1 BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Sichuan cuisine gets a hip makeover in this 90-seat cafe. Started by Mr Liu Bin, 45, owner of the Good Wood Cafe chain in Chengdu, China, Birds of a Feather offers an all-day dining menu of Western dishes infused with Sichuan touches. The cafe's name is inspired by an iconic artefact - the Golden Sunbird in Chengdu.
The small-plate starters are more traditional, such as Find The Chicken In The Chillies ($16), which has moreish fried popcorn chicken nestled in a mountain of peppercorns; and the Fortune Skewer ($19), which has 15 skewers of seafood and vegetables soaked in a tongue-numbing chicken stock infused with green chilli and Sichuan peppers.
For lunch, mapo tofu gets re-interpreted as a burger ($22). The piquant mapo pork ragout is slathered on a fried breaded tofu patty with pickled cucumber and sandwiched between bao. It is served with fried potato.
An homage to zha jiang mian (meat sauce noodles), the Oriental Bolognaise ($22) has angel hair pasta tossed in minced pork sauce, wilted kale and sakura ebi. Break an onsen egg over it for a velvety finish.
For dinner, mains include Hot & Sour Chazuke ($28). Diners can pour a spicy and sour pickled mustard green broth into a bowl of Niigata rice and char-grilled barramundi and mentaiko.
The desserts, too, have Sichuan influences, for instance, the chocolate cake ($12), with hazelnut feuilletine, salted caramel and ganache infused with Sichuan pepper.
Where: 113 Amoy Street
Open: 10am to 11pm daily
Info: Call 6221-7449 or go to www.facebook.com/birdsofafeathersg
The dome-shaped Fullerton Pavilion in Collyer Quay is now home to an Italian restaurant and cocktail bar, after its former tenant, Spanish restaurant Catalunya, closed in June.
Running the kitchen at the waterfront, 132-seat space is Italian chef Luigi Calcagno, 36, who showcases his multi-regional Italian cooking prowess. Mains include L'Orecchio di Elefante ($80, pictured), a thinly pounded fried veal rack served with sweet heirloom tomatoes, seasonal grilled vegetables and rocket salad that serves two to three people; and Invertiti ($34), which has ravioli filled with braised veal ossobuco (braised veal shanks), cream of bone marrow, parmesan and zingy lemon zest.
There is an open-concept pasta kitchen where diners can see pasta made on the spot. Seafood lovers can go for the Rombo ($140, serves two), a whole baked turbot topped with crispy potatoes discs. Desserts include Prezzemolino E Mentuccia ($18), a sweet-savoury creation of parsley and mint sponge paired with olive oil ice cream and honey mascarpone.
After dinner, chill out over cocktails and jazzy electronic tunes in live DJ sets.
Cocktails include Monti-Rita ($24), which is inspired by a classic margarita and has a touch of Amaretto (almond-flavoured liqueur) in this refreshing and citrusy tequila-based drink; and Mr Monti ($24), a white rum-based cocktail infused with grapefruit juice and grapefruit tonic.
Where: 82 Collyer Quay, Fullerton Pavilion
Open: Noon to 1am (Mondays to Thursdays), noon to 4am (Fridays and Saturdays), 11 to 1am (Sundays)
Info: Call 6535-0724 or go to www.facebook.com/montisingapore
3 YAKINIKU-OH GOEN
This 50-seat restaurant offers an extensive range of more than 30 cuts of the Grade A3 Hokkaido wagyu beef. They include rarer cuts such as tongue ($12), chateaubriand ($48) and top blade ($32). These cuts vary daily.
For dinner, customers can also grill other popular beef cuts such as short rib ($12), sirloin ($18) and thick skirt ($12), before dipping them in condiments such as a sweet soya sauce-based sauce and barbecue sauce.
There are also other meats such as pig jowl and belly and vegetables such as leek and eringi mushroom.
For lunch, pick from 11 Japanese rice bowls. Popular choices include the chicken katsu curry rice ($12), yakiniku rice bowl ($16) and curry rice ($8). The sets come with koshihikari rice, miso soup and salad.
The grilled-meat restaurant is run by food company Jfort, which also owns 17 curry rice and udon joints in foodcourts here.
Where: 122 Telok Ayer Street
Open: 11am to 3pm, 5 to 11pm (weekdays), 5 to 11pm (Saturdays), closed on Sundays
Info: Call 6336-3366
4 KISS THE TIRAMISU
Torn between tiramisu and ice cream? Why not have both? You can get a hybrid of the two desserts in a cup at Kiss The Tiramisu in orchardgateway. That is where the South Korean chain's maiden outlet is located. Started in the hip enclave of Hongdae in Seoul, the chain has more than 20 outlets in countries such as China and Thailand.
At the takeaway kiosk here, the soft-serve is priced at $6.90. Its signature Tiramisu soft serve is layered with mascarpone cheese, ice cream, crushed cookies, espresso and coffee liqueur and crowned with tiramisu soft serve dusted with cocoa powder. The Banamisu has banana cream, banana chips and ice cream topped with banana sauce, while the Berrymisu has mascarpone cheese, strawberries and strawberry sauce-drenched ice cream.
There are plans to sell tiramisu cakes in flavours such as Nutella banana and salted caramel next month.
Where: 01-15 orchardgateway, 277 Orchard Road
Open: Noon to 10pm (Mondays to Thursdays), 11am to 10.30pm (Fridays and Saturdays), 11am to 10pm (Sundays)
5 THE COCONUT CLUB
Those who are nuts about coconut can head to this 30-seat restaurant that specialises in nasi lemak and chendol. Head chef Lee Eng Su, 37, spent two years sourcing coconuts around the world and developing recipes after getting inspired by a nasi lemak convention in Kuala Lumpur in 2014.
He gets his coconuts from a plantation in Sabak Bernam in Malaysia, which is known for producing coconuts with milk that is creamier and more fragrant. The coconut milk is squeezed in-house thrice weekly.
The nasi lemak ($12.80) comprises ayam goreng berempah (fried chicken leg), coconut-infused rice and condiments such as ikan bilis, fried egg, cucumber and sambal. Diners can also add side dishes such as fried ikan kembung (market price) and otak-otak ($8.50).
Wash down the chow with chendol ($3.80). The green jelly is made in-house with pandan juice .
Where: 6 Ann Siang Hill
Open: 11am to 3pm (Tuesdays to Fridays), 11am to 5pm (Saturdays), closed on Sundays
Info: Call 6635-2999 or go to www.thecoconutclub.sg
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