Food Picks: Iko's new menu, new hor fun eatery at Novena, lobster buffet at Lime Restaurant

The Hay Smoked Hamachi ($24) from Iko's new menu. ST PHOTO: WONG AH YOKE

Iko launches new menu

Iko in Neil Road is now helmed by chef-owner Dylan Ong, who founded The Masses, a French-Asian restaurant in Beach Road that he still runs.

His new menu at Iko features mainly Japanese-inspired dishes, which he calls modern Japanese bistronomy to reflect that it lies somewhere between casual and fine dining. Prices are kept at bistro level.

Among the starters, the Hay Smoked Hamachi ($24) wins me over with its myriad flavours that come from sea salt, ponzu brown butter and scallion garlic oil. The smokiness in the fish is subtle, so you can also taste the sweet compressed grapes and sesame seeds that complete the dish.

I recommend the A4 Wagyu "Sukiyaki" ($28) too. The thin slices of beef are cooked lightly and served with a raw egg yolk, shiitake mushrooms, leeks, scallions and perilla in sukiyaki sauce. It is simple yet delicious.

For mains, I would go back for Hay Smoked Guinea Fowl ($32, single; $62, sharing), a flavourful bird served on a bed of 15 Japanese vegetables. What greens you get depends on the season and each is prepared in ways including raw or pickled. A single serving comprises half a bird.

Desserts are good too. The Yuzu Semi Freddo ($15) is a yummy scoop of Hokkaido milk ice cream topped with a swirl of honeycomb caramel and accompanied by yuzu curd, miso caramel and mint sponge.

Where: 65 Neil Road
MRT Outram Park
Open: Mondays to Saturdays, 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30 to 10.30pm; closed on Sundays
Tel: 8866-5218

Hor fun with premium pork

The menu also offers about 10 other items, mainly zi char dishes that are meant to be shared. ST PHOTO: WONG AH YOKE

A common zi char dish of rice noodles is the star at Hor Fun King, a 1½-month-old small casual eatery at Novena Square. But you will not find the usual fried noodles topped with a starch-thickened gravy here.

The gravy is made with Iberico pork bones that are simmered for more than a day, with seafood thrown in for a more complex flavour. The result is a collagen-rich and umami-filled sauce.

The dish comes with a choice of ingredients, including Pork Collar ($16 for large), Pork Collar With Seafood ($18), Iberico Pork Belly ($21.50) and Iberico Pork Belly With Seafood ($24.50). The seafood comprises prawns, squid and boiled scallop.

Crowning the dish are strips of crispy deep-fried hor fun. To keep their crunch, the gravy is added at the table.

The menu also offers about 10 other items, mainly zi char dishes that are meant to be shared. Besides pork dishes such as Iberico Pork Belly Char Siew ($16) and Iberico Pork With Ginger & Spring Onion ($15), there are also other items like Prawn Paste Chicken Wing ($14) and Wok-fry Royale Chives With Fresh Squid ($14) that are worth trying.

The eatery is opened by Eurasia Global Food, a food manufacturing and distribution company that imports premium pork, among other food items, from around the world. It also owns casual eateries like tonkatsu chain Gochi-So Shokudo and Tun Xiang Nanyang Delights.

Where: Hor Fun King, 03-66 Square 2, 10 Sinaran Drive
MRT: Novena
Open: Sundays to Thursdays, 11.30am to 9.30pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 11.30am to 10pm
Tel: 8332-3590

Lobster spread at Lime Restaurant

For $138 a person for the dinner buffet, you can eat as much of the shellfish as you want. PHOTO: PARKROYAL COLLECTION PICKERING

If you are a fan of lobster, make a beeline for the current Lobsterfest at Lime Restaurant in Parkroyal Collection Pickering.

For $138 a person for the dinner buffet, you can eat as much of the shellfish as you want. A sizeable metal pail is placed at each table for shells and I have seen couples fill them to the brim.

Start with the lobster on ice, but leave plenty of room for the hot dishes such as chilli crab lobster, black pepper lobster and, my favourite, steamed lobster with garlic paste and wine. The lobster laksa is pretty good too.

For Western dishes, there are lobster bisque and lobster risotto. Do not forget to venture out of the dining room to the outdoor area in the back where more of the shellfish are cooking on a barbecue grill. You can have these slathered with hollandaise, barbecued smoke hickory, spicy avocado, garlic basil and citrus salsa sauces.

Servers also pop by the tables with offerings like lobster cocktail and spicy lobster mango skewers.

There are many non-lobster dishes too, including chicken with black mushroom and Chinese sauce and barbecued pork rib, but I was too stuffed after the lobster feast.

Where: Lime Restaurant, Parkroyal Collection Pickering, 3 Upper Pickering Street
MRT: Chinatown
When: Till Aug 31, dinner buffet from 6.30 to 10pm daily
Price: $138 a person
Tel: 3138-2251

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