Dining-in is finally back again (and we’re crossing our fingers it stays this way for a long time). Which brings us to the good news: there is a list of new establishments which have opened during this past year which we really want to try out.
Ahead, we list down 10 stylish new restaurants and dining spots to head to, serving up everything from reimagined Indian grub to premium steak cuts and Korean cuisine.
Why go: Firangi Superstar is helmed by head chef Thiru Gunasakaran, previously the executive sous chef of none other than Spago by Wolfgang Puck. The restaurant describes itself as “a foreigner’s love letter to India”, and offers a creative take on Indian food.
Its interior is certainly elegant and well-designed, with post-colonial vibes and four sections each featuring a different theme. For example, a WWII British army officers lounge and a private room designed like a traditional train carriage (we hear the movie The Darjeeling Limited was a visual inspiration).
What to order: The signature This Is Not Aloo Gobi, a concoction of cauliflower couscous, masala compote, cubes of crispy potato, cashews, raisins and mint.
Also, the Prata Waffle, essentially prata shaped like a waffle and topped off with fried chicken and butter chicken sauce.
Address: 20 Craig Rd, #01-03
Opening hours: 11:30am to 10:30pm daily
Why go: Founded by Remy Lefebvre, who was previously chef of Butcher’s Block in Raffles Hotel and also helmed Mexican restaurant El Mero Mero. His current venture is a contemporary woodfire and gastronomy bar that serves four-to-eight course lunch and dinner menus.
Items available are subject to seasonal changes, but diners can expect a well-curated section of starters, savoury dishes from both sea and land (with an emphasis on seafood options like lobster, squid and rockbass), desserts and petit fours.
What to order: Highlights from the Summer 21 menu include items like Monkfish Tail with bayleaves, zucchini and mussels, as well as Apricot with almond, tarragon and miso frangipane. For starters, check out the Gambas with pine nut, wasabi, uni and yuzu.
Address: #01-20 Chijmes
Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday from noon to 2pm and 6pm to 10:30pm; Sunday from noon to 3pm and 6pm to 10:30 pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
IKO Restaurant and Bar
Why go: Located along Neil Road, Iko Restaurant and Bar is a Mod-Jap restaurant complete with neon lights and a sleek dining space. Heading the kitchen is local chef Jeremy Chiam, previously with the now-defunct Le Binchotan.
Iko offers six categories of food, ranging from raw, cold, small and sweet dishes to robata-grilled items, don/pasta and sweet desserts. There’s also a substantial drinks menu with sake, wine, seasonal Japanese craft beer and Japanese-inspired cocktails.
What to order: Don’t miss out on the signature Uni − bafun uni caught off the coast of Hokkaido with cauliﬂower pudding, dashi jelly and caviar.
Also, the Angus Short Ribs with port wine jus and garlic conﬁt. It’s cooked in a sous vide for up to 14 hours, then grilled on a binchotan-fired robata.
Address: 65 Neil Road
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 11:30am to 2:30pm and 6pm to 10:30pm. Closed Sunday.
Why go: Situated in the Bukit Pasoh conservation area, Clos Pasoh describes itself as a reimagining of the French brasserie for the urban food lover.
The restaurant includes an indoor dining room, terrace, wine & cheese room and chef’s table, with the 50-seat indoor space decked out in wallpaper by French fabric label La Maison Pierre Frey. Dining chairs were also handmade by local designer Ong Shunmugam.
Helming the kitchen is Louis Pacquelin, former chef de cuisine of BBR by Alain Ducasse at Raffles Hotel.
What to order: The signature Bisque coco-homard, a coconut and lobster bisque with steamed lobster dumplings.
If you’ve got a group of two to three, get the sharing-size Pot au feu, a traditional French beef stew with cheek, oyster blade and short rib, poached foie gras and vegetables.
As for dessert, the Mont Blanc is a delectable choice with chestnut mousse, confit, cream and blackcurrant.
Address: 48A Bukit Pasoh Rd, Level 2
Opening hours: Tuesday from 4:30pm to 11pm; Wednesday to Saturday from noon to 11pm. Closed Monday and Sunday.
Fat Belly Social Steakhouse
Why go: Fat Belly Social Steakhouse is the most recent venture of executive chef Victor Loy, who also heads the kitchen at Serene Centre’s Fat Belly Alternative Steakhouse.
Loy was previously executive chef of Plentyful and Refinery Concepts by Far East Organization and has amassed more than 15 years of F&B experience.
Whilst Alternative Steakhouse focuses on lesser-known cuts of beef, Fat Belly is all about communal dining and sharing plates. Sustainability is a key aspect too, with all parts of a plant/animal used in the various menu components.
There’s also a rotating wine list to go with the premium cuts.
What to order: The 2GR Full Blood Wagyu Rib Cap, cut from the cap of a ribeye with fantastic marbling. To complement the steak, we also recommend the Creamy Curly Kale for its nutty and earthy flavour.
End your meal with the Burnt Stilton Cheesecake, which features hints of mature Blue Stilton cheese and comes with berry sorbet.
Address: 21A Boon Tat Street
Opening hours: Tuesday to Wednesday from 11:30am to 3pm and 5:30pm to 10pm; Thursday to Friday from 11:30am to 3pm and 5:30pm to 11pm; Saturday from 10am to 3pm and 5:3opm to 11pm; Sunday from 10am to 4:30pm. Closed Monday.
Why go: Previously a travelling wine bar and consultancy by Spa Esprit Group, Drunken Farmer has finally put down roots at Stanley Street.
Taking over Common Man Stan (the CBD outpost of Common Man Coffee Roasters) after sundown, the bistro and bar features dishes centred around naturally leavened sourdough, as well as pairings of over 80 natural wines sourced from countries like France, Italy, Chile and Spain.
Heading the kitchen is chef de cuisine Paul Albert, who reprises his sourdough-focused menu from pop-up restaurant Le Vin Levain at Tiong Bahru.
What to order: The Sourdough “Couvert”, a basket of naturally-leavened sourdough loaves made using a 159 year-old starter, house churned butter, pickles fermented from scratch and smoked Maldon salt.
Also, the Iberico Platter, with choice cuts individually dry-cured for months at a time, each with their own blend of herbs and spices.
Address: 11 Stanley Street
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 6:00pm till 10:30 pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Why go: Located at Dempsey Hill, Moonbow is co-founded by first-time restaurateur Dylan Soh and local chef Heman Tan. Tan is also a passionate ceramist and triathlete, with over 38 years of culinary experience.
The restaurant specialises in modern European cuisine with an Asian influence and certainly has a swanky setting with ceramic tableware and an interior decked in muted hues.
Diners can also enjoy a weekend brunch & roast menu, and a midday high tea (Friday to Sunday) with both local and western options.
What to order: For starters, try the Moonbow Oyster Bay (fine de claire oysters with yuzu gel, cucumber pearl and yuzu granita). Also, the Soft Shell Crab Orzo, which introduces Chef Tan’s chilli crab orzo, paired with soft shell crab, egg drop, coconut gelato and cress.
The premium mooncakes are worth sampling too, with exotic flavours like red velvet lychee and charcoal black sesame.
Address: #01-21 Block 10 Dempsey Road
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday from 11:30am to 3pm and 6pm to 10:30pm; Friday from 11:30am to 10:30 pm; weekends from 11am to 10:30pm.
Why go: Nae:Um’s menu is a blend of Western techniques and Korean heritage flavours, inspired by chef Louis Han’s childhood in Seoul and his travels around the world.
Before opening Nae:Um, Han was also sous chef of Meta and head chef at the now-defunct Kimme in Singapore. As his first restaurant, Nae:Um is situated along Telok Ayer street and includes an open kitchen concept with only episodic tasting menus.
What to order: The current “Episode 1” menu showcases some of chef Han’s favourite ingredients. Highlights are the Uni Somyeon − buckwheat noodles cooked with chopped white kimchi, chives, drizzled with truffle oil and topped off with uni and caviar.
Also, the Mulhwae, originally a summer dish of cold sashimi soup. Han has now reinvented the item with aged cuttlefish and yuzu chilli.
Address: 161 Telok Ayer Street
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm to 10:30pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Chura Sushi Bar
Why go: Presentation is key when it comes to Japanese food, and this new restaurant by EN Group (which manages Japanese chains like Monster Curry and Tamago-EN) certainly delivers in that aspect.
The sushi here is exquisitely plated, with fresh ingredients imported directly from Japan. These include a special selection from Okinawa, such as sea grapes (served as nigiri sushi) and Shiquasa lime juice featured in the Chura Sour cocktail.
Speaking of cocktails, Chura’s bar team has also paired with House of Suntory to create a selection made from Japanese craft spirits like Roku Gin and Haku Vodka.
What to order: The eye-catching Chura Nigiri Set, which comes with 10 kinds of beautifully adorned sushi.
Another highlight is the Volcano Roll: deep-fried tempura shrimp and Japanese cucumber encased in tempura-battered seaweed and served on a platform of effervescent dry ice for theatrics.
You can pair these with the signature Rose Matcha Latte, a creamy cocktail with sake, matcha and rose syrup.
Address: #B1-122A Suntec City Mall
Opening hours: 11am to 10pm daily
Onda by Park Bench Deli
Why go: You’ve probably heard of Park Bench Deli’s famous sandwiches, a go-to for many worker bees around the Telok Ayer area.
Onda is its new standalone concept with only two sandwiches on the menu − the Cubano and the Hot Dog. The former comes with sweet ham, lechon and swiss cheese, whilst the latter is made with house-smoked beef frank, manchego mayo and brioche bread.
We’re also loving the laid-back decor in the small space, featuring retro pink tiles, neon lights and granite flooring.
What to order: Pair your sandwiches with sides such as Cicharron (fried pork rinds) and seasonal fruits with tajin seasoning. Or check out the range of Latin-inspired cocktails like the Cuba Libre (with Bacardi Reserva Ocho and MexiCoke) or Saoco (Havana Club 7 rum, coconut and lime).
Address: 21 Lor Telok
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 8pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Originally published in FEMALE.