From The Straits Times    |

Are you seeking out great food and drinks with prices that won’t burn a hole in your wallet? Check out the following hotspots that offer French, Mexican, Italian, Japanese and Spanish fare. 

Ma Cuisine

This new gastro wine bar at Craig Road offers over 600 wine labels alongside a casual French menu. Co-owners Anthony Charmetant and Mathieu Escoffier, who have built solid relationships with winemakers in Burgundy, Rhone and Bordeaux over the years, curate an engaging and unintimidating drinking experience for guests.

To complement the wine list is a concise menu of authentic French classics and Burgundian specials. From 5pm onwards, you can enjoy a glass of wine with nibbles such as la pissaladière (crisp anchovy tart), or heartier dishes like the homemade terrine of braised pork shoulder with garlic and parsley. Homemade desserts, which are rolled out on a vintage dessert trolley, include a silky crème caramel from an old family recipe. You can also enjoy your wines with artisanal cheeses, sourced from Europe and aged in Singapore by the CheeseArk. For those who fancy a late-night supper, Ma Cuisine takes their last orders at 11.45pm.

38 Craig Road. Tel: 6224 1838.


Caffe Fernet

Located at the historic Customs House by the waters of Marina Bay, this new Italian-inspired restaurant-bar by the Jigger & Pony introduces an exciting menu of cocktails paired with modern Italian fare.

For starters, munch on homemade ricotta with chestnut honey from Italy and fresh thyme on crisp sourdough. Then tuck into the hearty mafaldine cacio e peppe or ribbon shaped pasta tossed with four types of peppercorns and pecorino cheese. If you are with a group of friends, share the chicken piccata, featuring a brined then oven-roasted chicken breast cutlet flavoured with saffron, capers and lemon. End with deep-fried bomboloni filled with lemon curd and coated with caster sugar, or a classic olive oil cake with Grand Marnier, orange and pine nuts. 

Refresh your palate with the Amalfi Spritz made with gin, limoncello, absinthe, prosecco and mint. Or variations of Italian classic cocktails like spritzes, frosés and Negronis.

70 Collyer Quay, #01-05 Customs House. Tel: 9178 1105.



FOC Pim Pam

This tapas joint next to Orchard Hotel sports a new colour palate of blacks and greys with timber finishes and metal accents. In the revitalised space, you can choose to have a casual drink and tapas with your mates at the bar or terrace, or a full sit-down meal at the main dining room. There’s also a private dining room for special occasions and celebrations with bigger groups. 

New items on the revamped menu include a tangy sweet tomato tartare composed of confit tomatoes and tomato ice cream, perked up with caperberries, roasted octopus with sizzling pork belly and potato foam, and paella with Iberico secreto and seasonal mushrooms. Mains-wise, try the short ribs with fresh peas, Iberico ham, and cauliflower puree, or barramundi with pumpkin gnocchis, and Idiazabal cheese cream. Complete your meal with desserts like limoncello sorbet and meringue, and ‘Chocolate Forest’ (chocolate textures, yogurt, white chocolate passionfruit jelly) or the classic churros with chocolate sauce or white chocolate-coated.

FOC PIM PAM features an extensive wine list of over 150 labels, spanning across the Spanish regions. It also boasts the widest collection of sherries in Southeast Asia.

442 Orchard Road #01-29. Tel: 6100 4242.





After work, zip up to level 45 of Singapore Land Tower and step into modern Mexican restaurant-bar LES45 or Lower East Side 45. Here you will get to enjoy a variety of modern and traditional Mexican dishes from lobster tacos with ginger mint mojo and tempura hake tacos to chicken tinga tostadas with mango guacamole and wasabi fried egg. The signature LES Guacamole is prepared tableside with fresh ingredients in a molcajete, a traditional stone mortar and pestle from Mexico. Pair these with a vibrant cocktail, or if you dare, unique tequilas from Mexico. Did we mention the views here are stunning too? 

50 Raffles Place, Level 45. Tel:  6221 9555


Plum & Toro

Housed on the second level of the InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, the brand new Plum & Toro draws diners with its sleek and casual ambience and range of teppan and chargrilled dishes. The bar bites and grilled items will be changed frequently. The menu is conceptualised by Chef Hideki ii, fondly known as “Chef E”, who previously trained under Chef Tetsuya Wakuda for six years and also worked for Japan’s ambassador to the United Nations. The 10-seater cocktail bar is stocked exclusively with wines, sakes and liquors imported from Japan. Guests can also sip one of the 10 signature cocktails at the bar or head over to the al fresco terrace to soak in the views of the Singapore River.  

1 Nanson Road, #02-07, InterContinental Robertson Quay. Tel: 96780027