Hey, mama! Need a quick shot of inspiration for a night out on the town (no kids, that is)? Here’s our pick of Singapore’s latest restaurants and newest bars, condensed and served up in tasty bite-size pieces just for you.
Coriander Leaf – Asian small plates
Coriander Leaf has turned over a new leaf with its recent arrival at beautiful Chijmes after closing shop at Clarke Quay over a year ago. The model of cooking school + Asian restaurant all rolled into one has stayed true, however the Pan Asian menu has gone small plates and the décor is now super slick and modern. Sit at the bar overlooking the open kitchen and watch the chefs at work as you sip on the newly crowned world’s best whiskey (astonishingly not from Scotland, but Taiwan). The small plates menu consists of five ‘flavours’: Fresh, Familiar, Spicy, Umami and Sweet – and you’ll need to order up a fair few to go around. Die die must trys include the Charcoal Grilled Lamb Chops coated in harrisa ($28), a red herring middle Eastern Grilled Eggplant and Chickpeas moussaka dish ($12), and the Kecap Manis Rubbed Cape Grim Angus ($35) – deliciously charred, medium rare meat that rivals many a steak place in town. There are many interesting Asian variants on the menu, from Soft Shell Crab in salted duck egg yolk sauce ($16), to desserts of Spiced Lava Cake, Teh Tarik Ice cream ($15). This place is hidden on the second floor of Chijmes but after just two weeks open it’s buzzing with a veritable atmosphere of sophistication. There’s a private room for 20 (great for business do’s) as well as team building cooking classes on site. Bookmark this spot for dinner now (lunch opens next month).
Coriander Leaf, CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street #02-01, Singapore 187996. Tel (+65) 6532 3357, www.corianderleaf.com
Luxe – Aussie on Keong Saik
Luxe is an Aussie import (it’s a hugely popular bakery Down Under) but this is their first step onto international shores. Instead of breads, though, the menu by Chef Chui Lee Luk offers up Australian fare with an Asian nod. Appetisers are promising; highlights include Grilled Octopus with Chui’s XO Sauce ($21), the octopus meaty against a delicious home made XO sauce with just a lick of heat to it; Raw Fish of Amber Jack ($24) comes pretty in slivers dusted with chili, lemon and bottarga. Less ‘wowing’ was the Sakura Chicken Roasted with Honey Turmeric ($32) served pink in parts following the chicken-rice style, but the Handmade Sausage Roll of Pork with Fennel ($18) made up for it – deliciously rustic pastry and a hearty pork filling with a deep roasted tomato relish on the side. This dish is proper man food and guaranteed to be instantly devoured before you can order your second glass of accompanying wine (speaking of which, the Luxe Red is a very decent glug for a house). Open for lunch, dinner and brunch on weekends, we expect this Aussie open-plan bistro will follow suite as one of the Keong Saik cool cats.
Luxe, 1 Keong Saik Rd #01-04, Tel: (+65) 6221 5615 Singapore 089109, www.facebook.com/LuxeLovesSG
MEATliquor – Cool Cocktails & Burgers
The ‘too cool for school’ London burger joint MEATliquor makes its international debut in…. Singapore (why, of course!) and it has taken up post in Duxton Hill (where Life is Beautiful used to be). The space is all saucy graffiti, low lighting, music blaring. Come with a crowd of (fashion forward) bellowers, and you’ll fit right in. This is the home of that curious oxymoron – the gourmet burger, which posh as it sounds, sees a lot of sauce slathered, cheese covered, deep-fried stuff, like The Dirty Burger with a deep-fried patty ($22), deep fried pickles ($9), onion rings, ($15) and deep fried mac and cheese ($15) – sinfully good. There’s a nod to the local with Sambal Fries ($10) and Sambal Wings ($15) and of course cocktails feature heavily. Expect some queuing and elbowing to get in – the word is already out that this is the spot to be. See Sassy Mama’s full review here.
MEATliquor, 99 Duxton Road Singapore 089543, Tel (+65) 62215343, www.meatliquor.com/singapore
Bread Street Kitchen – Gordon Ramsey at MBS
Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Street Kitchen has just opened at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. The restaurant bar space is all designer-industrial chic copycatting the London and Hong Kong brasseries. The food combines proper British fare with dishes that showcase an Asian twist. Tamarind Spiced Chicken Wings ($18) and Warm Bang Bang Chicken Salad ($18) sit alongside dishes like Traditional Fish & Chips ($26) and Lamb Shepherds Pie ($38). In London the kids eat free on the weekend – here’s hoping Singapore’s version will offer this little charmer too. The question is, does Gordon deliver on all the hype? We will report back once we’ve been…stay tuned.
Bread Street Kitchen, Bay Level, L1-81, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Tel: (+65) 6688 5665, www.marinabaysands.com
Tin Hill Social – Turf City Greenery
Tin Hill Social takes over the reigns from the old Picotin at Turf City. These refurbished stables house an indoor dining room, alfresco seating, a stand-alone cocktail bar and a sports bar with TV screens and a pool table. Weekend brunch is popular here, as its relaxed atmosphere draws in the family crowd (there are kids’ activities nearby, a donkey and rabbit for obligatory petting, and the stables for horse rides). The menu offers something for every taste from the basic – pizza and all day breakfasts like Baked Gypsy Eggs ($15.50) – to British comfort food of bangers and mash, to the fancy, like seafood platters ($38 for 2) and 600gram T-bone steaks ($70 for 2). Quiz lovers will note they’re catered for here too (on alternate Thursdays) and there’s jugs of good old British Pimms ($40) on the menu to keep groups nicely sozzled.
Tin Hill Social, 100 Turf Club Road, Horse City Singapore 287992, Tel: (+65) 6466 0966
Epicurean Market 2015 – Celeb Foodie Event 14-16 August
Foodies, look out for the annual MBS event, the Epicurean Market 2015 for three days of wining and dining gluttony. The event showcases some big name chefs, both international and local: including Tetsuya Wakuda (Waku Ghin), Nancy Silverton (Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza), Singaporean chef Justin Quek (Sky on 57), David Myers (Adrift) and David Thompson (Long Chim), and now of course Gordon Ramsey can be expected to have a booth too. The marketplace sees chef masterclasses, cooking demos, a chance to eat some of the celebrity top notch fare and, for the first time, an afterparty (14th and 15th August 9pm-1am) for late night feasting with cocktails to the backdrop of international DJs. Tickets are $28 for 3 days and include access to the afterparty.
Epicurean Market, Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Basement 2, Hall D & E. www.marinabaysands.com