Hey, girls! Need a quick shot of inspiration for a night out on the town? Here’s our pick of the latest restaurants and newest bars, condensed and served up in tasty bite-size pieces just for you.
FYR Cycene Ond Drinc – Josper Grilled European-Asian
First things first, how the heck do you pronounce FYR Cycene Ond Drinc? You’re going to need to know this because chances are you’ll be saying “Let’s go for dinner at ‘Fire Kitchen and Drink” a lot. This Josper-fired joint (with lychee wood) keeps its smokiness to the food and thankfully not the interiors. The casual rustic décor doesn’t belie the great quality, beautifully plated food on offer. It’s European cuisine with hints of Asia – accents of chilli, garlic, sambal, and Asian herbs. A whole grilled Spiced Deboned Red Snapper ($25) turns up deliciously moist and meaty, complemented by a lemon, grilled to bring out its sweetness and a side of spicy belacan. Grain-fed US Holstein Ribeye ($32) has just the right amount of charred smokey flavour yet is pink and juicy inside. Even the Seafood Linguine ($18) has seen some Josper action – this seafood-packed pasta (garlicky, curry leaf strewn, deep flavoured from the Lobster bisque) is enough to make those clean eating carb-free folks weep. The menu is both seafood (Baked Oysters $15, Scallops $13, Whole Maine Lobster $35) and meat-heavy, with reasonable pricing. Desserts, too, are friendly with the Josper – I dare you not to fall in love with the oozing Baked Pistachio Melt with Pandan Ice cream ($10), akin to a green sticky toffee pudding but with a super local twist.
FYR Cycene Ond Drinc, 19 Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069619, Tel (+65) 6291 0986, www.facebook.com/FYRBTS
Sum Yi Tai – Trendy hidden rooftop bar/restaurant
A few doors down from FYR is Sum Yi Tai (meaning “third wife” in Cantonese). This 3-storey bar – decked out in red lights and set to look like a glitzy version of Hong Kong in the ‘80s – sees faux roast ducks rubbing shoulders with premium spirits at the bar. Head upstairs to the invite-only rooftop for a hidden gem speakeasy-style bar with a view. This is where to come for clandestine drinks of Chinese Mojitos ($21). Foodwise it’s “Chinese Tapas” but not the fusion kind – it’s all classic Cantonese dishes like Char Siew ($12), XO Carrot Cake ($12) and Claypot Rice (from $25, serves two), all served in a trendy cocktail bar setting.
Sum Yi Tai, 25 Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069622, Tel (+65) 6221 3665, www.sumyitai.com
Crown Bakery – Bukit Timah Bakery
Rejoice Bukit Timah-rians (yes, that is definitely a real word). A pretty bakery-café has just opened in the ‘hood with both air-con indoor and outdoor (awning-covered) seating. And they do proper, crusty bread. From the classics – sourdough ($4.50) and French Baguette ($3.80) – to some flavours that will make you pause and scoff at the tastings basket. Hainanese Chicken Bread ($4.50) studded with chicken thigh and fragrant lemongrass, Red Wine Fig Ekmek (5.50), to Three-Olive Ciabatta ($3) plus bagels, brioches, croissants and Danishes. They are rolling out some hot dishes like Eggs Ben to go with your coffee, fresh beetroot carrot juice, and there will soon be a lunch and even dinner menu. Early risers take note – these guys open their shutters at 7:30am! Crown Bakery, we have been waiting for you!
Crown Bakery, 557 Bukit Timah Road, #01-03 Crown Centre, Singapore 269694, Tel: (+65) 6463 3066, www.facebook.com/crownbakerysg
Lollapalooza – Smokey big sister to Lolla
If you find yourself humming “I wish that I could be like the cool kids” (à la Echosmith) then your first point of call would have to be Keong Saik Rd. It’s where all the cool kids set up shop. While Ann Siang’s darling Lolla is dark and low-lit, big sister Lollapalooza is all bare white walls and light interiors. The apple wood-fired oven smokily churns out European dishes on the daily changing menu. Roasted Lamb Hearts ($18), Radicchio with Pigs Ear ($21) and Braised Tuna Eye ($44) might be some of the more adventurous menu pickings alongside ‘safer’ dishes of deliciously plump Burrata with Stinging Nettle Pesto ($36) and Roasted Barramundi Loin ($28). Wine by the glass starts at an eye watering $19.50/glass. We know one shouldn’t have a favourite sibling but we fear the elder sister has our heart.
Lollapalooza 1A Keong Siak Road, Tel: (+65) 6221 3538, www.lollapalooza.sg
Neon Pigeon – Funky NYC-meets-Japanese
Neon Pigeon follows the no-reservations trend and serves up sharing plates of Japanese influenced dishes in a distinctly edgy NYC-style space complete with graffiti wall art. We have only ‘bobbed’ our heads in (pigeon style) for a quick peep but we are told the favourites are Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Mirin Glazed Bacon, the mandatory Stuffed Bone Marrow, and Tsukune Sliders to go with their selection of Japanese-inspired cocktails, sakes and shochu.
Neon Pigeon, 1 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089109, Tel: (+65) 6222 3623, www.neonpigeonsg.com
+39 Gelato Bar – Italian Gelato in the city
If the rat race gets to you, you could follow Jacopo Quaglia’s lead and swap your tie and laptop for a gelato degree and a gelateria. The eight flavours change daily and are made on site in hot-shot machines that take four minutes to churn out unspeakably good, smooth textured, dense gelato. Unlike ice cream there’s not actually any cream in gelato, and rarely eggs, so in my books this is actually a health food (don’t quote me on that). Mango and Banana Sorbets taste so creamy, it’s a wonder there’s no dairy at all. Don’t miss the Pistachio, Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut if it’s on offer. Gelato maestro Jacopo pairs flavours together for fun combos like Bounty (chocolate and coconut) or try the scoop of alcoholic Asperol served in a chilled silver glass topped up with Prosecco. 1 flavour ($5.50), 2 flavours($7.50), 3 flavours ($9.50).
+39 Gelato Bar, 29 Circular Road #01-01, Singapore 049385, Tel: (+65) 65320380/6475-8368, www.plus39gelato.com
9Goubuli – Baozi at MBS
Traditional Chinese restaurant 9Goubuli, with a 157-year long legacy in China of making their signature baozi (steamed bread-like dumpling buns with meat or veg fillings from $1.90/piece), has picked MBS on our little island as their first outpost. You can watch the master baozi chefs at work through a small window as they skillfully make the bun folds, closing them into a flower shape and laying them on the steamers. There’s something for everyone on the massive menu – steaming bowls of handmade noodles to delicious roast Peking duck ($90/whole), to weird and wonderful starters (Vinegar Marinated Jellyfish $12, Braised Ducks Tongue $14), to soup served in a teapot. Interestingly for such a traditional Chinese spot, they branch out on their desserts – we spotted Chocolate Fondant with Chinese Rose Ganache Raspberries & Sorbet ($18) on the menu.
9Goubuli The Shoppes At Marina Bay Sands, Canal Level B2-02, 2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018792, Tel (+65) 6688 7799, www.9goubuli.com