Fat Saigon Boy, The Sapling, Lucca's Trattoria, Wildfire Burgers and Seorae

FAT SAIGON BOY
FAT SAIGON BOYPHOTO: FAT SAIGON BOY
THE SAPLING
THE SAPLINGPHOTO: THE SAPLING
Vongole vino bianco from Lucca's Trattoria.
Vongole vino bianco from Lucca's Trattoria.PHOTO: LUCCA'S TRATTORIA
WILDFIRE BURGERS
WILDFIRE BURGERSPHOTO: WILDFIRE BURGERS
SEORAE
SEORAEPHOTO: SEORAE

1. FAT SAIGON BOY

Get your fix of contemporary Australian-Vietnamese cuisine at Fat Saigon Boy in Ann Siang Road.

Vietnamese "tapas" items include charred tofu with black mushroom rice paper rolls ($7 for two), brioche sliders with crispy pig ear chips and pineapple chilli dip ($8), and apple citrus house- cured salmon with rice crisps ($8).

Main courses include classic pho bo ($13 at lunch, $14 at dinner); barbecued Vietnamese chicken with vermicelli ($13 for lunch, $14 for dinner, photo 1); and barbecued lemongrass pork rice with roasted chilli nut sauce and runny fried egg ($14 at lunch, $15 at dinner). Banh mi and salads are also available.

Desserts include Vietnamese tiramisu ($7), and caramelised apple with custard and soft cookie, pomegranate creme and praline ($7).

Where: 14 Ann Siang Road Open: 11am to 2.30pm (Monday to Saturday), 6 to 10pm (Tuesday to Saturday), closed on Sunday

Info: Call 6221-6784 or go to fatsaigonboy.com.sg

2. THE SAPLING

Recipes, hospitality institution Shatec's training restaurant for students, has reopened in a new location in Lengkok Bahru and is now called The Sapling.

The lunch menu features stuffed roast chicken ($22.90 for two, photo 2), which includes stir-fried chicken rice, shiitake mushrooms and chestnut stuffed in a whole chicken served with garlic onion rings and petit salad; roast duck pizza ($11.90) and butter chicken burger ($11.90). Order a main course and get a free flow of salad, soup, dessert and coffee or tea from the buffet line for $4.50.

For dinner, prices start at $12.90 for a side dish and a main course. Choices for the mains include braised beef cheeks and pan-fried white fish with tomato salsa. Side dishes include sauteed mixed mushrooms and pasta aglio olio.

Tea time runs from 2.30 to 5pm, and tapas happy hour is from 5 to 8pm.

The Sapling also hosts a monthly Gourmet Night, where notable Singapore chefs will cook at the restaurant alongside students.

The next Gourmet Night is on Jan 29 and the guest chef is Ocean Restaurant's chef Yew Eng Tong, who graduated from Shatec in 1996.

Where: Enabling Village, 01-17 Academy Block, 20 Lengkok Bahru Open: 11am to 10pm (weekday), 7.30am to 10pm (Saturday), closed on Sunday and public holiday

Info: Call 6472-0933, e-mail reservations@thesapling.sg or go to thesapling.sg

3. LUCCA'S TRATTORIA

Savour Italian fare at the 70-seat Lucca's Trattoria at Robertson Walk, with house-made pasta and pizza dough.

The menu features liver, bacon and marsala pasta ($24); vongole vino bianco ($25, photo 3), which is linguine and fresh clams cooked in white wine; and salsiccia piccante ($18 or $23), which is spicy Italian pork sausage pizza.

Other options include bistecca ($34), grilled rib-eye steak in marsala gravy, with rocket salad and truffle fries; Tuscan pork scallopini ($30), fried pork loin escallops with rocket salad, fruit conserve and mashed potatoes; and grilled salmon ($26) with cherry tomato confit and mashed potatoes.

Desserts include Lucca's tiramisu ($9) and chocolate tart ($12).

Where: 01-12 Robertson Walk, 11 Unity Street

Open: 11.30am to 10pm daily

Info: Call 6225-4049 or go to luccastrattoria.com

4. WILDFIRE BURGERS

Just under a year since its Evans Road outlet opened, Wildfire Burgers has opened its second restaurant at 313@Somerset.

New burgers on the menu include truffled mushroom ($23, photo 4) and black ebi ($19), alongside mainstays such as the Classic 001 ($16) with caramelised onions and cheddar cheese; Triple Bacon ($19); Umami ($18) with oven-baked mushrooms and parmesan crisp; Sriracha chicken ($16); and The Works ($23) with bacon, rosti, parmesan crisp, onion rings and fried egg.

Until Feb 29, enjoy one-for-one on classic draught beer such as Heineken and Tiger from noon to 7pm daily. Craft beers on draught include Fourpure Session IPA, Lost Coast Sharkinator and Sambrooks Battersea Rye.

Where: 01-28 313@Somerset, 313 Orchard Road

Open: Noon to 11pm (Sunday to Tuesday), noon to 1am (Wednesday to Saturday)

Info: Call 6509-4408 or e-mail info@wildfireburgers.com

5. SEORAE

The foodie K-wave continues to grow with the opening of Korean charcoal barbecue restaurant Seorae tomorrow at Plaza Singapura.

The 2,300 sq ft restaurant, which seats 100 diners, offers a signature Korean galmaegisal (photo 5), or skirt meat from the pig. Galmaegisal is found between the ribs and belly of the pig and a full-grown pig produces only 250g of the premium cut.

Prices start at $21.90 for the galmaegisal, with spicy and garlic soya options as well. Samgyeobsal (pork belly) choices are also available from $18.90.

Other highlights include Seoul-style bulgogi ($29.90) served with Korean rice noodles and mushrooms; kimchi jigae (from $13.90); and dolsot bibimbap ($15.90).

For dessert, the menu features a variety of pat bingsu options such as Gangnam patbingsoo ($9.90), with popcorn, cornflakes, caramel and vanilla ice cream; and Itaewon bingsoo ($15.90), with Irish cream, coffee jelly and cornflakes.

Seorae was founded in 2007 and has 264 restaurants in Busan, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Jakarta and Bandung.

Where: 02-01 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road

Open: 11am to 10pm (Sunday to Thursday), 11am to 11pm (Friday and Saturday)

Info: Call 6238-8429

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 27, 2015, with the headline 'Open For Business'. Print Edition | Subscribe