On the hunt for the best new restaurants to try, creative desserts or addictive office snacks? Check out Singapore’s latest wine and dine news below….
• Formerly known (for a brief second) as Terry’s Singapore, Shaw Centre’s Spanish restaurant has re-opened as La Tapería, serving up tapas, paella and other Spanish specialties that can be enjoyed alfresco on the terrace. 1 Scotts Road, #02-10-11.
• Local food favourite, Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice (the place across from Tiong Bahru Hawker Centre with a perpetual queue), has moved to 71 Seng Poh Road #01-49, and The Tiong Bahru Singapura has taken over Loo’s original 57 Eng Hoon Street space.
• Satsuma Shochu Dining Bar has closed its doors due to Gallery Hotel’s renovations, but plans to reopen sometime soon in the Mohammed Sultan area. In the meantime, patrons can visit sister restaurant Shunjuu Izakaya at 30 Robertson Quay.
• Japanese restaurant Dashi Master Marusaya has taken over the space previously occupied by Anthesis coffee shop at 86 Robertson Quay, #01-01.
• Beloved South Korean soft-serve brand Honey Creme – also popular in Taiwan – has opened its first outlet in Southeast Asia, serving up its signature organic “Comb Honey Soft Serve Ice Cream” famously garnished with an entire honeycomb. 313 Orchard Road, #01-37, 313 @ Somerset.
• Don Antonio Pizza Bar has opened in the Kampong Glam neighbourhood, offering hearty Italian cuisine and 13-inch, hand-tossed pizzas like the “Bianca” (black truffle cream, mozzarella, smoked bacon and basil) in a casual setting. 2 Jalan Klapa.
• This just in: Jamie Oliver is bringing his popular Italian eatery, Jamie’s Italian, to Bali – which means you’ll be able to get your fresh pasta fix while vacationing in Kuta Beach. Slated to open in 2015, the restaurant will feature an antipasti station, an open kitchen and a large alfresco dining area.
• Attention doughnut lovers: Krispy Kreme Great World City is now open, and to celebrate, the American doughnut brand has created a special commemorative flavour, Hazelnut Kreme Brulee ($2.95), which is available through February, along with the limited-edition Kool Kreme ($6.90) ice-cream treat.
Buffet This Month: One-Ninety at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
Executive Chef Giovanni Speciale’s commitment to fresh ingredients is such that one could dine every day at One-Ninety’s new mezze dinner buffet and be treated to a different feast each time. Juicy Mediterranean olives, enormous grilled prawns, traditional hummus and baba ganoush, salami and unique salad combinations are just some of the many appetisers to get you started.
Before piling up the plate though, start out at the bar with a creation by Spanish bartender Sebastien Vazquez, who makes a mean martini ($23) any way you fancy it. The list of freshly cooked main courses includes Australian beef sirloin, US beef tenderloin, New Zealand lamb and Scottish salmon, all cooked over a wood-fired grill with aromatic apple wood. Also, don’t miss the addictive black truffle focaccia, oozing mascarpone cheese. Items in the classy dessert spread include chocolate yuzu tart and crème brûlée with a surprising mango centre; both are standouts.
Pair all of this food with wine from the selection of 100 labels below $100, or share a pitcher of Singapore Sangria ($69). The atmosphere is intimate and relaxed; this is a great place to unwind.
Four Seasons’ mezze dinner buffet is offered Monday to Sunday for $58. Also, check out the lunch buffet ($49) from Monday to Saturday, which includes an appetiser and dessert buffet, plus one main course; or try the One-Ninety Sunday champagne brunch from 11.30am to 3pm (children $36; adults $128 with Prosecco and sangria). 190 Orchard Boulevard.
Mad about Meatballs
The folks behind Sarnies sandwich joint and Aussie-style café The Lokal have moved on to meatballs with their new kid on the China Square block. Its breezy interior inspired by Mediterranean beach clubs, Club Meatballs is poised to become the next hotspot for after-work gatherings. Giving patrons a bit of pick-your-own-adventure fun, mains are ordered by choosing from five different meatballs (including chickpea balls for vegetarians), three bases and five sauces ($19.50 per serving). While all the combinations are fail-safe, the Ibérico pork-and-fennel meatballs with white bean cassoulet and salsa verde are an especially delish marriage of Italian and Spanish flavours. Also on the menu are moreish snacks like small yet sinful pulled-pork sliders ($10) and veggie-only plates like the refreshing and crunchy beetroot, apple, radicchio, feta and walnut salad ($10). They’ve also rolled out a meatball sub and mix ‘n’ match salad menu just for the lunch-hour scramble. To complement the modern Italian-influenced fare, the bar serves classic cocktails laced with house-made liquor, plus wines and craft beers. #01-35 China Square Central, 20 Cross Street. Call 6222 8660.
Here at EL, we’re loving Batch, a newly launched “digital farmers’ market” that sells a handpicked collection of artisanal products from independent and small-batch food producers. Founded by food writer Debbie Yong, the site was designed to connect food lovers with food makers, offering recipes and household tips along with products meant for stocking your pantry, kitchen, bar, library and garden. Find everything from cookbooks, craft spirits, spices and healthy snacks (sweet cacao nibs, anyone?) to kitchen tools, home décor items, seeds and “urban farming” starter kits. Bonus points for the site’s range of clever, locally inspired products like Singapore Sling-flavoured granola from Batch X Eastern Granola, a special selection of sambal sauces and a knife series from Singapore’s Tippling Club, to name a few.
Give Me Some Sugar
Get your sweet tooth ready – renowned pastry chef Janice Wong (of 2am:dessertbar fame) has opened her eponymous sweets boutique, Janice Wong, a whimsical wonderland that inspires nostalgia and imagination. Creative confections are displayed through edible installations that resemble both an art gallery and a fashion boutique; customers can appreciate marshmallow paintings ($18) as if they’re browsing in a gallery, and flip through racks of candy similar to clothing displays in a fashion boutique. Goodies include multicoloured lollipops, chocolate bonbons, colourful éclairs, fruit rolls, and chocolate balloons and kites; and for those looking to create their own choc-art, the boutique sells chocolate paint ($15) in 38 hues and flavours, including green mango, smoked chocolate and passion fruit. 2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard, Level 1 Atrium.
Food Fit For Heroes
If you’re looking to dine among greatness, head over to Superhero Concept Café, a new themed space serving health-conscious meals alongside collectible merchandise (Batman bobblehead, anyone?), rare memorabilia and, of course, caped crusaders in the flesh. Patrons can play superhero with Thor’s hammer and Captain America’s shield as they enjoy wallet-friendly food, cooked with olive oil and purified water and without any MSG, pork or lard. The popular Battle Hunger bento ($10) is a hit with workforce warriors, as is the Pow Wow bento ($6). You can also take on fun challenges to reap rewards – an arm-wrestling challenge with the resident superhero, for instance, and win a free drink; or share on social media how you plan to save the world, and get 20 percent off. The eatery is open for dining in from 11.30am to 4pm on weekdays, with takeaway and delivery options available; evenings and weekends are reserved for birthday parties and other private events. 37A Boat Quay. 8228 4334.
No More Beggin’ For Bagels
Bagels have finally come to town, and we couldn’t be happier. Tucked away in the Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood, Two Men Bagel House is a super-casual joint serving up hand-rolled, freshly baked bagels – sesame, rye, onion, plain, and cinnamon and raisin – with loads of “shmears” and toppings like salmon dill cream cheese, Nutella spread with pecan crumbles and various sliced meats. Popular bagel sandwiches include the “Bird” – sliced turkey, avocado, sweet pepper relish, veggies and aioli – and the “Babe” – scrambled eggs, tomatoes, melted cheese, bacon and parsley. 16 Enggor Street, #01-12 Icon Village. 6509 4125.
Snack Attack SOS
Sure, we all want to adopt healthier habits in the New Year. Swapping those sugary sweets and greasy crisps for wholesome in-office snacks is a great place to start – and that’s where BoxGreen comes in. Founded by two finance professionals tired of having unhealthy crisps and chocolates at their desks, BoxGreen sources and delivers natural nibbles straight to subscribers’ desks on a regular basis – weekly, biweekly, monthly, you name it. The company’s careful assortment includes freshly baked nuts, dried fruit and granola, among other healthful bites; customer favourites include Almond Longan Jelly (baked almonds and dried longans) and Chng Tng (wolfberries with crispy lotus seeds). Whether you’re refuelling a team of six, your entire office or just yourself, you’ll receive different snacks every time for the ultimate snack-sampling experience. You can also buy individual snack packs before committing to a subscription.
And, for every box sold, BoxGreen donates a meal through Willing Hearts, a local soup kitchen that provides daily meals and other support services to those in need. Can we say snack-time superhero?
Choc-full Of Deliciousness
Sure, you’re off to a healthy start this year, but that doesn’t mean chocolate’s out of the question; in fact, dark chocolate is a great source of energy and antioxidants, and Rocq Star’s new range of Choc-Pops offers the perfect pick-me-up crunch. Choose from dark chocolate-coated coffee beans, dried cranberries, almonds, hazelnuts and raisins – all free of preservatives, artificial additives and sweeteners. From $3.90 to $6.90 per pack at Cold Storage and Giant supermarkets and Cheers convenience stores, among other outlets.
New Table-grabbing Tech
Move over, Chope, there’s a new table-manager in town. Quandoo, the reservation platform from Europe, has hit Singapore, offering yet another online and mobile reservation system for diners looking to snag seats at their favourite eateries. The best part? Quandoo offers loyalty points and rewards in the form of vouchers; diners can earn 100 points for each reservation, and receive $15 vouchers for every 1,000 loyalty points earned – you’ll automatically receive 400 points just by creating an account. Visit the website or download the free app on iTunes.