DRY DUCK RAMEN AT TSUTA
Last week, Tsuta's Singapore outlet - the ramen shop has a Michelin star in Tokyo - launched two styles of duck ramen to celebrate its first-year anniversary here.
The duck ramen was created exclusively by Tsuta's chef Yuki Onishi for the Singapore outlets.
The dry version - Kamo Abura Soba (main photo, left) - is $10, while the soup version, Kamo Paitan Soba (main photo, right), is priced at $11. In case you are confused, the chain uses the term soba to refer to its ramen noodles, which are made with a blend of wholewheat flours.
In the dry version, the noodles are tossed in shoyu and a fragrant housemade duck oil, and topped with tender slices of poached duck breast and toasted cashew nuts for texture and sweetness. Chopped raw onions seem out of place at first, but they, along with a helping of salad greens, work well to cut through the richness of the oil-tossed noodles. Each bowl also comes with a bowl of clear chicken broth that cleanses the palate.
Try the soup version only if you like strong duck flavours. The robust soup, made with duck bones and cooked for five hours, is slightly gamey, but immensely satisfying and nourishing.
WHERE: 01-01 Pacific Plaza, 9 Scotts Road; and 01-01 Mapletree 18, 18 Tai Seng Street MRT: Orchard/Tai Seng WHEN: Pacific Plaza - 11am to 10pm daily; Tai Seng - 11am to 9pm daily TEL: 6734-4886 (Pacific Plaza) INFO: www.tsuta.com
PS.CAFE AT ONE FULLERTON
The three-month-old PS.Cafe at One Fullerton is the group's prettiest and most beautiful urban outlet yet.
As you enter the restaurant, an intricate scallop-patterned mosaic floor smiles at you. At the end of the gallery, flanked by walls of flowers in large vases, is an expansive and welcoming bar.
The food at most of PS.Cafe's other outlets has never been much of a highlight for me. However, the dishes I tried at One Fullerton recently have made me sit up.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Baked Greek Spinach Pie ($27, exclusive to One Fullerton), a ricotta filo pastry pie served with pesto, fennel and segmented oranges; and the Moules Vin Blanc ($28, above), mussels in a buttery white wine sauce served with crusty slices of toasted bread spread with black garlic to mop up the gravy.
Make sure you order the crispy smashed potatoes ($12). Think addictive, hot, crisp chunks of potatoes, deep-fried to perfection and served with a sticky barbecue sauce and a honey and mint labneh. I would dine in this mesmerising space again in a heartbeat.
WHERE: 02-03B/04 One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road MRT: Raffles Place OPEN: 11.30am to 11pm (Mondays to Wednesdays), 11.30am to midnight (Thursdays), 11.30 to 1am (Fridays), 9.30 to 1am (Saturdays), 9.30am to 11pm (Sundays). It opens at 9.30am on public holidays and closes at 1am on eves of public holidays. Last orders for food is at 10.30pm. Dessert and bar items are available until midnight TEL: 8812-3198 INFO: www.pscafe.com
SAYBONS CELEBRATES 10 YEARS
When Saybons opened in 2007, it was one of the first stand-alone eateries that specialised in French crepes. I would head there for Nutella crepes and soup.
To keep up with the times, it recently added more items to its menu. These include protein salads, risotto and galettes, in addition to its signature sweet and savoury crepes, and soups.
It celebrates 10 years with a special anniversary spread that includes a degustation of 10 of its soup offerings ($10, above), which includes my favourite - the Carrot Coriander, a velvety soup with natural sweetness of carrot and the fresh, bright flavours of coriander, which had been previously phased out.
Other things to eat here include a delicious French onion soup ($8) with a Gruyere toast; a filling beetroot crepe with chicken and basil pesto ($6.90); and a crepe with flambe bananas and rum-soaked raisins ($9) for dessert.
WHERE: Four outlets - B2-32 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road; 02-43 Junction 8, 9 Bishan Place; 01-24 OUE Downtown, 6 Shenton Way; and 01-17 KK Women's and Children's Hospital, 100 Bukit Timah Road MRT: Dhoby Ghaut/Bishan/Tanjong Pagar/Little India WHEN: The anniversary items are available from now until Jan 31 OPEN: Plaza Singapura - 9.30am to 9.30pm (Sundays to Thursdays), 9.30am to 10pm (Fridays and Saturdays); Junction 8 - 9.30am to 9.30pm (weekdays), 9am to 9.30pm (weekends); OUE Downtown - 8.30am to 5pm (weekdays), closed on weekends; KK Women's and Children's Hospital - 8.30am to 7.30pm (weekdays), 9am to 3.30pm (Saturdays), closed on Sundays TEL: 6884-9018 (Plaza Singapura); 6258-3138 (Junction 8); 6222-0980 (OUE Downtown); and 6341-7890 (KK Women's and Children's Hospital) INFO: www.saybons.com
BASILICO AND DOLCETTO'S FESTIVE TAKEAWAYS
Cooking everything from scratch for the festive season can be a hassle, so get some takeaways items.
I have ordered Basilico's roast turkey for Christmas several times and it never disappoints - the meat is always moist and the skin, a perfect golden brown.
This year, the Italian restaurant has a roasted aged rum-infused whole turkey with a rosemary roast pumpkin and chestnut stuffing ($222 for a 4.5kg bird). I tried it at a tasting earlier this week and it was good.
Be sure to also order a serving of Sardinian fregola (a pasta in the shape of small spherical pellets) with Alaskan king crab, prosecco and wild berries (from $28). The carb filler has hearty flavours of crab with a slight tartness from the berries.
For dessert, get the Gingerbread Village (above, $105 for a 1kg cake), gingerbread houses atop a banana sponge cake with caramelised bananas layered with decadent caramel chocolate mousse and coated in a rich chocolate ganache. You can't go wrong with the crowd-pleasing combination of banana, chocolate and caramel.
WHERE: Regent Singapore - A Four Seasons Hotel, 1 Cuscaden Road; the Festive Booth is in the hotel lobby MRT: Orchard WHEN: Dec 1 to 26, 11am to 8.30pm daily INFO: Call 6725-3244, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.bit.ly/Regent-Festive-Order; order at least three days in advance