Food Picks: Feast at Manchurian Lamb HotPot, Osteria BBR by Alain Ducasse’s spring menu

Try the Lamb Belly With Mutton or a hotpot at Manchurian Lamb HotPot. ST PHOTOS: WONG AH YOKE

Manchurian Lamb HotPot

I could not imagine having an entire meal consisting of lamb until I was introduced to this restaurant in Chinatown.

Lamb, following traditional Manchurian and Beijing recipes, is served in a dizzying number of ways. Various lamb parts, including the heart and tripe, are used.

The eatery, which also goes by the name Manchurian Restaurant, uses New Zealand lamb that has a relatively mild flavour, so the meat is not very gamey.

If you are in a large group, get the Roasted Whole Lamb ($688), which is absolutely jaw-dropping. How it is brought to the table is a sight to behold. The server expertly and quickly shreds the warm lamb carcass with his hands, as the meat is so tender after hours of roasting that a knife is unnecessary.

The charred parts of the lamb are the best, aromatic and almost crisp without being dry. You need to order the lamb, which is enough to feed about 10 people, at least three days in advance. 

Smaller groups can get the BBQ Lamb Ribs ($38.90), one of my favourites here. The tender and moist meat is well-marinated and tastes very good, especially with a sprinkling of chilli flakes.

You should try the hotpot too. The Fish and Lamb Fresh Soup Pot ($49.80) makes a good base with its mild and sweet flavours, and the price includes a choice of two ingredients. I picked the cooked lamb ribs and mutton meat ball, both of which are delicious.

If you are adventurous, the Lamb Belly with Mutton ($12.80 a piece) is an interesting Manchurian dish that is hard to find here. The minced meat is wrapped in a piece of tripe and is traditionally eaten without cutlery – you hold it in your hands and tear into the chewy stomach with your teeth. Here, however, you get a knife and fork to cut it up.

Where: 18 Smith Street
MRT: Chinatown
Open: 10.30am to 10.30pm daily
Tel: 6225-8663

Osteria BBR by Alain Ducasse

The lamb rack at Osteria BBR by Alain Ducasse is cooked perfectly with pink, tender and juicy meat. ST PHOTO: WONG AH YOKE

If you like lamb cooked Western-style, check out the spring menu at Osteria BBR by Alain Ducasse.

The Charcoal-grilled Australian Lamb Rack ($168) is served whole, with the meat topped with a herb crust and carved table-side to reveal perfectly cooked meat that is pink, tender and moist. It is so delicious that I continue to think about it for days after.

It comes with a choice of two sides that include sauteed green beans and roasted baby potatoes. The rack is meant for two people, but there is enough for three if you are having starters and dessert.

For appetisers, I recommend the Burrata Pugliese ($35), which can also be shared among three people. It comes with seasonal asparagus and fava beans. The greens are a good match as their flavours balance the fat in the burrata cheese so well.

For dessert, the Limone Di Amalfi is an interesting composition. It is only in the $138 tasting menu and not available a la carte, but there is no harm asking if the restaurant will make it for you.

It comprises an exceedingly sour curd made with Amalfi lemons that is eye-squintingly sharp. But when eaten together with the accompanying mint sorbet and olive oil cream, the flavours blend together harmoniously.

Where: Raffles Hotel Singapore, 1 Beach Road
MRT: City Hall
Open: Noon to 2.30pm and 6 to 9.45pm, Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday brunch has a different menu
Tel: 6412-1816


New Spanish restaurant Tinto by chefs Daniel and Tamara Chavez offers excellent dishes such as Gambas Al Ajillo. ST PHOTO: WONG AH YOKE

I have been a fan of chef Daniel Chavez’s cooking since he opened his first restaurant, OLA Cocina del Mar, in 2012.

That Spanish restaurant has closed, but the Peruvian chef has since opened two restaurants in Dempsey with his wife Tamara, and both are excellent.

The first is Canchita, a Peruvian restaurant that opened in the middle of 2022. The latest is Tinto, a Spanish restaurant that served its first customers on Tuesday.

The food is superb and the prices are wallet-friendly.

The Gazpacho ($10) is a wonderful way to start the meal on a hot day. The cold soup is made with tomatoes and Japanese cucumber, with a touch of raspberry vinegar to brighten the flavours. It is thicker than most gazpacho I have tasted and very satisfying.

The Gambas Al Ajillo ($28) is excellent too. The prawns are cooked in roasted garlic oil with dried chilli and garlic chips. There is some potato puree – not typically included in this popular tapa – to add heft to the dish.

The menu includes a selection of paella, with the rice cooked with seafood or meat, starting at $32 for a small serving (for one or two people).

There is also fideuas, the noodle version of paella. The Fideua Carabineros & Setas ($62 for small) is delicious, with the noodles cooked with amazingly sweet carabinero prawns, mushrooms and chestnuts. It is served with a truffle aioli.

The roasted suckling pig at new Spanish restaurant Tinto is perfect for two persons. ST PHOTO: WONG AH YOKE

The Cochinillo or Spanish roasted suckling pig is a little different from what the other restaurants offer. 

You can choose either leg ($56) or loin ($58) instead of a whole pig, making it ideal for two people to share. It comes with a slightly sweet citrus reduction that goes well with the fatty meat. There is also potato puree and a little salad.

If you want a dessert that is not too sweet, go for the Frutas & Pacharan ($18). It comprises seasonal fruits (plums and berries, in my case) glazed with Spanish brandy and served with double cream and port wine reduction. The acidity from the fruit is perfect for the heavy cream.

Where: 01-21, 10 Dempsey Road
MRT: Farrer Road
Open: 11.30am to 3pm, Fridays to Sundays; 5.30pm to 10.30pm daily
Tel: 9729-5002

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