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Jan 17, 2017|
We are no strangers to the romantic Venice setting, where you sip on a glass of expensive wine and feast on juicy steaks and sausages. Although it’s impossible to always fly to Europe to get that first hand experience, you can always count on these 14 European restaurants serving food like smoked pancetta and Balkan sausages, and of course cocktails to go along.
The mood and the menu lightened considerably after Bacchanalia moved from the Masonic Building in City Hall to HongKong Street a while ago—no more heavy velvet drapes and black-out brunch parties. Former head chef of London’s renowned restaurant Maze, Chef Luke Armstrong, all about big and bold flavors has crafted a five or eight-course menu that features signatures like roasted monkfish with Zeeland mussels and saffron sauce, grass-fed tenderloin with aubergine compote and garlic veloute and a Pavé chocolate dessert with mint ice cream, yogurt, passionfruit and citrus. 39 HongKong St. Make a reservation via Chope here.
A newcomer to the hood, this place is all about sustainable Mediterranean food, with grassfed and hormone-free meats, and plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options, too. You can’t forgo the raw bar, which is stocked with fresh seafood like halibut crudo and the Sturia caviar, with straciatella cream, dill cucumber and potato celery blini. Hot off the grill are the Greek sea bass, with Mediterranean spiced rub, and the milk-fed Dutch veal chop with roasted leeks and blackberries. A real highlight is the list of organic and biodynamic wines from the Mediterranean region, best enjoyed their terrace. It’s not the most innovative menu in these pages, but the chophouse-style dishes at The Black Swan are well-executed and consistently delicious. Add to that the appeal of dining in a 1920s-style heritage building, the affable but professional service, the intriguing cocktail list, a new selection of carefully sourced steak options and, now, their new garden patio, and it’s easy to see why it is one of the best (and best-loved) restaurants in town. The Quadrant, 19 Cecil St. Make a reservation via Chope here.
Chef Stephan Zoisl’s space looks more like a high-end wine bar, with its high tables and stools, but sign up for one of the multi-course dinners, and he and his team whip up dish after exciting dish in their open kitchen, with subtle gastronomy touches. There’s no menu, only a daily list of about 28 ingredients the kitchen will be working with, and the Austria-heavy wine list is a great accompaniment. We recently had a glorious hamachi with cauliflower, samphire and Bouchot mussels, and a quinoa with olive oil caviar, basil oil and a burrata foam. 61 Tras St. Make a reservation via Chope here.
A partnership between chef Andrew Walsh (formerly of Esquina and The Study) and Joel Fraser (of The Cufflink Club), the minimalist and moody Cure recently did a menu overhaul, adding an a la carte option to their previous degustation-only set-up. You can still do set lunches and dinners. Just don’t miss delightful dishes like the crab salad with coconut rice, little dots of green curry, lime and pear, and the pretty exciting Iberico pork loin which comes with the lesser-seen pairing of smoked mussels and cauliflower done four ways. 21 Keong Saik Rd. Make a reservation via Chope here.
This is undoubtedly one of Singapore’s most well-known and highly regarded restaurants, a darling of most regional and international top lists. European food with Japanese touches and refinment is no longer new, but is executed perfectly here and enhanced by professional service. The wine list by owner and sommelier Ignatius Chan, is half the draw. 3/F Hilton Singapore, 581 Orchard Rd.
Fashioning itself a bit after an elegant Viennese coffee house, Kaiserhaus is inspired by the flavors and cultures of the former Habsburg Empire, covering places like Bohemia, Northern Italy and Switzerland in its menu. Try the classic slow-cooked beef rump, tafelspitz, and the cevapcici, Balkan sausages with goat cheese. The restaurant has also recently partnered with old royal confectioners Zauner for its pastries and desserts. #02-06 Capitol Piazza, 17 Stamford Rd. Make a reservation via Chope here.
The warm space—especially the basement communal table—is one of our favorite respites from the throngs of Ann Siang. Lolla’s portions may be modest, but the simple, Mediterranean style dishes deliver plenty of fireworks, limited not just to their legendary sea urchin pudding. Their egg dishes are a triumph—try the Spanish tortilla with eel—as is their exciting, well-chosen wine list. Come by on Sundays, too, for their brunch menu that includes grilled avocado and charcoal grilled grass-fed ribeye steak. 22 Ann Siang Rd. Make a reservation via Chope here.
After a bold concept overhaul, our beloved ODP only serves gluten- and dairy-free fare. But worry not. It still delivers both the comfort food, inventive flair and casual-glam vibes we’ve grown to expect from chefs Ryan Clift and Daniele Sperindio. Don’t miss the meaty King Paiche fish, sourced from the Amazon and served with a subtle green curry sauce. The gluten-free pastas are especially exciting, as is the all-raw date and walnut “cheese” cake. 19 Yong Siak St. Make a reservation via Chope here.
Bringing some trendiness to the lovely but staid Dempsey Hill, Spa Esprit’s Open Farm Community has chef Ryan Clift teaming up with urban farmers Edible Gardens City for this farm-to-table inspired concept. The expansive 3,250 sq m space has its own herb and vegetable garden, as well as an airy dining room serving hearty and fresh pastas, salads and meat dishes. Don’t skip the creamy rigatoni with local mushrooms, smoked pancetta, Stilton, balsamic reduction, as well as the braised lamb shank with homemade couscous. The place also encourages people to picnic in the garden while playing a game of lawn bowling or ping pong, too, and their monthly Social Market is now a weekend staple. 130 Minden Rd. Make a reservation via Chope here.
Gardens by the Bay may be touristy, but sitting back in a gorgeous, greenhouse-like space, surrounded by exotic flora while dining on chef Steve Allen's (who have worked in Gordan Ramsay's Claridge) modern French cuisine inspired by Mediterranean coasts like poached roasted French duck marinated in Chinese herbs and spices, prawn tartar that consists of red prawns with pickled tomatoes and prawn crumbs, and the light dessert with pumpkin, yogurt, white chocolate and blueberries; is more than worth the visit. Be sure to spare a few minutes for the action happening behind the nine meter-long dessert bar. #01-09 Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr. Make a reservation via Chope here.
We were pretty sad when the cozy and chef-driven Sorrel closed, but now there is a big reason to be happy: Sorrel’s rising star chef Alex Phan, who also sharpened his knives at Tippling Club and Open Door Policy, is now running a market-to-table concept at Restaurant Ember, working with local wet markets and kelongs (the meats are still the fancy, imported kind). Get the local sea bass with tomato butter and wild fungus, and the scallops with cauliflower and preserved lemon. G/F Hotel 1929, 50 Keong Saik Rd. Make a reservation via Chope here.
If you’ve gone to 1-Altitude for sunset drinks but never stayed for the gorgeous dinner at sister restaurant Stellar, on the 62nd floor, you’re really missing out. The sixor eight-course degustation from the new Constellations Gastronomic menu is all about seasonal ingredients, like the Carabineros prawn carbonara and the live Jade abalone with foie gras and morel. Save space for the desserts dramatically prepared tableside— part of their Dessert Art Experience. #62 One Raffles Place, 1 Raffles Place. Make a reservation via Chope here.
It’s hard not to love Chef Ryan Clift’s molecular degustation restaurant, with an ever-changing menu that consistently impresses. In the deft hands of Paul Gajewski, you’ll find a slew of amuse bouche and palate cleansers before even embarking on the Classic six-course or Gourmand 12-course tasting menu. Everything is conceptual and presented in kooky vessels, but the food is always a rave. Don’t forget about the equally interesting cocktails, too. 38 Tanjong Pagar Rd. Make a reservation via Chope here.
Destination dining spot for those special occasions, this high-ceilinged chapel-turned-date night hot spot churns out gloriously executed classics alongside amiable and competent service. Once you stop admiring the stained glass windows, white-washed space and tiled floors, the food is the focus. The dishes aren’t big on innovation, but rather on good ingredients prepared well. At dinner time, we’re fans of the Dover sole meuniere, a two-person affair filleted tableside. Or try their oft-changing, affordable set lunches, with items like the asparagus veloute with truffle and the 36-hour Brandt short ribs. Meander over to The Rabbit Hole to try their 18 different types of gin and tonic. 39C Harding Rd. Make a reservation via Chope here.
The issue involves you and me, and the entire human race.
As recommended by Singapore's poets, novelists and non-fiction writers
Expect more degustation dinners, master classes and wine tastings this year.
New exhibitions, film festivals and a couple of parties to keep you going till the end of the week.