Keeping track of the food scene for you

While you should definitely check out the many events happening as part of the Singapore Food Festival 2017, there are many other things you should save stomach space for, such as the return of Chang Sensory Trails in celebration of Thai cuisine, a selection of menu updates that the health conscious will appreciate as well as a bunch of places targeting not only your taste buds but also your Instagram feeds.

In celebration of Singapore food

Singapore’s headlining foodie event of the year, the Singapore Food Festival, is back again this month with plenty to look forward to, including signature event Streat featuring local cuisine old and new alike, a Hawker Wine Safari that pairs Australian and New Zealand wines with hawker nosh, the wallet-friendly 50 Cents Festival, among many other happenings. Jul 14-30

Sinful brunches

All-day drinking place Crackerjack has burst into the weekend brunch scene with menu items like the Rich Hippie Granola ($12), made using organic Dutch milk yogurt, the healthy but hearty Sweet Potato Hash ($14), and the eponymous Crackerjack ($22) that includes sausage patty bacon, roasted cauliflower, sourdough bread and your choice of eggs. Great coffees from 2Degrees North are served here, but it’s better to be naughty and go for the Freisling ($18), a refreshing slushie made using frozen Riesling wine.

Earthy claypot goodness

The annual claypot menu at Kopi Tiam, Swissotel The Stamford, is back for a season, filled with tried-and-true dishes such as Claypot Chicken Rice ($22), Claypot Fish Head ($35) and Claypot Bitter Gourd Pork Ribs ($24) that are served sizzling and in generous sharing portions. If in a smaller group, the tender Claypot Frog Legs ($26) and satisfying Claypot Seafood Crispy Noodles ($24) are solid choices too. Through Jul 31

Let the chef decide

Casual Spanish-Japanese fusion tapas place BAM! is now an omakase-only eatery. Yes, the a la carte menu is completely gone, and in its place are four-course, six-course, and eight-course omakase selections. Thankfully, its amazing sake pairing service remains intact. Vegetarian and dessert omakase sets are also available.

Savor Middle Eastern flavors

Four Seasons Hotel Doha’s Chef Adnan Al Masri will be making his way to Four Seasons Hotel Singapore’s One-Ninety Restaurant to hold his very own Middle Eastern Food Festival featuring home-styled cuisine like Chicken Mosakhan and Lamb Shakriah, traditional claypot eats like Kibbeh Belseneh, charcoal grilled Beef Steak, Shish Taowk, Fish Kebab and more. Jul 3-28

Tantalizing Thai dishes

Chang’s massive ode to Thai culture and cuisine, the Chang Sensory Trails festival, is back for a second run at Marina Bay, where the likes of Folks Collective, Gin Khao, Long Chim, Nara Thai and many others will come together for a celebration of Thai food as live music and interactive art installations keep you entertained. Jul 7-8

Michelin-starred Spanish dining

Chef Roberto Terradillos from Michelin-starred restaurant El Serbal in Spain will be making his way to La Ventana in Dempsey just for one night to prepare a five-course Spanish feast ($128; $176 with Spanish wine pairing) filled with his signatures including the Marinated Trout with Goat Cheese, Citric & Beetroot and the Iberian Presa Charcoal-Fried with Carrot & Toasted Coffee. Jul 5

Going vegetable-forward

After a great first run, local Szechuan cuisine pioneer Si Chuan Dou Hua is bringing back last year’s well-received vegetable-based menu. This time, expect dishes rarely seen in a Chinese restaurant, like the Portobello Mushroom with Truffle and Orzo Pasta served with Szechuan Chilli Sauce, served as part of a course menu ($78-$98) that is filled with meatless (not strictly vegetarian) creations. Through Sep 15

Cafe by day, bar by night

Bourbon Street, opened late last year as a bourbon specialty bar on Club Street, is now also a full-fledged cafe before the sun sets. What doesn’t change though is the venue’s penchant for black, epitomised by the charcoal-hued, Insta-worthy Goth Latte and Black Lemonade. Available only during daytime too is a new cafe menu filled with items like grilled cheese, burgers and gourmet hotdog buns.

Hearty Italian wine dinner

Basilico is upping the ante for its 9th birthday celebration with a special guest chef—2016 San Pellegrino Young Chef Finalist and Beijing’s famed Mio Restaurant Chef de Cuisine Aniello Turco—taking over its kitchen for four nights to present the Ristoranti d'Italia-recognized restaurant signatures such as the Slow-cooked Beef with Broccoli, Earl Grey Tea and Ash Oil Powder as well as the Accartocciate Spinach with Candied Ginger and Alaskan King Crab, as part of a five-course dinner menu ($88-$140). Jul 5-8

Tasty Taiwanese street eats

As if Royal Plaza on Scott’s halal buffet restaurant Carousel doesn’t have enough of a spread, it is now introducing food inspired by Taiwan’s night markets to its lineup. The usual suspects like oyster mee sua, crispy chicken thigh with spices and sweet lap cheong are all there to be enjoyed as part of their high tea meals (weekdays $42; weekends $48) happening from 3:30pm-5:30pm daily. Jul 3-31

Fancy bar bites

If not in the mood to splurge over $400 for Waku Ghin’s sublime 10‑course degustation menu, but still feel like savouring Chef Tetsuya Wakuda’s creations alongside an extensive, premium drinks list, The Bar at Waku Ghin is the place to be, now even more so thanks to an updated bar menu featuring dishes like Sea Urchin and Salmon Roe Set on Rice ($38) and Toasted Parma Ham and Black Truffle Sandwich ($26).

A taste of truffle to come

While it is still a while away before the truffle season hits in October, Monti is starting early by bringing Australian winter black truffle to our shores for a month-long, seasonal dinner menu. For something extra special, dine on either Jul 5 or 6 as guest Michelin-starred Chef Francisco Javier Araya prepares a six-course offering ($180) in collaboration with 1-Altitude’s Chef Christopher Millar and the Monti team. Through Jul 31

Go gluten- and dairy-free

If you loved how Tiong Bahru’s Open Door Policy had gone fully gluten- and dairy-free, you’ll be glad to know that it has introduced 15 new dishes—like Warm Wasabi Greenpea Scallop Soup ($23), Sous-vide Salmon ($32) and Braised Veal Ossobucco ($32)—to its menu that still fully complies with those dietary requirements.

Never enough sharing plates

The best place for drinks away from the bustle of the main Ann Siang stretch on the quieter Gemmill Lane is Club Street Social, now serving a refreshed sharing plates selection by newly-joined Chef David Philpot. New on the menu are the likes of scotch eggs with pork sausage and red onion chutney ($11), beef short rib fritters ($15), seared scallops with housemade kimchi ($18) and churros served with balsamic strawberry dip and vanilla mascarpone ($10).

New and improved Robertson Quay

If you've popped by the Robertson Quay area recently, you'll notice that a new enclave called Quayside has emerged. Under the umbrella are cool new restos the likes of Summerlong as well as stalwart Superloco and revamped hot spot Decker BBQ, among many others. Coming soon too are multi-concept joint Publico and the much-anticipated members' club 1880.

Cheesy, gooey goodness

East Coast Park’s Atmosphere Bistro has gotten a revamped menu for all you cheese lovers out there. The star of the new lineup is the Lava Cheese Burger ($24.80), decked with a beef patty and oozing camembert cheese. But the Cheesy Coconut Toast ($14.80), topped with coconut ice-cream and gula melaka sauce, should prove to be a complex sweet and savoury dish worth trying too.