Korean and Mexican cuisine come together at the newly opened Vatos at South Beach Quarter. It has five outlets in Seoul. This is the brand’s first expansion outside of South Korea, in partnership with lifestyle management group Massive Collective.

The range of Urban Tacos includes galbi short rib ($12 for two tacos), Korean pork belly ($10 for two tacos) and chimichurri chicken ($10 for two tacos).

Special items include kimchi carnitas fries ($16) topped with braised pork carnitas, sauteed kimchi, melted cheese, hot sauce and sour cream; and honey tequila chicken wings ($16). Also on the menu are burrito bowls, quesadillas and burgers.

For drinks, pick from the range of cocktails and margaritas or order a makgeolita ($25), where tequila meets makgeolli (Korean rice alcohol).

Where: South Beach Quarter, 36 Beach Road

Open: 11.30am to 11pm (Monday to Thursday), 11.30am to midnight (Friday and Saturday), closed on Sunday

Info: Call 6385-6010 or 6385-6970


Seafood lovers can head to Cajun On Wheels for Louisiana-style seafood buckets at the new Pasarbella at Suntec City. It is one of the first few brands to open there.

For one to two diners, options include Oh Crab with Sri Lankan crab ($38 for 600g, $50 for 800g); and Flexing Mussels ($18) with 250g of mussels and 250g of clams.

For two to three diners, pick from The Poseidon Bucket ($108), with a Sri Lankan Crab (600g), prawns (300g), white clams (300g) and mussels (300g); or The Reel Crabby Bucket ($108), with a Scottish Dungeness Crab (700g) and Sri Lankan crab (600g).

For a party of three to four, get The Olympian Bucket ($158), which includes a Scottish Dungeness crab (700g), Sri Lankan crab (600g), prawns (300g), white clams (300g) and mussels (300g).

All options come with sides of sweet corn, potatoes and chicken spam. Takeaway Ocean Boxes (from $8.50) are also available. Where: Pasarbella, Level 1 Suntec City, 3 Temasek Boulevard

Open: 11am to 11pm daily

Info: www.facebook.com/CajunOnWheels


Cafe-hoppers can head to The Populus Coffee & Food Co. Its weekday menu includes pulled pork and roast chicken grain bowls ($18 each), Japanese- inspired “chicken rice” donburi ($18) with fried chicken cutlet, Delhi tandoori chicken sandwich ($16.50) and tom yam pork belly sandwich ($16.50).

Breakfast and brunch offerings include the signature Populus Scramble ($17) with scrambled egg, toasted croissant and bacon; spring onion pancake and fried chicken ($21); and buckwheat pancakes ($18) with mixed berry compote, passionfruit curd and flowers.

Dishes on the weekend menu include baked pistachio French toast ($19) with red wine-poached pears; harissa baked eggs ($18.50); and seafood linguine ($24.50, add $9 for butter-poached lobster tail).

Complete the meal with artisanal sundaes ($14 each) such as lemon and white chocolate, and strawberry and pistachio. Add $5 for buttermilk waffles.

Where: 146 Neil Road

Open: 9am to 7pm (Monday and Wednesday), 9am to 10.30pm (Thursday and Friday), 9.30am to 10.30pm (Saturday), 9.30am to 7pm (Sunday), closed on Tuesday

Info: Call 6635-8420 or go to www.facebook.com/ thepopuluscafe•


Comfort food goes modern at the new Kite restaurant-bar at Craig Road, run by Quek Sue-Shan of bistro SPRMRKT in Stanley Street. The “small bowls” dining concept encourages the sharing of dishes. Cold items include somen ($14) with lap cheong oil, leek flowers and prawns; and radish salad ($10).

Hot dishes include Ubin sea bass ($14) with lotus root, sunflower seed praline and sprouts; and salmon 42 deg with seaweed, apple and sesame ($14, photo 4).

For dessert, options include smores ($12) with brown butter marshmallow, hazelnut praline, and sugee cake ($12) made with orange, candied ginger and yogurt.

The prices are for the dinner menu. At lunch time, pick three dishes for $25 or four dishes for $30. Additional charges apply for certain dishes.

The drinks menu features cocktails such as Who Moved My Kueh ($18) with pandan vodka, Cointreau, passionfruit, fresh lime and egg white; and For Goodness Sake ($18) with nori sake, Kyuri gin, barley, shoyu and fresh lemon.

Where: 53 Craig Road, 01-01

Open: Noon to 2.30pm, 6pm to 1am, Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Monday

Info: www.facebook.com/kiteoncraig.

5. J65

Taking over the premises of CafeBiz on the lobby level of the newly refurbished Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore is J65, a 300-seat all-day buffet restaurant that centres on South-east Asian cuisine.

Highlights of the weekday lunch buffet are the laksa counter that serves six versions of laksa, including Singapore, Penang, Thai and Sarawak and a Shake-Your Own salad counter, where diners can shake their greens with condiments in glass jars.

Its lunch line-up on Saturdays includes braised pork knuckle and double-boiled black chicken soup with cordyceps flower.

Dinner from Thursday to Saturday features Boston lobster, baked red mullet with cumin and wok-fried kam heong king prawns. For Sunday brunch, chill out with live DJ performances and a free flow of wine and champagne. Prices start from $29 a person for the Deli & Gourmet Lunch buffet.

Where: Level 1 lobby, Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore, 1A Cuscaden Road

Open: 6.30am to 10pm daily

Info: Call 6831-4374 or e-mail cafe.hjts@hoteljen.com


A version of this story was originally published in The Straits Times on December 6, 2015. For more stories like this, head to www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle.