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-sized pieces just for you.
Neighbourhood to watch: trendy Tras St!
The recent opening of cocktail bar, House of Dandy has been hotly anticipated and where else but the ever trendy Tras St to claim this old English gentlemens’ styled bar as one of its own. Mixologist Zac Mirza, who mixed up some seriously good cocktails as head barista at Nektar, has joined the well-dressed team of dandies and spins out cocktails like the Dandy Threesome ($22), flavoured with lemongrass, ginger and kaffir lime leaves. There’s boutique pours like Black Cow vodka made from… cow’s milk. Anyone fancy a truffle vodka martini? There’s also top notch whiskies and cigars (of course). Watch out for “dandy hour” — all day Monday and Tuesday — where the hour you drink dictates your cocktail price… $5 at 5 o’clock? Race you there, mama! Keep an eye out for bar snacks, like cold platters and oysters, that’ll pop up soon too.
House of Dandy, 74 Tras Street, Singapore 079013.
By day a nail bar, (till 8pm it’s Manicurious), by night a cosy cocktail bar (from 6pm) – so goes the aptly named Jekyll and Hyde on Tras St. Though you may not want your nails to ‘quick dry’ if you’ve got the option to do some ‘slow drying’ with a drink in hand afterwards. And who could blame you when you see the magic mixologist Jeff Ho (of Bar Stories) at work as he whisks up bespoke cocktails to suit your mood ($18-25). We hear Asian fusion snacks are in the works too.
Jekyll and Hyde, 49 Tras Street, Singapore 078988. Tel: (+65) 6222 3349.
Chef Lino Sauro has been busy! His well-known Italian restaurant Gattopardo (formerly at Hotel Fort Canning) will be moving to… yes you guessed it, Tras St (no. 34). He’s also set up a casual CBD spot to cater to the hungry suits; Morsi & Sorsi (literally “sips and bites”) has many a Stuzzichini — hot or cold ‘bar bites’ to be enjoyed at the U shaped counter. To pep up desk lunches there’s also grab and go sandwiches ($11) and paninis ($13) and comfort food dishes like beef lasagne ($13), eggplant parmigiana ($10) and pastas of the day, like angel hair with sea urchin ($12).
Morsi & Sorsi, 1 Telok Ayer Street #01-02, Singapore 048441. Tel: (+65) 65 6222 7530.
Not one new Tras spot but, four? Bam! (Five if you count Fleur de Sel which opened less recently at no. 64). That’s a full hand! Former chef de cuisine of the now-closed Santi at Marina Bay Sands, Pepe Moncayo has just set up Bam! – a modern diner which sees an unusual mix of sake and tapas, like kampong egg with fried calamari and chorizo ($19) and market fish tartar with burrata ($28). Date night, we hear your call!
Bam! 38 Tras St, Singapore 078977. Tel: (+65) 6226 0500.
Venice’s bacari (wine bars) have come to Singapore in style with another new opening – this time it’s &SONS at China Square Central. Drinks wise it’s all Italian liquors, aperitivi, cocktails and of course wines from Italy at near retail prices (designed by restaurateur Beppe De Vito, who your may know from Il Lido). As per the Venetian tradition of pairing your tipple with a delizioso — hot or cold bite, there’s dishes like hyper-ventilatingly good baccala cakes with sea urchin sabayon ($13), homemade pumpkin tortelli with capers and avocado ($8), charcoal grilled wagyu beef with salsa verde ($26) and a menu of Italian artisanal cheeses (do try their truffle pecorino $9/$18 per cheese/platter). Plus it’s the only place in town to make its own prosciutto and salami on site.
&SONS, 20 Cross Street, #01-19 China Square Central, Singapore 048422. Tel: (+65) 6221 3937.
Along Bukit Timah Road something is brewing with the arrival of three new spots:
The Missing Pan is a small bakery cum diner serving brunch, dinner, and pastries. Downstairs sees the bakers kneading dough and baking, with upstairs for aircon seating (complete with high chairs). From 62 degree eggs benedict with smoked salmon ($22), to the biggest sarnie we’ve ever seen; the over hangover ($19) — chicken schnitzel, bacon, and eggs on sourdough. Dinner dishes (like panfried red snapper with crushed potatoes $24) change every 3 weeks and there’s a kids’ menu too. Or head there pre-shop (Coronation Plaza, The German Market Place and Meat The Butcher are all next door) for a free coffee Tuesday to Friday 2-5pm to go with your cake.
The Missing Pan, 619D Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269724. Tel: (+65) 6466 4377.
A micro scoot down the road is Fresh Pressed – a tiny counter with five stools, hidden away at the back of the swish Beauty Candy at Cluny Court. On the menu is cold pressed juices (so all the goodies and enzymes are intact) like the “liver scrub” juice ($6.50/glass or $12/bottle) of apple, beet leaf, beetroot, carrot, celery and ginger — aiding the removal of ‘impurities’ (read post-Christmas mulled wine) from the liver. Salads (by Emmanuel Stroobant of Saint Pierre no less) are loosely based on an evolutionary diet, so expect inventions like smoked salmon, corn and cucumber with tahini dressing ($7/15 small/large). We know what’s on our wish list this detox January – their 5 day juice cleanse delivered to our door, thank you!
Fresh Pressed, 501 Bukit Timah Rd, #01-05B Cluny Court, Singapore 259760. Tel: (+65) 65 6314 1601.
A few doors down is the yet to open, The Fishwives, which some of you may know from their online store. They stock fully traceable, hormone, antibiotic, vaccine, and GM free seafood, meat and poultry. This is the place for line caught snapper, pasture fed Angus Beef and lamb. Plus their New Zealand King salmon (5 pieces, 120gm each at $68) is sashimi grade. Hurrah!
The Fishwives. Tel: (+65) 9628 9549.
Beate (pronounced Bee+art+ah!) is a freelance food and travel writer and full time mama to her fun-loving two year old son. She has a passion for all things foodie and most commonly assumes the position of one ear firmly planted to the ground for the latest bars, cafes and restaurants. When not penning articles, Beate can be found experimenting in the kitchen with exotic local ingredients or roaming Asia for weird and wonderful flavours (with a preference for the latter). Originally from the UK, Beate has been in Singers for 3 1/2 years and is loving being back near the equator after spending her childhood in Uganda and Kenya.