sweet demure beetroot coffee and a latte, with a portion of candy floss, a thirst-quenching glass of soda water and some fruity nibbles on the side.
Halycon & Crane, 290 Orchard Road, Unit #03-09 The Paragon, Tel: (+65) 9727 5121, www.facebook.com/halcyoncrane
The English House — Marco Pierre White’s New Resto
Basque Kitchen by Aitor — Michelin Starred Chef
Basque Kitchen by Aitor (where defunct Blackwattle used to be) is Unlisted Collection’s newest spot on Amoy Street. The Basque-inspired restaurant is helmed by Head Chef Aitor Jeronimo Orive, who was Head Chef of One-Michelin Star restaurant Iggy’s in Singapore previously. Basque Kitchen is all about homey, comforting Basque dishes with a casual fine dining slant. On the menu: set lunches at $45 and 7-course dinners at $115++with a la carte dishes to come soon. Look out for the stunningly pink dish of Cherry Gazpatxo with pickled watermelon, and cottage cheese snow; Chef Aitor’s version of Marmitako, a stew typically comprising tuna and potato, here prettily plated with stock as a base, topped with potatoes and bonito crudo; and one of our fave dishes, the hug-on-a-plate Angus Oxtail “Bomba” Rice with quail egg confit. The wine list is from Spain encompassing Peter Sisseck and Vega Sicilia along with smaller scale boutique producers from lesser-known regions, such as Ronda, Spain. Spanish gins, pacharáns and unfiltered sulphite-free Basque ciders.
Basque Kitchen by Aitor, 97 Amoy Street, Singapore 069917, Tel: (+65) 6224 2232, www.basquekitchenbyaitor.com
Kinou — Cocktails & Ceviche
Kino has just opened on Tras street – this spot has a well-stocked cocktail bar with a mind-boggling list of cocktails, a restaurant and upstairs, a drinks lounge and event space. The restaurant offers lots of sharing plates with a focus on ceviche and tartare and meat-centric items like Bone To Be Wild ($16++) — beef marrow with sourdough toast. The ceviches and tartares at Kinou can be mixed and matched into platters of three, five or seven options. The Kinou Signature Beef Tartare of raw Angus beef is mixed with Comté cheese instead of the usual raw egg, and for the adventurous, there’s also an unusual duck tartare, Whack A Quack, featuring raw duck sliced with a spiced gingerbread. We love the playful names for the cocktails and dishes – order a Vegan Nightmare Platter for a meat feast to share: Hangar Steak, Kinou Signature burger served in a brioche sandwich, Magret Duck Breast, Wagyu Sausage and a delicious Lamb Sausage. For dessert don’t miss Nadya’s Some Sort of Chocolate Dessert ($15++), a delightful concoction of sweet and savoury with miso caramel parfait, chocolate mousse, shoyu glaze and cashew brittle. Kinou’s cocktails – like The Last Minute ($22++), a vodka martini with Grand Marnier, apricot brandy, mango puree, orange and fresh coriander – all come with the New York pour of 60ml (that’s double the standard!).
Kinou, 81 Tras Street, Singapore 079020, Tel: (+65) 6224 0463, www.kinourestaurant.com
The Communal Place — Affordable Comfort in East
This new spot in Joo Chiat is one to put on your radar if you are in the area and looking for a good quality affordable comfort meal. Minimally decorated, this casual restaurant reserves its attention for the food, from Miso Salmon with poached vegetables ($18), to a thoughtfully presented Seafood Bouillabaisse ($15) with a deep flavoured bisque to complement the seafood. There’s no kids menu but plenty that kids would happily tuck into – Pulled Pork Burger and Fries ($15) or Fish and Chips ($15). We tried the Beef Cheek Ragu Pasta with perfectly cooked spaghetti and a wobbly 63°C sous vide egg to pierce and make the tasty ragu sauce even more unctuous. Kids and the #eatingfortheinsta crowd will equally be excited about dessert: the Chocolate Dome ($16) is a chocolate shell filled with a mix of deliciousness (which will change monthly) like ice cream, homemade honeycomb, popping candy, berries and homemade custard. The fun starts when the server brings the dome to your table and crashes it on to the plate to reveal what’s inside – like a mega Kinder egg!
The Communal Place,465 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore, 427677, Tel: (+65) 6282 3359, www.thecommunalplace.com
Ganglamedo — Vegetarian Tibetan cuisine
Ganglamedo is housed in a three storey shophouse off Craig Road that oozes Tibetan charm with its warm-hued wood, rich golds and traditional booth-style seating. The menu focuses on vegetarian Tibetan set meals – with one option for lunch, a 3-course set ($38 pp min 2 pax) to a choice of different sets for dinner – a five-course vegetarian set at $59.90, 7 courses at $88, plus other VIP menus featuring Cordyceps double boiled soup. Lunch sees a choice of an appetizer or soup, like the slow-cooked egg with morel mushrooms with truffle oil or mizuna mushroom salad, followed by a spicy sesame noodle dish, eight treasures rice or in an unusual departure from the Tibetan style food, a Tofu burger with truffle fries. For dessert, pretty plates of yuzu sorbet, Chengdu dessert with jelly and fruit or Winter Pumpkin Glutinous Cake. Ganglamedo will be rolling out a high tea to share ($19.90 per person) consisting of a small platter of miniature bites if you need a little extra while sipping your toasted Buckwheat Tea ($5 free flow).
Ganglamedo, 40 Craig Road, Singapore 089678. Tel : (+65) 6423 9788, www.facebook.com/GanglamedoSG
Menya Kokoro –– Tokyo’s Maze-Soba
Menya Kokoro, one of Tokyo’s most popular Maze-Soba (Japanese dry ramen) restaurant chains comes to Singapore! The Maze-Soba restaurant serves its signature Maze-Soba, featuring Japanese-style slow-braised chashu, minced meat sauce made from a secret recipe, ground saba fish, poached eggs, nori, green onions, leek, bamboo shoots and fragrant chopped garlic. There will be two Singapore-exclusive dishes: the Maze-Don, a first-of-its-kind dish, and is a rice version of the Maze-Soba using 100% Japanese Michelin-acclaimed Tawaraya rice from Hokkaido and Niigata, polished only upon order to preserve its aroma. Diners can also tuck into a special version of the Maze-don, the Curry Maze-Don, a fragrant and flavourful Japanese curry rice bowl topped with grilled chicken!
Menya Kokoro, 3 Temasek Boulevard #03-313 Suntec City Mall Tower 1 & 2, Singapore 038983, Tel: (+65) 6235 3386, www.facebook.com/menyakokorosg