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 Singapore’s latest restaurants and newest bars, condensed and served up in tasty bite-size pieces just for you.
Well! It has been a very good month for eating – from pretty dim sum to edible art, secret bars to hidden restaurants, botanical gelato and yog-tastic veggie bowls! The number of Editor’s Picks this month is overflowing – so get your pens ready mamas, there are a lot of fantastic new restaurant to add to your To-do list!
Janice Wong Singapore – Dainty Dim Sum, Desserts & Edible Art
Local celebrity Chef Janice Wong has just opened up her flagship sweet retail shop and restaurant at The National Museum. At the moment, the restaurant seats 40 at tables made of jigsaw chocolate bar pieces painted with chocolate. Later in the year the rest of the space will open up to feature gallery space with additional dining seating for a fully immersive art and dining experience. At Janice Wong’s, the Chef’s colourful signature edible chocolate, candy, marshmallow and gummy art is displayed on the walls and the retail shop beckons with artful chocolates and an exotic ice-cream counter. But it’s not all sweet stuff. The savoury items mark the inaugural launch of Wong’s take on modern Singaporean fare in collaboration with Chef Ma (co author of DIM SUM 2013). The 5 Signature Dumplings ($15) arrive in a beautiful array of colours and shapes and are made with different skins from crispy skin to transparent. Flavours are delightful and delicate – a treat for the taste buds and the eyes. Xiao Long Bao range from the Whisky Pork ($15 for 4) to Foie Gras Pork Cherry. Siew Mai are made with unusual ingredients like Portobello Mushrooms and Caviar, Shrimp and Parma, and Scallop and Olive Oil Caviar. 2am: Dessert Bar’s signature award winning desserts are on offer to end your meal as well as the homemade ice-creams with Willie Wonka style flavours of blue lavender yoghurt sorbet and rice lemongrass. The perfect post-museum lunch spot in our eyes!
JANICE WONG SINGAPORE, 93 Stamford Road, National Museum Singapore, 01-06, Singapore 178897, Tel: (+65) 97125338, www.janicewong.com.sg
Le Binchotan – Hidden French-Japanese Tapas & Cocktails
Who doesn’t love a secret door to a hidden restaurant? Le Binchotan does have signage but you’ll have to skip along behind foodie mecca Amoy Street onto Gemmil Lane to find this new restaurant. Le Binchotan sports no windows to peek into; swing open the black doors to reveal the low-lit bunker-cum-tunnel, the walls of which are lined with dark timbre. The bar takes centre stage and the bartenders greet you enigmatically as you take a pew and order one of the signature cocktails – The Gin, The Flower and the Bowtie ($23, inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia – an apt choice given the Narnia-esque revelation of this hidden spot), or the seductively smoky Mezcal-based Amoy’s Margarita ($19). Food is designed by Chef Atsuhiko Hagiwara from Ginza Tokyo restaurant en.terrible and Head Chef Jeremmy Chiam to share; a mixture of small and large tapas and yakitori. Amuse bouche might be an espuma of truffle atop vibrant green edamame – a lovely combination of textures and flavours. From the tapas: delicate morsels like the Myoban Uni ($23) a small serving of corn mousse, grilled corn speckled with crunchy dehydrated soya with the piece de resistance of creamy uni. Tenkasu ($15) is a fantastic dish of Tempura style fried Enoki with a sweet vinegary Pickled Daikon to complement the beautifully meaty fried mushrooms. From the yakitori: Lamb with tapenade ($13), Tripe ($11) and don’t miss the Wagyu Striploin ($15) — a melting tender quality Wagyu complimented by ume sauce with just the right amount of char from the white charcoal coals that it is grilled on. This place ticks all the right boxes: interesting food, good cocktails, low lighting, good service and just the right amount of quirky atmosphere.
Le Binchotan, 115 Amoy Street #01-04, Tel: (+65) 6221 6065, www.facebook.com/lebinchotan
Grounded by CMCR – Wholesome Cafe Meets Yoga Studio
Upstairs from Common Man Coffee Roasters is new alfresco café Grounded, by the same owners. This super cute little spot sits alongside new studio Yoga Movement. Like CMCR it opens ridiculously (in a good way) early for very good coffee at 730am. The menu promises lots of wholesomeness, balance and zen…what that translates to is tasty healthy dishes and smoothies of cold brew, almond butter, coconut water, cacao and dates ($10) – perfect fuel for a pre or post yoga session. Light options include the Summer Chia Pudding ($9) of chia, honey Greek yoghurt and berry compote, Espresso Cranberry Energy Balls ($5) and Quinoa salads. For something a little more filling: Avocado Toast with pesto, baby spinach and dill-infused feta on sourdough ($16) and the beautiful Redemption Bowl ($17) of roasted veggies, rosemary sweet potatoes, the most a-mazing fried chickpeas you’ll ever taste, nuts, seeds and poached eggs. There’s free Wifi and toasty notes of their coffee wafting upstairs to go with your Gluten Free Beetroot Brownies ($8) as you chill on the wicker sofas post work out.
Grounded By CMCR, 22 Martin Road Level 2, Singapore 239058, www.facebook.com/commonmancoffeeroasters
Birds of Paradise – East Coast Botanical Gelato
Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique, a takeaway, botanical-inspired ice cream spot has just opened its doors on the East Coast Road opposite Roxy Square. There are nine gelato flavours ($4.70 per scoop) which are designed around botanical ingredients; our favourite being the cinnamon and star anise-spiked Spiced Pear, or the wonderfully original Cacao Nib and White Chrysanthemum, or the refreshing Strawberry Basil gelato. The cones come dressed to impress, too; you can watch home-baked Thyme infused ($1 extra) cones being made on site or go for a scoop of your choice in a cup or a take-home pint ($13.90 promotional price). Their pretty botany wall paper is the perfect Instagram backdrop for your ice cream selfie, too. Ice cream colours are muted thanks to all natural ingredients (no food dyes making mint that lured neon green colour). Check their Facebook for opening hours (mainly afternoons).
Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique, 63 East Coast Road #01-05 The Red House Katong, Singapore 428776, www.facebook.com/bopgelato
A Poke Theory – Salmon Tuna Quinoa Bowls, Smoothie Bowls
A Poke Theory is the latest CBD lunch spot to jump on to the Hawaiian Sashimi Poke (pronounced ‘poh-kay’) trend — and they are nailing it. This place is so popular that you had better come early to avoid the tsunami lunch tidal wave (it’s still worth the queue, though). A slick ‘subway style’ production line lets you customise your poke bowl with a base (signature sushi rice, lemon herb quinoa) then a layer of tuna or salmon ($11.5/12.5 100 grams or $15/16.5 for 150grams) in different sauces (like the avocado miso sauce made creamy with Greek yogurt). Add on the pineapple, tomatoes, cucumber, carrot and edamame then go gourmet with extra charge toppings: BBQ corn (a must try), crispy kale chips, crackling salmon skin and a sweet nut mix. We like the free sauce bar (basically load up on extra nom nom of heat roaring spicy garlic sesame sauce, fried shallots and more). To drink try the homemade lemonade or sugar-free teas from T2. Any sweet tooth should try the superfood smoothie bowl ($6). There’s currently a choice of four flavours made from a base of frozen bananas and soy milk then flavoured with berries, maca or Raw cacao and topped with trendy superfood ingredients like raw cacao nibs, blueberries, quinoa puffs and dark chocolate drizzle. If your office ain’t based in the CBD, now would be a good time to move.
A Poke Theory, 27 Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069623, www.apoketheory.com
The Other Room – Secret Hotel Drinking Den
The Other Room (by the FOC Group) is a small, sleek secret bar at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza helmed by bartender Dario Knox (a friendly face from Hong Kong Street’s FOC). Cocktails are categorised according to era: Pre-prohibition, Prohibition and The Other Classics with premium spirits flavoured by being aged in American oak barrels. Check out Sassy Mama’s full review!
The Other Room, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, 320 Orchard Rd, Singapore, 238865 +65 61007778, www.theotherroom.com.sg
PizzaExpress – Dough Balls FINALLY come to Singapore
UK fave PizzaExpress brings its 576th global outlet to Singapore and that can only mean one thing: dough balls! Head down to the basement of shiny Scotts Square to find PizzaExpress with its black and white scheme and marble counters. The menu is an abridged version (with 14 pizzas) till the chefs get comfortable; expect an expanded menu later this year. Dough Balls feature heavily (sigh of relief) and are also available on the kids’ menu (as a starter or dessert with Nutella). Geared toward families, PizzaExpress does high chairs, colouring fun and paper chef hats for the little ones. On the kids’ menus ($12) there’s a choice of a starter (like dough balls , garlic butter dip and salad), a main of pasta or pizza, a drink and a dessert. For any accompanying adults, we preferred the airy crust of the ‘classic pizza – the Lava ($20) with Burrata, chilli oil, cherry tomatoes, passata, olives and mozzarella. For something fresh, the Leggera Superfood salad of spinach, avocado, lentils, baby mozzarella, butternut squash, beetroot, and pine kernels. In a few months they will be rolling out some local flavours – we can’t wait to try the Chilli Crab Pizza.
PizzaExpress, Scotts Square, Unit B1 08/09, 6 Scotts Road, Singapore, 228209, Tel: (+65) 6538 0083, www.pizzaexpress.sg
Hot off the Hob:
- Plank Sourdough Pizza (alongside Baker & Cook) opens at 64 Namly Place with their delicious long fermentation sourdough-crust pizzas. Review coming soon!
- Halia Provisions – a new refreshment shop by Halia in the Botanics is the place to grab tropical gifts for guests: a wonderful Ginger Flower sauce, strong preserved Ginger Tea and the Ginger and Pineapple Jam are our favourites.
- Fridays 930pm, is Sky Vibes at 43, Zafferano Terrace Lounge where Saxophonist Pablo Tani and rotating DJs mix up Deep House tunes and drinks with a killer view.
- CBD peeps can now get their fix of sashimi bowls with Aloha Poké’s latest opening at Marina Bay Link Mall.
- Grain Traders and their healthy customisable rice bowls now open at 100AM (100 Tras Street #01-03/04) – double the size of the original and open 7 days a week to boot.
- Kinki Restaurant + Bar now does a sushi-sashimi brunch Saturday 12pm to 3pm ($52 or $87 inc drinks).
- Chef Ryan Clift of Tippling Club hosts Spanish chef Josean Alija of Nerua at Guggenheim Bilbao for 1 night only – four signature courses from each Chef on 8th September 2016, 7pm at the Tippling Club, ($295++ for an eight-course menu).
Lead image courtesy of Grounded by CMCR. Hot Off The Hob image courtesy of Halia Provisions.