On the hunt for fresh oysters and hip new restaurants to spoil your tastebuds? Or sumptuous desserts full of acai? Then check out Singapore’s latest wine and dine news below….
• All about overindulgence, The Rockin’ Diner is a new take on traditional American-style grub, serving up heaping, hearty dishes like Philadelphia Cheese Steak ($15.99), Bacon Fries ($12.99) and nine types of hot dog (from $10.99), accompanied by decadent desserts and imported artisanal beers. 11 Club Street.
• The team behind popular small-plate spot, Lolla, has opened equally stylish Lollapalooza, a farm-to-table “free-style” concept based on sharing plates with plenty of meat and seafood options prepared in a wood-fired oven, and made with only the freshest seasonal ingredients available – for that reason, in fact, the menu changes every day. 1A Keong Saik Road.
• Popular US chain Baja Fresh Mexican Grill has opened a third outlet in Singapore, Baja Fresh Express, in the CBD, offering Tex Mex favourites from breakfast to dinner. Choose from a variety of fresh quesadillas, burritos and tacos made with all kinds of meats and seafood – and wash it down with after-work margaritas. 4 Marina Boulevard, #01-31A The Sail.
• Venturing outside of China for the first time, recently opened 9 Goubuli at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands (#B2-02) features an extensive menu of handcrafted buns, dumplings, soups and hand-pulled noodles, as well as Cantonese roast and seafood dishes.
• L’Entrecôte The Annex has opened right next door to its sister restaurant, L’Entrecôte Steak and Frites, offering a selection of French wines, cheese platters ($27 to $59) and cold cuts ($12 to $25), as well as tartines ($10 to $17), seafood dishes ($16), desserts ($9 to $14) and an extensive breakfast menu. 37 Duxton Hill.
• The 61 Boat Quay space previously occupied by The Spiffy Dapper (now at 73 Amoy Street), has become St. Monica’s, a homey bar cheekily named for the patron saint of alcoholics, focusing on Belgian, English and American beers, and all things anti-posh and unpretentious – complete with New Orleans and blues-style music.
• Inhabiting the space previously occupied by Sushi Kuu is new restaurant Ginzawa, which offers authentic Japanese classics with a modern touch. Menu highlights include a pickled daikon, salmon and seaweed roll, braised kurobuta pork belly, grilled snapper fillet brushed with caramelised egg yolk sauce, and chirashi don, which comes with 11 types of seafood. 390 Orchard Road, #01-06/07 Palais Renaissance.
Health nuts with a sweet tooth, rejoice – Singapore’s first dedicated açaí superfood café, Project Açaí, has opened, offering low-sugar, gluten-free and vegan açaí bowls ($6.80 to $13.30) and smoothies ($8.50), packed with flavour and nutrition. Start with a blended açaí base, and layer on all sorts of healthy toppings like fresh fruit, raw cocoa nibs, coconut shavings, goji berries, chia seeds, granola and bee pollen. Pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”, the superfood, which comes straight from the Amazon rainforest, is packed with antioxidants, fibre and omega 3, 6 and 9, and is known to help prevent heart disease and cancer, increase energy levels and delay signs of ageing. 27 Lorong Liput.
A Taste of Italy
Popular pizza joint Spizza just upped the ante by launching an open gourmet marketplace at Capitol Piazza. All-day eatery Spizza Mercato serves up a range of over 25 classic wood-fired, thin-crust pizzas ($16 to $25), along with antipasti ($10 to $22) and pasta dishes ($14 to $18), plus new menu items including Italian pastries ($2.50 to $6) and espresso. There’s also a takeaway counter offering fresh panini sandwiches ($8), salads ($12 to $13.80), pizzas and pastas for those on the go. The best part? You can shop the marketplace for a wide array of Italian products ranging from household items, cooking equipment, liquor and wines to soups, sauces, fresh pastas and olive oils. 13 Stamford Road, #B2-52 Capitol Piazza.
Mix up your mash
Looking for a lighter substitute for traditional mashed potato? Zero Cuisine’s 100 percent natural and preservative-free Cauliflower Mash may be just the high-fibre alternative you’re looking for; in fact, it has less fat and fewer calories (only 60 calories per serving) than your regular carb-packed potatoes. Available in two flavours, Garlic, Herbs and Sea Salt, and Wasabi and Chives, this instant low-carb mash is quick and easy to prepare: simply add hot water and stir. Bonus points for the fact that it can be used to make other delish dishes like cauliflower soup and shepherd’s pie.
New Seafood Setup
With the launch of its brand new oyster bar, db Bistro Moderne at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands has been renamed db Bistro and Oyster Bar, to reflect the resounding popularity of the seafood options on the menu. The eatery now offers a wider range of chilled seafood items such as freshly shucked oysters, razor clams, shrimps, mussels, lobsters and a daily selection of tartares, ceviches, and hot seafood dishes such as Chef Daniel Boulud’s signature Octopus a la Plancha ($23) – served alongside signatures like the Original db Burger with foie gras ($42) and housemade charcuterie ($30 to $48). To celebrate its newly launched oyster bar, db Bistro is offering a bottle of Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne at a special price ($38 to $328, depending on bottle size) with the purchase of a seafood platter ($110 to $888) from now until 17 May. For more details, visit dbbistro.com/Singapore.
New Wine To Try
Ewineasia.com, one of Asia’s leading fine wine wholesalers and online retailers, has introduced renowned winery Merenco Vini to its extensive collection, giving wine lovers even more reason to flock to its online store, where they can conveniently search and shop by wine producer, style, grape variety, vintage, price, region – you name it. Dating back to the beginning of the 1900s, the Merenco vineyard is located in the Strevi hills in Italy’s eastern Piedmont region, an area particularly suitable for producing Moscato grapes. This is perhaps why Merenco’s Strev Moscato D’Asti DOCG 2014 is so very special – aromatic, delicate and fragrant, its mild yet rich Moscato flavour pairs perfectly with desserts and cakes and is a refreshing aperitif; $36 per bottle at ewineasia.com.
Cantonese Classics With A Twist
New to the Orchard neighbourhood is Mitzo, a modern take on Cantonese classics in a sleek and stylish space. Designed for sharing, the menu includes dishes like lobster and shrimp dumplings with black truffle, deep-fried octopus with cumin salt and pepper, and jasmine tea-smoked ribs with mango salsa, plus a selection of Chinese-inspired cocktails we’re just dying to try – the Ginseng Daiquiri ($24) and Empress Sour ($20) with chrysanthemum-infused gin, to name just two. 270 Orchard Road, Level 4 Grand Park Orchard.
What’s Hot at the Grand Hyatt
Chic Afternoon Tea
The all-new afternoon tea at 10 Scotts is another hidden gem, with a vast spread of international and local cuisine presented semi-buffet-style in the restaurant’s Dining Room; you can help yourself to an array of food at the long communal dining table, while other items are served at your table and replenished as you go. With an ever-changing selection of soups, hot sides and à la minute dishes flambéed to order, as well as cold cuts, artisan cheeses, oysters, dim sum, sushi, gourmet tartines, ice cream and other indulgent desserts, diners have plenty to choose from, no matter their cravings; favourites include the crab cakes with remoulade sauce, curry puffs, macaroons and scones with raspberry jam and clotted cream. Afternoon tea is $43 per person on weekdays and $53 per person on weekends, inclusive of unlimited coffee and tea; it’s $73 on weekdays and $83 on weekends with a free flow of Perrier-Jouët Champagne; $26 per child. For reservations, call 6732 1234. 10 Scotts Road.
This story first appeared in Expat Living’s May 2015 issue.