With so many restaurants popping up each month offering a smorgasbord of cuisines, we understand that you simply don’t have the luxury of time to try out each and every one of them.
To help you out in that department, we’ve put together a handpicked list of five tasty new restaurants out of the never-ending slew of new eateries.
The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar at COMO
From one of New York’s most celebrated chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, comes The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar at COMO – his first-ever venture in Southeast Asia.
For the uninitiated, chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is a savvy business man and restaurateur who is responsible for the successes of a constellation of restaurants worldwide (think United States, Mexico, Tokyo and more). All of which were awarded four stars by The New York Times, most notably Restaurant Jean-Georges in Central Park, New York, with three Michelin stars for 10 consecutive years.
Inspired by Dempsey Hill’s natural surroundings and Singapore’s multi-cultural background, chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten “hopes that every guest can taste the passion that is infused in every morsel.”
Casual and refined, The Cookhouse Dempsey & Bar features an open kitchen, making the communal dining experience more familial and relaxed. Serving a collection of dishes from the chef’s vast empire, including some of his fine-dining restaurants, like the raw tuna with avocado and his famed-since-1990s molten chocolate cake.
We highly recommend his signature dish – Egg Caviar. Presented with the top of the egg shell removed, it is filled with vodka, lemon juice and whipped cream espuma and topped with fresh caviar. The light espuma cleanses the palate in between bites of the briny caviar.
Where: 17D Dempsey Road, S(249676)
With the revamp of Shangri La’s Tower Wing, they have introduced a new fine dining Japanese restaurant, NAMI. Choose from lunch sets, a la carte orders to omakase kaiseki priced mostly under $200. If you’re looking for a venue that is appropriate for luncheon meetings, we recommend heading to NAMI for their executive lunch sets.
NAMI is headed by Japanese chef Shigeo Akiba from Yokohama, who worked under Iron Chef Koumei Nakamura for five years and sushi chef Hiroyuki Ono who worked at Sushi Kanesaka in Tokyo.
Do look out for dishes prepared with Chef Akiba’s specialty dashi stock — simmered with kombu from Hokkaido and katsuobushi from Kyushu. While his pan-fried tuna head isn’t prepared with his dashi stock, we highly recommend it for the tender and creamy-fleshed tuna head chunks.
Served with sweet sauce spiked with yuzukosho (a type of Japanese seasoning that is made from chili peppers, yuzu peel and salt, left to ferment) and a squeeze of lemon. The zesty touch helps to cut the sweetness while the Yuzukosho lends an umami factor to the dish.
Where: Shangri-La Hotel Tower Wing, Level 24, 22 Orange Grove Road. S(258350)
F’ood by Davide Oldani
Michelin-starred chef (1 star awarded to D’O Restaurant in Italy) Davide Oldani, has recently ventured to our little red dot and opened up F’ood by Davide Oldani at the revamped Victoria Concert Hall. Over the years, Oldani has developed the philosophy of ‘Cucina Pop’ after training with top chefs like Alain Ducasse and Pierre Herme.
He explained that it means serving “high quality food that is also affordable and that affordable means seasonal. It’s all on the chef on knowing how to work with the ingredients to be the king of the kitchen.”
With F’ood by Davide Oldani, you can expect the same sort of treatment: Using seasonal ingredients native to us and the regions around us to design dishes that are suited to our local palates. Putting diners as his top priority, he has specially curated cutlery for a unique dining experience. Like the spork (spoon and fork) for picking up all ingredients from a dish at one go; wine glasses with uneven rim for better tasting and even a water glass with two rims – one for sparkling water, the other for still.
We recommend Oldani’s signature Caramelised Onion, served hot and cool. Crafted with 20-months aged Grana Padano (a hard Italian cheese similar to Parmigiano Reggiano in flavour), in which the onion is halved and baked into a pastry, topped with gelato made from the Grana Padano mentioned earlier and served with hot Grana Padano cream. Crisp yet delicate, the savoury pastry is complemented by the sweet caramelisation of the onion and contrasting textures of the warm and cold Grana Padano cream.
Where: Victoria Concert Hall, 11 Empress Place, #01-01, S(179558)
A no-frills restaurant and bar, The Palmary resides on Owen Road in a beautifully restored three-storey pre-war shophouse, with the first floor being the restuarant and second as a chill lounge for cocktails and craft beers. Perfect for after-work gatherings and Sunday brunches.
Serving Asian fusion food, head chef Timothy Ong and his team has curated a menu with real cheeky names. Like the Quack, which is synonymous with duck confit; Soba So Good, cold soba noodles with braised cod; Just Wing It, their rendition of our local sze char favourite – har jeong gai or prawn paste chicken.
We recommend The Butcher’s Cut. Cured in-house, the hanging tender cut has a marbling (fat to meat) score of 2+. It is placed in a sous-vide bath for 4 hours before being seared and plated. The red date soy dressing lends a subtle sweetness to the juicy and tender beef, while the roasted root vegetables cleanses your palate in between bites.
Where: 142 Owen Road, S(218941)
The sister concept of The Laneway Market, Brine is located within Hotel Clover on the ground floor. We love the wooden furnishings and plants added to the restaurant’s interior, exuding an inviting feeling. You can expect a lot of food prepared by brining techniques which is, or those uninitiated, the process of submerging cuts of meat into a brine solution to extract liquid and salt, resulting in a juicier and more flavourful cut.
All decked out in dim, ambient lighting, the open concept kitchen is helmed by young chef Christopher Tan. Serving up modern contemporary cuisine with quirky creations like The Crunch (pictured above) – soft poached eggs with puffed rice, marble potatoes, truffle mushroom pate and ebiko, as well as familiar dishes like John Dory burger – battered dory fillet with homemade tartare and tomato basil concasse.
We recommend the Furikake Scrambled Eggs. First off, plating is superb, we wouldn’t have expected a plate of scrambled eggs to look so well put-together with a splash of orange from the tobiko. Secondly, this isn’t your usual scrambled eggs from the brunch menu.
Chef has incorporated Japanese accents into this by pairing it with furikake (a Japanese seasoning made of dried fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar and salt), dried shrimps and tobiko, which gives the scrambled eggs a heftier umami flavour.
Where: Hotel Clover, 775 North Bridge Road, S(198743)