After the exciting World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 awards hurricane came and went in June, a slate of new restaurant openings and new menus are set to occupy us in the fresh new month of July.
Among the pack are those opening their outposts in Singapore for the first time; new ventures by familiar names; and new chefs who are taking over the helm of familiar restaurants, and breathing new life into their menus while they are at it.
Chef Anne-Sophie Pic of three-Michelin-starred Maison Pic in Valence, Southeast France, has just unveiled a third outlet of her fine dining concept La Dame de Pic at Raffles Singapore—her first outlet in Asia. When it officially opens today, diners will find that Pic has taken the effort to inject a local twist to some of the snacks that are served at the start of the meal. Some highlights from the set menus (three-course lunch from $128, five-course dinner from $198) include her signature Berlingots, boasting pyramid-shaped matcha flavoured pasta parcels stuffed with French cheese fondue, served with a herb-of-grace (a medicinal herb) consommé; and the Saga wagyu beef, cooked over coal to perfect doneness, served with beetroot rose and lovage beef jus. Head here for the full recap of our dining experience.
#01-26/27 CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street. Tel: 6837 0402. Dinner, Tue-Sat.
Chef Rishi Naleendra is finally ready to open his new restaurant, Cloudstreet, on 8 July, after his announcement a few months ago that he would close one-Michelin-starred Cheek by Jowl at Boon Tat Street. In its place, he would install the more casual Cheek Bistro, and open another restaurant at Amoy Street together with general manager Gareth Burnett. With an open kitchen and a chef’s table at the heart of the restaurant, chef Rishi will showcase the multicultural influences of his Sri Lankan and Australian background at the 40-seater Cloudstreet. Says chef Rishi, “Just as clouds spark the imagination, I am excited to present an experience that reflects the innovation of our kitchen.” Lunch and dinner set menus (from $68 for a three-course lunch and $168 for a five-course dinner) will be available along with a selection of over 350 wines.
84 Amoy Street. email@example.com. Lunch and Dinner, Mon-Fri; Dinner, Sat.
A sister concept to Spa Esprit’s Open Farm Community at Dempsey, Noka, helmed by head chef Seki Takuma, is a 75-seater rooftop urban farm and restaurant located at the new Funan Mall. With a name that means ‘farmhouse’ in Japanese, a visit there must include a stroll through their 5,000sqf rooftop farm where you can chance upon freshly grown produce such as oyster mushrooms, an array of microgreens, and flowers such as butterfly pea.
Using local and Japanese ingredients, Niigata-born chef Takuma serves up sushi meals such as their kaisen don ($35) featuring bluefin tuna, ikura, salmon, sweet shrimp, Hokkaido scallop and uni; and dishes such as snow-aged Niigata wagyu charcoal-grilled sirloin A4 served with Okinawan spinach and rooftop herbs ($89). A range of typically light and dry Niigata sakes will be available alongside garden cocktails ($22) such as Noka Soul, comprising sake, lemon juice, matcha syrup and peach liqueur. Go a la carte or choose from their three-course lunch set ($45) and six-course omakase ($150).
#07-38, Funan (Lift Lobby A) 109 North Bridge Road. Tel: 6877 4878. Lunch and Dinner, Daily.
Named after Mount Furi in Japan, Afuri Ramen from Kanagawa sets themselves apart by using yuzu in their chicken broth and as a garnish on top. Since their first branch opened in 2001, they’ve set up various outlets across Japan, and in Portland, U.S. and Lisbon, Portugal too. They take pride in coaxing a full-flavoured ramen base out of components such as chicken broth, pork, kombu (seaweed), niboshi and dried bonito—without using MSG or any artificial flavouring. To that skill they add the craft of using yuzu, sourced from Umaji-mura, Kochi prefecture, to elevate the flavours of their ramen. In their signature yuzu shio ramen ($15.90) for instance, they say, “the yuzu balances the richness and flavours of the soup, and lifts, lightens and brights the broth for the perfect ramen.”
#B1-29 Funan Mall, 107 North Bridge Road. Tel: 6970 1386. Lunch and Dinner, Daily.
This is the newest 16-seater addition to the Les Amis Group of restaurants. Named after the Cosmos, or the universe that everyone has a duty to protect, chef Lisa Tang and restaurant manager Kuah Chew Shian hope to bring mindful eating to the top of diners’ minds in ways such as using sustainably sourced seafood and letting nothing go to waste. Chef Tang brings her experience from previous restaurants Pollen, JAAN, Les Amis in Singapore and Primo in the U.S. to the table, serving up a six-course carte blanche menu (from $75) featuring two appetisers, a main, a post-main, a pre-dessert and dessert.
Dishes such as confit kampong chicken with miso mustard sauce and native flora, as well as wild fish congee with preserved plum and native greens, are just some of the set pieces they’re playing with. The restaurant also plans to offer cooking demonstrations and workshops, and retail homemade products such as Kausmo hot sauce and apple butter sauce.
#03-07 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road. Tel: 8126 8538. Dinner only (first seating 6.30pm; second seating 8.30pm). Closed on Mon and alternate Sun.
New Chefs at Familiar Restaurants
Time stands still in the Art Deco-inspired The Black Swan in the CBD’s Cecil Street, if not for the recent arrivals of head chef Alysia Chan and bar supervisor Joanna Lee. Fresh from a butchery internship at Feather and Bone Providore in Sydney, Chan, formerly of restaurant-bar Crackerjack, returns to helm the kitchen at The Black Swan. Now, more than ever, she is passionate about nose-to-tail-dining and running a minimum waste kitchen.
We see her putting knowledge to practice in the new menu at Black Swan, for instance in the strong feature on secondary cuts in the Chophouse Selection, and using the run-off from Stella Artois beer to add depth of flavour to the broth for her dish of Venus clams ($24). Bar supervisor Joanna Lee, on the other hand, adds unconventional twists to classics with drinks such as Cecil Sour, a riff on the classic Clover Club that is elevated with a housemade berry shrub and sloe gin. Head here for a full recap of our dining experience.
9 Cecil Street. Tel: 6438 3757. Lunch and Dinner, Mon-Fri; Dinner, Sat.
Since it opened a year ago, Winestone restaurant and wine bar has been Mediterranean-inspired through and through, right down to the Moroccan mosaic tiles weaved into the decor. Now it gains a greater modern European focus under the leadership of newly appointed head chef Eugene Li. Over 15 new items ranging from appetisers to seafood to the pizzas and burgers have been added to the menu. Some of the new dishes to look forward to include the pan-seared cod fish ($38) with sautéed spinach, cooked in a fish velouté, finished off with a spritz of lemon. Another is the rigatone prawn ($26), served in a deliciously rich tomato parmesan sauce. Signatures such as their Winestone Pizza ($26), topped with diced pumpkins, fresh tomatoes, grated gorgonzola and mozzarella, and their Mediterranean Meze ($10), featuring truffle butter, tomato pesto and tapenade spreads with handmade Lebanese bread, stay on the menu. All the better to pair with their wide range of Old and New World wines.
#01-09, 30 Stevens Road. Tel: 6491 6100. Lunch and Dinner, Mon-Sat.