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.
Xiao Ya Tou – Duxton Asian tapas
A self proclaimed “Naughty Modern Asian Restaurant Bar”, Xiao Ya Tou is churning up Duxton Hill’s old seedy past with its references to the darker side of nighttime entertainment. Xiao Ya Tou (which means ‘little imp girl‘ in Chinese) has walls decked with Vintage pin-up girls, and there is a definite tongue in cheek dingy-hipster vibe going on. On the menu: Asian tapas style sharing plates – all of which sound interestingly exotic and tempting: like the 36-hour oven-roasted pork belly with fermented black bean salsa, lightened with fresh green pea tendrils and an extremely moreish starter of deep fried Otak Otak wrapped in phyllo pastry with peanut sauce ($12), or the Indian influenced Lamb Shank Curry with potatoes, apricot chutney and popadom ($28), Pancetta and Brussel Sprout Salad ($12), Twice Cooked Short Ribs ($32). A fun rice dish with different toppings, Lu Rou Fan ($9), comes in a rice bucket with a rainbow of preserved veg and wagyu beef that you toss together. This quirky fun spot also offers late night Sliders (bao style) to go with your cocktails.
Xiao Ya Tou, 6 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089592, Tel: (+65) 6226 1965, www.xyt.sg
Full of Luck Club – Hip Bao in HV
If you’ve walked past Holland Village lately, chances are you’ve been stopped in your tracks by the Full of Luck Club’s Bao Take-Away Counter window and seen baos being plated by the chef. Full of Luck Club oozes cool – and the hip crowds have already descended. The menu encompasses everything from steamed and fried bao to Claypot Rice – all rendered modern whether it be in presentation (tapas style) or with the addition of new fusion ingredients. Order up a cocktail or one of their Chinese Beers like the amber-hued Hong Kong ($11) and throw some Golden Sand Corn with Salted Egg Yolk kernels ($4.80) down your throat as you consider the menu. Don’t miss the Kung Pao Fried Chicken – a soft white bao sandwich of crispy fried chicken with a sweet sauce, dried chilli and crunchy peanuts, and Braised Pork Belly with pickled lotus root ($9.80 for any two flavours). The Crispy Aromatic Duck ($35/half) arrives crispy skinned with succulent moist meat and is shredded at the table (UK expats craving Peking duck like it’s done ‘back home’ – the is it finally!). There is so much on the menu that excites – from Cod and Yuzu Claypot Rice ($16) to Midnight Truffle Beef Hor Fun ($20) – this spot might just warrant a few repeat visits.
Full of Luck Club, 243 Holland Avenue, Singapore 278977 Tel: (+65) 62086845, www.fullofluck.club
Beast & Butterflies – Philippe Starck-designed Mod Asian
Beast & Butterflies is the new restaurant and bar designed by Philippe Starck at hotel M Social Robertson Quay. Expect a meeting of East and West with Chef Li’s menu offering Collagen Soup with Mushroom Ravioli ($24), Lobster Porridge ($28) to more Western dishes like Australian lamb loin with Burratina ($26). Desserts swing from East: Yam Brûlée ($10) a modern version of the traditional Teochew yam paste dessert to West: Chocoholic ($10) a melting spherical ball of chocolate encompassing passion fruit sorbet. Watch this space for our full review and a look into the new hotel!
Beast & Butterflies, 90 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238259, Tel: (+65) 6206 1888, www.msocial.com.sg/restaurant
Barrio – Mexican ‘Burgers’ and Tacos
Despite the unlikely territory of the ground floor courtyard of 313 Somerset, Barrio (an off-shoot from Mex Out) is a hit with the after-work crowd. There is a definitely street vibe to match the tacos, burgers, frozen margaritas and Mexican street corn ($7.90). They don’t claim to be authentic Mexican, but they make their guacamole daily as well as their own tortillas. Eat this: the burger of Chipotle Pulled Pork at $15.90 ($4 for a drink and side) – consisting of a brioche bun of juicy pulled pork slathered with tasty aioli and red cabbage. Also good are the Beer Battered Sea Bass Tacos ($13.40/15.90 for 2/3 pcs) on toasted flour tortillas with crunchy red cabbage, big pieces of crispy fish, coriander and sauce. We also heard the next table salivating over their Buttermilk Fried Chicken Torta ($14.90). There is everything from Burrito wraps and Rice Bowls to Ceviche ($15.90) and Burnt Nachos ($13.60) of crispy tortillas topped with chilli con carne, jalapenos, guacamole, cotija cheese and melted cheddar sauce.
The Peranakan – Straits-Chinese Peranakan cuisine
Have guests in town and want to woo them with a taste of old-world Singapore? The Peranakan at Claymore Connect is a great introduction to Straits Chinese home-cooked style food in an ornately decorated setting complete with colourful Peranakan tiled walls, glitzy mirrors, marble tables and dark wood furniture. The waiters are mostly distinguished elderly Chinese gentlemen adding to the olde-world glamour of the spot (despite the fact that this spot is – yes – in a mall!). Executive Chef-Owner Raymond Khoo (of Rasa Singapura) has designed the menu around his grandmother’s cooking. Apart from Peranakan staples like the richly flavoured candlenut dish of Buah Keluak Ayam and Kueh Pai Tee (served originally on a wooden traditional game board) the a la carte options include Nasi Ulam (possibly the only restaurant to offer this in Singers), Pig Trotter Pongteh – a delicious stew of melt off the bone pork sweetened with carrots and Udang Sambal – and prawns served in a rich sauce of sweet shallots. To try a Peranakan feast (read, order without thinking) go for the Tok Panjang menu ($45-65 per person) or the 6-course Degustation menu ($85pp/ min 6 people order in advance). For a real blow-out meal book the Chef’s Table ($188 – $288), which is a version of Omakase.
The Peranakan, Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, 02-01, Tel: (+65) 62624428, www.facebook.com/ThePeranakanSG
UsQuBa – Scottish restaurant with a view
There are no men in kilts to greet you as you walk in to this new Scottish restaurant at 1 Fullerton (pronounced “uskewbah” and meaning ‘whisky’ or ‘water of life’ in Gaelic); instead you are greeted with lovely views of Marina Bay and a dark sleek whisky bar. The Canadian Chef Guven Uyanik has worked in many a Michelin-starred restaurant, including Maze by Gordon Ramsey, and works his French cooking techniques into the Scottish ingredients with visible elements of Asian flare. Dishes range from the comforting Ravioli of Pork Cheeks ($21) in a rich porcini sauce, to the light and refreshing Orkney Islands Scallop Ceviche ($25) – a stand out dish of sashimi scallops served with horseradish snow, sea urchin and compressed cucumber. UsQuBa Fish and Chips ($32) sees a very modern take on this classic dish (though there’s no batter nor chips in sight). Instead you’ll find a tender soft sous vide cod with vibrant green minty mushy peas and in lieu of chips, pommes maxim – a pretty crown of crispy potatoes shavings. Meat eaters, go for the Duet of Aberdeen Angus Beef ($56) consisting of grilled tenderloin and a small portion of braised short ribs with plum jus. Executive lunches start $38/$48 for 2 or 3 courses.
UsQuBa, 1 Fullerton Road, #02-03, Tel: (+65) 8723 6378, www.UsQuBa.com
Camp Kilo Charcoal Club – Meat Feast with Great Atmosphere
Camp Kilo Charcoal Club is Kilo’s baby, so you know it’s gonna be good before you even rock up at their backyard style barbecue joint housed underneath Kilo. You can’t keep a food secret in Singapore, and the cat is already out of the bag with this spot – expect to have to elbow a few people to get yourself a picnic style wooden table and order up a meat feast. Food-wise, think a Whole Roasted Hog ($12 per 100g), deliciously meaty tender Chipotle BBQ Ribs ($15 for half rack), Crispy Pork Belly, Roasted Chicken and a Whole BBQ Fish ($30). Veggie sides just may steal the show, however – we are frantically googling how to recreate their Burnt Carrots ($14) with cottage cheese and slices of plums, and the decidedly delicious garlicky tamarind Brussels Sprouts ($14). It’s only open Friday to Sunday but if we camp out there all week who knows, they may decide to open midweek too? Do not miss their frozen Margaritas; these pack a mean punch of tequila despite their cutesy umbrella exteriors – the perfect sundowner while you await your backyard style meat feast.
Camp Kilo Charcoal Club, 66Kampong Bugis, #01-01, Singapore 338987, www.kilokitchen.com/camp-kilo-charcoal-club
Froth – CBD Mod Sin
Froth moves location to the second level of Ascott Raffles right next to the MRT, to a bright minimalist bistro style restaurant. Chef Derrick Ow conjures up interesting dishes that spin local classics on their head. For starters: Duck Kut Teh soup ($10.90) — like a light Bak Kut Teh but made with 12hr simmered duck broth and garnished with melon for sweetness and texture or the Foie Gras duo ($23.90), a more than generous portion of chilled foie gras topped with a deliciously original slaw of kiwi, celery and apple tart-sweet and crunchy, alongside a seared foie gras on toasted brioche. Mains keep up with the East-West theme: Seafood Tom Yum Risotto ($29.90) and Squid Ink Lobster Roll ($25.90), or there’s the Five Spice Wagyu Burger ($34.90) — a take on Ngoh Hiang with the succulent Wagyu burger wrapped in crispy beancurd adding a crispy salty texture that works well with the tender burger and truffle fries. Waffles are on the dessert menu (of course), or try the beautifully presented strawberries and cream number. Acoustics are a little loud but Froth looks to be popular with the office crowd for a bustling meal with some interesting talking point dishes. There’s a promo on (one dines free for every 3), so hit’ em up soon.
Froth, Level 2 at Ascott Raffles Place No 2, Finlayson Green S049247, Tel: (+65) 63361228, www.froth.sg
Wok 15 – Cantonese with Yacht Views
Saunter along Sentosa Cove and pick out your yacht of preference (mine’s the big one with the suntanning deck). Let the kids play on the pirate ship playground then skip along for dim sum lunch at WOK°15 Kitchen – the new Cantonese restaurant at members club ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove. Contrary to any outdoor signage, Wok 15 is open to the public and offers Cantonese cuisine as well as a decently priced dim sum buffet ($19 for kids $38 for adults) while you admire the view (and keep an eye on your yacht). For the dim sum buffet – this is actually a la carte so you can choose anything from the special dim sum menu and they will bring it to your table. Dishes range from the usual suspects of Hau Kau and Siew Mai to Battered Whitebait, BBQ meats, and Crispy Squid with Salted Egg Yolk. Highlights include the garlicky Sauteed Bamboo Clam ($10), Beef Cubes Black Pepper ($24) and their signature Chilli Crab dish of sweet Sri Lankan Crab served in a piping hot wok which is currently on special offer ($5.50/100grams usual price $8/100grams).
Wok 15, ONEo15 Marina Sentosa Cove, Singapore, #01-01, 11 Cove Drive, Sentosa Cove, Singapore 098497, Tel: (+65) 6305 6998, www.one15marina.com/dining/wok-15-kitchen
More Foodie News: Hot off the Hob
TREND ALERT! Amoy St is fast becoming the foodie hot spot with Bochinche and Ding Dong having recently moved here. Joining them is Manhattan’s legendary NY bar and restaurant, Employees Only for smart cocktails, onsite fortune telling, upmarket dinner and late night signature complimentary chicken soup. Plain Vanilla will be opening a shop at Cluny Court in July – cupcake heaven! Pizza Express is coming to Singapore Friday, 29 July – head on down to Scotts Square to get your dose of dough balls. 5th Quarter moves to 12 Purvis Street and changes name to Salted & Hung, but the menu stays largely the same. Everyone’s waiting with baded breath for the Michelin Guide – out next month July 21st. Long Chim one of our favourite Thai spots – now serves up kids’ lunch meals ($15). And Momor Izakaya now serves weekend brunch.
Lead image courtesy of UsQuBa.