We’ve got the lowdown on all the hot new restaurants in Singapore this month, mama!
Hey, mama! Need a quick shot of inspiration for a night out on the town (no kids, that is)? Here’s our pick of new restaurants in Singapore (and the latest bars!), condensed and served up in tasty bite-size pieces just for you.
999.99 –Mod-European on Keong Saik
999.99 (say Five Nines) has bagged itself a spot on trendy Keong Saik Road. This 60-seater restaurant follows suit on the well-loved formula of counter dining overlooking an open kitchen that serves up prettily plated modern European sharing dishes. Except there’s one critical difference: you won’t be paying through your nose for the privilege of eating Japanese Head Chef Masanao Saito’s signature dishes. Juicy Lamb Chops on a base of Smokey Eggplant ($22), a decent portion of Rossini (pan-fried striploin beef served with pomme puree, sautéed spinach, pine nuts and Foie Gras) at $29, and a creamy soft Burrata and Tomato Salad with Pesto and Tomato Extract Jelly Cubes (pictured) at $14 are all great value. We like the setting, too – dim lights, dark walls, tables full of savvy customers. Set dinners weigh in at $59 for 5 courses and house wines from Italy to Argentina cost less than $9 per glass while bottles start from $49.
999.99, 29 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089136, Tel: (+65) 6221 7098, www.fivenines.sg
Cheek by Jowl – Exciting Modern Australian
Cheek by Jowl off Telok Ayer Street is an exciting newcomer to our foodie scene – and one which very much contributes to modern Australian cuisine ‘having a bit of a moment’. Sri Lanka-born Chef Rishi Naleendra trained in Australia and worked as Chef de Partie at Sydney’s Tetsuya, now taking the helm after moving on from MACA. Every dish that comes out of his open plan kitchen warrants a little pause for admiration – whether it be the artful presentation or the miraculous transformation of ‘simple’ ingredients. Take the Pumpkin, which Chef Rishi turns into a showstopper of a dish (we’ll get back to this later). To start: Oysters ($5/piece) are exquisite in their succulent freshness complemented by a smoky chilled crunch of tomato granita. A beautiful slab of New Zealand Ocean Trout ($22, pictured) is sashimi blowtorched, served with whipped wasabi buttermilk, compressed spinach and cucumber with a yuzu dressing. That aforementioned favourite, the Roasted Pumpkin ($22), is served with soul warming Sri Lankan spiced cashew cream, delicious Sesame Kale, Toasted Seeds and a mound of sweet Pumpkin Chutney. Dessert blends tastes of Asia into a Semifreddo Coconut ($15) with shards of bright pomelo, accompanied by laksa leaf sorbet and crunchy peanuts with a surprising green chilli sauce! Cheek By Jowl has us stoked – this place is one to watch!
Cheek by Jowl, 21 Boon Tat Street, Singapore (069620, Tel: (+65) 6221 1911, www.facebook.com/cheekbyjowlsg
Bright and airy Elements & Co is offering the office crowd something a little more wholesome and healthy for breakfast and lunch. Overnight Oats with Coconut Yoghurt and Almond Butter ($5.50) and Coconut Maca Energy Bars ($3.50) will be a hit with the superfood crowd. Dishes borrow flavours from around the world, from Australia to Morocco to Mexico: free range organic Bondi Eggs ($15) are up for brekkie with avo and haloumi, while for lunch you’ve got Moroccan Souk Kebabs of minced NZ lamb, served with quinoa, pumpkin, chickpeas and raisins ($14). Street Beef Tacos ($9.5) pack a satisfying punch with beef, sweet potato, red cabbage, avocado and salsa plus there are daily specials like Thai Duck Salad. Dine in for a modestly priced “proper” lunch and soak up the cheery vibes thanks to the bright decor, free Wi-Fi and wine by the glass. Or grab your Chicken Miso Wrap, deliciously strong Coffee and Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding ($3.5) to take back to the office (though beware your colleagues may get a serious case of food envy!).
Whitegrass – Australian ‘Celeb’ Opening
If you haven’t heard about the latest Chijmes fine dining opening – Whitegrass by Aussie chef-owner Sam Aisbett – then you’ve probably been luxuriating on some faraway wifi-less island. The rest of us have been taunted by pretty images of their interiors (an abundance of pastel pink and fairytale wall murals by local illustrator Messymxsi), immaculately plated dishes and whisperings of how good the food is. Chef Aisbett (previously at Tetsuya and Quay) brings modern Australian with flourishes of Asia to the table. There are 5 courses at $170, or 8 courses at $265. Japanese elements abound in many of the dishes, like the slow cooked Mangalica pork, with tiger abalone, fermented cabbage, white turnip, fiddlehead fern, seaweed and a dashi stock theatrically poured from a teapot.
Whitegrass, 30 Victoria Street, Chijmes #01-26/27, Tel: (+65) 68370402, www.whitegrass.com.sg
JINzakaya – Yakitori
Outside funky Izakaya JINzakaya (by Les Amis Group), Japanese masks line the walls. To the left, small tables sit close together with a backdrop of colourful vintage Japanese commercials. Casual JINzakaya is all set up for fun, no hush hush tones here (unlike sister Sushi Gin next door). The menu is affordable; take the lunch menu of four different types of mains at $12.80 – Rice (Donburi), Noodles (Ramen and Udon), as well as the surprising inclusion of sandwiches and salads. Post work, head here for Suntory draft ($13), sake and skewers: from $2.50 per stick for Chicken Thigh or Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus, to more upmarket MBS 4 Wagyu Kushi Beef. Despite the taglines we were most impressed with the non-yakitori items – slivers of fresh Amberjack Carpaccio ($16) served with a delicious dressing; blow torched Swordfish ‘Sashimi’ ($18); and for something that will touch the sides of your belly: a big bowl of Kimchi Ramen ($12.80). If this little Izakaya spot were just a little closer to the ‘action’ we imagine it’d better befit its 2am close.
JINzakaya, 1 Farrer Park Station Road (inside the Owen Link building beside Farrer Park MRT) #01-08/10, Tel: (+65) 6443 1173, www.jinzakaya.com.sg
The Armoury Gastrobar – Craft Beers, American Gastro Grub
The Armoury Gastrobar, set in an historic armoury building, offers South Beachers a modern gastrobar hideaway for dinner and drinks. There is a whole lot of beer on offer here — 15 international craft beers from Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar, to Hong Kong Dragon’s Back Pale Ale, plus cider, the usual liquors and also cocktails like the Kentucky Mojito (Corn Star Corn Whisky, Hop Syrup, fresh lemon juice, Mint, soda) at $18. Foodwise there’s a distinct American slant to the menu: California Chopped Chicken Salad, Wagyu & Angus Burgers plus sandwiches which also include some interesting Asian additions like the Braised Pork Belly ‘Bao’ Sliders. Check out their Happy Hour 5pm-8pm daily plus all day Saturday for 1-for-1 on selected craft beers.
The Armoury Gastrobar – 36 beach rd, Tel: (+65) 6385 3173, www.massiveint.com/restaurants/armoury
Atlas Coffeehouse – Hipster Cafe
Another cool café joins Crown Bakery on the previously café-devoid end of Bukit Timah Road. The owners also own Assembly Coffee on Evans Road. On the menu: both waffles and pancakes feature heavily, but there are savoury breakfast dishes, too, like Creamy Mushrooms with Scrambled Eggs on Sourdough Toast ($15) and, for something different that works well into lunch, the Atlas Super-Bowl ($17) with quinoa, baby spinach, oven-roasted tomatoes, zucchini, squash, shimeiji mushrooms and shredded chicken with a peanut-sesame sauce.
Atlas Coffeehouse, 6 Duke’s Road, Singapore 268886, www.facebook.com/atlascoffeehouse
Nuvo – Italian-Japanese with Views
Formerly at Marina Square, Nuvo has relocated to Customs House for alfresco dining and drinks with a view. The mall-to-waterside location swap is quite an upgrade, but many of the dishes from the old menu remain. Nuvo’s cuisine is a fusion of Japanese and Italian – gyoza is “Italianified” with the addition of a cheese filling of scamorza, pecorino and mozzarella in the Nuvo Three Cheese Gyoza ($21), while the Nuvo Fregola Sarda Carbonara dish ($28) uses smoked pork belly in lieu of bacon, plus the addition of duck liver and a sous vide egg. For mains; Grilled Kurobuto Pork Cutlet ($34)with a pale side of cannellini white beans was a little on the dry side, or there is Crusted Maori Lake Lamb Chops ($48). There is also a small tapas menu to go with after-work drinks, yet you may want to check out their drinks specials as wine by the glass is pretty steep. Wednesday is Ladies Night – tables of 5 ladies get a free bottle of bubbly.
Nuvo, 70 Collyer Quay, Customs House #01-04, Singapore 049323, Tel: (+65) 6532 9939, www.facebook.com/nuvosingapore