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.
Birds of A Feather – Sichuan-Western Hipster
Birds of A Feather is a beautiful cosy restaurant set in two conservation shophouses on trendy Amoy Street. Walk inside and be enveloped in warm moody lighting, wooden décor with mixed seating, funky lamps and indoor plants giving off a tropical indoor-outdoor feel. Birds of a Feather takes inspiration from Chengdu, where tea houses and cafes set in green spaces abound. The food is a mix of fiery hot Sichuanese cuisine with western elements. Expect kickass kung fu heat in many of the dishes (though there are non-spicy options too). Recommendations for chilli masters include the ‘Find the Chicken in the Chilli’ ($16), where explosively spicy bites of crispy chicken are hidden in mounds of Szechuan chillies. Not one for the fainthearted but if you’re brave enough you’ll be rewarded with delicious flavours and spicy heat dancing on your tongue. Crispy Pork Trotters in a Bag ($12) let you add your own dose of Szechuan spice, just shake it up and feast. Then there’s the Oriental Bolognaise ($22) of angel hair pasta, pork ragout, onsen tamago and the wonderfully spicy Hot & Sour Chazuke ($28) – a clean eat style broth of spicy pickled mustard greens served with charcoal-grilled barramundi and Niigata rice. Coffee gets a thumbs up (the owners own a coffee empire in Chengdu) and desserts are intriguing and novel – deep-fried Glutinous Rice Cakes ($12) and the more western Chocolate Pop with passionfruit foam ($16). Something for everyone at this current favourite hang out!
Birds of A Feather, 113 Amoy Street, Singapore 069935, Tel: (65) 6221 7449, www.facebook.com/birdsofafeathersg
Ash and Char – Smart CBD Café-Restaurant
Ash and Char takes up the corner of McCallum Street with their imposing alfresco street side bar. This smart new restaurant-café (by the same owners of Bukit Timah’s Rise & Grind) is decked out in white marble, brass and blues. The food is a mix of Asian and Western: Vietnamese Loaded Fries ($9) and Tom Yum Seafood Pasta ($17) alongside the Korean Chicken Burger ($15). The latter, a monster portion of fried chicken, marinated in Korean Gochujang and fried to a crisp then slathered in sauce and topped with house-made kimchi and apple slaw – is a wicked combination of sweet, tart and crunchy that lifts the burger bun combo. Their Chicken Leg Confit ($15) of slow cooked chicken with broccoli and sweet potato smash got approving looks from the table next to us, while lighter lunch options include The Tuna Poke Bowl ($14) and The Vegan ($14) of nutty freekah, charred sugar snaps, roasted cauliflower and crispy kale with mixed seeds and pickled beetroot. A good amount of char in many of the dishes at the appropriately named Ash & Char café.
Ash and Char, 21 McCallum St, The Clift, Singapore 069047, Tel: (+65) 9132 8880 www.facebook.com/AshandChar
Kam’s Roast – Michelin Starred Hong Kong Roast Meats
Hong Kong’s Kam’s Roast has joined Tsuta and Hawker Chan (see below) in the new Michelin starred low-cost openings in Singapore. This Hong Kong import with 75 years of roast meat history offers barbecued meats of Roast Duck and Suckling Pig and ‘Toro’ Char Siu. The Roast Goose they are famous for won’t be served due to Singapore’s AVA regulations prohibiting goose imports from China. Kam’s Roast is on the first floor or Pacific Plaza upstairs from Tsuta, with both a wait staff and aircon. It has been awarded a Michelin star for 3 years running since 2015 – the latest star being awarded in November 2016 for the 2017 guide. Highlights include Kam’s Roast Duck at $48 instead of goose, and the Roast Suckling Pig ($148/248 for half/whole pig) with crackly crispy skin. Look out for the popular cut ‘Toro’ Char Siu/BBQ Pork Belly ($22.80) – a fatty cut of premium pork belly as well as the BBQ Pork Char Siu ($14.80) – both are delicious with a smoky sweet salty charred flavour but if you prefer leaner cuts go for the latter.
Kam’s Roast 9 Scotts Road, #01-04/05/06/07, Pacific Plaza, Singapore 228 210, www.facebook.com/Kamsroast
Hawker Chan – Singapore’s Michelin Star Hawker gets a Restaurant
Hawker Chan is the restaurant version of Michelin starred Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle by Chef-Owner Chan Hon Meng on 78 Smith Street, Chinatown – located just opposite his hawker stall in the Chinatown Complex. Dishes are a couple of dollars extra compared to the hawker stall but with the added bonus of being in a small aircon casual restaurant. Currently there is only one automated ordering machine, so expect queues to snake around the block much like the hawker stall where queues can extend to 3 hours on the weekend. Is it worth the wait? We will say that the soya-sauce-glazed chicken ($12/23 for half/whole) is wonderfully succulent, juicy and tender – it is pretty much one of the best renditions of this chicken dish we have tried. But 3 hours? That’s a tough one! Try going at non-mealtimes in the week instead for a shorter queue. They offer a tasty Char Sieu ($2) and Roast Pork ($2) as well –although the accompanying noodles are slick with sweet sauce – and are a little on the oily side. If you want to brag about having a Michelin starred meal (Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle at $4.50) that is cheaper than a Starbucks latte – this is the place to queue!
Hawker Chan, 78 Smith Street Singapore 059872, www.facebook.com/hongkongsoyasaucechickenricenoodle
Tsuta – Tokyo’s Michelin Starred Ramen
The world’s only ramen shop to have been awarded a Michelin star – Tokyo’s Tsuta, has come to Singapore. There are only 18 seats. Read our full review here.
VXX Cooperative – Jalan Basar Cafe
3-month-old VXX Cooperative in Jalan Basar is a quirky little cafe that’s serious about coffee and playful with food. The space has an unloved hipster feel about it – a lovely old original mosaic flooring and minimalist decor with wobbly chairs and mismatched furniture adds to the charm. Coffee blends change every week or more and are sourced from Nylon Coffee or Koppi. On the food menu: Avocado toast is given a major facelift here with the avocado slow cooked, then covered in a sumac crust and served on basil vinaigrette alongside toast – a deliciously interesting way to eat this trendy ensemble. Other experimental dishes include their gluten free Cauliflower Couscous with stewed chicken pomegranate and zucchini ($13) and the equally healthy sounding Barley Oat Porridge with Cacao and Chia ($10). We couldn’t quite detect the chorizo element in the Beef Chorizo with Potato Hash ($14), but dessert left us on a high note. Don’t miss the nitrogen aerated Chocolate Mousse ($9) that is frozen and then topped with pine nuts and pumpkin crumble and raspberries – a good combination of rich cold chocolate, the sweetness of which is cut by zingy orange zest and frozen raspberries.
VXX Cooperative, 20 Foch Road, Singapore 209261, Tel: (+65) 8720 0093, www.facebook.com/vxxcooperative
Sugarhaus – Ice Cream, Soft Serve and Cake
Formerly known as Bing Qi Lin, dessert and cake shop Sugarhaus has had a rebrand and up and moved to Serene Centre (down from Island Creamery) where they are offering cakes, waffles and ice cream. For a small outfit, their ice cream dedication is impressive – using real cream and milk their flavours are creamy and full. Old favourites remain as well as a few new additions including the Watermelon Sorbet and the Gula Melaka and Pecan ice cream alongside classics of deep flavoured Dutch Chocolate and an interesting black coloured Charcoal Vanilla. Cakes (around $7.50 per slice) include a London Earl Grey and the unusual Bacon and Cinnamon (yes that’s bacon bits wedged alongside layers of cream cheese frosting!). Weekends see the addition of the Galaxy Cake made from taro and coloured in ‘on trend’ vibrant galaxy colours. The star of the whole show however, would have to be their Soft Serve Pistachio made from Italian imported pistachios. A beautiful nutty green soft serve that is amazingly creamy despite there being no eggs. Tip: if you buy this for your little darlings, beware: they will not share. It’s that good!
Sugarhaus, 10 Jalan Serene #01-03A Serene Centre, Tel: (+65) 6314 2247, www.facebook.com/sugarhaus
Otto’s Deli Fresh – Bright Deli-Bistro in HV
Two floors up in Raffles HV mall is Otto’s Deli Fresh. This 46-seat all-day restaurant and deli is a minimalist bright space – the deli showcasing meats (Japanese Kobe Beef, Dorper Lamb from Australia) and sausages alongside Greek and Portuguese olive oils and French and Swiss cheeses. It’s named after Swiss Chef Otto Weibel who has been cooking over 40 years. Although Chef Weibel is not often in the kitchen, it is Otto’s recipes and direction that are found here instead. A noteworthy aim of Otto’s is to give aspiring young cooks a platform to train. On the bistro menu: deliciously tender Grilled Fremantle Octopus ($17), sliced on a bed of baby spinach, Beef Stroganoff Fettuccine ($16) – al dente fettuccine tossed in sour cream, mushrooms, cornichons and topped with sliced beef. The quality of meat is good, from the Limestone Ridge Full Blood Wagyu Beef Rump MB 4-6 ($32 for 150 gm) to the Heritage US Kurobuta Pork Rack ($39), both with fries and salad. Open for late brunch too (from 11am), their Burnt Banana Waffles ($11.50) were too heavy and doughy in batter so instead try the Bircher muesli with berries, apples and nuts ($6), and the posh Eggs Benedict ($14.5) with spinach and Jamón Serrano Reserva on brioche.
Ninja Cut – Ribeye Bowls & Matcha Hotcakes
Ninja Cut on Seah Street is the bigger, brighter more upmarket sister of Ninja Bowl on Duxton Road and as such it offers similar ‘bowls’ yet with the difference of more premium offerings– think tender roasted rib eye ($18), whole grilled squid ($18) and miso-sake Cod ($18). Bowls come with a base ($2/3 extra) of quinoa, soba noodles, garden greens or Ninja rice alongside a bunch of sides rotated between bowls like Onsen egg, grilled mushrooms, pretty awesome Brussels sprouts, miso vegetables and honey glazed carrots. One of the must tries has got to be the Pork Aburi Roulade (brined, rolled and slow cooked in house) and served atop dreamy creamy Parmesan truffle Polenta mash ($18). A seriously moreish dish that is part of the all day brunch menu. The Cheeky Cheese ($18) – curried beef cheeks served with two wedges of a grilled cheese sandwich (double cheddar oozing between two slabs of sweet white brioche toast) is also driving people bonkers. Matcha haters will be converted when they try the 20 minute-wait Marvelous Matcha ($16): a fluffy matcha green pancake decorated with edible flowers, homemade dango (like mini mochi) and speculoos crumble lightened by tangy yuzu peel and a dollop of creamy ricotta. Make like a ninja and slice open the pretty green hotcake to reveal the dark green matcha fondant sauce decadence.
Ninja Cut, 32 Seah Street, Tel: (+65) 62647727, www.facebook.com/TheNinjaCut
Phat Cat Laundry – Asian fusion Cocktail Bar-Restaurant
Cheekily named Phat Cat Laundry (located where Marikos used to be), is a laundry-themed cocktail bar. Think that old stereotype of a Chinese owned self-service laundromat in the US which reveals a little Chinese eatery behind it. Behind faux washing machines at the entrance lies the bar and restaurant. Cocktails take centre stage here over the Asian fusion casual food. Expect innovative drinks from teahouse cocktails infused with gourmet teas like the Black Tea + Spices ($22), a medley of refreshing and warm spices from the Masala Chai Tequila and House-made Ginger Soda, to the Teh Botol ($26) a cocktail of Indonesian “Bottled Tea” which is given an alcoholic makeover with the addition of red tea rum and presented in a cute miniature bottle. To line your stomach: Asian fusion dishes like the all-time favourite (sold out when we took our shirts for a clean), 18-hour sous vide beef rib ($25) or there’s the messy yet tasty sweet potato fries ($14), or the Sichuan burger ($25) featuring a Sichuan-spiced lamb and beef patty with a dash of sambal aioli and a range of noodle dishes.
Phat Cat Laundry, 4 Jiak Chuan Rd., Singapore, 089261 Singapore, Tel: (+65) 6221-8262, www.phatcatlaundry.com
Kumoya — Yoghurt Parfaits & Miniature Éclairs
Tucked inside the Arab Quarter is Kumoya (previously Karafu Desserts) – a café which had gone into hiatus for a while and has now remerged with a new menu and rebrand. The interior is clinically white, all the better to see their colour-pop éclairs ($3 each, or sold in sets from $8.50 for 3 to $31.50 for 12 pieces) at the counter. These miniature creations in flavours from Yuzu to Café to Strawberry and Chantilly are all artfully decorated and make cute boxed gifts alongside their macarons (all made on site). There is also a small savoury menu mainly of fried items and savoury mini pancakes which is worth skipping for the Yoghurt Parfaits. There are a variety of flavours from Matcha ($15.90) to Yuzu ($15.90), Hazelnut ($14.90) and the most popular, the Sakura ($14.90) of soft serve yoghurt with a fluffily baked cheesecake slice, berries, berry sauce, pretty pink biscuits and a cereal crumble. This Japanese-themed café is awaiting Halal accreditation befitting its neighbourhood.
Kumoya, 8 Jalan Klapa Singapore 199320, www.facebook.com/kumoyasingapore
Hot Off the HOB NEWS:
- The one and only Michelin Starred Peranakan restaurant Candlenut moves to Dempsey as part of the much-awaited Como Dempsey concept offering 10-course tasting menus for dinner at $78 as well as a la carte for Yellow Coconut Curry of Crab ($28) and Braised Local Chicken with Peranakan Signature Black Nut Sambal ($20).
- Chef Shen is back in the kitchens of Revolution Coffee (Media Circle ) and has revoluSHENized the menu with delicious new local spins (Vegan Grilled Laksa Salad, Buah Keluak Pasta and Coffee Kaya Bread and Butter Pudding. Nasi Lemak Crispy Pork ($7.90) consisting of Jasmine rice made with 10 ingredients comes with ikan billis, omelette, housemade sambal belachan and upcycled coffee sambal but its the secret marinade crispy spiced pork that’s the show-stealer.