Looking for a new place to eat at this month? Here are 10 places worth checking out in Singapore.
Dabbawalla, the rebranded Curry Culture in Robertson Quay, is an inviting place. With many of its tables set up in a sheltered open area outside the open-front restaurant, it is a comfortable place for lounging in the evening.
From the tomato-based and creamy Dabbawalla Butter Chicken ($21) to the more acidic Assam Fish Curry ($20) and Prawn Masala ($24), the gravies are excellent whether eaten with bread or rice.
But the best one iis the Dabba Gosht ($24), where pieces of lamb are simmered for hours in a cashew curry sweetened with caramelised onions and tomatoes. The result is a complex melange of flavours that gets your taste buds working overtime, with corresponding dividends of pleasure.
#01-10, The Quayside, 60 Robertson Quay
Make a trip to Singapore’s first Peruvian cevicheria, Tono Cevicheria, for authentic Peruvian cuisine and salsa music.
This beach-decor restaurant is the brainchild of Peruvian chef Daniel Chavez, co-owner and chef of Ola Cocina Del Mar at Marina Bay Financial Centre.
The restaurant’s signature dishes are its ceviches, which are made to order. They combine fresh seafood and red onions with “Leche de Tigre” (Tiger’s Milk), a citrus-based marinade of limes and chillies.
One option is Ceviche Clasico ($25), a traditional ceviche that can be found in Peru.
Other items on the menu include Anticuchos ($22 for chicken, $25 for beef), which features marinated chicken or beef skewers, chalaquita sauce and panca chilli.
#01-49/50, Duo Galleria, 7 Fraser Street
Promoting healthy and therapeutic eating in Singapore is Frunatic, a fine-dining wellness restaurant at Palais Renaissance.
Behind the menu is a team of wellness professionals, comprising nutritionists, dietitians, naturopathic doctors, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and experienced chefs. The restaurant serves only vegan food and beverages with no dairy, gluten, trans fat, additives, cholesterol or preservatives.
Diners can choose between two eight-course combination sets ($108.80 a set). The menu explains the wellness benefits of each dish. An example in one of the sets is the Japanese Yam Noodles, which aid digestion.
Other healthy options, such as cold-pressed juices ($9) and raw nutrient dense cakes ($12), can be bought at its delicatessen, Wholesome Savour, outside the restaurant.
#B1-06, Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Road
Joining the halal cafe scene in Singapore is Santap, a new in-house cafe of luxury boutique hotel The Daulat.
Named after the phrase “to eat” in Malay, Santap’s menu features healthy clean eats.
Its popular dishes are the rice bowls ($15), made of cauliflower florets and wholegrain brown rice, topped with alfalfa, red daikon and spinach. Diners can choose from salmon, lamb, shrimp, beef or portobello mushroom accompanied with a choice of dressing.
Brunch selections such as Avocado Frittata and Smoked Salmon ($15), as well as pizzas such as Portobello Pizza ($13), are also on the menu.
Santap’s dishes are made with fresh produce sourced from the nearby market in Madras Street.
16 Madras Street
Western fusion restaurant 49 Seats has set up shop at The Centrepoint after restructuring, turning its previous three outlets into one.
At the new outlet, the interior has been done up in retro-mod style.
Fans of the restaurant will be pleased to know that signature dishes such as Tom Yum Seafood Pasta ($14.90, above) and Old Fashioned Fish and Chips with Al Scampi or Tom Yum Sauce ($16.90) are still on the menu.
Other favourites include Creamy Smoked Duck Pasta ($14.90) and Cheese Fries ($7.90).
To celebrate its grand opening, 49 Seats will be offering all pasta dishes at $4.90 nett for the first 49 orders each day until July 22.
All subsequent orders of pasta will be at 20 per cent off.
#01-49, The Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Road
Gao Peng Cuisine
Cantonese restaurant Gao Peng Cuisine has opened its second outlet at Junction Nine mall in Yishun.
The restaurant specialises in fresh, hand-crafted dim sum that is served all day and a range of home-style dishes.
Signature items include classic Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun ($4.80) and Homemade Fish Dumplings ($4.80) that are made from scratch.
Also, try dishes such as Fragrant Crispy Duck ($13.80 for a regular portion or $26 for half a duck, above) and Yuzu Marmite Chicken ($15.50).
#02-33, Junction Nine, 18 Yishun Avenue 9
Located just a five-minute walk from Newton MRT station is Daily Affairs, a new cafe in the Cairnhill Community Club serving fusion food.
Check out unusual combinations such as Tempura Kang Kong & Enoki with Togarashi ($6.50) and 12 Hour Braised Beef Short Rib with aged Huadiao wine, caramelised onions and potato pancakes ($18).
Other items on the menu include Angus Beef Salad ($9.50), Sous Vide Chicken In Laksa Broth ($11.50) and Atlantic Pink Salmon With Honey Miso Glaze ($15.50, above).
There are also lunch specials ($9.90), which change every day.
#01-02, Cairnhill Community Club, 1 Anthony Road
The Affogato Bar is the newest food and beverage tenant to open at Cluny Court, which already has at least three other places that serve coffee.
The bar uses Dimattina Coffee blends from Melbourne and serves affogato, or ice cream with a shot of hot espresso.
It has five affogato dessert parfaits on its menu. Each is served with a double shot of espresso made with various coffee blends, ice cream in different flavours and other toppings such as cake and nuts.
Chocoholics will enjoy the Death By Chocolate affogato ($13.90), with rich chocolate sorbet, brownie pieces, chocolate streusel and a thin round of dark chocolate.
If you love chai tea lattes, opt for the Dirty Chai Latte ($5.50 for a hot version, add $1 for soya milk), which includes a shot of espresso for that dose of caffeine. It marries two of my favourite drinks perfectly.
#01-04B, Cluny Court. 501 Bukit Timah Road
Red Grouper Fish Soup
At Taman Jurong Food Centre, there are a handful of popular fish soup stalls that attract long queues, including a low-key, nondescript stall called Seafood Fish Soup on the second floor.
Prices start at $5 a bowl. You can opt for batang fish or Spanish mackerel, but I prefer red grouper (from $8, above) for its texture and natural sweetness.
If you like fish head, order the red grouper fish head soup ($10) or batang fish head soup ($7).
Each bowl comes with thinly sliced bittergourd and tomato. I also like that evaporated milk is not added to this soup. The cloudy broth is fresh, wholesome and tasty.
#02-102, Taman Jurong Food Centre, 3 Yung Sheng Road
While the restaurant isn’t new, there’s a bunch of new menu items worth savourin.
It has rolled out some new sharing platters (for two, which are part of Basilico’s semi-buffet priced at $88 a person), including a Pizza Dough Seafood Casserole (above).
Fresh seafood such as octopus, tiger prawns, salmon and plump clams are served with a legume ragout and rich, savoury gravy flavoured with herbs such as thyme.
The cast-iron pot comes covered with a crisp layer of pizza dough – dip it into the pot to soak up the sauce.
Level 2, Regent Singapore
Text: The Straits Times