From The Straits Times    |

Feeling fancy? Here are four luxe restaurants that will make you feel like you’re a Crazy Rich Asian for a day… or a meal, at least.

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Muse Amuse by The Carbon Collective



Situated in the Ann Siang Hill/Club Street area, this shophouse has three concepts under its roof: Muse, which serves mod-Asian sharing plates; Amuse, a cocktail bar shaking up Asianinspired flavours; and The Carbon Collective, a retail space that carries artisanal luxury watch brands like Louis Moinet, Grieb & Benzinger and Bernard Favre.



Highlights from the menu include the 6-day Baby Back Pork Ribs, $16, which fall cleanly off the bone; and the Uni Pie Tee, $15 for two pieces, Muse’s luxurious spin on the traditional kueh pie tee. For the adventurous, do not pass up the chance to try the sweet-and-briny combo that is the Gula Melaka Panna Cotta with Umami Sea Urchin, $12.

Food aside, we’re also in love with the homely bar space at the back of the restaurant. And with cocktails like the Bandung Blush, $25, and Mango Sticky Rice, $25, you’ll definitely be having more than just one round of drinks!

The Carbon Collective: 289 Southbridge Rd, S(058835)





If you’ve never tasted fugu (pufferfish) before, Guenpin is a good place to have your first bite of this Japanese delicacy. For those not in the know, fugu is extremely poisonous, and regulations in Japan dictate that it can only be prepared by licensed chefs who have gone through years of training. It’s the largest torafugu chain in Japan with over 96 outlets, and this Singapore branch is their first one overseas. Torafugu, or Tiger Pufferfish, is considered to be the highest grade in the fugu family.

For the full fugu experience, go for the Zeitaku Course, $168, which comes with torafugu and snow crab prepared in various ways: sashimi, deep-fried, grilled and in a hotpot. For a cheaper alternative, go for the Tiger Pufferfish lunch set, $32.90, which includes a serving of sashimistyle and deep-fried torafugu.

Guenpin: 32 Maxwell Road, #01-06 Maxwell Chambers, S(069115)


VENUE by Sebastian



Here’s something that will sit well with the CBD crowd: VENUE By Sebastian, which pairs Chef-Owner Sebastian Ng (formerly of Restaurant Ember) with Chef de Cuisine Jonathan Lee (formerly of Artichoke). Expect contemporary European dishes laced with a hint of Asian influence, like Chilean seabass served with mushroom and bacon ragout, dressed in truffle Yuzu butter sauce; and grilled Spanish gem lettuce with burrata and a mentaiko vinaigrette.



This restaurant runs on a sharing-plate concept, so you’ll have quantity options to choose from to suit the size of your group. Don’t have time for a full dinner? Bodega Hour happens from 5:30pm to 6:30pm, where beer and wine is served at special prices together with bar snacks.

VENUE by Sebastian: #01-02 Downtown Gallery, S(068815)


Ce La Vi



Along with a newly-redesigned interior by Brendon Lim from Imajin Design, which pays homage to various Asian cultural landmarks, CÉ LA VI has also unveiled a Modern Asian menu by new Executive Chef Joseph Sergentakis that is bound to wow your taste buds. Start with the refreshing Yellowfin Tuna Tartare Jicama Rolls, $20 – minced Japanese tuna with mango coulis and yuzu dressing wrapped in thin slices of Mexican turnip.

If you love your beef, don’t miss the Cast-Iron Roasted Rangers Valley “Black Market” Ribeye, $55, which features the hard-to-get “Black Market” beef sourced from Rangers Valley (google it!) paired with sweet potato noodles and kimchi. Love seafood? Then the Hokkaido Scallop & Oyster Ceviche, $34 – tossed in the juices of calamansi, blood orange, pomelo and starfruit – would make you one happy camper. Food aside, this restaurant and bar is also known for its panoramic view of the city. It is highly recommended that you soak it all in with a couple of cocktails!

Ce La Vi: Marina Bay Sands Skypark, 1 Bayfront S(098971)





Situated in the Flower Dome of Gardens By The Bay, Pollen is pretty damned atas for a night out, but it might surprise you to know that the first floor doesn’t require any air conditioning. Instead, the cool climates of the dome keep the restaurant the perfect temperature. In August, the restaurant now under Executive Chef Steve Allen is celebrating it’s fifth anniversary and is putting out a five-course fancy dinner (lunch is three-courses) that is all about history — both the restaurant’s and the chef’s.



The five dishes include Pollen’s Garden, a presentation of a whopping 15 vegetables in tribute to the restaurant’s location. This is followed by Surf & Turf Through Italy, in tribute to Sous Chef Carmino La-Faciola’s heritage. The mix of delicious langoustine combined with lardo from Tuscany is unusual but divine.

Pollen: Flower Dome, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, 01-09, S(018953)


This story was first published on CLEO, Aug 11, 2017.