Hey, girl! Need a quick shot of inspiration for a night out on the town? Here’s our pick of Singapore’s latest restaurants and newest bars, condensed and served up in tasty bite-sized pieces just for you.
Roosevelt’s Diner and Bar
An American styled diner hidden behind the MRT on Neil Road, this spot offers decently priced sarnies with fries, 100% US Beef Burgers ($20), BBQ Baby Back Ribs ($22 — half) and all day breakfasts, from Buttermilk Waffles ($12) to Veggie Chilli Tortilla Tacos ($17). We were smitten with the Candied Bacon Sandwich ($12) – a saucy number with sweet bacon, ham, pickled veg and salad in a crusty roll. The Truffle Snapper Pie ($19 from the evening menu) is a deliciously light yet tasty take on the traditional fish pie (no heavy carbs here though, save the puff pastry topping!).
Roosevelt’s Diner and Bar, 331 New Bridge Road #01-02, Dorsett Residences Singapore 088764. 6671 7399.
Chef owner and ex banker, LG Han is the self-taught chef at the helm of this 20-seater restaurant in a gorgeous shop house on Neil Road. His beautifully presented food is modern, experimental Singapore-Asian fusion – or Mod Sin cuisine. Dishes include his signature Labyrinth chili crab… deep-fried soft-shell crab, chilli crab ice cream, crab mousse, caviar, and mantou sand. This playful take on molecular cuisine has been getting some rave reviews and you may just have had a teaser bite at Savour festival last month (we sure did!). For dessert, try chendol xiao long bao – a pandan flavoured green skinned dumpling encompassing a red bean coconut filling with a Gula Melaka dipping sauce on the side… delish! There’s also a set dinner menu of 5 courses for $78 (they’re working on a lunch offering too).
Labyrinth, 5 Neil Road, Singapore 088806. 6223 4098.
A very casual sharing plates get-up is the latest to join the hipster’s hood. Think Asian-European fusion cuisine, from Meat Butter ($15) – veal bone marrow with a Japanese element of bonito, to Oriental Miso Mussels with baguette ($26), charred Lamb ($28), punchy Crab Cakes with moreish lobster bisque ($30) and Beef Short Ribs with Radish and Bovril ($34). If you dare, dessert sees in Apples and Bacon ($14) – an alarming combination of apple pie with a scoop of buttermilk ice cream garnished with candied bacon!
Dibs, 51 Duxton Road, Singapore 089515. 6223 2784.
New name, new interiors, same ol’ menu; no longer going by the name Keong Saik Snacks, but instead The Study (to complement the speakeasy sister bar named, The Library). Expect the same successful menu of Jason Atherton’s British classics… for now that is! There’s a new chef, Victor Caballe Molina of BOMBA (watch this space!) plus there’s fresh look interiors too. The Library next door – known for its quirky cocktails and secret password necessities, has undergone a drinks menu change with a new bar manager too.
The Study, 49 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089153. 6221 8338.
New(ish) name, new(ish) menu, new digs; Chef Lino Sauro’s Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare has a new focus on seafood dishes at its new location at Tras Street. The menu still retains its oldies but goodies, like the Salt Baked Seabass 400g ($58) which is presented theatrically to the table covered in a couple of kilos of glistening salt then filleted and served simply with extra virgin olive oil. Other classics like their deliciously hearty signature Seafood Stew ($40) remain too, though there are some new numbers like the Charred Octopus and Sicilian Olives ($34) and the deliciously umami Capellini in Sardinian Bottarga and Uni Sauce with Alaskan King Crab ($38). Now half the original restaurant size, this smart spot set over a few levels within a shophouse is perfect for business lunches (there’s even a private room that seats 20) or request one of the two balcony tables for some alfresco Romeo and Juliet evening action.
Gattopardo, 34/36 Tras Street, Singapore 079026. 6338 5498.
Another newbie in China Square, The Mad Poet — set within its industrial gastro bar den feeds the CBD crowd a punchy $10 lunchtime menu (from 11am). With dishes like Juicy Prawns ($10) in a garlicky prawn spaghetti, Seared Yellow Fin Tuna Salad ($10), or sandwiches ($10) like the Cajun Chicken Wrap, Roasted Beef Sandwich or the Beef Taco, all served with nachos and salsa. For afterhours there’s a different dinner menu plus craft beers like Old Speckled Hen and Wychwood Hobgoblin from the UK, or an interesting cocktail list such as Caviar & Basil ($16) — G’Vine Nouaison French Gin, basil and a dollop of caviar!
The Mad Poet, 20 Cross Street, #01-23/24, China Court, Singapore 048422. 6557 0312.