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.
Montreux Jazz Café – Jazz, Cocktails and Dinner
Montreux Jazz Café (of London, Paris and Geneva fame) has just hit Singapore’s Orchard Road within the Pan Pacific (where Sopra used to be). The large space sees a glamorous central cocktail bar overlooking the stage where both home-grown and international musicians perform. The restaurant is slightly set to the side but is fully immersed in the music scene thanks to the walls dripping in frames, screens and memorabilia paying homage to music legends like Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Marvin Gaye, David Bowie. Live music currently plays every day of the week, though there’s only a cover charge for some nights (around $15). Pull up a pew and order yourself a cocktail – of which we highly recommend the Sinnerman ($18); a delicious mix of cinnamon, lemon and smokey sweet apples muddled with vodka, which arrives to your table smoking. Bar bites accompany late night drinks (main acts start 10pm) or if it’s date night and you’re seated at the restaurant, don’t miss the hefty B.B. Burger (named after blues legend B.B. King). It’s one of the best dishes on the menu alongside Ella’s cheesecake ($15) and is pretty reasonable at $28 with fries. Other dishes include Quincy Jones Chicken ($32), Roasted Prawn Tails ($36) and Lamb Rack ($58). You’ll need to order sides with these – of which we love the Grilled Asparagus ($12). Keep an eye on the events page for the live band calendar – just don’t go and tell everyone ‘cos we still want to get a front seat!
Montreux Jazz Café, Pan Pacific Orchard, 10 Claymore Rd, 01-02, Singapore 229540, Tel: (+65) 6733 0588, www.facebook.com/montreuxjazzcafeSG
Grignoter By Chef Justin Quek – Bordeaux Wine Bar
Singapore celebrity Chef Justin Quek (of Sky On 57 at Marina Bay Sands) has partnered with the Bordeaux Wine Council CIVB for Southeast Asia’s first Bordeaux Wine Bar. Purely Bordeaux wines of course, including Chef Quek’s private label, the organic 100% Merlot JQ Poupille 2010 ($98 a bottle), and the 2010 Chateau Haut Cardinal Grand Cru from Saint-Emilion ($138 a bottle). It is notable how affordable (under $100 per bottle) many of the wines here are. Alongside the wine, you’ll find Quek’s very traditional French nibbles (the bar’s namesake “Grignoter” means “to nibble” in French.) A standout dish is the charcoal leek with hazelnut oil and crunchy toasted hazelnuts topped with a poached egg ($13) that gets sliced for you at your table – the oozing yolk bringing the dish together. Other dishes include Baked Black Figs with Spanish ham and Roquefort cream sauce ($14.50), the Signature Croque Monsieur ($17), and the skewered chicken livers glistening in a saucy Bordeaux wine glaze. Experimental offerings for dessert include bleu cheese ice cream with melon and Sauternes jelly ($12).
Grignoter by Chef Justin Quek, 2 Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088380, Tel: (+65) 6438 3802, www.justinquek.com/grignoter
Plentyfull – Wholesome Brasserie and CBD Lunch Spot
Plentyfull is a lovely large space comprising restaurant, café and grocers (by Little Farms) in the unlikely location of Millenia Walk. Lunches for the lucky office rats nearby consist of a long kitchen counter loaded with a “market table luncheon spread” for a homemade style lunch (pick a base, protein and sides).
By night, the menu offers diners interesting dishes like the wonderful Pumpkin Pillow Gnocchi ($24) – an aptly named, comforting bowl of pumpkin gnocchi, some pillowy and soft, others crispy and panfried, swimming in a creamy yet light pecorino cheese, brown butter and sage sauce. Little Farms’ Vegetable Dip ($16) is an Instagrammers’ dream plate of #eattherainbow market veg like purple cauliflower served with a selection of dips. For something meatier, Plank of Plentyfull ($52) is a great sharing portion of well-seasoned tender chicken, succulent pork paired with grilled pineapple and smoked lamb merquez sausages with green goddess mole. This kitchen is serious about food, making everything from scratch. They even smoke their own mussels for the dish that chef won his wife with — Mussels on Toast ($24). The sweets counter ranges from Chocolate Tart ($8) to Yuzu Meringue ($8), but don’t miss the vanilla cream stuffed Choux Puff ($6). We hear they do brunch on the weekends from 10.30am, too. In the words of my old mate Arnie, “I’ll be back!”
Plentyfull, 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-79/80 Millenia Walk, Singapore 039596, Tel: (+65) 6493 2997, www.plentyfull.com
Lucia Cakes – Brownies and Pretty Cakes
Lucia Cakes is predominantly an online cake shop with a small list of goodies, from triple chocolate fudgy brownies to eggless multi-coloured cheesecakes. Agatha, a banker turned baker, can be found on Club Street for pickups – just preorder online (they also deliver.). Our hands down, fight-you-for-the-last-piece favourite was the pink cheesecake, graduating in pinkness thanks to artfully increasing the concentration of raspberry in the cheesecake mix (no nasty food dyes here!). There’s also a lovely pastel green avocado cheesecake and a classic carrot cake. The crackly-topped chocolate brownies with white chocolate chunks come in an 8″ brown box, neatly cut into 25 pieces so you can share with everyone you know. All cakes are $45 for 7″ and $55 for the 8″. Mark this spot down if you’re in charge of scoping out birthday cakes for your office colleagues . But if you’re just after a dainty portion of something sweet Agatha will be rolling out individual portions of both the cheesecakes and the brownies soon, at $6 per piece (walk-in customers only).
Lucia Cakes, 93A Club St, Singapore 069461, Tel: (+65) 9726 5101, www.facebook.com/luciacakes.singapore
Brez’n – Bavarian & Beer
Valley Point mall sees the addition of Bavarian restaurant Brez’n (meaning pretzel). Bavarian classics here – think Goulash, Pretzels and Pork – are on the menu. The group which also owns LeVeL33 and Kaiserhaus has brought in some of the founding team of Brotzeit, including Executive Chef Dominik Österreicher. Brez’n brings Bavarian pretzel sandwiches to Singapore with their salt encrusted soft pretzel rolls with four different sandwich fillings – the most interesting of which is the Meatloaf ($14) topped with sauerkraut, pickles and honey mustard sauce and served with fries. Typical Bavarian dishes include the signature Pork Knuckle ($29.50), infused with brine rendering the pink meat deliciously tender yet with a cracking crackling plus sauerkraut and potatoes served in a skillet. A whole selection of German Master Butcher sausages (MSG free) are on the menu. Go for the juicy classic Weisswurt veal and pork sausages ($17) or for some Paulaner beer-fuelled-feasting, the sausage platter for 2 ($34). Kid friendly tips: the casual set-up makes it fairly kid friendly, plus it’s in a mall (surprise!) so you can at least rush in after shopping and other activities. Kid dishes are a reasonable $8, with a kids’ goody bag and an(albeit very small) area at the back with a few toddler activities.
Brezn, 491 River Valley Road, #01-21/22/23 Valley Point, Tel: (+65) 6235 1613, www.brezn.sg
Popbar – NY Ice Cream Popsicles
New York’s Popbar has come to Singapore to keep us cool with their ‘Gelato on a Stick’ franchise. Popbar’s ice pops are made daily and there are 26 customisable flavours. From popGelatos (in creamy flavours of Coconut, Coffee, Dulche de Leche) to fruit-based popSorbetto (Grapefruit, Blood Orange and Kiwi) to yogurt-based YogurtPops (Peach, Berries), plus the kid-sized miniPops (but really what kid can’t finish a ginormous sweet-anything?). Popbar says they use no artificial flavours and are high-fructose corn syrup-free. Instead they use milk, blended fruit and ‘natural’ sweeteners sucrose and glucose. Choose your flavour, then choose the chocolate dip (from mint choc to caramel dark chocolate) and top it off with ‘Poppings’ of coconut, pistachio or caramel-corn. There are vegan and gluten free options, too.
Popbar, Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, #B2-64, Singapore 238839, www.pop-bar.com.sg
Talay Thai – Thai Tapas at Clarke Quay
Fighting for space along the bustling Clarke Quay waterside is new Thai tapas restaurant Talay Thai. Their focus is on tapas style bar bites to go with your bucket of beer or Thai-colada cocktail. Bites include Crispy White Bait with Tom Yum Powder ($12), Chicken Skin Crackling ($10), and the Aroi Mak Platter ($28, serves 2 – 3) consisting of crispy mee krob (deep fried sweet crispy noodles), rice crackers with prawn ragout, Thai fish cakes, golden prawn toast and grilled chicken brochettes. You may need to balance out the many fried items with some salads (our favourite from the menu was the spicy Ribeye Salad $18). There are fresher options for tapas like the Spanner Crab Miang Kham ($16) or Nam Pla Prawn Ceviche ($16) – bites of raw prawn served with cabbage, bitter gourd and nam jim sauce. For dessert, something other than the usual mango sticky rice would be the Thai Tea Lava ($14) – a molten dark golden lava cake oozing Thai tea sauce alongside a scoop of coconut ice cream.
Talay Thai, Blk 3E River Valley Road #01-05 Traders’ Market, Singapore 179024, Tel: (+65) 6337183, www.facebook.com/talaythaisg
NEWS: Hot Off the Hob
- There’s now a FOC Sentosa for some beachside fodder by chef Nandu Jubany (of FOC Hongkong Street) alongside sundowner cocktails by award-winning mixologist Dario Knox.
- Imperial Treasure has just launched a loyalty club where membership more than pays for itself. Silver membership starts at $88 and gets you rewards worth $320 (Two $50 e-vouchers, 4 bottles of Complimentary corkage, $100 Birthday e-vouchers) at any of their nine fine dining Imperial Treasure restaurants islandwide so there’s never been a better time to tuck into your favourite Chinese fare. We are making a beeline for Super Peking Duck at Paragon!
- Janice Wong has opened up her latest retail concept selling her stunningly colourful chocolates and mochi at Paragon Orchard Road.
- VLV has taken over the Indochine space at Clarke Quay and now sports a fancy mega (20,000 square feet) concept of luxe club, bar and fine dining Cantonese restaurant all in one.
- Haagen Dazs has released 5 new stick bars ($5.90) with real cream (none of that palm oil whipped into fake ice cream thank you!). New stick bar flavours include Chocolate, Choc Almond, Matcha Green Tea & Almond, and Strawberries & Cream.