As the year draws to a close, the food and beverage scene revs up the pace – rolling out goodies for Christmas and launching new restaurants in time for festive celebrations. These have resulted in the emergence of new foodie enclaves.
The hipster and heritage area of Bugis gets a dose of luxury with Andaz Singapore, a hotel by Hyatt which is housed in the new Duo complex. In Paya Lebar, there is the new SingPost Centre just a stone’s throw from Paya Lebar MRT station and Paya Lebar Square mall. And in the Central Business District is mixed-used development Marina One, a stunning building with lush greenery reminiscent of paddy fields.
If you want to avoid Orchard Road, dine at the latest hotel cluster in Stevens Road, where the new Mercure Singapore on Stevens and Novotel Singapore on Stevens are located. The nine new restaurants, located in standalone units around the area, are owned and managed by Oxley Holdings.
Also adding buzz to the scene are big-name hotels such as InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, which features the likes of Wolfgang’s Steakhouse Singapore, Japanese restaurant Ishi and its upcoming sister restaurant Plum and Toro, on top of the neighbouring Quayside cluster, which includes Mediterranean restaurant Summerlong, Indian restaurant Dabbawalla and Mexican restaurant and bar SuperLoco.
In the vicinity of the Tanjong Pagar MRT station – already hopping with eateries at Tanjong Pagar Centre and OUE Downtown’s Downtown Gallery – another recently launched hotel, Sofitel Singapore City Centre hotel, is home to French-Chinese restaurant Racines, Club Millesime lounge and its lobby bar 1864.
So, whet your appetite with the smorgasbord of food options available, as we round up where to eat and drink and what to look forward to.
MERCURE SINGAPORE ON STEVENS AND NOVOTEL SINGAPORE ON STEVENS
Get away from the frenzy of Orchard Road and head to the cosy enclave of Mercure Singapore on Stevens and Novotel Singapore on Stevens, and the cluster of nine restaurants here.
The 254-room Novotel Singapore on Stevens is home to buffet restaurant Food Exchange, which features Thai, Indian, European and local cuisine cooked at live cooking stations. It also operates L’Aperitif Tapas Bar, which serves tapas and cocktails; and Novotel Infinity Pool Bar, which offers poolside snacks and drinks.
The 518-room Mercure Singapore on Stevens opens on December 8, along with gourmet cafe Fudebar, which will serve salads, sandwiches and coffee. The hotel’s Winestone restaurant, which serves Mediterranean food, opens on December 15. Also open in the area is the two-week-old Fisk Seafoodbar & Market, which specialises in Norwegian and coldwater seafood. Its parent company is 30-year-old seafood supplier Snorre Food.
Another brand to look forward to is seafood establishment Long Beach, which is slated to open by Chinese New Year. The second outlet of Blue Lotus Chinese Grill House by Ricky Ng, managing director of restaurant group Blue Lotus Concepts International, is targeted for a December 7 opening. It will offer the brand’s signatures of chilli pomelo la mian soup with crab meat, and chicken skin with chilli yogurt dip, along with new items that put a spin on local favourites. Think of dishes such as laksa barley risotto and bak kut teh with grilled pork ribs. The new items will be launched concurrently at Blue Lotus Chinese Grill House’s first location at Tanjong Pagar Centre.
Mercure Singapore and Novotel Singapore on Stevens are at 28 Stevens Road. Visit www.mercure.com and www.novotel.com
Marina One, a new mixed development, is shaping up to be the crown jewel of the Central Business District. It is developed by M+S – a joint venture between Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings – and includes two residential towers and two office towers with a retail podium called The Heart. M+S is also the developer behind Duo in Bugis.
Marina One is designed by German studio Ingenhoven Architects, while its lush greenery and landscaping are done by London-based studio Gustafson Porter + Bowman and landscape consultant ICN Design International.
Two restaurants take up special glass capsules on the fourth floor of Marina One. One of them is Wakanui Grill Dining from Tokyo, which relaunched two weeks ago. Its franchise is brought in by food and beverage company 1855 F&B. The restaurant was formerly located in Boat Quay.
Here, the meat-centric restaurant focuses on its dry-aged Ocean Beef and spring lamb from New Zealand – all charcoal-grilled – as well as Ito wagyu from Kagoshima. The menu also features New Zealand seafood, such as Ora King salmon, and New Zealand-sourced sashimi-quality fish and green lip mussels.
Besides Wakanui, 1855 F&B has another project in the works on the first floor of Marina One called The Spot. Diners can pick wine from 1855 The Bottle Shop and take it to The Spot’s neighbouring dining hall to pair with food by executive chef Lee Boon Seng, formerly from Resorts World Sentosa’s one-Michelin-starred restaurant Osia Steak and Seafood Grill.
Taking up the other glass capsule is acclaimed contemporary Chinese restaurant Majestic, formerly located in Bukit Pasoh Road. It is slated to open by the middle of next month and will still be helmed by chef Yong Bing Ngen, who will reprise his signature dishes as well as introduce new ones.
Another early bird which has opened at Marina One is three-week-old Nude Grill & Nude Chill, sister restaurant to Nude Seafood at the neighbouring Marina Bay Financial Centre. Hong Junchen, 32, co-founder of Nude, says many diners have requested a “meat version of Nude Seafood” and a “Nude watering hole”, hence the proximity of both outlets.
So far, other food outlets that have opened include Starbucks, Ya Kun Kaya Toast and Cookhouse by Koufu foodcourt. Adding to the lifestyle space is the 26,000 sq ft Virgin Active fitness club, as well as Cold Storage supermarket.
Marina One is at 5 to 7 Straits View. Visit www.marinaones.com
ANDAZ SINGAPORE AND DUO
The Bugis area is never short of food, whether it is hipster cafes in Haji Lane, hotpot restaurants in Tan Quee Lan Street or local delights and mid-range restaurants in the shopping centres. But for something fancy, you can head to the Andaz Singapore, a luxury hotel by Hyatt located in the new Duo complex.
The stylish hotel, designed by Hong Kong-based architect and interior designer Andre Fu, features all-day-dining venue Alley on 25 – a cluster of seven shophouse-inspired concepts which houses a bar, a lounge and five restaurants. So, do not expect your typical hotel buffet restaurant.
The restaurants are themed according to the cooking style. For example, at Auntie’s Wok and Steam, chefs prepare Sichuan-inspired food using the wok and steamer. Highlights include double-boiled beef short rib noodles ($18), mapo tofu with Alaskan king crab meat ($30) and steamed eggplant with tofu and Sichuan dressing ($14). At The Green Oven, food is cooked in the special green Beech Oven. The menu features braised lamb shank ($35), spring chicken (from $25) and lobster mac and cheese ($35).
For dessert, head to the Icehaus for its signature dessert of pandan chiffon cake (from $4.50), which comes with flavoured mousse and a picture-perfect glaze. Flavours include black sesame, yam and rose. The cakes are also sold at Pandan, the hotel’s cake boutique on the second level. The hotel has a rooftop bar called Mr Stork and a steakhouse called 665°F (named after the temperature of its wood-fired oven), which opens on December 8.
The Duo complex has no shortage of food either. Restaurants that have opened so far include the second outlet of the popular Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant, Peruvian cevicheria Tono, poke outlet A Poke Theory, pizzeria Pizza Express and Joe & Dough cafe. Joe & Dough’s one-month-old outlet at Duo has introduced new all-day breakfast items as well as cakes. One of the first restaurants to open here is Tono, where you can savour authentic Peruvian cevicheria.
Andaz Singapore and Duo is at 5 and 7 Fraser Street. Visit singapore.andaz.hyatt.com and www.duosingapore.com
The mall scene is heating up in Paya Lebar, with the addition of SingPost Centre – a stone’s throw from Paya Lebar Square.
Die-hard fans of Gong Cha will be pleased to know that the bubble tea brand has returned to Singapore at SingPost Centre. SingPost Centre also features a bevy of food options, some of which are new to market. These include Taiwanese hotpot chain Upot, beef noodle restaurant Nuodle from Lanzhou, China, and bubble tea brand Heetea from Guangzhou, China.
Other established brands are opening new concepts. For example, Singapore’s Tenderfresh Group – better known for its fried and roast chicken – has opened Hawkerman, a mini foodcourt-style concept which houses Tenderfresh, Warong Kim’s (by Kim’s Place Seafood in Joo Chiat) and Ah Boy Popiah (by Good Chance Popiah in Silat Avenue).
Highlights include the Bao Ka Liao ($32.90 for two), a platter of seven items from the three brands, including Tenderfresh signature fried half spring chicken, Warong Kim’s Hokkien mee and Ah Boy’s Hokkien popiah, as well as XO carrot cake. Warong Kim’s also serves a Lolex Hokkien Mee ($44.90 for two), with lobster, prawns, clam and squid.
Adding to the list of food options is the second outlet of quick-service vegetarian restaurant Grove by Elemen, the first Swee Heng Bakery Cafe concept and Kaffe & Toast/ Thai Noodle Bar.
SingPost Centre is at 10 Eunos Road 8. Visit www.singpostcentre.com,
Text: Eunice Quek/The Straits Times / Photos: The Straits Times
Bubble Tea Fans Are Flocking To These New Bubble Tea Chains In Singapore
These Are The Most Stylish Foodcourts In Singapore Serving Affordable And Trendy Dishes
10 New Restaurants To Try Out This November