From themed cafés (hint: Gudetama & Friends) to some seriously indulgent bites, here are 11 spots that either just opened or are opening soon this December guaranteed to take you to culinary heaven and beyond.
Just a few days ago the ever-popular lazy egg, Gudetama, finally manifested into a silly and delicious home in Suntec City! Local brands Joe & Dough and The Soup Spoon teamed up to bring this themed cafe to life, with a small but focused menu entirely inspired by the Gudetama character. See above: Gudetama whining ‘nua’ (Hokkien for lazy) atop chargrilled New Zealand grass-fed Angus Ribeye in the ‘Rib-”I” Don’t Care’ ($28.5++). This bad boy comes smothered in a wild mushroom sauce alongside grilled veggies and sweet potato mash. With some surprisingly innovative bites like the Gudetama Lobster Onsen ($16++), and the ‘Shoyu Ramen’ ($21.5++), which is actually chocolate mousse cake, don’t expect the food to be lazy like Gudetama. Oh, and be sure to clear some memory on your phone, ‘cause the animated walls, egg-shaped booths, photogenic presentation, and ‘food playground’ (complete with a Gudetama water fountain) all provide ample opportunity for photos perfect for social sharing.
Find it at #01-361 Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard
Click here for more info on Gudetama Cafe.
Okay so we cheated a bit – Plentyfull has been open since August, but it has only recently started to gain notoriety so check it out before the New Year brings new crowds! This all-day multi-concept restaurant, patisserie, and gourmet grocer tucked away in Millenia Walk provides honest homemade meals using seasonal produce sourced from both international and local farmers. The customizable lunch grain bowl options are plentiful, and dinner serves up more hearty plates like the Thai Roasted Chicken with Garlic & Cilantro and House-Smoked Mussels on Toast. You could also elect to swing by the retail section (which is managed by Little Farms) and snag some earthy nut milks, shakes, and healthy snacks to go. Just remember, whether you’re chowing down on cakes and coffee or a Quinoa Bowl, the preservative-free food is all made from scratch, and is quite the nourishing oasis amidst the frenzy of the city center.
Find it at 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-79/80, Millenia Walk
Book a table at Plentyfull.
With outlets already in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing, this famous Bangkok café is FINALLY setting up shop in The Lion City. The soft launch is scheduled for 5 December, boasting 100 seats in a modern first floor setting at Paragon Orchard and a casual fusion food concept aligned with the original Bangkok chain. You can expect Greyhound signatures like the oft-blogged-about Fried Chicken Wings, a scrumptious Fried Rice Noodle with Chicken & Dried Squid, and the totally uncomplicated ‘Complicated Noodle’ that requires a bit of self-assembly before you can enjoy its fresh palate of Southeast Asian flavours.
Find it at Paragon Shopping Mall, 290 Orchard Road, #01-25/25A
Click here for more info on Greyhound Cafe.
Yellow Cab Pizza Co. first opened back in 2001 with a simple mission: ‘to share a slice of New York with the rest of the world’. With 130+ stores in six countries currently in operation and over 100 new outlets set to open in the near future (including our own spot here in S’pore opening on 9 December!) this is an American-Italian casual dining concept we can totally get behind. You might be inclined to expect inferior quality from such a rapidly expanding brand, but fear not. Yellow Cab uses only premium ingredients and knows how to spin up a truly authentic New York-style pie – crisp and slightly charred but dense and chewy in the middle with oozing layers of cheese and generous toppings. This is the real deal, folks. Expect a space that reinforces the gritty NYC feel, complete with an open kitchen, exposed pipes, and graffiti, all nestled in CityLink Mall at City Hall.
Find it at CityLink Mall, B1-01/02
Click here for more info on Yellow Cab Pizza & Co.
In other ‘new-restaurant-family-addition’ news, A Poke Theory has just given birth to a decadently sinful alter ego. Head over to Raffles Ave for a lavish dip into savoury grilled cheeses, ‘primal’ buffalo wings, short rib melts, craft beer, and more at Alter Ego. Despite its recent opening in early November it has already gained prominence for dishes like the Loaded Taters (above), and the Salted Yolk Pork Ribs. Even though the team still serves up healthy fare by day a la Poke Theory (think smoothies & poke bowls), come nighttime they’re going for all out indulgence: ‘forget clean eating’ is one of Alter Ego’s deliciously sinister mottos. If lunch is a salad, then dinner can be elbow deep in butter and cheese fries, followed by one craft beer after another because, hey, you deserve it! Sounds like cheat day is today.
Find it at 8 Raffles Avenue, #01-13D
Click here for more info on Alter Ego.
Local Celebrity Chef, Justin Quek, famed for his refined French cuisine, is the man behind Grignoter, a bistro-bar specializing in the fine wines of Bordeaux alongside a selection of elevated bar bites. For those stumbling over the name, ‘grignoter’ actually means ‘nibble’ in French, though the nibbles here come with a subtle touch of luxury. Think a yakitori-style grilled chicken liver, the deep gamey flavours offset by a tart glaze of Bordeaux reduction. More substantial bites find us in the Croque Monsieur and Steak Frites territory, comfort foods that pair well with the full-bodied wines on the list. So grab a bottle, order some bites, and put your feet up for that sunny Bordeaux experience without having to leave our little island.
Find it at 2 Teck Lim Road.
Book a table at Grignoter.
7. Kam’s Roast
In case you’ve been living under a foodless rock this November, we’re here to spread the tasty word – Hong Kong’s world-famous Michelin-starred Kam’s Roast has landed in Singapore, opened on 19 Nov. People have been queuing like it’s their job to get a taste of Kam’s signature meats – so what’s the verdict? Under careful supervision from the original HK chefs, the team here totally succeeds in replicating the same top-quality fare that earned the original its Michelin fame. Although there is no signature goose on the menu due to import restrictions, the other options are far from a letdown: the ‘Toro’ Char Siu ($22.80++) is an astounding display of tender & rich char siu fit for the gods, and the dizzying array of noodle dishes are of the highest quality and flavour … perhaps because the noodles are flown in daily by Singapore Airlines(!). That’s an A+ for dedication, and an equally impressive score for deliciousness.
Find it at 9 Scotts Road, #01-04/05/06/07, Pacific Plaza
Book a table at Kam’s Roast.
The Lion City will be getting a touch friendlier this month when Central Perk Cafe, the real-life version of the coffee shop hangout in everyone’s favourite ‘90’s TV show Friends, opens in mid-December. It’s located in a rather nondescript location of Central Mall near Clarke Quay, and filled with over 300 square meters of guaranteed selfie ready paraphernalia (think a faux NYC al fresco patio, a replica of Monica’s apartment, an entire wall dedicated to Ross, and the iconic café couch).
On the F&B side of things, the team worked tirelessly to create 6 custom coffee blends, each based on a different main character to replicate personality traits in the flavour profiles. Try the Rachel, whose smooth sweetness is perfect for a latté, or the rich and robust Joey perfect for a long black wake up call. The Friends-themed nosh is a tad pricy (it is supposed to be NYC, after all), but at an unparalleled level of quality for a themed joint. Be sure to try ‘Joey’s 2 Pizzas’ – one features a guacamole base with Cajun prawns, the other comes loaded pumpkin puree & pepperoni. This is the only Central Perk Cafe licensed by Warner Brothers outside of the US, so expect extreme attention-to-detail, official merchandise on sale, delicious grub, and some serious coffee kicks.
Find it at Central Mall, 1 Magazine Road #01-01
Book a table at Central Perk.
Barrio by Mex-Out is not a new establishment per se, but their spankin’ new outlet opening in VivoCity has us all kinds of excited. You can expect casual but quality (and often messy) American-Mexican eats, like the yummy Pulled Pork Tacos, to a variety of burritos, bowls, quesadillas, and more. Can’t decide? You should definitely opt for the absurdly scrumptious Buttermilk Fried Chicken Burger deep fried in beer batter and served on a brioche bun. It conveniently goes down well with an ice cold margarita and a side of nachos. Barrio is a casual and contemporary space perfect for afternoon eats while strolling through VivoCity – though we may be guilty of heading on over just for Barrio.
Find it at #01-116 Vivo City, 1 Harbourfront Walk
Click here for more info on Barrio by Mex-Out.
Botanist is a new and cozy, semi-hidden café that opened in mid-November along Neil Road. Walk past the unassuming white shop house to find the wall mural leading to the entrance, where you can often spot a blackboard adorned with daily specials. Weekend brunch has already become a packed affair, boasting a variety of cuisines that somehow manage to surpass the hype. We absolutely love the Maple Pancake ($18 nett) and Breakfast Platter ($23 nett), but our heart truly belongs to the uniquely flavoured Corn Fritters ($18 nett): pan fried bits of heaven served with sweet tomato salsa, hummus, guacamole, poached egg, and baby spinach tossed in yuzu vinaigrette. Grab a long black for $4.5 or a latte for just $5, either of which makes for a great chill afternoon caffeine fix in the beautiful neighborhood. It’s a simple, honest concept with a mainly outdoor dining area that we’re seriously digging this December.
Find it at 74 Neil Road
Click here for more info on Botanist.
11. Tunglok Teahouse
The Tunglok brand is synonymous with excellence, serving up quality Chinese fare across several concepts and outlets throughout the city. The newly refurbished Tunglok Teahouse at Novena boasts an automated food ordering and delivery system that frankly is just a whole lot of fun. Diners order on an iPad and dishes come in a perfectly timed fashion along a conveyor belt directly to your table. While dim sum standards are done exceptionally well here, you won’t leave disappointed if you expand your horizons and indulge into the house specialties Try the sublime Steamed Siew Mai with Quail Egg & Truffle (4 pcs, $5.8++), the yolk bursting in the middle complements the dash of truffle atop the shrimp perfectly. A Teahouse Signature Rice Roll ($7.8++) reinvents cheong fun in a sinfully delicious deep fried way that you’ll have to taste for yourself. The setting is comprised of mostly small booths of 4, though there are still lazy susans with traditional ordering options for those less technologically-inclined (we see you, grandma!).
Find it at Square 2, 10 Sinaran Drive, #01-73
Click here for more info on Tunglok Teahouse.