If you are constantly looking for foodie recommendations, the search stops here with all the hottest new restaurant openings in town
Looking for date night inspo or a fun new restaurant to add to the list? This month we are full to the brim with Editor’s Picks of where to chow down: Japanese Jypsy is the latest “in” spot to be seen; then there’s JustIN for classic upmarket Singaporean; Mediterranean Sideways which bakes the best sourdough; sophisticated The Spot; Mexican fare at Papi’s Tacos; House of MU with an ex-Les Amis chef; and Claypots Full Circle for Asian-Med Seafood.
JYPSY –– Playful Japanese & Lush Interiors
JYPSY is the latest venture by PS.Cafe and takes over the space by defunct ChopSuey Martin Road. This time the concept is casual Japanese along with the lustworthy decor that P.S Cafe is renowned for — think neutral woods, white lanterns and coastal blues. If you’re looking for a great atmosphere, this place is buzzing! Order up a table full of hot and cold small plates to share; we loved the pretty Jypsy Rainbow Sushi Rolls ($19) with torched salmon tartare, Bluefin tuna, yellowtail and avocado, as well as the sashimi of Japanese air flown premium grade fish. The kakiage dish Nest of Fries ($11) aims to be the Japanese equivalent of truffle fries but we preferred lighter dishes like JYPSY Crunchy Cabbage Pile ($7) – basically a massive pile of cabbage with sesame dressing and smoked paprika oil, and the JYPSY Salmon Tacos ($14). Highlighting Jypsy’s playfulness, these crispy seaweed “tacos” encompass king salmon, avocado and tomato salsa, and wasabi mayo. There are all day bowls to fill your belly, too, like the Udon Goreng ($19) with wok fried thin Udon noodles, silver sprouts, cabbage, JYPSY chilli sambal and charred charsiu. If you have room for dessert, Japanese-inspired offerings include the Watermelon Granita ($9) with calamansi jelly, Yuzu Tofu Cheesecake ($10) with butter biscuit crumbs and Yuzu Soft Serve ($9).
JYPSY, 38 Martin Road, Singapore 239072, Tel: (+65) 8188 6177, www.pscafe.com/jypsy-martin-road
JustIN— Flavours of Asia — Casual Chic Singapore Classics
After closing his Sky on 57 restaurant, local celebrity chef Justin Quek brings two new dining concepts to Marina Bay Sands. Chinoiserie (which we told you about last month) and JustIN — Flavours of Asia (they share the same kitchen so if you want to eat celeb chef food at a fraction of the price, JustIN’s your spot!). Quek is famed for his expertise in French fine dining techniques blended with Asian flavours. JustIN offers this cuisine in a casual all-day dining space at MBS with lovely views of the marina (and the nightly light show). This is the place to bring out-of-town guests for that taste of Singapore in an upmarket setting. Plus there’s no MSG, sauces are all house-made, and the meat and veg are all well sourced. They do local breakfast of soy sauce soft-boiled eggs, lunches of Malay-style nasi campur, NZ grilled lamb satay with a heady peanut sauce ($22) and foie gras xiao long bao ($25), to dinner of lobster Hokkien mee ($39). Ladies that lunch will appreciate the refreshing light Green Mango, Pineapple & Cucumber Salad with Ginger Flower ($16). If you are here with kids they open the doors for alfresco dining in the evening so kids can scoot back and forth along the promenade (while parents enjoy a happy hour drink). Most dishes are family style for sharing so this makes JustIN an easy place to dine with kids. For dessert, small people will especially love the Goreng Pisang “Split” ($15): a huge portion of two crunchy fried bananas with home made ice cream or the Singapore classic Milo Dinosaur Float ($10). Not to be missed!
JustIN — Flavours of Asia, 2 Bayfront Avenue, L1-83 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Bay Level, Singapore 018972, Tel: (+65) 66887722, www.justinquek.com
The Spot — Sophisticated European-Asian Cuisine
The Spot is one of the latest wining and dining spots to open up at Marina One slap bang in the CBD. The space is huge yet cleverly divided into nooks. The bar takes centre stage, then there is the restaurant, an award-winning wine retailer 1855 The Bottle Shop, whisky marque The Macallan and a cigar room if the inclination takes you to light up a hand-rolled Cuban. The Spot serves up a to-go brekkie, Toby’s Estate coffees, lunch (an affordable set menu with 2/3 courses at $30++/$38++) and dinner. Executive Chef Lee Boon Seng – formerly of Osia and Curate – reinvents modern European cuisine using Southeast Asian ingredients. The starter of Char-grilled Octopus ($25) sees tender gelatinous octopus infused with lemongrass, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, and shallots with a peanut miso emulsion – a unique blend of comforting Asian flavours that are lifted by the freshness of preserved green papaya slaw and mint. Chef Seng is known for his painstakingly deep flavoured sauces, and the Green Curry Emulsion with the Pan Fried Snapper ($28) is a gloriously creamy heady spice-laden example of this finery. Beef Short Ribs ($40), cooked for 48 hours with Java long pepper sauce served on aerated rice with greens is another solid marriage of Western and Asian. Don’t miss the S.E Asian inspired crafted cocktails like the Naughty Gal ($20) of blended scotch, citrus and a touch of galangal. City slickers take note: happy hour starts as early as 5pm (and stays happy til 9pm!).
The Spot, 5 Straits View #01-26/27, Marina One The Heart, Singapore018935, Tel: (+65) 6284 2637, www.thespot.sg
House Of Mu: An ex-Les Amis Chef cooks up affordable platters and refined dishes (Image credit: House of Mu)
House of MU –– Refined Comfort Food at Rob Quay
House of Mu is furnished with dark Burmese collectable teak furniture (all of which is for sale if it takes your fancy). Chef Tyrell Joon, formerly with Les Amis, is at the helm so you can expect the comfort family-style dishes to be made with the same gastronomic techniques at fine dining establishments. Bread is all made in-house ($8/basket) as are all the sauces and stocks. Linguine Vongole aglio olio ($20) is an umami powerhouse – the sauce studded with flecks of garlic and chilli and punctuated with sweet bursts of vongole meat. True to its name, the MUnster Platter ($138) is a monster of a dish and serves four people with prime cuts of meat cooked in the Josper oven – ribeye steak, sliced tender chicken, US pork tenderloin, grilled lamb, smoked cheese sausage, roasted vegetables and baby potatoes. Fans of Fat Lulu’s may recognise the in-house pastry chef, who has jumped onboard here, and creates stunning Dessert Platters ($46) blending different elements and textures. Think macarons, crème brûlée, bittersweet chocolate ice-cream, oreo cake with hazelnut cream, raspberry granita, frozen peanut butter popsicles, and caramelised bananas, all served on a wood platter that makes quite an impressive feast.
House of MU, 11 Mohamed Sultan Road, Tel: (+65) 6732 1011 www.facebook.com/theHouseofMU
Claypots Full Circle — Asian inspired Mediterranean
Claypots Full Circle, an Australian brand restaurant, has come to Amoy Street (their first international outpost). It’s a fun full circle story: the Mediterranean chef and founder, was initially inspired by South-east Asian cuisine, that of Singapore especially (of course!) and after opening a few Claypots in Melbourne, he has come full circle and opened in our little red dot. Expect lots of seafood and shellfish on the menu flavoured with Asian spices and herbs: Moroccan Claypot ($26), Port Arlington Mussels ($25) and the tasty fresh Grilled Fish of the Day (market price) with a fresh green chermoula sauce. Absolute must-trys include the Atlantic Sardines with Kaffir Lime Leaves ($12) a little tapas-style dish of three small sardines fried with dried shrimp, chilli and garlic, or there’s the magnificent Garlic Prawn (market price) featuring a colossal prawn laced with coriander, garlic, sambal olek served on a skillet with grilled Pide bread to mop up the Asian-spice infused oil. Finally, if you are in a group, plump for the St Kilda Shellfish Stirfy ($95) — it will feed five hungry sailors, and consists of flower crab, mussel, clams and prawns wok-tossed in coriander, lemongrass, ginger, garlic and spices and served with plenty of gravy on top of Japanese and Jasmine rice. [Drooling, right now!]
Claypots Full Circle, 103 Amoy Street, Singapore 069923, Tel:: (+65) 6203 2203
Sideways — Sourdough Bread and Mediterranean Plates
Sideways is a little Mediterranean restaurant in Little India. It’s completely nondescript from the outside but step into the minimalistic industrial café and the sourdough bread that they make from scratch just may knock you sideways. Sideways is the lovechild of young partners Pav (who owns The Hangar on Arab Street) and Giulia. The Mediterranean-inspired tapas dishes, from the aforementioned Sourdough ($4) to the Spicy Eggplant Dip & Roasted Pepper ($9), are all made in-house. Order up plenty of crusty bread and then anything you can dip it into or eat it with including Cold Cuts and Cheese, Bone Marrow ($13), and Jalapeno Mint Hummus ($9), and oven dishes like Pork Belly ($13). Mediterranean plates are on offer for brunch on the weekend: Vegemite for Life ($17) of eggs, bacon, vegemite and brie toast to Turkish Smashed Avocado ($16).
Sideways, 109 Rowell Road, Singapore 208033, Tel: (+65) 6291 3441, www.sideways.com.sg
Papi’s Tacos –– Mexican Tacos & Margaritas
The on-trend people behind Employees Only bar bring you their latest venture, Papi’s Tacos. This little spot draws influence from Taco trucks in the U.S. and has limited seating. There are only a few streetside tables and a handful of counter seats inside where you can watch the chefs – namely true blue Mexican Chef Mauricio Espinoza – at work. Here the Latino beats are pumping and the party-starter frozen margaritas are flowing. Order up Housemade Corn Tortillas with Guac and the exotic Cactus Salad ($12) to start. There is a range of tacos so take your pick: from Tacos al Pastor ($11/16 for 2/3) of spit-roasted pork with pineapple and guajillo salsa, to Tacos de Pescado ($13/19 for 2/3) of grilled White Dory, red cabbage and smoked chipotle aioli. Off-the-cob Corn ($10) slathered in chipotle aioli and lime makes an easy to eat alternative to elotes while for those looking for something more substantial there’s the Burrito de Carnitas with Slow-Braised Pork and Mexican Rice ($15). If you like it hot and spicy there’s always the selection of homemade complimentary Papi’s Tacos sauces to fire things up.
Papi’s Tacos, 39 Seah Street, Tel: (+65) 6258 0701, www.papis-tacos.com
Lead image: Jypsy courtesy @flavourforager