1. The Spot
Executive chef Lee Boon Seng features rice in three dishes. There is the mui-fan inspired local skate with pearl rice risotto, dried sole coriander broth, and salmon roe ($25++, available for lunch, 11.30am to 2pm on weekdays, and dinner, 5.30 to 10pm, Mondays to Saturdays).
The risotto is made with Kokuho Japanese rice cooked with house-made fish stock, grated young ginger and cream. The beef shortrib with Java long pepper sauce ($40++, available for dinner only) features aerated porridge topped with puffed risotto rice.
Black rice also features in a dessert – frozen salted chocolate peanut with jivara chocolate cake, dulcey peanut ganache, honeycomb and black rice ($16++, available for lunch and dinner). The black glutinous rice is cooked in water, salt and sugar before 70 per cent Valrhona chocolate and Greek yogurt are folded in.
The Spot is at #01-26/27 Marina One The Heart, 5 Straits View, open: 7.30 am to 11 pm (weekdays), 5.30 to 11 pm (Saturdays), closed on Sundays. Call 6284 2637 or visit thespot.sg
Photo: The Spot
McDonald’s launched a permanent breakfast item islandwide – red rice porridge (from $3.80 a la carte, from $5.80 for Extra Value Meal).
The portion may look small, but it makes for a substantial breakfast as it is loaded with sweet potato, shiitake mushrooms, beancurd, corn kernels and goji berries.
Visit www.mcdonalds.com.sg for the full list of outlets and opening hours.
3. Restaurant Ibid
Chef-owner Woo Wai Leong – winner of MasterChef Asia’s inaugural season in 2015 – puts his twist on the classic century egg porridge with chye poh. He makes his own chye poh, and deep-fries bamboo shoots which are coated in century egg yolk that has been powderised. For the porridge, white radish trimmings are boiled till soft and cooked in a Thermomix with rice, soya milk and finished with butter and salt.
Another favourite rice dish of his is lotus rice. His version uses glutinous rice and short grain rice steamed in lotus leaves. Additional ingredients include foie gras, preserved liver sausage and dried shiitake mushrooms.
The dishes are available as part of the dinner set menus priced at $78 (four-course), $88 (six-course) and $118 (eight-course).
Restaurant Ibid is at 18 North Canal Road, open: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm, 6.30 to 10.30 pm (Mondays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays. Call 9151 8698 or visit www.restaurantibid.com
Photo: Restaurant Ibid
4. Hua Ting Restaurant
A popular dish on the menu since Hua Ting’s relaunch is Dong Xing garoupa with crispy rice and superior stock ($28).
Steamed rice topped with raw garoupa slices is first presented in a hot stone bowl. Hot stock is poured over to cook the fish, followed by puffed rice, fried sole and Chinese parsley to add flavour and texture.
Hua Ting Restaurant is at Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Road, Level 2, open: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm, 6 to 10.30 pm daily. Call 6739 6666 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Hua Ting Restaurant
5. Mui Kee
There have been long queues for the renowned congee from Mui Kee. The porridge takes five hours to prepare. Raw rice grains are first mixed with mashed century eggs, which help to break down the grains.
Then pork bones and fish stock are added and the mixture is stirred every five to 10 minutes, for five hours. This results in a fragrant and creamy congee base.
Upon order, each bowl of congee is prepared a la minute in a copper pot. Highlights include the parrot fish belly congee ($11.80) and decadent Alaskan crab leg congee ($22).
Mui Kee is at #01-12 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road, open: 11.30 am to 3 pm, 6 to 9.30 pm, Tuesdays to Sundays, closed on Mondays. Call 6737 2422 or visit www.muikee.com.sg
Photo: Mui Kee
6. Si Chuan Dou Hua
Savour two variations of an authentic Sichuan dish at Si Chuan Dou Hua at Parkroyal on Beach Road – crispy rice bubble with sliced pork ($20, $30 or $40) and crispy rice bubble with seafood ($26, $39 or $52).
To make the crispy rice bubble, the rice is first cooked, then baked at 100 deg C for about three hours.
Finally, it is left to dry for two days. The crispy rice bubble is placed in a bowl to serve and a hot gravy with the ingredients is poured over, creating a sizzling effect.
Si Chuan Dou Hua is at Parkroyal on Beach Road, 7500 Beach Road, open: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm, 6.30 to 10.30 pm daily. Call 6505 5722 or e-mail email@example.com
Photo: Si Chuan Dou Hua
7. Blue Lotus Chinese Grill House
A signature dish at the Blue Lotus Chinese Grill House outlets is Hot Stone Pork Lard Truffle Flavoured Egg Fried Rice ($20). The ingredients – lard, truffle oil, Chinese sausage, baby asparagus, fried rice, coriander, crispy pork lard, spring onions, shallots and soya sauce – come separately plated.
It makes for a fun Do-It-Yourself one bowl wonder as you mix everything together in a hot stone bowl, which gives the rice a nice char.
Blue Lotus Chinese Grill House outlets are at #01-13 Tanjong Pagar Centre, 5 Wallich Street; and #01-03 Novotel Singapore on Stevens, 30 Stevens Road, open: Tanjong Pagar Centre: 11.30 am to 10.30 pm (Mondays to Saturdays, closed on Sundays), Novotel Singapore on Stevens: 11.30 am to 10 pm (Wednesdays to Mondays, closed on Tuesdays). Call 6996 0880 (Tanjong Pagar Centre) or 6838 0880 (Novotel Singapore on Stevens).
8. Circa 1912
Rice gets a simple but tasty treatment at Circa 1912, which serves old-school dishes.
The menu offers a steamed rice with prawns, greens and duck fat ($8 a person, dinner only). The rice is steamed with duck fat till it is about 80 per cent cooked, then topped with raw prawns to continue steaming for another 10 minutes. By then, the juices from the prawn will have been absorbed into the rice, which is tossed in crisp minced garlic, spring onions, soy sauce and sesame oil.
For lunch, get a bowl of plain chicken essence congee ($3), which uses newly harvested rice, “old” rice and glutinous rice to give different textures. The grains are boiled over high heat with chicken stock and bones to add flavour.
Circa 1912 is at #03-07/11 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road, open: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm, 5.30 to 10 pm daily. Call 9242 9046.
A new dish at Cantonese restaurant Yan is its fried brown rice with diced vegetables and pine nuts ($22, $33 or $44, above).
As a healthier option, a mix of brown rice and white rice is used, along with corn kernels, diced mushrooms, pickled mustard, egg and pine nuts. The rice is served in a hot claypot which causes a crispy layer to form at the bottom. Stir the rice before serving to mix in the crispy bits.
Yan is at #05-02 National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road, open: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm, 6 to 10.30 pm daily. Call 6384 5585 or visit www.yan.com.sg
10. Forbidden Duck
While there are duck dishes aplenty at the new Forbidden Duck by celebrity chef Alvin Leung, the seafood rice in aromatic duck soup ($32) is probably the most comforting.
The piping hot soup comes with fresh scallops, prawns and duck meat. Crispy puffed rice is added to the soup for some crunch.
Forbidden Duck is at #02-02 Marina Bay Link Mall, 8A Marina Boulevard, open: 11 am to 3 pm, 6 to 10 pm (weekdays only and today); open daily from May 19. Call 6509 8767 or visit www.facebook.com/forbiddenducksg