This month’s roundup features a mixed bag of new ventures, long-awaited outposts, and restaurants who are deftly reinventing themselves.
With the onset of spring in many parts of the world and a rainy spell in Singapore, chefs and restaurateurs too are looking at themselves anew. For instance, chef Rishi Naleendra, together with wife and sommelier-restaurant manager Manuela Toniolo, are starting a new restaurant soon, and have revamped Cheek By Jowl into Cheek Bistro. Executive chef Vianney Massot, meanwhile, has rebranded Bacchanalia by Vianney Massot as Vianney Massot Restaurant, six months after taking over the helm.
Their reinventions go on amid the popping up of new concepts such as Botany by Dazzling Cafe, Soufflé and a slew of new F&B outlets to be launched when Jewel Changi Airport opens for a public preview on 11 April.
Expect a manga-themed decor when you step into this modern Japanese pub under the Les Amis Group. An avid fan of Japanese comics, chef-owner Freddie Lee was part of Les Amis restaurant’s opening team 25 years ago. Together with his wife Purdey Poon, who is also a Les Amis alum, he will be serving a wide selection of sake and house concoctions such as shochu mojito and yuzu sour, along with small plates, such as cold and hot appetisers, skewered items and grilled vegetables, meat and seafood. Some signature items to look out for are katsu sando, a thick-cut beef katsu sandwich; handmade Tsukune meatball; grilled eringi or king oyster mushroom; and tontoro or Iberico pork jowl.
56 Zion Road. Tel: 6235 0429. Mon–Sat: 5pm onwards.
Times are a changing for chef Rishi Naleendra and wife Manuela Toniolo, with a new restaurant on the way, and a revamp of Cheek by Jowl in its current spot at Boon Tat Street. Still offering modern Australian fare but now with a more casual concept, Cheek Bistro will be helmed by head chef Jay Teo and restaurant manager Muhammad Muhaimen. Dishes to look forward to include a goat’s cheese parfait complemented by dehydrated white chocolate and frozen strawberry crumbs; lamb ribs with eggplant, yoghurt & candied orange; as well as confit duck leg with spiced caramel, orange and parsnip.
21 Boon Tat Street. Tel: 6221 1911. Mon–Fri: lunch and dinner; Sat: dinner.
The first modern European restaurant launched by Swiss luxury home appliances brand, V-ZUG, opens at Scotts Square alongside their ZUGORAMA flagship experience centre. Global ambassador of V-ZUG and executive chef of Tippling Club, Ryan Clift helms the state-of-the-art kitchen with head chef Lee Jing Peng. For lunch, choose from two- and three-course set menus, and a five-course Chef Selects menu with complimentary petit fours; and for dinner, a four- and six course menu featuring dishes such as cod with bok choy and shiitake. The chefs plan to refresh the menus once every two months.
#03-13, 6 Scotts Road. Tel: 6950 4868. Wed–Sun: lunch (sets from $48); Tue–Sun: dinner (sets from $138)
This restaurant was last Bacchanalia by Vianney Massot, so named when executive chef Vianney Massot took over the running of Bacchanalia six months ago. Its latest name change to Vianney Massot Restaurant reflects the restaurant’s new identity under executive chef Massot, who previously helmed L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. The first dish on the 27-year-old chef’s degustation menu is in fact a foie gras dish piped with little dots of light corn puree, a nod to the late chef Joël Robuchon’s classic Imperial caviar and king crab with crustacean jelly and light cauliflower cream. In the restaurant’s a la carte and set menus, seasonal dishes will feature alongside signatures such as le chou-fleur or cauliflower roasted in lobster roe, accompanied by sea urchin and ice plant.
39 Hong Kong Street. Tel 6909 6369. Fri–Sat, lunch (two-course lunch from $68); Tues–Sat: dinner (7-course degustation from $338)
If you love soufflé, you’ve found your match in Déliciae Hospitality Management (DHM)’s new bistro. There’d be more than a dozen renditions of the puffy classic to choose from. Think options such as the savoury lobster souffle with lobster meat and lobster bisque; or the laksa souffle, rich with the familiar tastes of one of Singapore’s most-loved local dishes. Otherwise, there are casseroles served straight from the oven, such as the classic beef bourguignon, and for dessert, sweet soufflés in renditions such as Grand Marnier et orange confites soufflé and speculoos soufflé.
5 Duxton Hill. Tel: 6690 7562. Daily lunch and dinner.
There have been quite a few similar-sounding restaurants lately along the botanical theme. There was Botanico, The Botanic, and now the new BOTANY. From the same people behind the former Dazzling Cafe Singapore, this casual restaurant along Robertson Quay hopes to bring a good dose of tasty, wholesome food to diners in Singapore. On their all-day breakfast menu, largely Australian-inspired, dishes to look out for include grilled chicken with Balinese salsa, Australian grass-fed ribeye steak and their signature honey toasts. Dietary requirements such as gluten-free and vegetarian are catered for, and there will also be a few novelty dishes such as the Impossible mapo tofu rice bowl.
#01-03, 86 Robertson Quay. Tel: 6951 6861, 6951 4890. Daily: breakfast and lunch; Sun–Tues, dinner.
With its preview on 11 April and official opening on 17 April, Jewel Changi Airport is expected to be the next hot spot, not least for its lineup of over 280 shops and eateries. Some F&B openings to look forward to include Shake Shack from New York, who will be bringing some of their signatures such as the ShackBurger and Shack-cago Dog; Burger & Lobster, originally from Mayfair, London; Swiss luxury chocolate brand Läderach; and El Fuego by COLLIN’S, a halal European restaurant helmed by 25-year-old chef Koh Han Jie, winner of the Young Talents Escoffier 2018 competition in Zurich.
New offerings from familiar suspects will also feature, such as chef-owner Daniel Chavez of Ola Cocina del Mar’s Latin American Tonito; the newest branch of Violet Oon Singapore inspired by Singaporean flavours; Shang Social, the first F&B outpost of Shangri-La Hotel serving Chinese cuisine; and JW360° offering dishes from Suju restaurant at Mandarin Gallery, along with a range of sake and wine. For the full list of F&B outlets expected at Jewel Changi Airport, head here.