Hey ladies! 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.
Les Delices – Patisserie & Tea
The Brits think that not much can’t be solved with a good ‘ol cuppa tea. Quite right too! Team your brew with a patisserie-style cake and you can kiss your troubles goodbye. Les Delices in Chinatown, run by a Singaporean pastry chef and her sister, offers up a sweet selection of cakes and choux pastries to go with your quintessential cup of tea. A clear winner is the Heavenly Chocolate Dome; beautifully rich layering of Valrhora guanaja 70% chocolate mousse, hazelnut mousse, crispy praline and hazelnut dacquoise in a dark shelled chocolate dome. Chouxs come in varying (mild) flavours, from Matcha Green Tea to Early Grey, and there’s Berry Cheesecake with surprise popping candy in the base. Western and traditional Chinese tea pairings are suggested for each dessert. And we’re thinking the healthier the tea (Raw Puerh), the more justified the cake, no?
Les Delices, 333 Kreta Ayer Road, 01-14 Singapore 080333, 6536 8087, www.les-delices.sg
Wildfire Kitchen & Bar – Burgers, Steaks & Beers
Hatched has battened down its hatches and in its place stands a self-service style burger and steak joint. More casual than cool, the focus here is on good quality meat. Burgers are 100% juicy beef meat with a few Wagyu gourmet options, while the steaks use secondary cuts of premium meats like the Hangar 250g ($36), a grass-fed Kobe Wagyu beef from Queensland. Chow down on the Classic 001 ($16), a succulent beef burger in a toasty bun with caramelised onions, cheddar, tomatoes and lettuce – a good bang for your buck. For the adventurous eaters, there’s everything from the Lamb Burger with sun-dried tomatoes and tzazitki ($22) to The Works ($23), which manages to stuff in everything from baby spinach to rosti, fried egg and guacamole, though you’ll need whopper-sized hands to wrap your fingers around this baby. There’s a bible-heavy list of beers (around 60 we were told!) from drafts (Hitachino Nest and Proper Job) to bottles (like Hop Devil), all at happy hour prices of $9 till May.
Wildfire Kitchen & Bar, 26 Evans Road, Singapore 259367, 6734 2080, www.wildfire.com.sg
Boca – Portuguese
What is Portuguese cuisine? Egg tarts? Yes (and their warm, flaky, oozing, egg tarts are probably the best on the island), but there’s much more to to it than that. Boca, meaning “mouth”, has replaced Italian Oca Grassa on Bukit Pasoh Road. Black porcelain swallows line the blue walls, while large wooden serving boards line the open kitchen where chefs are busy at work. On the menu are lots of seafood dishes including dry salted cod (Bacalhau a Braz at $28 – mixed with grated fried potatoes, egg, olives and onions), and a beautifully tender Octopus Salad ($24) with red and yellow peppers and smoked paprika. Chorizo is served flamed ($36) with brandy and a stack of bread to dip into the smoky fat drippings. Unusual dishes like Shrimp “Porridge” ($28) made of bread (rather than Chinese rice or Western oats) are interesting options to try – a comforting dish that you’d expect a Portuguese grandmother to whip up on a wintry evening. Portuguese wines are specially imported. Leave room for the aforementioned egg tarts ($4.50) and you won’t be sorry.
Boca, 6 Bukit Pasoh, Singapore 089820, 6221 0132, www.facebook.com/pages/Boca-Singapore
Loh Lik Peng’s Unlisted Collection global empire (which includes Pollen and The Study) just got bigger thanks to a flurry of newly-opened bars and restaurants: Sorrel, Long Play and hot off the press Meat Smith (a no-reservations American Smokehouse offering meats like Smoked Beef Brisket; no website yet but you’ll find them at 167 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068618).
Sorrel – Edgy Fine Dining
First there was Sorrel, creating quite a splash with foodies in-the-know and offering affordable edgy fine dining plates. Get a counter seat as its de rigeur these days and watch babyfaced chef Teo (he’s 24 for crying out loud!) at work. There’s no a la carte menu, instead you can choose a 3- (lunch only, $45), 5- ($88) or 7-course meal ($118, dinner) – pretty impressive for the quality of ingredients and the calibre of stunningly presented food like the Confit Octopus with Algae Sago (pictured).
Sorrel, 21 Boon Tat Street #01-00, Singapore 069620, 6221 1911, www.sorrel.sg
LongPlay – Vinyl Bar
Unlisted Collection’s second opening is LongPlay, an achingly hip yet minimalist “old school” bar on Haji Lane. As its name suggests, this spot is all about the music with over 3000 vinyl-only titles from the 50s to the 70s, from Jazz to Motown and Blues. Sip on cocktails, munch on bar nibbles like buttermilk chicken bites, and soak in the scratchy tunes.
LongPlay, 4 Haji Lane Singapore 189197, 6291 3323, www.LongPlay.sg
March marks the start of two months’ worth of food and cocktail festivals:
Cocktail Week (March 7-14) – the first of its kind here in Singers, where 30 local bars and their bartenders, plus 10 of the world’s best bartenders from Melbourne to New York will be shaking up cocktails around town. Tickets start at $38 (you get a wristband for each day of the Cocktail Week plus the opening party), which gets you $14 signature cocktails at all the bars plus other perks like complimentary drinks at pop-ups and access to the opening party (7 March). Bars involved include Jigger & Pony, Ku de Ta, 28 HongKong Street, Bar Stories and Antidote.
Cocktail Week, www.singaporecocktailweek.com.sg
Restaurant Week (March 14-22) – where you can try out all those restaurants like UNA, Absinthe and IKYU that have been on your hit list at ‘taster prices’. Three course lunches from $25 and dinners from $35 (but beware the cheeky $15-20 supplement prices for some of the higher-end restaurants).
Restaurant Week, www.restaurantweek.sg
Savour (March 26-29) – a host of talented chefs, both Singapore-based and from overseas, with many Michelin stars between them, serving up their famous dishes in mini portions. Gourmet cuisine served street-food style. Tuck into food by Ryan Clift (Tippling Club), Alvin Leung (Bo Innovation, Hong Kong), Andre Chiang (Restaurant Andre) and Daniel Clifford (Midsummer House, UK). Look out for workshops, cooking classes and the massive Gourmet Market with exotic ingredients and free tastings. Tickets $60 (includes $30 worth of food vouchers).
Savour, F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Boulevard, Singapore 038975, www.savour.sg
World Street Food Congress (April 8-12) – This festival or “jamboree” celebrates street food from 24 countries around the world, from Indonesia to Mexico, America to India, and Copenhagen.
World Street Food Congress, The grassland beside 22 Tan Quee Lan Street, www.wsfcongress.com