Dining

Try them now: 3 restaurants that have reinvented their menus

Check out who has revamped their options on the scene
 

Photo: Barrio by Mex Out

You've got your familiar food haunts. We get it, we've got ours too. Yet once in a while, we're excited to sink our teeth into novel spins on tried and tested menus (as long as they don't remove our go-to favourites). 

1. Barrio by Mex Out 

​Photo: Barrio by Mex Out

Keep your peepers peeled for new additions to Barrio by Mex Out's offerings. They've been rolled out at the VivoCity branch and are slated to be introduced at 313@Somerset late next week. The wider selection encompasses top bites the likes of vegetarian (peppered mushrooms) and baja fish tacos ($6 per piece). Pretty pleasantly palatable was the way that the ingredients juxtaposed and complemented one another. Think: pork tortas ($15 for three pieces), smoky pulled pork snugly tucked inside pillowy sweet buns that have been lightly crisped on the outside, topped with diced jalapeno peppers and pickled onions. This sandwich uses man tous instead of the usual crusty bread rolls.

But first we recommend that you whet your appetite with a serving of guacomole, chips and salsa ($11). The guacomole possessed a nice consistency with some uneven avocado chunks lending texture to the mixture. Dare to spice things up? Ask for their haberero pepper housemade hot sauce. Find out more at http://www.mexout.com/

 

​Photo: Barrio by Mex Out

2. Oso Ristorante

Photo: OSO Ristorante

Framed fashion clippings from old Italian newspaper pages decorate the red bricked walls. The decor is industrial chic warmed by natural lighting that radiate through the floor-to-ceiling window panes. In September, the Italian restaurant moved into the 27th floor of Oasia Hotel Downtown in Tanjong Pagar. But don't let the tourists detract an ounce of the Italian fare's credibility. 

Delivering authentic and fresh seasonal ingredients sourced directly from Italy and across Asia, there are two sides to the menu: the "Classic" and "Today", the latter of which introduces new culinary creations such as the timballo baked sponge bread with black truffle brothe ($12). The brothe is an elevated take on the humble mushroom soup, while the dough is made rich thanks to the toma cheese stuffing - Italian soft cheese created from cow's milk. Another highlight was the squid ink prawn risotto ($28). Sometimes squid ink anything (risotto, pasta, you name it) comes off overpowering but we found that the chilli prawns bursting with flavour gave a freshness to what's typically, otherwise considered a heavy dish.

A meat lover? We recommend the duck breast with whiskey-infused pork bacon mash ($48), cooked over Italian oakwood from Piedmont in Northern Italy, ravishingly smoky. Find out more at http://oso.sg/.  

 

Photo: OSO Ristorante

ALSO READ: 5 New Weekend Brunch Menus To Check Out 

3. Open Farm Community 

Photo: Open Farm Community

Banding together with the Paris Popup team, Dempsey Hill-based Open Farm Community is currently running its "Kampong French" pop-up menu until Dec 3.

Paris Popup is an award-winning roving gastronomic initiative run by chefs Harry Cummins and Lina Caschetto, along with sommelier Laura Vidal. The trio met in Paris and what they do is "play restaurant" - occupy spaces or host a restaurant takeover (as is the case at Open Farm Community) and offer seasonal menus from locally sourced ingredients paired with matching wines ($50 per person). The collaboration also marks the induction of eclectic natural wines (for the uninitated, that's wine made with little to no chemical and technological intervention during its creation process. Without preservatives, you're also less likely to have a hangover the morning after) at the farm-to-table restaurant.

Ease into your meal with the shrimp chawanmushi ($16). The silky smooth, soft and tender Japanese egg custard garnished with garden city sorrel is given a local twist with fragrant young coconut. Other worthy mentions include the delightfully charred rolls of chai poh flatbread with potatoes and spring onion ($14) and the tangy calamansi, coconut, and pomelo meld with creamy yoghurt and grass jelly dessert ($12). You get a juicy mouthfeel from the latter that is more flavourful than its innocuous looks. 

The all-day a-la-carte dining menu of 12 small and sharing plates uses 70 to 80 per cent ingredients that are sourced from fishing ports, heartland wet markets, and farms in and around Singapore, including greens found in OFC's backyard. Can't decide what to order? Leave it to the chef with the "feed me" menu, a selection of six savoury dishes and two desserts to share ($65 per person). Make your reservation by emailing enquiries@ofcsingapore.com.sg or call +65 6471 0306. 
 

Photo: Open Farm Community

ALSO READ: Meet Petrina Loh: Fermentation Queen and Woman Behind Restaurant of the Year