10 new eateries that will get you drooling
Saturday, 4 Aug 2012
Girls, we have a confession: the life of a foodie is just really tough.
One minute we’re chowing down a mind-blowingly good burger, the next we’re drinking in the view at a swanky Italian restaurant 43 floors in the sky.
And of course, later that night we’re sneaking out for some late-night bites at the latest bistro in the neighbourhood.
This month’s Hot New Tables is a celebration of all kinds of food – and with that all kinds of restaurants. Doesn’t matter if you need a new impressive location for the next date night or just want to catch up over a great Sunday roast – you know we’ve got your answers.
The proof is in this slideshow!
Located right across Tanglin Mall (Tanglin mums, we hope you’re listening), Nassim Hill is a three-week old bakery, bar, and bistro that has all the right things going for it.
The interior is understated with beautifully upcycled parts, the artisanal breads are baked daily by Head Baker Audrey Tan of Freshly Baked (they’re already a hit with nearby residents), and the lunchtime favourite, a classic Hot Reuben is the poster dish of this cool place.
What we like: Don’t leave without trying the Grimbergen Ambree bread ($8/loaf) – it’s hearty but fluffy with a sweet aftertaste. We also hear they make some mean eggs at brunch. It’s also kid-friendly and you can tap your own Grimbergen, a Belgium abbey beer. It caters to the after-work crowd, mums and their girlfriends, kids and teens, plus it opens early and closes late. Don’t say we didn’t warn you – this one is going places.
Nassim Hill, #01-03 Tanglin Post Office, 56 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247964, p. 6835 1128, Tue-Sun 8am-1am
Violet Oon’s Kitchen
Singapore’s food ambassador (yes, we do have one) is back in business – this time with her kids.
The menu has a great mix of Western, local, and Peranakan cuisine.
If you’re a fan, be sure to try the Ayam Buah Keluak – a Peranakan specialty made with black nuts from Indonesia. Word on the street is that it’s one of the best out there. Other highlights include a Pong Tauhu Soup, Laksa Panini, Bubur Cha Cha Pannacotta.
If you’ve got out-of-towners and you need a restaurant to ease them into the local palette, we highly recommend you check this black-and-white out. If they pass on the local-influenced dishes, there’s always failsafe options like Shepherd’s Pie and Pulled Beef Rigaotoni to keep everyone happy.
Violet Oon’s Kitchen, 881 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 279893, p. 6468 5430, Tue-Thu 1130am-10pm, Fri-Sun 1130am-12midnight
Talk about a showstopper – Catalunya sits in a unique glass-encased dome floating atop the waters of Marina Bay. The Spanish restaurant is helmed by an international team of award-winning culinary experts from the likes of elBulli, Santi, Drolma, and Sketch, and serves up authentic Spanish recipes paired with the finesse of Asian hospitality and Spanish charm.
Catalunya, The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049327, p. 6534 0188, daily 11am-2am
&MADE by Bruno Menard
A three Michelin-star chef opened a … burger restaurant? Sounds unlikely, but boy are we glad it happened. The concept at &MADE is “Everyday Gourmet”: informal, everyday dishes reinvented with quality products – right down to how they look.
Expect consistently juicy patties, melted French cheese, Raclette, and a heaping of condiments like onion jam, aioli, and capers. We highly recommend the three little pigs – made with a bacon, pork filet, & chorizo patty, shitake mushrooms, Japanese cabbage, Shibazuke pickles, and yuzu-kosho mayonnaise. Unbelievably good.
If you’re in the mood for something more unique, try a toastoo – toasted and sealed buckwheat crepes bursting with warm, savoury flavour. Their drinkable salads in Red (tomato gazpacho), Green (green pea, mint, and wasabi), and Yellow (carrot, orange, and ginger) are also an adventurous must-try.
&MADE by Bruno Menard#01-04/05/06 Pacific Plaza, 9 Scotts Road, Singapore 228210, p. 6732 9808, reservations are not taken. Sun-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10am-12 midnight
Here’s something unorthodox: instead of showing you the restaurant interior or a culinary highlight, here’s the view from Zafferano.
(We completely understand if you make your reservations without reading what we have to say below.)
The swanky restaurant features two open kitchens, a charcoal grill, antipasti bar, and a walk-in wine cellar showcasing a variety of Italian labels. We like the overturned traditional Italian menu – not only do they not differentiate between starters and mains, they’re also moderately sized, which means you get to taste more dishes.
You also get to do some extensive wine sampling without any embarrassing drunkenness. Simply choose between tasting, mid-, and full-sized glasses and drink to the stunning view.
Tip: snag a seat at the terrace; the alfresco dining is a treat at this height.
Zafferano, Ocean Financial Centre, Level 43, 10 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049315, p. 6509 1488, Mon-Wed 12pm-12 midnight, Thu 12pm-2am, Fri 12pm-3am, Sat 6pm-3am
Outpost 903 Gastrobar
If you’re looking for a place to just kick back with some cold beer, you know that your answer must lie somewhere in Bukit Timah.
The focus at this gastrobar is undoubtedly the drinks. With six different types of beer on tap (of which three are craft) and a very well-stocked bar, be prepared to head home merry and happy from comfort pub grub. Tip: the buttermilk fried chicken is divine.
And while you’re winding down after a hard day at the office, why not do some shopping while you’re there? The industrial chic look is well-executed here – and you can even take home select furniture pieces! All you have to do is ask.
Outpost 903 Gastrobar, 903 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 589620, p. 6468 4903, Mon-Thu 3pm-12midnight, Fri 3pm-3am, Sat 10am-3am, Sun 10am-12midnight
Recreating NYC’s Lower East Side, Little Diner is pretty much the kind of downtown cool place you’d hang out at if you were a hip 20-something character in a TV series. Kinda like HBO’s new series, Girls. Portions are generous; the fare is fresh and unfussy; the location ace, and the interior the perfect blend of raw and sophisticated.
Fashion speak: If you’re a fan of Alexander Wang, you’ll like this one.
Highlights of the menu include red velvet pancakes from their brunch menu (say what?), Lafayette Crabcakes with chipotle aioli, and fried risotto balls.
We hear they’re also starting a new weekend brunch that includes a morning cycle – we might turn up bleary-eyed, but you know where you’ll find us this weekend.
Little Diner, 789 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269763, p. 6466 4088, check their website for opening hours
Backyard@Dempsey – Your Nook In The Woods
What was Botak’s Backyard is now Backyard@Dempsey, a casual alfresco bar and restaurant with a big draw – Sunday barbeque from 11am!
The menu has been steadily expanding ever since the restaurant opened. It includes light bites like luncheon meat fries and cuttlefish balls, as well as heartier fare Pesto Walnut Pasta and Tom Yum Seafood Spaghetti.
Backyard@Dempsey – Your Nook In The Woods, 130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819, p. 6479 0388, Mon-Sun 11am-12midnight
Table At 7
One restaurant, two cuisines, and three menus. To be fair, they’re not quite a new table, but these guys are definitely hot. Choose from an ala carte menu, a degustation menu based on Modern European fare, and a gourmet Indonesian set menu.
Highlights include spicy Manado-style twice-cooked Kurobuta Pork served with Fragrant Shallot-scented Jasmine Rice and Chargrilled Wagyu Ribeye with Truffle Mash. Yum.
Table At 7, 7 Mohamed Sultan Rd, Singapore 238957, p. 6836 6362, Mon-Sat 630-11pm
Well it’s no Mekong River, but our own Singapore River has a new neighbour – Little Saigon. Expect lots of well-executed Vietnamese culinary delights and even Vietnamese beer. Drinking goggles on!
We also hear that they’re quite the party people here, so if you’re looking for a restaurant for a fun night out, we have a winner.
Little Saigon, BLK E, Clarke Quay #01-02, River Valley Road, Singapore 179024, p. 6337 5585, Sun-Thu 5pm-1am, Fri-Sat 5pm-3am