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Restaurant News & New Menus in Singapore: Hot Off The Hob November

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Foodies: we bring you the latest food news including new menus, new chefs, restaurant relocations and refurbs in town

This month let the earnest chef at Rizu feed you a new 10-course meal, head over to incognito back alley spot Maggie Joan’s for new inventive Mod European, and unleash the kids at Thyme@Aliwal’s arts and crafts corner. Read on for lots of food news in Singapore…

Thyme at Aliwal
Robo art at the cute kids crafts corner at Thyme at Aliwal (image credit: Thyme at Aliwal)

Thyme@Aliwal Kids’ arts cafe

Thyme@Aliwal is the sister restaurant to Thyme@Rochester. Nestled in the heart of Bugis/Arab Street and formerly known as Eat/Play/Love, this whimsical little cafe has super cute decor, and a cozy and unpretentious vibe. The interior is filled with vintage and nostalgic items so get ready for a trip down memory lane. The main draw here for parents is the fully dedicated arts & crafts corner complete with colouring sets and art supplies where kids can rustle up some art or tinker around with upcycling an invention. That leaves the parents to have a quiet drink or a bite to eat in peace! There’s a huge European and Asian-inspired menu spanning everything from Lamb Rogan Josh ($24) to Crispy Duck Confit ($22) and prices are reasonable for a casual meal. For brunch: Pancakes with Cream ($11) or Eggs Ben ($15) while the lunch menu is at $10.90+; salads, pasta dishes like Chorizo Linguine or a sandwich like the Chicken Tikka Sandwich.

Thyme@Aliwal, 28 Aliwal Street #01-07, Aliwal Arts Center Singapore 199918, Tel: (+65) 6444 6400,

Whitegrass Restaurant — Closed 🙁

We are sad to see that one Michelin-starred Whitegrass Restaurant has announced its impending closure. Helmed by Chef-Owner Sam Aisbett, Whitegrass will be serving their last dinner on 22 December 2018. Fans of Whitegrass can expect a new opening from Aisbett in the first half of 2019. The new restaurant will continue to showcase Aisbett’s elevated style of modern Australian cuisine, in an intimate capacity.

Whitegrass Restaurant, 30 Victoria Street, #01-26/27 Chijmes, Singapore 187996,

Noboru Shimohigashi helms RIZU (image credit: RIZU)

RIZU — New Omakase Menus

We told you about RIZU, the Japanese spot (delish rolls, sashimi and inventive Japanese dishes) in Duxton when it opened its doors in September. They’ve just introduced three new omakase sets (where the chef, the talented Noboru Shimohigashi, decides what’s on the multi-course menu each night). The ultimate Special Omakase ($200) consists of eleven dishes all beautifully plated and made up of an assortment of fresh seasonal ingredients. Lobster Bisque is a highlight, then there’s a refreshing tomato and crab salad, pan seared Foie Gras with plum, Black Cod marinated with miso and a tender Wagyu Steak. The 9-course Modern Style Omakase ($150), features Beef Tataki with urchin carpaccio and Shrimp Frites accompanied with buckwheat. Meanwhile sushi lovers can have their fill of Nigiri Sushi and Ikedukuri live seafood sashimi with the 8-course Fresh Fish Omakase ($150). For dessert, a western style pavlova with passion fruit might greet you – a welcome deviation for Japanese matcha and a stunning end to a meal at this new hot spot! Pssssst! Happy Hour happens Tuesdays to Sundays, 5.00pm – 8.00pm for 1 for 1 deals.

Rizu, 39 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089617, Tel: (+65) 6904 8880,

Violet Oon — New Orchard Outlet

Violet Oon is a firm fave here for Singapore’s culinary heritage melting pot of Chinese, Indian and Malay and Peranakan food. Their newest outlet is within ION mall and has been set up together with business partners including Manoj M Murjani, Chairman of Violet Oon Singapore. This bright spot is an all-day dining brasserie serving an extensive range of signature classics as well as new creations like the slurp-worthy Mulligatawny Soup ($16) and the superfood Salmon with Kale Kerbau ($26) plus celebration cakes (available for takeaway, too). Their classic Nyonya dishes such as Ngoh Hiang, Dry Laksa and Kueh Pie Tee are always a hit. Violet Oon will also be bringing Hainanese dishes such as Oxtail Stew and Hainanese Pork Chop (served with fries) alongside classic colonial dishes like her famous Shepard’s Pie and the solid Chicken Pie. If you love the signature dishes like Kueh Beng Kah ($13++) of fresh tapioca cake infused with coconut cream and served with coconut milk and gula melaka, never fear, these classics are all on this all day menu too. Ladies, this spot just screams come lunch!

Violet Oon Ion, #03-22, #03-28/29 ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801,

New Chef and new inventive menu at Maggie Joan's
New Chef and new inventive menu at Maggie Joan’s (Image credit: Maggie Joan’s)

Maggie Joan’s — New Chef and New Menus

Have you heard of Maggie Joan’s? It’s a restaurant (by Glen and Daniel Ballis – the same father-and-son-team behind Moosehead) hidden inconspicuously down the tiny back lane of Gemmill Lane. It’s the choice for incognito meetings over delicious sharing plates for those in the know! Chef Seumas Smith, formerly Head Chef at Moosehead, serves up inventive Modern European dishes on the newly relaunched lunch and dinner menus. For starters don’t miss the Shiso tempura, topped with taramasalata, nori & lime zest ($3/each) — shatteringly crisp shiso leaf tempura with umami taramasalata on top, or the Hokkaido scallop, miso beurre blanc, dulse seaweed & sea lettuce ($24); of pan fried scallop in a white miso white wine butter sauce topped with the highest quality Kristal caviar. Mains include Spinach Ricotta Ravioli ($24), Whole Roast Chicken with gremolata ($44) and Australian lamb loin ($44) crusted with a spice mix of sumac, cumin and dried coriander, then grilled in the INKA oven served with mini braised lamb buns baked in-house. And unusually, a veggie dish of Roasted carrots, ricotta, apricot & rosemary was a highlight. In addition to the great food, it’s really the fun clandestine vibes at Maggie Joan’s that make it worth going back for!

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar, 110 Amoy Street, #01-01, (Entrance from Gemmill Lane), Singapore 069930, Tel: (65) 6221 5564,

Guzman y Gomez spread (Image credit: @chuepachups)

Guzman y Gomez– New Mexican breakfasts

Mexican (by way of Australia) Taqueria Guzman y Gomez launched in Singapore at Asia Square in 2013 and now has six outlets islandwide (Asia Square, Chevron House, Tanjong Pagar Centre, Mapletree Business City, Star Vista and North Point) with a 7th opening in January 2019 (Orchard Gateway)! These are the guys to turn to when your craving for burritos, quesadillas, tacos, and crispy nachos gets the better of you. Not feeling that peckish? They now have a new “mini” range in as well as Gluten Free items. Also new are the breakfast options including guacamole on sourdough, breakfast burritos and scrambled eggs available from Tanjong Pagar Centre and Chevron House (the former also serves up coffee). Every meal is made fresh to order, from fresh ingredients using time-honoured Mexican recipes. Office party? Call Guzman y Gomez — they do office catering as well as via delivery platforms Deliveroo, Foodpanda and Grab Food (and they don’t deliver with a bunch of plastic, you’ll be glad to know! Their environmental efforts are seen with packaging that is 100% biodegradable and made from “bagasse” so you can now stuff your face with Mexican and have a clear conscience … and a full belly!).

Guzman y Gomez, Various locations,

Nox Dine in the Dark – New Chef & Menu

Looking for something different? Have you tried Nox Dine in the Dark? At this restaurant, expect a multi-sensory dining experience of heightened taste, touch, smell and sound (but no sight!asyou dine in total darkness! One of the interesting aspects of Nox Dine in the Dark is that the servers are all blind or visually impaired. As far as news goes (as Nox Dine in the Dark has been here for a while), there is a new head chef, Chef Shahrom,who was previously at Lolla. Chef Shahrom has created a modern European menu with Asian twists, paired with either wine, cocktails or mocktails.  The menu ($88++ for 3-course menu) changes every 6-8 weeks so that guests don’t have to limit themselves to a one time experience. Once you have adjusted to the total darkness the sensory experience begins. You are not told what the menu will be, but of course can state food preferences before you start the meal. The experience of guessing/recognising textures and flavours is really enjoyable; you spend the meal talking about food and really engaging in what you are eating. Standout dishes include the miso cod starterand main of beef rendang.

Nox Dine in the Dark, 269 Beach Road, Singapore 199546, Tel: (+65) 6298 0708,

Justin Quek’s Chinoiserie — New weekend brunch and high tea

Chinoiserie is Chef Justin Quek’s new modern Asian premium dining establishment located at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. They’ve got a new brunch and high tea menu. Chinoiserie’s new ‘Souffle High Tea’ ($58 ++ for two people) is a twist on the classic afternoon tea ritual with a decadent menu that fuses Asian culinary culture with classic French dishes. Think gourmet finger sandwiches, assorted savory bites and sweet treats plus, Chef’s signature mushroom cappuccino and foie gras long bao. The grand finale is a hot dessert choice of melt-in-your-mouth flourless Grand Marnier souffle, a timeless crepe suzette tinged with orange, or a banana flambé served with salted gula java ice cream. If you are over Marina Bay way for weekend brunch know that Chinoiserie’s ‘Rosé Weekend Brunch’ (from $70 ++ for three courses) features a three-, four- or five-course menu along with a glass of premium Bordeaux Rose. Highlights include dainty dim sum, fin de claire oysters, decadent barn-laid egg dishes of fluffy scrambled eggs with crabmeat or slow-cooked eggs with Spanish pork, paired with a soup and a main.

Chinoiserie, 2 Bayfront Avenue, #B1-13/14/15 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972, Tel: (+65) 6688 7782,

Baker & Cook — New Sliced Bread in Supermarkets

Baker & Cook has just launched their Artisan Sliced Bread range with 5 flavours in selected Cold Storage and Market Place supermarkets! Look for White Sourdough, Country Sourdough, Soy & Linseed Sourdough and 2 new flavours: Cheese & Onion and Cinnamon & Raisin. The tin loaves are a uniform shape and pre-sliced to make it easier for you to prepare toast for breakfast and sandwiches for work and school lunches. Available at Cold Storage: Cluny Court, Jelita, Great World City, Holland Village, Kallang Leisure Park and Market Place: Paragon, Tanglin Mall.

Plus: Baker & Cook and Plank Sourdough Pizza open a new branch for coffee and bakery items plus the famous sourdough pizzas at 21 Eng Kong Terrace, Eng Kong Park, Singapore 598993,

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