Looking for a new place to eat at this month? Here are some places worth checking out in Singapore this July:
Old Chang Kee Coffee House @ Rex
Home-grown brand Old Chang Kee has opened its flagship store – Old Chang Kee Coffee House @ Rex – where the first stall was originally located, at the junction of Mackenzie Road and Niven Road opposite Rex Cinema.
What began as a tiny stall in the corner of the local coffee shop – where executive chairman Han Keen Juan’s entrepreneurial adventure started more than three decades ago with a humble curry puff – is now a 50-seat space that spans three shophouse units.
Besides favourites from Old Chang Kee and affiliated brands Curry Times, Bun Times and Dip ‘n’ Go, customers can now also enjoy several new and exclusive menu items.
Among the new offerings available only at this store is the fluffy Flower Bread, which consists of seven freshly baked, pull-apart buns. Nestled in the middle of the golden sesame-topped crust “flower” is an enamel bowl filled with a choice of curry chicken ($11.90, all prices nett), chicken stew ($11.90) or beef stew ($13.90, above). The dish also comes with free-flow gravy – great for sharing. Special boxes created just for this dish means customers can also take it home to break bread with family and friends.
Another menu exclusive is a dish reminiscent of Old Chang Kee’s Hainanese heritage. The Beef Stew Rice ($9.50) consists of rice topped with tender beef, radish and carrots and is fragrant with spices. Diners can also opt for the Baked Beef Stew Rice with Cheese ($10.90), served in a mess tin with melted cheese and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
19-23 Mackenzie Road
Clan Cafe, Straits Clan’s all-day lobby lounge, serves hearty grain bowls and broths inspired by East Asian heritage dishes.
Located on the first floor foyer of the members-only Straits Clan’s four-storey clubhouse, Clan Cafe has been specially set up to be open to the public.
Grain bowls include Miso Salmon ($17++), with carrot and lotus root kinpira, edamame and sugar snaps; Kakiage with Genmaicha Broth ($15++, above), loaded with kale, okra, murasaki imo, aubergine and Asian mushrooms; and Grilled Angus Ribeye ($19++), accompanied by an onsen egg, a medley of Asian mushrooms as well as carrot and lotus root kinpira.
There are also lighter salad-based bowls ($15++ to $17++).
For broths ($9++ each), check out Spiced Beef Broth, made with myriad Asian herbs and spices such as lemongrass, galangal and candlenut; Chicken & Leek Broth, infused with leek and ginger; and Hearty Tomato Soup, where you will find slow-roasted tomatoes, cherry tomato confit and pumpkin seeds.
The bowls, broths and brunch items ($8++ to $19++) such as eggs and sandwiches are available until 6pm, when a smaller menu takes over. In the evenings, the menu offers bar snacks ($16++ to $19++) such as the Otah Sandwich and Octopus Curry Toast, which pair well with teas, coffees, cocktails or beers.
The eatery’s beverage programme, the result of a partnership with speciality tea company A.muse Projects, offers five tea blends ($8++ each). Also available are cocktails ($17++ each) and Asian craft beers ($10++ to $18++).
31 to 37 Bukit Pasoh Road
East Manhattan-Bakery Cafe
Former banker John Wee spent nearly a year in New York City learning the fine art of classic American baking.
When he returned to Singapore, he set up East Manhattan bakery at Katong V mall, serving freshly baked, authentic artisanal bread, tarts and cakes.
Two weeks ago, he opened East Manhattan-Bakery Cafe at Hong Leong Building. The 20-seat cafe serves mains as well as desserts such as pastries, tarts and sliced cakes. Customers can also pick up artisanal breads and a variety of whole cakes.
Signature dishes include gluten-free items such as Salmon Quinoa ($14.80, all prices nett), Basil Chicken ($14.80) and Chicken Breast Salad ($10).
For bread and pastries, there are wholemeal walnut cheese loaf ($6.20, above), chicken avocado sandwich ($10), sourdough bread ($6.80) and lemon tart ($5.80).
The bakery has a wide range of cream cakes, cheesecakes, mousse cakes, 3D cakes as well as festive season cakes, which are available online too. Cakes can be customised.
Cakes are available whole – Onde Onde ($58, 1kg), Happy Cheese Cake ($65, 1kg) and the gluten-free Chocolate Chips Cake ($75, 1kg) – or by the slice ($6.90 to $7.50).
B1-47 Hong Leong Building, 16 Raffles Quay
Craving bubble tea in the middle of the night? Head to the departure hall at Changi Airport Terminal 2 for your fix.
Taiwanese brand TP Tea launched its first Singapore outlet at the airport last Wednesday and it is open round the clock.
The bubble tea chain, which has more than 300 shops in the region, is the latest chain to enter Singapore’s increasingly crowded bubble tea market.
Bestsellers include Tie Guan Yin Tea Latte ($4.60), Pearl Black Tea Latte with Red Beans ($5.30) and a Pearl Milk Tea Soft Serve Ice Cream ($3.60).
At One Sushi, your a la carte orders will be delivered to your table by an automated car that travels on a track above the sushi conveyor belt. And the belt is filled with 50 different yellow-plate items ($1.50++ a plate).
If you are a lover of ikura, you can savour the gleaming salmon roe without fear of breaking the bank – its Ikura Gunkan is permanently available at $1++. There will be a monthly featured sushi priced at $1++ as well.
Another value-for-money item to try is the briny Uni Sushi ($1.50++).
Star items to look out for on the a la carte menu include Japanese air-flown Hamachi Kama ($13.80++); rich and creamy Hotate Mentai ($4.80++) that comes with a generous dose of mentaiko atop bite-sized scallops; as well as Double Salmon Roll ($9.80++).
#01-04 Yishun Town Square, 3 Northpoint Drive
Marco Guccio, chef-owner of fine-dining Italian restaurant Guccio Ristorante, has had stints as the head chef of Zafferano and Garibaldi, and executive chef of Alkaff Mansion.
His menu has Sicilian and Calabrian influences with seafood dishes such as Sicilian red prawns with green pea coulis and lemon-scented buffalo ricotta ($32++), and one of his signature dishes – Polipo ($40++), poached and pan-seared Sardinian octopus, seasonal vegetables with salmoriglio dressing.
Pasta and risotto dishes ($26++ to $44++) include paccheri with half Canadian lobster; tagliatelle with Rougie duck ragout; and wild rocket ragliolini.
Among the seafood and meat dishes ($36++ to $168++) are Mediterranean monkfish, roasted Italian sea bass fillet, 48-hour sous-vide US prime beef short ribs, 52 hours sous-vide rolled lamb shoulder; and Fiorentina 200-days grain-fed black angus beef T-bone (serves two people).
20 Gemmill Lane
The home-grown artisan ice-cream shop at The Esplanade Mall is founded by married couple Jenn Wei Yeo and Valerie Liu.
It is named after Singapore’s national animal – the lion (leeu is the Afrikaans word for lion).
The couple went on a safari in South Africa last year and were struck by the majesty of the lions they saw and decided to start a brand that paid homage to the king of beasts and Singapore.
Signature items include the Merlion Ice Pop ($4.80) and Esplanade Ice Cream ($11.80).
The Merlion Ice Pop is a strawberry-and vanilla-flavoured confection in the colours of the Singapore national flag and in the likeness of the Merlion. It is endorsed by the Singapore Tourism Board.
The durian-shaped Esplanade Ice Cream is crafted from fresh durian, a nod to the iconic arts centre’s tropical fruit nickname.
The shop also serves soda floats.
#02-07 The Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Avenue
Bugis @ Studio M
Bugis Street was home to raucous street-side dining and buzzing night markets in the 1950s to 1980s and Bugis @ Studio M is Studio M Hotel’s update of the back-alley experience.
This 32-seat outdoor kiosk features an eclectic old-school decor and serves street food and craft beers including those from Singapore microbreweries such as Archipelago draft, Ki Siao Brown Ale, SG Blonde Ale, Sibei Ho Witbier, Tiger and Tok Gong America IPA ($10 plus GST each).
International labels ($12+ each) like the Australian Bridge Road Robust Porter, French La Chouette, North Coast Stellar from California and Belgian St Bernardus Witbier are also represented here.
The menu consists of Asian favourites such as Just Spam La ($10+), thin slices of luncheon meat fried with curry leaves and chilli padi; and Hou Yu Pi ($10+), fried fish skins seasoned with Szechuan pepper.
Wah! Hot Chicks ($10+) are spicy chicken wings served with sweet Thai chili sauce, and Kam Heong Chicks ($10+, above) comprises fried chicken pieces tossed with dried shrimp, curry powder and curry leaves.
Larger plates include Tok Kong Laksa ($12+) and Beef Rendang Sedap ($14+), slow-cooked dry curry with spices, accompanied with rice.
3 Nanson Road
Bishamon Hokkaido Miso Ramen
After a four-year absence, Bishamon, which specialises in miso ramen (above), is back in Singapore.
Helmed by executive chef Melvin Yeo, the 58-seater at Suntec City’s Eat At Seven enclave has a new menu featuring traditional Sapporostyle miso ramen.
The ramen broth is a unique blend of three types of miso – red, white and a rare black miso rarely used in Singapore.
Bishamon gets its black miso from suppliers in Japan.
The three types of miso are stir-fried and made into a paste, which is then mixed with pork bone and chicken soup.
Bishamon’s Special Sapporo Miso Ramen ($15.8++) is topped with large slices of tender kurobuta pork collar cha shu and comes with corn, bamboo shoots and soft-boiled egg.
The meat is cooked in Bishamon’s pork broth for two hours, and then soaked in a special marinade for another two hours.
For tonkotsu lovers, there is Special Tonkotsu Miso Ramen ($15.80++), made using the same pork bone and chicken broth as well as white miso paste.
Thin white ramen noodles are used instead of the yellow noodles of the Sapporo-style miso ramen – an ideal option if you prefer a milder flavour.
#03-313 Suntec City North Wing, 3 Temasek Boulevard
Twenty Eight Cafe
Twenty Eight Cafe, located in the Mount Sophia and Mount Emily area, has its own special blend of coffee beans from Bali.
It serves an all-day menu of brunch favourites such as Eggs Benedict ($16.90, all prices nett) served on hash, and Luncheon Fries ($12.90).
From noon, there are mains such as burgers and sandwiches to six varieties of pastas.
Among the other highlights are Cold Truffle Pasta ($19.90), angel hair pasta tossed in Italian truffle oil and Japanese kombu seaweed, and Smoked Salmon Igloo ($18.90), where crispy sourdough bread is served with a dome-shaped smoked salmon igloo, which houses a runny poached egg.
Another dish is the Pig-Out Sandwich ($17.90), Spanish pulled-pork shoulder and cooked ham with cheddar cheese, gherkin, cabbage and lettuce tucked between two slices of sourdough bread.
A must-try for those with a sweet tooth is Indian Churros ($4.90, above), which is inspired by traditional roti prata. The churros are made with a flaky dough and twisted by hand to resemble a knot and then dusted with cinnamon sugar.
#01-06, 28 Wilkie Road
Text: Straits Times