Lead image courtesy of Empire
Hey, girls! 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.
Your ears will pop as you ascend to the 45th floor of the Singapore Land Tower building smack bang in the middle of the CBD. And your jaw will drop as you take in the views from Sear, the modern American restaurant at the top. The menu offers everything from ocean platters to baby back pork ribs, but the real superstars have got to be the steaks, seared in the charcoal ovens.
The indecisive should try the trio tasting board ($95), featuring Wakanui hormone-free sirloin, free-range Jacks Creek Wagyu rib eye, and Canadian Western Countries Cross Angus Tenderloin. The sides are pretty noteworthy too – moreish and unctuous is the heavenly Creamed Sweetcorn, Parmesan and Gruyere ($16), and the Maple Brussel Sprouts, Pig and Nuts ($16) goes down a treat, too.
Check out the daytime view with the set lunch ($29/$36 for 2/3 courses), or go for sundowners with the pre-theatre menu ($42/$51 for 2/3 courses) where dishes like Charred Octopus, Wagyu Burger and Chocolate Mud Cake with Chestnut Ice cream, Praline and Raspberries, are on offer. For a pre- or post-dinner tipple, head to Empire down the hall. This penthouse bar-lounge blasts the tunes with an in-house DJ, or sit outside to soak up the fantastic 360-degree views.
Sear#45-01 Singapore Land Tower, 50 Raffles Place, Singapore 048623, Tel: (+65) 6221 9555
When Sydney-styled cafe The Lokal first opened we were hot on their heels for brunch and coffee. Fast forward a few months and we are stoked to find they have started dishing up dinner, too. The menu, showcasing a handful of choices for each course, changes frequently according to the chef’s moods and what’s fresh.
Most everything is made from scratch — from their ricotta served as a starter with cauliflower puree, grapes and hazelnut ($10), to the deliciously comforting spaetzle that accompanies the hearty deep flavoured Wagyu beef goulash ($23). For dessert the sticky date pudding ($10) is a juxtaposition of airy light sponge, hot gooey thick sauce, and hokey pokey ice cream. Drinkswise there are Aussie craft beers like Little Creatures and Flying Brick cider, and happy hour from 5-9pm sees house wine by the glass at a euphoric $5. The atmosphere here is buzzing by day and quieter at night – perfect for a casual midweek dinner accompanied by extremely affordable wine.
The Lokal 136 Neil Road, Singapore 088865, Tel: (+65) 6423 9918
Club Meatballs is making that cosy TV dinner something cool and sophisticated with its inventive meatball offerings ($19.50). This pretty little diner kitted out with BW furniture is perched on the corner of Cross Street and China Street, and it opens onto the sidewalk for some good ol’ people watching. The menu cheekily offers a “Pimp my balls” choice of five different meatballs (think Iberico Pork and Fennel, Wagyu Beef, even Chickpea for the veggies), five sauce options (like tasty tomato and basil, or salsa verde), and five sides (amongst them al dente homemade pappardelle, parmesan risotto or mash) to mix and match.
They make a mean cocktail so grab a high or lowball to go with the bar snacks menu (Pulled Pork Sliders $13, Salt and Pepper Squid $16, Ricotta, Mango, Walnuts & Honey Bruschetta $9). CBD folks listen up, we hear lunch is up for grabs too! With Meatball Salads and Subs like “The Vietnamese” (chicken and cumin balls, red onion, carrot, jalapenos, coriander, $9.50) it all sounds deelish!
Club Meatballs, #01-35 China Square Central, 20 Cross Street, Tel: (+65) 6222 8660
Greenwood residents rejoice! After a bit of a hiatus, Shelter in the Woods is back. It’s undergone a bit of a revamp, though the concept (European rotisserie fare) is the same. The interiors are brighter, smarter and more modern but crucially the food, which was good before, is even better. There’s a new chef in whites – Japanese Chef Masashi who brings with him 21 years of Michelin-starred experience from Switzerland, France and the UK. Most recently he was Chef at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in London for five years.
Got your attention yet? There’s a counter at the entrance showcasing a staggering variety of homemade terrines, rillettes and even foie gras (order the Charcuterie Board at $30 for 3 people, including foie gras “au torchon”, pork rillette, “pâté en croûte”, mesclun salad, baguette and toasted French brioche). As you’d hope from the chef’s pedigree, the dishes from the new menu display a finesse that’s more fine dining than rustic hearty woodcutter fare.
From appetisers like the deliciously light starter of Endives, Walnuts, and Roquefort Cheese Salad ($14), to Rotisserie mains like the Braised Pork Belly ($24) which is beautifully slow cooked, coated with a mustard herb crust, and served on a bed of braised lentils, Roasted Spring Chicken ($19/$35 for half/whole), and Rotisserie Rack of Lamb ($39). There’s even a kiddie menu with healthy sounding dishes to boot. Some say, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. But while we liked this spot before, now we really, really like it. Watch this space for brunch and take away options too.
Shelter in the Woods 22 Greenwood Avenue, Singapore 289218, Tel: (+65) 6466 6225
Image credit to Shelter in the woods and John Heng
La Taperia by the Les Amis group (which also owns Nam Nam Noodle Bar and Bistro Du Vin) has set up shop in the Shaw Centre. The atmosphere is buzzing in contrast to the stark silence of this largely unoccupied wing of the newly renovated mall. Under the name of Terry’s (which lasted about a week), the restaurant served up rustic Spanish fare, but with the name (and part-ownership) change came a more refined style of traditional Spanish cuisine. So much so in fact that, remorsefully, there’s not even a Patatas Bravas in sight!
Instead find dishes like cold tapas of Piquillo Pepper Stuffed with Tuna and Anchovy Remoulade ($16), warm tapas of Rockfish fritters ($16), Croquettas of Suckling Pig ($14), and Grilled Lamb Ribs with Honey Mustard ($24). To soak up the sangria ($14 a glass) try paellas like the Squid Ink Seafood ($30 or $52 large) and a list of heartier meat dishes. Be sure to save room for dessert; the Marquesa de Chocolate ($14), a mound of dense creamy chocolate dessert topped with crunchy praline, is a must try for chocaholics.
La Taperia #02-10/11 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Rd 238868 Tel: (+65) 6737 833
Think of Japanese cuisine, and bread and cakes don’t quite spring to mind. Sushi, rice and matcha green tea maybe. But bakeries? Not so much. Think again! Last month saw Henri Charpentier opening, this month sees Asanoya Bakery. Founded in 1933, Asanoya is known all over Japan for its rustic “Japanese-style” bread, with interesting flavours like fragrant Earl Grey tea and sweetened milk, orange peel, and sesame au lait. They also do Viennoiseries (their pain au chocolate is particularly good) and sandwiches and, surprisingly for a bakery, Japanese beer!
Asanoya Bakery Wilby Central, 15 Queen Street, Singapore 188537 Tel: (+65) 6703 8703
Apparently Pantler means “a servant in charge of the bread and the pantry in a great family”. Lets just say if Pantler were my pantler, I’d have e a great big fat family indeed. So good are the beautifully made tarts and cakes at this new minimalist patisserie. They open at 8:30am (after a morning of baking all their goodies from scratch) so you’d have just about enough time to grab your coffee and croissant before sneaking into the office. We didn’t taste anything that we didn’t like, but favourites include their deliciously light and creamy and ricotta cheesecake ($8.50), the sinfully chocolatey Yatsura ($8.50) – a slab of hazelnut dacquoise, dark chocolate mousse and crunchy hazelnut feuilletine – and the Dark Cherry Tart ($7.50) — sweet shortcrust pastry topped with spiced cherries and almond crumb.
Pantler 198 Telok Ayer Street Singapore Tel: (+65) 6221 6223