This month’s new openings take us to verdant Dempsey.
For one, Culina Market and Bistro returns bigger and better with its move to Block 15, Como Dempsey. For another, Min Jiang at One-North finds a new home not too far away on Dempsey Hill. In other news, Supply & Demand Orchard Gateway refreshes its menu while casual diner No Milk Bistro dabbles in fish soup goodness by day and neon-lit bistro dining by night. And for those who feast on fashion and food, there’s the Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura popup to look forward to.
With lush garden views and a modern interior decked out in wood and rattan, Goodwood Park Hotel’s Min Jiang at Dempsey is equal parts oasis and buzzy restaurant. Its bar, main dining hall, three private rooms and an al fresco area seat more than 150 persons. Master chef Goh Chee Kong helms the kitchen as he did when the restaurant was at One-North, but refreshes the menu with new dishes featuring Cantonese and Sichuan flavours.
The dim sum selection, for instance, includes novel items such as steamed goldfish-shaped prawn dumpling, and the blue-hued steamed blue pea truffle vegetable dumpling. To lift body and spirit, there is the luxurious braised sea treasure soup in pomegranate egg white parcel to tuck into. Mix and match these new highlights with some of their trusty signatures, such as steamed chicken and kai lan with ginger paste, a riff on the local chicken rice steamed chicken; and the stewed noodles in lobster which comes with a generous portion of lobster meat and an umami, smoky broth. For dessert, be sure to have the chilled peach resin with pear and snow lotus seeds, a palate cleanser that’s as elegantly presented as it is refreshing.
Culina at Como Dempsey is an undeniable food lover’s haven. The revamped Culina Market has a greater international focus, with the addition of myriad Asian condiments such as Vietnamese fish sauce and Korean soyabean paste. In total, everything you need to host a great meal is lined on the shelves, from meats, seafood, homemade bread and pastries, charcuterie and cheese, along with fresh vegetables and fruits, sauces, dried goods and wines. There is even a corner for exquisite flower bouquets by florist Saskia Havekes’s Grandiflora, Sydney.
Meat-lovers will be spoilt for choice just by the beef selection alone, with premium brands such as Black Onyx beef and Westholme wagyu. Other exclusive or new-to-market brands such as the House of Kaviari’s new rope-hung smoked farmed Norwegian salmon, and the ‘Message in a Bottle’ pure red prawn heads elixir by Rosso Di Mazara, are just a few easy finds along the aisles.
At Culina Bistro, appetisers from the menu such as the crab cakes and the Pissaladière tart with onions, Ardoino olives, and Ortiz anchovies are delicious morsels to nibble on, while mains such as the bouillabaisse and the rotisserie lacto chicken (on the daily specials menu) make hearty options. But it’s also entirely up to you if you prefer to have a market-to-table experience, Just pick out your favourite cut of wagyu or lamb, and the kitchen will cook it for you a la minute.
15 Dempsey Road. Tel: 6474 7338. Culina Market: 10am-10pm, weekdays; 9am-10pm, weekends and public holidays. Culina Bistro: 11am-3pm, 6pm-11pm (last order 10pm) in May and June; 11am-11pm (last order 10pm) daily from July onwards.
Fish soup diner by day and rooftop bistro-bar by night, No Milk Bistro at Kampong Glam offers a no-frills hangout spot. Chef Hoe Gern trained at restaurants such as Open Farm Community, but the recipe for his no-milk fish soup originates from a fish soup hawker he knows well. Unlike most fish soup stalls that offer the option of adding milk to the broth for a creamier mouthfeel, he and his partners believe fish soup is best enjoyed neat so that the full flavours of the broth come through. He also uses thick slices of fish—mackerel for the steamed fish soup, and sea bass for the fried fish soup—and a large flourish of seaweed to enrich the dish.
When day turns to dusk, the neon-lit rooftop bistro at Level 2 comes alive with a decidedly chill-out vibe. For eats, there’s a hodge podge of dishes that take reference from Mexican, Italian, and local cuisine, such as the handmade beef rendang tagliatelle made with an eggs-and-flour dough. The humble deep fried chicken wings are a standout, with every bite juicy and crisp. Other nibbles such as their black char siew, grilled pork belly and homemade ngor hiang are a good complement for drinks such as local craft beer Stargazin’ Session IPA from Rye & Pint Brewery; Jinro green grape soju with Yakult mixer and Sukkiri sparkling sake.
Supply & Demand Orchard Gateway’s new Executive Lunch menu offers a quick lunch fix, boasting a chockfull of wholesome and hearty items at pocket friendly prices. Pizza lovers will be spoilt for choice as there are plenty of tantalising options like the pancetta e funghi, pepperoni rustico, and verdure—all are hand-kneaded and made with quality ingredients. For pastas, there are 10 different types to choose from, made from different bases including olive oil, tomato and cream. For those craving heartier options, they can try the donburi (rice bowl), where they can pick their choice of protein—salmon poke, crispy chicken, yakitori chicken, salmon and tuna, and unagi (from $12.90).
Other notable highlights from the menu include the Freshly Shucked Oysters ($6.90 for three pieces) from Taylor Farms in the US, which are flown in daily to ensure freshness; the lobster aglio olio; the lobster arrabiata; and Aussie beef donburi. The Executive Lunch Menu is only available on weekdays, from 11.30am to 2.30pm.
#02-13/14, Orchardgateway, 277 Orchard Road. Tel: 6702 6218. Lunch and dinner, weekdays; All-day dining, weekends.
A collaboration between fashion house Gucci and chef Massimo Bottura of three-Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana for Gucci Garden in Florence Italy, Gucci Osteria celebrates art and the artful. Premiering in Singapore from 1 May–2 June at the Arts House, diners can savour dishes put up by head chef Karim Lopez of Gucci Osteria, Florence.
The 60-seater space will be decked out in signature red Gucci wallpaper, with a range of Gucci Herbarium crockery from the Gucci Decor collection to match. Dishes to look out for include Bottura’s signature The Crunchy Part of the Lasagne, consisting of pasta chips artfully stacked on a dollop of ragù and béchamel; and Taka Bun, a pork belly bun named after chef Karime Lopez’s husband Takahiko Kondo who is also the sous chef at Osteria Francescana.
For a lunch visit, diners can enjoy a four-course menu from Thursdays and Fridays (from $128), or a seven-course menu on Saturdays and Sundays (from $228). For a relaxing dinner, opt for the seven-course meal (from$278, inclusive of a welcome glass of champagne) from Tuesdays to Sundays. Head here for reservations.
1 Old Parliament Lane. Tel: 6332 6900. Selected days as above.