Keong Saik Road is hotter than ever and farm-to-table is arriving in Singapore in a big way. Food columnist Beate’s got all the hot deets on new restaurants in Singapore this summer with the August Foodie News Flash.
Hey, Sassy 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-size pieces just for you.
Open Farm Community – Garden to Table in Dempsey
This spot is one to watch! Tippling Club’s Ryan Clift has teamed up with Edible Garden City and the Spa Esprit Group, and the result is Open Farm Community. This restaurant set in a 35,000 square foot garden behind Minden Road grows their own local greens, has a fruit orchard and herb plot. Can’t get any fresher than that! Their goal is to bridge the gap for diners between food and farming so besides the main restaurant, fresh juice and cocktail bar, there’s also educational spaces for talks, gardening workshops and tours. Lunch might see you munching on Seared Tuna with Green Papaya & Jicama Salad, Fresh Coconut and Dashi Vinegar ($26) followed by Roasted Mangalica Pork Belly, Apple & Ginger Salad ($34). Post-lunch, sprawl onto the lawn for a spot of bowling as you sip on your Parsley, Kale, Apple, Lemon and Ginger Juice, or for those less keen on the green stuff, there’s always a Bloody Mary.
Open Farm Community, 130E Minden Road, Singapore, Tel: (+65) 6474 5964, www.openfarmcommunity.com
La Ventana – Catalan Tapas in Dempsey
Chef Carles Gaig – known for having a Michelin star to his (now closed) original family restaurant Restaurant Gaig – has chosen Singapore as his first international venture outside his usual terrain of Barcelona. Traditional Catalan tapas is on the menu at La Ventana, which is set in leafy Dempsey and boasts a large alfresco area – the perfect backdrop for afternoon Sangrias. The menu reads hearty and rustic: two of the signature Catalan dishes are Carabinero Paella ($34) of carnaroli rice with calamari and carabinero prawn, and “Canelón Since 1869” ($9.50 per cannelloni) consisting of a family recipe of cannelloni stuffed with foie gras, beef, pork, and swimming in truffle cream. Chef Gaig will be hotfooting it back to Barcelona but leaves family in charge. Dempsey needs an injection of a little… what’s the Spanish for ‘je ne sais quoi’? Here’s hoping La Ventana will help get this leafy enclave back on track.
La Ventana, 16A Dempsey Road, #01-01 Singapore 247695, Tel: (+65) 6479 0100, www.facebook.com/LaVentanaSG
Cure – Unfussy Fine Dining
Cure (derived from the Latin curare, “to take care of”) is Chef-Owner Walsh’s latest spot; he was previously at the helm of Jason Atherton’s Esquina. Cure, in a shophouse on the ever-blossoming Keong Saik Road, only seats 40 (all the better for them to take care of you), including a chef’s table of eight. There’s no a la carte, instead there’s two/three courses for lunch ($30$/38), whilst dinner is four courses Monday-Thursday ($95) and five courses Friday to Saturday ($115). Expect Modern European fine dining dishes, artfully presented without the fuss and finicky foam flourishes. Instead Cure focuses on ingredients that are seasonal (to the UK, anyway). They make everything from scratch, from home-baked, mixed seed sourdough bread to go with seaweed butter and house-fermented cabbage, to house-made Duck Ham to go with the Hot and Cold Cured Scallop, Kohlrabi and English Pea.
Cure, 21 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089128, Tel: (+65) 6221 2189, www.curesingapore.com
The Daily Roundup – Creperie Café
Hotdeskers will already be onto The Daily Roundup, who opened their doors on the ground floor of shared working space the Working Capitol on trendy Keong Saik Road. What cuisine is the ever burgeoning Keong Saik Rd missing? The Daily Roundup, opened by the peeps behind Loof and White Rabbit, serves up crepes both savoury and sweet alongside their Papa Palheta coffees and alcoholic spritzer bottles of Nashii Pear with watermelon-infused Riesling, Raspberry and Kaffir Lime. Savoury galettes like the Complete ($12) of ham, egg and Compte cheese, and the Scottish Smoked Salmon ($14) with homemade crème fraîche are both made with 100% organic buckwheat flour from Brittany. Sweet numbers include the good ‘ol Nutella classic ($10), or for something a little local inspired, the Yuzu Butter Crepe ($10) — a combo of citrusy yuzu-infused artisanal butter by Jean-Yves Bordier and sugar.
The Daily Roundup, 1 Keong Saik Rd, #01-02 The Working Capitol, Singapore, (+65) 6338 8035
MACA – Modern European
Calling all ladies who lunch! If you find that you know the Tanglin Mall lunch menus off by heart, listen up. Maca is newly posted in the basement of Tanglin Post Office and offers up a modern European menu of sharing plates, a trend that shows no sign of slowing. It’s all fresh minimalism inside, brushed concrete and white interiors. Weekday set lunches from $28/$35 for 2/3 courses might see you nibbling on Smoked Swordfish Belly with Avocado and Yuzu, followed by Chargrilled Lamb Rump with Eggplant, Yoghurt, and Pinenuts and rounding off with a delicious sweet of Blackberry Icecream with Coconut, Liquorice and Chocolate.
MACA, 56 Tanglin Road #B1 – 01, Singapore 247964, Tel: (+65) 6463 8080, www.macarestaurant.com
Carne & Caipirinha –Brazilian Meatfest
Carne & Caipirinha set up in the casual alfresco digs of Sunset way, does what it says on the tin – offers up muchos Caipirinha ($12), the Brazilian national drink, and muchos muchos meat (carne) of Brazilian imported chicken, beef, lamb, pork (and fish) grilled over a smoky charcoal fire. Churrascaria meats (from $39.90, unlimited) are served up in Brazilian Rodízio fashion (in rotation once each meat has been cooked) by skewer wielding, meat carving Passadors dressed in traditional South American cowboy (gaucho) outfits. Service should be pretty slick, after all it works on the traffic light system: you flash a green disc for ‘Go’ (serve me more) and red for ‘Stop’ (only to be used when you’re getting the meat sweats).
Carne & Caipirinha, Sunset Way, Blk 106 Clementi St 12 #01-50, Singapore 120106, (+65) 6464 0478, www.carne-caipirinha.sg