An acronym for "Asia, Roots, Distinct, Singular", Ards pushes culinary boundaries with a progressive Asian fine-dining concept.
The 40-seat restaurant is the brainchild of chef-owners Ace Tan, 36, and David Lee, 24, who get inspiration from ingredients and cooking techniques across Asia.
Ards offers three- to five-course set lunches ($48++ to $68++ a person). For dinner, choose from three set menus: Dawn (three courses at $88++ a person), Roots (five courses at $128++ a person) and a 15- course Piquant Illustration tasting menu ($188++ a person).
Signature dishes include Ear of the Sea, a slow-cooked abalone with housemade noodles in cured kombu, yuzu, sea herbs and mushroom granola; and Mum's Chicken Soup, a childhood-inspired dish that has steamed herbal chicken jus poured over a bowl of rice and served with winter melon, braised fish maw and chicken floss.
See rice dumplings in a different light with a grain-based roulade, called 33 ingredients. It is made with 33 ingredients, including more than 20 types of grains, beancurd skin, dried shrimps, ginkgo nuts and spices, and served with bamboo fungus and kailan flowers.
Where: 76 Duxton Road
Open: Noon to 2.30pm (Tuesdays to Fridays); 6 to 11pm (Mondays to Saturdays)
Info: Call 8280-2801 or go to restaurantards.com
European dishes are given inventive Asian twists at this 30-seat restaurant, which has taken over the space occupied by Oriole Coffee Roasters in Jiak Chuan Road.
For dinner, tuck into sharing plates such as Octopus ($26), featuring a whole juicy Spanish octopus leg that has been cooked sous vide and torched lightly, accompanied by kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) puree and sauteed kale with macadamia nuts; or Wagyu shortrib ($38), which is seasoned with a soya sauce-based marinade.
For lunch, the menu comprises mainly pasta, such as Scampi ($18.50) - housemade tagliatelle tossed in prawn broth-based cream sauce and pink peppercorns - as well as sandwiches, such as avocado toast ($12.50) and Jamon Iberico grilled cheese sandwich ($16.50).
For brunch on Fridays and Saturdays, have Potatoes ($16), truffle mash, roasted potatoes and bacon; or Big Breakfast ($19), piled with scrambled eggs, sauteed mushrooms, tomato relish and bacon.
The cafe is helmed by chef- owner Clint Seah, 30, a former interior designer who used to run a cafe in Sabah, Malaysia.
Where: 10 Jiak Chuan Road
Open: 9am to 10.30pm (Mondays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays
Info: Call 9642-2361 or go to www.facebook.com/pg/eliasingapore
FRY PAN SHOKUDO
Love biting into golden brown panko-crusted katsu? Head to Fry Pan Shokudo, a week-old foodcourt stall that specialises in the deep- fried Japanese-style cutlets.
Popular picks include the Katsu set meal ($9), which has pork, chicken and salmon options.
The Katsu-Ni set meal ($9) features katsu cooked with eggs, sauteed onions and sweet dashi stock. The cutlets are topped off with a choice of nanban (vinegar) or wafu-oroshi (zesty citrus-based ponzu sauce and grated daikon) and are served with rice, salad, soup and tofu.
For a luxe touch, there is the Gold-Katsu set meal ($20), which has pork or chicken katsu sprinkled with edible gold flakes.
If you are eating with a group of friends, try demolishing the Katsu- Tower ($40), a massive stack of pork or chicken katsu cutlets.
Where: B1-01 Japan Foods Garden, Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road
Open: 11am to 10pm daily
Info: Call 6493-7300 or go to www.facebook.com/Japanfoodsgarden
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