In food-obsessed Singapore, things in the food scene are always ever-changing.
That is because restauranteurs know that keeping it safe and simple for the next five years is not going to cut it, not in this aggressively competitive market where foodies are always looking for new experiences, new tastes and new photo-worthy options. Besides, not only are new menus a good way to entice new diners and retain loyal ones, they are also a way to showcase the chef’s creative talents, as well as highlight premium/seasonal ingredients in refreshing new ways.
Here are some new dishes you should try from 8 restaurants in Singapore.
Photo: Joy Fang
The new dishes from this elegant but casual eatery are all about communal dining, which means hearty sharing plates that encourage families and friends to bond as they dine and have intimate conversations over dinner. Our absolute favourite is the fork-tender Whole Roasted Boneless Seabass (S$49), which sees fresh locally caught seabass that is slow roasted with capers, tomatoes and lemon herb crumbs to bring out its freshness. It’s deboned (read: kid-friendly), and the flesh is springy and aromatic. Served with grilled vegetables and purple potato croquettes, the latter is simply divine: The purple potato is boiled, mashed, lightly rolled in Japanese panko and fried upon order, and it’s so smooth and soft that it deserves a dish of its own.
There’s also the Whole Roasted Free Range Chicken (S$52), in which the cage-free bird is brined in a herb marinate and slow roasted, producing juicy flesh that falls off the bone. It’s served with a buttery, savoury mash. Not new but worth a try is the Spicy Prawn Marinara ($28), a mouthwatering pasta dish that is served with locally-sourced fresh tiger prawns and tossed with sambal belachan, garlic and hae bee hiam. It delivers a punch, spicy kick. We also love the Brussels Sprouts ($15), which would make even the kiddos a fan, thanks to its smoky, charred yet slightly sweet aftertaste.
Now available from from 5pm daily at SPRMRKT at STPI, 41 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238236, tel: 9736 4032. Selected items are also available on Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm daily at the Cluny Court outlet, 501 Bukit Timah Road, 02-13 Cluny Court, Singapore 259760, tel: 9736 4170
2. Chengdu Restaurant
Photo: Chengdu Restaurant
Can’t get enough of the fiery mouth-and-tongue-numbing Sichuan cuisine, but tired of the usual mala offerings? Chengdu’s new dishes offer an intriguing take on things by marrying Sichuan flavours with well-known delicacies. There’s the Roasted Foie Gras ($42.80), which is firm in the mouth after being pan-seared but still rich in flavours. The decadent foie gras pieces rest on crunchy king oyster mushrooms and is topped with spring onions and red pepper flakes.
We love the juicy Salt and Pepper Pork Ribs ($22.80) that are lightly fried and tossed in heady spices reminiscent of Sichuan streetside shaokao (barbeque). The flesh peels off the bone with ease, which means there’s little mess when you’re handling it with your chopsticks. There’s also the Braised Tendon with French Bean ($26.80) that’s a fascinating combination of slow-braised jello-like beef tendon and quail eggs in a piquant sauce. But our favourite is the incredibly tasty Sichuan Eggplant Claypot ($12.80), where eggplant strips are coated with 20 spices and then deep-fried, topped with minced meat and served in a piping hot claypot. Each piece is light and fluffy on the inside and addictively crispy on the outside, much like French fries.
Available at Chengdu Restaurant, 74 Amoy Street, Singapore 069893, tel: 6221 9928.
We all know Brotzeit as one of the best places to head to for authentic German cuisine and beer. The restaurant chain is certainly taking its reputation seriously. It has recently launched a slew of new sausage dishes, including the Farmer’s Sausage ($19), a coarsely ground pork sausage served with roasted potatoes and red cabbage; the Smoked Chicken Cheese Sausage ($19), which has a hint of smokiness that pairs well with the savoury melted cheese; and the Wurstsalat ($10 for appetizer, $19 for main), a traditional German sausage salad with home‐made vinaigrette dressing.
The highlight of the new dishes is a cool Würstel Ringelspiel mit Brezn (Sausage Tower with Pretzel) that is an impressive metre‐long link sausage of either Farmer’s Sausage ($36) or Smoked Chicken Cheese Sausage ($32), or both, if you go with the half‐and‐half option ($34).
No sausage meal is complete without a cold beer, and Brotzeit’s in-house beer sommelier has carefully paired each dish with a brew that guests can add on for a special price of $8 (0.3L) or $12 (0.5L). The Farmer’s Sausage, for example, goes best with a Wieninger Dunkles Lager Naturtrüb for its nutty taste and dry finish, while the Smoked Chicken Cheese Sausage pairs well with a Wieninger PD 1813 Naturtrüb Zwickl which has a malty and distinctive subtle smoky aftertaste.
Now available at all Brotzeit outlets.
4. Kinki Restaurant + Bar
Photo: Kinki Restaurant + Bar
In what seems to be the first of its kind in Singapore, Kinki Restaurant + Bar has infused beloved Japanese dishes with plant-based Impossible™ patties to present three unique offerings for its dinner menu. Impossible™ patties are known for its close resemblance to meat — it supposedly tastes and sizzles just like it.
Try the Impossible™ Omu Rice Burger ($28++) that serves a savoury and well-seasoned Impossible™ patty packed between a creamy cascade of Japanese omelette, momotaro tomato, lettuce, cheese and fluffy seasoned rice patty.
There’s also the Impossible™ Katsu Sando With Apple Curry ($26++) where a deep-fried Impossible™ patty is wrapped in Japanese breadcrumbs and white bread and served with a side of apple curry sauce; and the Impossible™ Okonomiyaki ($28), a savoury pizza made with the Impossible™ patty, grilled to perfection and topped off with a drizzle of Japanese mayonnaise and Worchestershire sauce. Can everyone say “Itadakimasu!”?
Now available at Kinki Restaurant + Bar, 70 Collyer Quay, #02-02 Customs House Singapore 049323, tel: 6533 3471.
5. M&S Café Singapore
Photo: M&S Café Singapore
If you’re a regular at the M&S Café Singapore (Fun fact: Opened in 2016, it’s the world’s first table service café by British retailer Marks & Spencer), you’d be happy to know that it has revamped its menu with over 20 new dishes you can try that include British classics and more.
These include lighter meals such as the Fish Finger Sandwich ($16) and Brie & Cranberry Sandwich ($14), and heartier options such as the Wood Fired Chicken & Mozzarella Pizza ($24) and Prawn Bhuna Curry ($23). There’s also a new Cheese Board ($21) for those who want to graze while hanging with their girlfriends.
Now available at M&S Café Singapore, #01-K2 Wheelock Place, 501 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238880, tel: 6235 2471.
The recently appointed executive chef of this grand space, chef Lachlan ‘Loki’ Lynch, has conceived a new menu to wow its diners (as though they aren’t impressed enough by the extravagant Great Gatsby-style decor). Ranging from cold selections to hot snacks to mains, specials and desserts, dishes are all European-influenced and created with fresh ingredients from the region. Highlights include a lamb kofta with beetroot yoghurt, bread crumb salsa and sumac onions under hot snacks. Four bite-sized lamb meatballs are topped with a crispy bread crumb salsa and served over a refreshing beetroot yoghurt and sumac onions, before being finished with a lemon dressing. Light and flavourful.
There’s also the classic French bistro dish of steak frites with bone marrow butter, capers, watercress and thin fries. A perfect cut of wagyu steak is topped with rich bone marrow butter with aromas of tarragon and worstershire sauce. Pan-fried in creamy French butter, the tender steak is served with crispy fries on the side.
For a palate cleanser, go with the traditional Greek mezze made from smoked cod roe, the taramasalata with radish, zaatar, green olive oil and bagel chip. Sprinkled with zaatar, an Eastern Europe spice mix containing sesame seeds, cumin and sumac, and drizzled with olive oil made from hardy mammoth green olives, it is served with radishes and crunchy house-toasted bagel chips.
Now available at ATLAS, Parkview Square, 600 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188778, tel: 6396 4466.
7. Udon Kamon
Photo: Udon Kamon
For something a little unexpected, try this bowl of tricoloured chilled udon, which Udon Kamon says is the first of its kind in Singapore. The udon specialty house has combined its three types of Sanuki udon noodles into one bowl: Udon Kamon’s original white udon; the green matcha udon, made with uji matcha from Kyoto; and the red chilli udon, made with Korean chilli powder.
Three intriguing new flavours are available — the Mentai Maze Udon (S$12.80++), which features the creamy and savoury mentaiko (spicy cod roe) and is topped with an onsen tamago, the Beef Shabu Shabu Bukkake Udon (S$13.80++) which incorporates tender and evenly marbled beef short plate imported from Australia, and the decadent Uni Maze Udon (S$19.80++) which has noodles coated with a luscious homemade uni sauce and is topped with creamy and savoury sea urchin from Hokkaido.
Now available at Udon Kamon, 3 Temasek Boulevard #03-315, North Wing (Tower 1) Suntec City, Singapore 038983, tel: 6266 5338.
8. Baan Ying Singapore
Photo: Baan Ying Singapore
Known for its authentic Thai cuisine in Singapore (BTW, it was granted the ‘Thai SELECT Premium’ award by the Royal Thai Government, which is usually awarded to restaurants that boast quality Thai cuisine, beautiful interior and outstanding service), you know you’d get nothing short of the full, genuine experience at this casual dining restaurant.
As part of a special ‘One Meal Around Thailand’ initiative, Baan Ying has come up with a number of set menus that incorporate flavours from the various regions in Thailand. Choose from three set menus for two ($58.80++), four ($128.80++) and eight persons ($298.80++). Dishes such as the aromatic Gaeng Hang Leh (Pork Belly Curry) and the smoky Khai Pam (Grilled Omelette) in banana leaf bowl from Northern Thailand; the tasty Soup Makuer (Spicy Thai Eggplant Dip) from North-Eastern Thailand; the addictively spicy Sator Pad Goong (Stir-fried Bitter Bean with Shrimp) from South Thailand; and the tangy, piquant Gaeng Som Pae Sah (Fried Sea Bass in Tamarind Soup) from Central Thailand will hit the spot with its complex mix of sweet, savoury and fragrant flavours.
All sets include a welcome drink, amuse bouche, four types of Nam Prik (Thai Chilli Dip) served with seasonal vegetables, Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad) with assorted toppings, palate cleanser shots of frozen Butterfly Pea and Coconut and Crème Brûlée Cha Thai (Thai Milk Tea Crème Brûlée). Wash all of that deliciousness down with some complimentary herbal tea to end the meal.
Available from July 9 to Sept 30 for lunch and dinner at Baan Ying Singapore, 103 Irrawaddy Road, Royal Square @ Novena, #02-07, Singapore 329566, tel: 9111 7852. Note that you have to reserve your sets one day in advance.