From contemporary Sichuan to iconic Italian, multi-concept dining and more, here are 10 spots that either recently opened or are coming soon in 2017 guaranteed to take you to gastronomic nirvana.
1. Birds of a Feather
In case you didn’t know, hipster Sichuan is kind of a thing now. Unsurprisingly located among other trendy Amoy Street joints, Birds of a Feather has flown slightly under the radar since its opening in November.
The team dishes out contemporary fusion cuisine with a decidedly Sichuan flare, apparent on dishes like the Tofu Burger with Mapo Meat Sauce, and the Crispy Pork Trotter in a Bag filled with numbing Sichuan spices. Other inspiring plates like the Crispy Gyoza with Truffle Soy Vinaigrette, and Oriental Bolognaise with Onsen Tamago, Mizuna, and Ebi Sakura delve even deeper into fusion territory, and play with flavours in irresistibly delicious ways. Add in a gorgeous ambiance with lush greenery, an extensive cocktail list, house-made desserts (mmm that Poached Pear!), and we’ve got an absolute must-try for 2017.
For better or worse, just don’t expect quite the same level of mala you’d find in Chengdu.
Find it at 113 Amoy Street
Click here for more info on Birds of a Feather
“I believe that dining should not only focus on food; it should be an extension of the atmosphere and the company. All the different elements—food, drink and entertainment—should work together to create a well-rounded, holistic, and, most importantly, fun night out.” – Chef Luigi Calcagno
Taking over the former home of Catalunya in the glass dome at Fullerton Pavillion, Monti promises to be a complete ‘lifestyle destination’ along Marina Bay offering up more than just dinner and drinks, though those are reason enough to visit. Italian chef Luigi Calcagno, co-owner of the famous Zibiru in Bali, is the mastermind behind the slew of fresh pastas, meats, & seafood, and we cannot stop thinking about his heavenly handmade Invertiti Ravioli stuffed with braised veal in a cream of bone marrow sauce. Topped with parmesan and lemon zest, it’s a true standout on an already impressive menu.
Enjoy expertly mixed drinks (try the Mr. Monti with its basil, Bacardi Carta Blanca, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, and East Imperial Grapefruit tonic) to jazz up a romantic and/or cosy dinner with waterfront views, or go all out and wine, dine and dance until dawn as Monti transforms into a hotspot for late-night cocktails with live DJs at night!
Find it at 82 Collyer Quay
Click here for more info on Monti
Tucked away in a quiet corner of 13 Duxton Hill sits the aptly-named Thirteen Duxton Hill, the brainchild of Melbourne chef John-Paul Fiechtner (JP) and sommelier-cum-manager Sally Humble. The feeling we get when we first visited Thirteen is something akin to stepping into someone’s home. The warmly-lit ambience and Chef JP and Sally’s laid-back hospitality allow diners to immediately feel at ease. Everything about Thirteen embodies their handiwork: from the interior décor of the restaurant, which was designed and renovated by the owners themselves, down to the intricate menu, done omakase, that changes and are handwritten daily.
Despite being a newcomer in Singapore’s competitive restaurant scene, we are blown away with Thirteen’s exemplary dishes. Chef JP’s vast experience cooking in international kitchens translates beautifully into his creations. We are mildly obsessed with his Summertime Campfire Marshmallow – baked white chocolate topped with fresh cherries, nestled in a helping of gently burnt smoking Swiss meringue – which Sally describes as evoking the nostalgia of having toasted marshmallows with fresh picked berries on a camping trip.
If you fancy fine dining but hate the pretension, a visit to Thirteen Duxton Hill is definitely a must!
Find it at 01-01 13 Duxton Hill
Click here for more info on Thirteen Duxton Hill.
4. Upper Place
Nestled on the rooftop of WANGZ Hotel, Upper Place is an elegant yet unpretentious new joint with a menu of Eurocentric small plates infused with occasional Asian influences.
The Reconstructed Laksa Risotto ($27++) is an immediate hit, made with Boston lobster, Hokkaido scallop, market catch, coconut foam, and sambal. We’re pretty confident in saying that we’ve never tasted anything quite like this before – the deep flavours of the laksa married with coconut and lobster in the form of a savoury risotto, it’s a bold dish indeed! Another surprise comes in the form of a scrumptious slice of Carrot Cake ($8++) served with cinnamon sorbet. It’s an inspiring dessert and sweet complement to the other dishes.
Set lunches will only set you back $19.90++ for 2 courses or $24++ for three, and with some fabulous views of Tiong Bahru to boot, Upper Place is a new addition to the Singapore dining scene that we’re excited to visit again.
Find it at 231 Outram Road (rooftop of WANGZ Hotel)
Book a table at Upper Place
5. FOO’D by Davide Oldani
This 128-seat Italian showstopper opened in mid-December at The Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, a new addition to the restaurant-in-restored-heritage-building trend (not that we’re complaining). Davide Oldani, chef-owner of one Michelin-starred D’O Restaurant in Milan who has also cooked for A-listers like Giorgio Armani, is a proponent of accessible and ‘democratic’ fine dining that can please all tastes while not totally breaking the bank.
At FOO’D you can expect an exquisite atmosphere alongside modern Italian dishes like the hearty Beef Cheek with red wine reduction & trout pearls, or for a true standout try the 65 degree Soft Foie-Gras with salted biscuit, roasted Williams pear, and grapefruit sorbet. Lunch is priced at S$45++ for three courses and S$52++ for four courses, while the dinner damage is S$138++ for five courses and S$168++ for seven courses.
Reservations at his Milan joint are hard to come by, so you should definitely give FOO’D a taste before the crowds catch on!
Find it at 11 Empress Place, #01-01, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall
Book a table at FOO’D by Davide Oldani
As The Warehouse Hotel’s flagship restaurant, Po celebrates the richness of Singaporean dishes with a contemporary touch. Its name pays homage to the phrase popo, which means grandmother in mandarin.
Sourcing only the finest Asian ingredients, almost every element of Po’s dishes is made from scratch. We recommend Po’s Kurobuta Char Siew ($19), a 24-hour sous-vide barbecued pork collar, for an indulgent start. For something slightly closer to home, try the Squid Ink Calamari ($16), where rings of fresh squid are dipped in squid ink batter and deep fried, served with a traditional salted duck egg sauce. We find Po’s Lobster Somen ($49) incredibly tempting with its collagen-rich shark bone & pig trotter broth, fresh fish maw, and Maine lobster tail.
Find it at 320 Havelock Road, The Warehouse Hotel
Book a table at Po Restaurant
We can’t help but be drawn to PORTA at Park Hotel Clarke Quay, and it isn’t difficult to see why: its homey feel is inspired by the honesty and beauty of Clarke Quay’s old colonial days.
Just 31, Chef Michael Suyanto of PORTA has amassed 12 years worth of culinary experience, where much of his career was spent honing his skills in international luxury 5-star hotels and the Les Amis Group. Expect dishes that masterfully combine fresh produce and seasonal flavours such as the Ravioles de Royans ($22), a comforting vegetarian dish consisting of two-cheese filling ravioles served in a creamy and tangy sauce, topped with Emmental cheese sprinkles. On the other hand, we’re sure that meat-lovers will love the highly-marbled Iberian Pork Secreto ($26), a pork shoulder blade done sous-vide for four hours and roasted to perfection. This tender piece of meat is then glazed with a glistening of Pommery mustard and served with a creamy, tangy honey mustard mash. If these two dishes alone aren’t enough to whet your appetite, then we don’t know what will!
Find it at 1 Unity Street, Level 1 of Park Hotel Clarke Quay
Book a table at PORTA Fine Food & Import Company
A typical scene at Teepee Bar & Restaurant goes a little something like this: tables of friends enjoying meals and conversations over tinkling of highballs while Reggaeton tracks play gently in the background.
Teepee combines comforting rice bowls and homey burgers with delicious drinks. The people behind the food are generous with the premium ingredients and spices as well; their gourmet burgers and rice bowls are packed with flavours that will thrill your taste buds. We’re excited to try their Spiced Kimchi Beef Burger ($19) – a tender beef patty with a Korean twist of kimchi and cheese – and the Teepee Wagyu Beef Bowl ($24) that’s complemented by a 63C egg, sautéed kale, and leek sauce. Likewise, the lineup for their drinks menu is not to be missed.
Aside from specialty coffees and signature cocktails, Teepee has a number of unique creations with enticing names such as the Chamomilla — a piquant blend of chamomile infused gin, Tougarashi Umeshu, notes of Jasmine and lemon. With a name like that, we’re sold even before we take a sip!
Find it at 31 Hong Kong Street, #01-02
Click here for more info on Teepee Bar & Restaurant
9. Akira Back
Here’s something that we’re sure everyone is excited about. With six internationally-renowned restaurants already under his belt, Korean-born celebrity chef Akira Back adds another with the debut of his signature restaurant at JW Marriott Singapore South Beach.
Showcasing modern Japanese cuisine with Korean accents and culinary influences from around the world, Akira Back serves up an array of innovative dishes centered on seasonal produce and artisanal ingredients. His rendition of a Tuna Pizza ($25) is a refreshing take from the usual. A light, crispy tortilla crust layered with thinly sliced raw tuna, it’s definitely something we would have again and again. Another dish that stood out for us is the Pop Rockin’ ($17), a signature roll made with spicy crab, asparagus, cucumber and – believe it or not – pop rocks. Those bad boys alone make it a standout dish in our eyes.
While celebrity chefs tend to take a more serious view of food, Chef Akira Back adds a dash of ‘cool’ to the word culinary. His unique and quirky creations are definitely something we can all get in on!
Find it at 30 Beach Road, Level B1M, South Beach Tower, JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach
Book a table at Akira Back
10. New Ubin Seafood
Well-loved by both locals and visitors alike, New Ubin Seafood definitely isn’t a new kid on the block but we wouldn’t miss giving their relocation to Bukit Timah a shoutout. Keeping to tradition, the usual suspects are still on the menu: Great Shovel Nose Ray, Chilli Crab and their (notorious) U.S. Angus Rib-eye Steak with Heart Attack Fried Rice.
Just in case you’ve been kept in the dark about their Heart Attack Fried Rice, just imagine a steaming plate of rice tossed in fat that’s rendered from the aforementioned steak – need we say more? Want. Some. Now.
Find it at 63 Hillview Avenue, Level 6 Canteen
Book a table at New Ubin Seafood