Your go-to guide on the latest restaurants in town,new menus cooked up in the friendliest kitchens, and amazing pop-ups by visiting chefs
Mercado Spanish Food Market
Jean-Philippe Patruno, the chef-owner of Spanish restaurant Dehesa, enlivens the local food scene with his latest offering—the Mercado Spanish Food Market. Located in the Central Business District, Mercado, meaning ‘market’, caters to the busy professional with healthy, takeaway-ready Hola bowls ($14.50), comprising rice, spices, vegetables and various meats; and fresh, cold-pressed fruit juice (from $3.90). If you’ve got a little more time on your hands, try custom-making your own Hola bowl ($16.50).
#01-23, 50 Market Street. Tel: 6532 2155
From the same owners who brought us Five & Dime Eatery comes Fat Lulu’s. Situated at the same location in River Valley, it is helmed by chef Sam Chablani and pastry chef Pang Ji Shuang. Chablani’s tagline ‘#NoBurnNoTaste’ rings true with his charred, smoky dishes, often laced with spicy sambal. Start with the spicy Iberico pork Sataytay ($12 for five skewers) made from Iberico pork collar marinated in his special sambal sauce, followed by the duh meat board ($28), a platter of wagyu inside skirt cooked in Thai fish sauce, and pork collar pre-trimmings marinated with sambal. End with Pang’s berries and white chocolate ($16) with frozen cassis foam.
297 River Valley Road. Tel: 9236 5002
Long Beach is oft associated with black pepper crab, and for good reason. This Singapore household favourite of plump and succulent crab meat cooked in a rich black pepper sauce was first created by Long Beach chefs in the 1980s. But there’s more than just black pepper crab on offer at the restaurant. Check out premium produce such as air-flown live Alaskan king crab and Australian snow crab, as well as more exotic varieties like deep sea rose gold crab and the burger-shaped calappa crab, both best served in a fiery white pepper sauce. Alternatively, pair your choice of crab with white jade, a cheese-based sauce specially created by Long Beach chefs. Another mouth-watering option is the vibrant orangey-hued claypot XO yellow roe crab with fine rice noodles.
1018 East Coast Parkway (next to ECP Burger King). Tel: 6445 8833
Log on to Long Beach’s website for a list of their branches
Outfitted with warm cosy furnishings of oak walls, wooden floorboards and brown banquettes, Italian coffee brand Caffè Vergnano opens Singapore’s first 1882 concept café at South Beach Avenue—which, by the way, is the brand’s 100th outlet in the world. For an authentic cup of Italian espresso, order the Caffè Gianduja (from $5.50), made with thick Italian hot chocolate, espresso and whipped cream, or the 1882 Bicerin (from $6), a traditional concoction of espresso and cocoa, topped with cream.
#B1-17 South Beach Avenue, 26 Beach Road. Tel: 6385 5579
Spuds & Aprons
Most of us have probably not gone up to Mount Faber in years. But its F&B offerings have been overhauled, and what sits at the top of the hill now is a restaurant called Spuds & Aprons, a surprisingly charming, casual al fresco restaurant with a stunning view of Sentosa. The extensive drinks menu is one of the most creative outside of the bar scene, with fun cocktails liberally garnished with fruit juice pearls, popcorn coffee, inspired shakes and sophisticated mocktails at affordable prices. The food here is fun and hearty—the chilli crab potato skins ($14) make a good starter, followed by grilled pork belly ($27) and wild rice for mains, or Asian style duck confit ($26). For dessert, its chempedak bread and butter pudding ($12) made with croissants, and ice cream parfait called ‘Jar of Happiness’ ($11)—oh please forgive their names!—are excellent. Built sympathetically into the canopies of two heritage trees, Spuds & Aprons is truly a delightful getaway from the usual restaurant options at lower altitudes. Reservations advised for weekends.
109 Mount Faber Road. Tel: 6377 9688
Get away from the crowded mainland to the relative tranquillity of Le Méridien Singapore, Sentosa for some down-time and dining. At Latest Recipe, its all-day restaurant focusing on local eats, treat yourself to the Taste of Discovery Buffet: Seafood and Singapore Flavours ($65 per adult) on Friday and Saturday nights, featuring dishes such as flower chilli crab with mantou, black pepper char kway teow and rojak. Don’t miss pastry chef Edwin Leow’s eclairs featuring local flavours such as pandan kaya to end the meal.
23 Beach View, Sentosa. Tel: 6818 3388
Hoho Korean, Angels N’ Cowboys and The Catch
Located in the heart of Clementi, restaurant enclave Sunset Lane adds three new restaurants to its line-up.
For a family night out, Hoho Korean Restaurant offers authentic Korean dishes like bulnak-jeongol, a stew of marinated beef, octopus, noodles and vegetables ($42); and jjampon-tang, a spicy broth with seafood and udon noodles ($40) for a truly ‘daebak’ (awesome) experience.
The al fresco area of Western restaurant Angels N’ Cowboys is ideal for casual dinners and beer with friends. Their delightfully tender baby back ribs with barbecue sauce on a bed of crisp fries (from $25) and fried onion rings with tartar sauce ($11)—made from locally-farmed yellow onions—make for delightful bar snacks.
The ever-popular The Catch Seafood Restaurant & Bar has recently located to Sunset Lane from its previous Cosford Road location, bringing with them their signature pig stomach soup ($98). Other signature dishes include glutinous rice chicken ($58), wherein rice is stuffed into chicken and roasted, and Hong Kong-imported mee pok with seafood in XO sauce ($14).
Hoho Korean Restaurant: #01-58/60. Tel: 6250 3908
Angels N’ Cowboys: #01-50. Tel: 6252 6588
The Catch Seafood Restaurant & Bar: #01-54/56. Tel: 6250 3908
Sunset Lane, Blk 106 Clementi Street 12
Furnished in the style of Ecuador’s famed chocolate cafes, chocolate-centric café Cocoa Colony presents a new menu of avant-garde cocoa dishes and drinks. Try their ultimate chocolate waffle with chocolate ice cream and molten chocolate sauce ($16.50); the crab and prawn with honey tomato and herbs in grilled chocolate bread ($9.90); and the signature black velvet cake ($8.50), and Amazonian gold chocotorta ($8.50).
#B1-17, 313@Somerset, 313 Orchard Road. Tel: 6509 0356
Cover: Fat Lulu’s Kinder Bueno (Photo credit: John Heng)
Words: Charlene Chow, Foo Jia-En & Sim Ee Waun
This was first published in Wine & Dine’s November 2016 issue: Restaurants