Open For Business

1. VAGABOND BAR

Besides 5th Quarter restaurant, there is another reason to head to the new Hotel Vagabond.

Kick back with some cocktails at the boutique hotel's Vagabond Bar, which is helmed by Finnish head bartender Mauricio Allende, the champion of the 2014 Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition.

The drinks menu includes Trillby & Chadwick ($19), which has Mancino Bianco Vermouth infused with dried chamomile flowers, shaken with egg whites and lemon juice, and finished with Peychaud's Bitters; and La Mona ($21), which has Citadelle Reserve Gin mixed with Mancino Dry Vermouth, Fernet-Branca and a homemade cola reduction.


-- PHOTOS: VAGABOND BAR, LIN, LAI HUAT SIGNATURES, WIDWIJAYA, LAURENT'S CAFE

The bar also has a range of boutique bottles from small-batch makers worldwide. Whiskey lovers can pick from more than 50 brews - the most exclusive is a private cask from family-run Willett Distillery in the United States, at $85 a shot. There are also craft beers ($13 to $21) and wine ($22 to $28 a glass).

Bar bites from 5th Quarter such as country pate ($16) and garden pickles ($10) are also available.

Where: Hotel Vagabond, 39 Syed Alwi Road

Open: 5pm to midnight daily

Info: Call 6291-3203 or e-mail salon@hotelvagabondsingapore.com (reservations for six persons and above)


2. LIN

The 90-seat alfresco rooftop bar Lin in Tiong Bahru, is named after "shu lin", which means forest in Chinese.

The bar specialises in Asian-infused cocktails such as Tom Yum Gong ($20) with vodka, white rum, lychee, lime juice, sugar syrup, lemongrass and sliced red chilli; Dragon's Gate ($20) with white rum, dragonfruit juice, kiwi liquor and ginger liquor; and Rustic Sky ($20), with rum, sour plum mix and lime juice.

Pair your drinks with bar snacks such as Tien Steak ($24.80, photo 2), pan-seared tenderloin on ratatouille and mashed russet potatoes; Empress Har Cheong Wings ($11.80); Te-killa Chorizo Prawn ($15.80); Fire Balls ($9.80), hand-made tau kwa balls with tiger prawn and button mushrooms served with Thai chilli; Lin's Beef Sliders ($11.80); and Smothered Dragon Balls ($11.80), which are handmade beef meatballs simmered in tomato concasse sauce and topped with melted parmesan.

Lin is run by the TGMF Group, which owns three-year-old Rokeby bistro in Jalan Riang.

Where: Link Hotel, 50 Tiong Bahru Road, Level 5 rooftop

Open: 5pm to 1am, Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday

Info: Call 9487-4290 or e-mail info@lin.com.sg


3. LAI HUAT SIGNATURES

Founded in 1951, Lai Huat is famous for its sambal pomfret (seasonal price), which is fried to crispy perfection and topped with homemade sambal belacan.

Its third-generation owner Patrick Lim has grown the brand from its first outlet in Upper East Coast Road to the Central Business District. Its newly opened second outlet is at Far East Square.

The 120-seat zi char restaurant still serves its signature pomfret, alongside dishes such as claypot curry fish head ($29); fish maw soup ($18, $35 or $48), made daily by boiling eight chickens, Chinese ham, dried scallops and fresh crab meat; and claypot crab beehoon ($50 for 600g to 700g, photo 3), where the beehoon and flower crab are braised together in crab stock.

For their opening, the claypot crab beehoon will be sold at $20 for dine-in customers only on weekday dinner and all-day on weekends, while stocks last.

Where: Far East Square, 23 China Street

Open: 11am to 11pm daily

Info: Call 6636-3628


4. ARTISAN C. SPECIALTY COFFEE

Coffee at this brew bar in Suntec City is made with beans from Common Man Coffee Roasters. Prices start at $3.30 for an espresso.

Try its specials such as affogato ($6.50) with espresso and vanilla bean ice cream, and Dirty ($6), which is espresso and ice-cold milk. There is also the Barista Platter ($7.50, photo 4) with an espresso and cappuccino

Tea options include ice minty lemon tea ($6) and single estate tea such as sencha green tea ($7) and Ceylon silver tip white tea ($9.90).

Complete your breakfast or tea break with raisin scones and strawberry jam ($7.20), apple pie with vanilla ice cream ($8) and kimchi croissant ($6.70).

Where: The Art Space, 01-444/445 Suntec City Tower 1, 3 Temasek Boulevard

Open: 8am to 6pm daily

Info: Call 6334-7950 or go to www.facebook.com/artisancsg


5. LAURENT'S CAFE

Get your brunch fix from the new Laurent's Cafe in the basement of Robinsons The Heeren.

Brunch items (served until 6pm) include Farmers Breakfast ($23) with organic scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, sausages, baked bacon, sauteed mushrooms and toast; cottage pie ($18), which is meat pie with mashed potato and emmental cheese crust; and Nordic Breakfast ($19), comprising sourdough bread, Norwegian salmon, sour cream and sunny-side up eggs.

Other menu items include crispy duck leg confit ($26); cod fish "Brandade" ($22); spicy linguine aglio olio with prawns ($18); croque monsieur sandwich ($19); and lobster bisque ($18).

Desserts include dark chocolate souffle ($18.50) with vanilla ice cream, chocolate tart ($9.40) and Ruby ($10.35, photo 5), with strawberry, champagne and mint.

Laurent's Cafe is owned by chef Laurent Bernard, who has outlets at Robertson Quay, Portsdown Road, Takashimaya Department Store and Hitachi Tower.

The other new entrant to the Robinsons department store is Marks & Spencer Food Hall, which includes an in-house bakery and a coffee takeaway station. It joins existing food tenants such as gyoza specialist restaurant Gyoza-ya, and Luke's Oyster Bar & Chop House.

Where: B1-02C Robinsons The Heeren, 260 Orchard Road

Open: 9am to 10pm daily

Info: Call 6235-2340 or go to www.facebook.com/Laurents- Cafe-893019934084941/timeline/


Eunice Quek


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