CONTEMPORARY VIETNAMESE STREET FOOD
From now until March 20, SPRMRKT in McCallum Street as well as its sister outlet SPRMRKT Daily at Robertson Quay will be showcasing art, food items and other lifestyle products by artisans from Vietnam.
Do a Marou chocolate and spirit pairing (from $22) or buy bars of this elegant artisan Vietnamese chocolate. Also try the chocolate from Stone Hill, a new Vietnamese chocolate producer that grows and harvests its own cocoa beans.
The outlets also have daily Vietnamese street food specials (above, from $7.80 a dish). Created by its executive chef Joseph Yeo, the dishes have a contemporary twist. Expect fresh, wholesome flavours of spice and coriander.
Tuck into Spam banh mi or Vietnamese baguette sandwiches with housemade French chicken liver pate and pickled vegetables on Mondays; and hearty and robust beef pho on Saturdays. On Sundays, there is banh xeo, a Vietnamese crepe filled with crispy calamari, bean sprouts, pork crackling, coriander, mint and garlic aioli.
WHERE: SPRMRKT, 2 McCallum Street, tel: 6221-2105; and SPRMRKT Daily, 01-01, 41 Robertson Quay, tel: 9736-4032 MRT: Clarke Quay and Tanjong Pagar/Telok Ayer WHEN: Until March 20 OPEN: McCallum Street - 8am to 9.30pm (weekdays), 9am to 5pm (weekends); Robertson Quay - 8am to 11pm (Sundays to Thursdays), 8am to midnight (Fridays and Saturdays) INFO: Go to www.sprmrkt.com.sg or e-mail email@example.com (McCallum Street) and daily@ sprmrkt.com.sg (Robertson Quay)
MEAT AND COCKTAILS IN LITTLE INDIA
Meat Smith Little India, which opened a few months ago at a corner shophouse in Campbell Lane, serves American barbecue with Indian spices.
Smoky, charred meats are accented with flavours that range from turmeric to cumin to curry leaves - a distinctly different flavour profile to its Southern American-style barbecue outlet in Telok Ayer.
The restaurant first introduced its Indian-accented offerings at a pop-up at The Wanderlust Hotel in Dickson Road about a year ago.
Try the coconut chutney pork ribs ($26, above), which are coated in a flavourful dry shredded coconut topping that reminds me of serunding, Indonesian spicy toasted coconut.
The lamb chops ($32) and the biryani-stuffed suckling pig ($48 a portion) are also a must.
The charred lamb chops are tender and are smeared with a smooth, herbaceous chutney, while the suckling pig has a gorgeous crackling and fork-tender meat.
The sweet, sticky date-glazed beef rib ($48) also comes off the bone effortlessly.
Also, make time to have drinks at Rogue Trader, the chic but gritty bar on the second floor.
Even the classic gin and tonic has been shaken up here, with the addition of Colombo spices, pink pepper and curry leaves ($12).
Oh, and don't drive - parking is a nightmare. Take the MRT instead.
WHERE: Meat Smith Little India and Rogue Trader, 21 Campbell Lane MRT: Little India OPEN: 5pm until late (Tuesdays to Sundays), 11.30am until late (weekends), closed on Mondays TEL: 9625-9056 INFO: Go to meatsmith.com.sg or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
A REDUCED SUGAR SNACK
Every year, I set myself the ambitious task of limiting my calories to only the tastiest snacks at Chinese New Year. But to find out which ones are the best, I first have to try them.
I am ecstatic that The Pine Garden (also known as Pine Garden's Cake), a bakery in Ang Mo Kio, has created low sugar yuzu pineapple rolls (above, $30.50 for 25 pieces, available only at the Ang Mo Kio main outlet) this year. Here, the bright citrusy flavours of yuzu from Japan's Kochi Prefecture make up for the lower levels of added sugar in the pineapple jam. Encased in buttery melt-in-the mouth pastry, the jam is tart, tangy and just sweet enough.
I also like the bakery's fragrant and spicy tom yum cookies ($18.90 for 300g, available at all outlets), made with tom yum paste, sakura ebi and kaffir lime leaves. Share these small, crunchy flavour bombs with friends and family.
WHERE: The Pine Garden (Pine Garden's Cake), 01-2369, Block 529 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10; kiosk outlets - 01-13 AMK Hub, 53 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3; B1-39 Compass One, 1 Sengkang Square; B2-01 Northpoint Shopping Centre, 930 Yishun Avenue 2 MRT: Ang Mo Kio/ Sengkang/Yishun OPEN: 8.30am to 9.30pm daily TEL: 6457-6159 INFO: Go to www.pgcake.com or e-mail email@example.com. Order three days in advance
YUSHENG WITH EIGHT TYPES OF SEAFOOD
There is no need to fight over raw fish if you get a yusheng from Fisk Seafoodbar & Market in Stevens Road.
The three-month-old restaurant, which brings in its seafood twice a week from countries such as Norway, Scotland and Japan, is offering a yusheng platter with eight types of seafood (above): Norwegian salmon and trout, New Zealand abalone, Japanese tako (octopus), yellowtail, tuna saku and otoro, as well as slices of fresh scallop. Known as the Fortune platter, it is priced at $128.80 and is big enough for eight to 10 people.
The salad comes with a tangy housemade sauce - a blend of plum sauce, preserved lemon, lime juice and scallion and ginger-infused peanut oil. Apple cider gives the sweet sauce extra zip.
The restaurant also has yusheng with three (salmon, yellowtail and tako; $76.80 a serving) or five types of seafood (salmon, trout, abalone, tuna and yellowtail; $116.80 a serving). The platters are available for both dine-in and takeaway.
WHERE: Fisk Seafoodbar & Market, 01-01, 30 Stevens Road MRT: Stevens WHEN: Until March 3, pre-order two days in advance OPEN: Takeaway is available at the market area, from 10am to 10.30pm daily, until Feb 15. Its usual opening hours are 10am to 7pm daily. The restaurant's opening hours are 11am to 6pm (Mondays), 11.30am to 4.30pm, 6 to 10pm (Tuesdays to Sundays) TEL: 6732-0711INFO: Go to fisk.com.sg or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org