1. BLACK NUT AND ODD ONE OUT
Kick back with two new hangouts at Peranakan Place - Black Nut and Odd One Out. They add to the two bars in the area, Acid Bar and Alleybar.
Menu highlights at Odd One Out include skewers such as buttermilk chicken ($5), maple-glazed pork belly ($6) and spicy buttered corn ($5); and main courses such as sauteed Australian salmon ($28), crab and chilli pasta ($24); Peranakan fried rice ($15); and rojak chicken cracklins ($8) with ginger flower marinade. Complete the meal with vanilla creme brulee ($12) or sticky date pudding ($14).
Over at Black Nut gastrobar, chow down on four types of Asian-style fried chicken, including har cheong gai or prawn paste chicken, and Soy Lickin Good, which are ginger-honey-soya glazed wings. They are priced at $12 for four wings or $20 for eight.
Other eats include kimchi burger ($13), Soy Good chicken burger ($13) and ayam bakar burger ($15), which is grilled chicken leg with lemongrass, blue ginger and lime leaves, glazed with kecap manis and rempah.
Sharing dishes include Balinese ribs ($35) and Balukoo Wantons ($18), filled with buah keluak and prawns.
Thin-crust pizzas include Chorizo Cha Cha ($26) with spicy chorizo and chargrilled peppers; and Chick Norris ($22), with a variety of mushrooms and crispy chicken confit.
Black Nut's bar is located on the second floor of the shophouse, serving drinks such as Huat Ah! ($22), a rum-based cocktail with Midori melon liqueur, creme de cassis and cloudy apple served in a whole pineapple; and Power Chendol ($18), a rum-based cocktail with gula melaka, pandan, lychee and caramel.
Where: 2 Emerald Hill Road (Black Nut), 180 Orchard Road (Odd One Out)
Open: Black Nut: 5pm to 2am (Sunday to Thursday), 5pm to 3am (Friday, Saturday and eve of public holiday); Odd One Out: Noon to 2am (Sunday to Thursday), noon to 3am (Friday, Saturday and eve of public holiday)
Cafe hoppers can head to Montana, which has moved to the second floor of PoMo Mall, and now houses two other concepts, Fabulous Dough and the soon-to-open burger joint South Bronx. It is run by the same team behind the now-defunct froyo shop Nookie Yogurt.
The revamped menu at Montana includes Assam Crab Waffles ($18) and Black Velvet Waffles ($14) with a black sesame base and black miso caramel, in addition to signatures Red Velvet Stacked Waffles ($12.50) and Jalapeno Mac And Cheese Waffles ($12.50). Set lunch (noon to 2pm) is priced at $11.90 for a pasta and drink.
Elevating the humble doughut is Fabulous Dough, where Instagram- worthy doughnuts ($5.50 each) come with a syringe of syrup. Options include Gula Melaka Pineapple, with gula melaka glaze, pineapple curd and coconut cookie bits; and Green Tea Yuzu, with green tea glaze, yuzu white chocolate cream and black sesame cookie.
Where: 02-25 PoMo, 1 Selegie Road
Open: Montana: 8am to 10pm daily; Fabulous Dough: 11am to 10pm (Sunday to Thursday), 11am to midnight (Friday and Saturday)
3. GION DINING
After receiving its halal certification about two months ago, Gion Dining restaurant now caters to a wider demographic of diners who want Japanese cuisine.
Instead of the mirin or sake used in commercial yakiniku (grilled meat) sauce, the restaurant's version is made with fruit and onions to bring out the sweetness of the meats.
Rice set menus (from $22, includes chawanmushi, miso soup and dessert) include salt-grilled mackerel; pan-fried beef and ginger; and mixed vegetable tempura. A wide range of sushi, hand rolls and sashimi are also available. Grilled items include salt-grilled cod ($28), prawns ($24) and squid ($14).
The menu also features deep-fried oyster ($14), pumpkin and sweet potato tempura ($10), chirashi don ($34) and beef curry rice ($28). For a private meal, book one of the seven tatami rooms, with a minimum spend of $50 a person.
Where: 02-01 Royal Plaza on Scotts, 25 Scotts Road
Open: 11.30am to 2.30pm (lunch from Tuesday to Sunday), 3 to 5pm (high tea daily), 5.30 to 10pm (dinner daily)
4. FIRST 25 CAFE
Tuck into Italian fusion cuisine at First 25 Cafe, located in the Central Business District.
The 40-seat cafe serves an affordable three-course set lunch at $16. Four main course choices are available - braised duck leg with polenta, gnocchi with basil cream, grilled salmon with barley rice, and oatmeal fried chicken with butter rice topped with katsu curry.
Salads are also on the menu, with choices such as crispy calamari salad ($9), smoked salmon salad ($11) and warm mushroom salad ($9). Pasta options include smoked uni carbonara ($25), wagyu Bolognese ($21) and vongole pasta ($16). Other mains include yuzukosho pork rack ($25), Chilean seabass ($27) and First 25 porcini burger ($19).
Beer, coffee and tea are available, as well as a range of premium chocolate drinks made from African cocoa beans. Prices start at $5 for an African Red, with hints of cocoa liquor.
Where: 7 Hoe Chiang Road
Open: 7.30am to 10pm (weekday), noon to 8pm (Saturday), closed on Sunday
Info: Call 6221-2565 or go to www.facebook.com/first25cafe
5. SMOOTHIE HOUSE
If you're tired of the onslaught of Korean bingsu, head to the popular Taiwanese dessert spot Smoothie House instead. It is known for its snow-like ice desserts and fruit smoothies.
The menu features yoghurt-berry snowflake ice ($15.90); tiramisu and red bean snowflake ice with panna cotta ($15.90); and the signature mango snowflake ice with panna cotta ($12.90).
Smoothie House at Paya Lebar Square is located next to vegetarian eatery Greendot, which brought in the franchise.
Where:02-15 Paya Lebar Square, 60 Paya Lebar Road and 03-25 One Raffles Place
Open: 10am to 10pm daily (Paya Lebar Square), 10am to 9pm daily (One Raffles Place)
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