NIKKEI CUISINE AT NAMI
You don't have to fly to Peru to get a taste of Nikkei cuisine - the perfect combination of Peruvian and Japanese fare. You can now sample it at Japanese restaurant and bar Nami at Shangri-La Hotel.
Nikkei cuisine marries Japanese cooking techniques with Peruvian ingredients after Japanese migrants moved to Peru in the late 1800s.
Osaka Cocina Nikkei, which has nine restaurants in South America, is having a pop-up at Nami. Its branch in Santiago, Chile, is ranked No. 47 on Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list.
Highlights from the seven-course dinner tasting menu ($188++ a person) include Osaka's signature dish Inka Nigiri Duo, where you get nigiri sushi-style tuna tataki topped with yellow chilli "tiger's milk" and crispy quinoa; and soy and pisco braised pork jowl sushi.
A spin on chirashi is the Chirashi Black Causa, where king crab tartare, tuna tartare, shrimp, avocado and ikura are placed on a bed of causa - Peruvian mashed potato mixed with squid ink - instead of the usual Japanese rice.
I also enjoy the Tako Anticucho, which is charcoal-grilled octopus skewers topped with Nikkei chimichurri and limo chilli pepper - a hot, citrus-like chilli pepper that is popular in Peru.
The Suspiro Peru dessert completes the satisfying meal. I wasn't certain about how the combination of soursop sorbet, lemongrass dulce de leche, matcha meringue, matcha powder and Amazonian chocolate crumbs would work, but I polish it off in quick time.
A selection of Peruvian-inspired cocktails ($24++ each) is also available to pair with the food.
Where: Nami Restaurant & Bar, Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, Tower Wing, 22 Orange Grove Road, Level 24 MRT: Orchard When: Till Jan 27, 6 to 10pm Tel: 6213-4398 Info: E-mail email@example.com
PERANAKAN FEAST AT FOLKLORE
Have a Peranakan feast this Chinese New Year at chef Damian D'Silva's Folklore restaurant.
Order the "Do-It-Yourself" Popiah Set ($60++ for four people, dine-in; $321 nett, minimum order for 20 people, takeaway) for a fun reunion meal with the family.
The popiah filling includes slow-braised pork belly, bamboo shoots and turnip cooked in prawn and pork stock - along with crab meat, prawn, shredded egg and minced and fried garlic.
Instead of the usual yusheng, chef D'Silva offers Peranakan prawn salad ($20++ for dine-in, $22 nett for takeaway) with poached prawns on lettuce and drizzled with a spicy chilli plum sauce and lime juice.
Don't miss the Peranakan mee siam ($16++ for dine-in, $18 nett for takeaway) with a robust and thick gravy slow-cooked with fermented bean paste, dried shrimp, and prawn broth. It is topped with prawns, hard-boiled egg and a drizzle of lime juice.
Save space for the chef's selection kueh platter ($14++ for two for dine-in; $15 nett for takeaway) which features four types of traditional Peranakan kueh such as kueh kosui, kueh salat, and ang ku kueh.
Where: Folklore, Destination Singapore Beach Road, 700 Beach Road, Level 2 MRT: Nicoll Highway/Lavender When: Feb 4 to 19, noon to 2.30pm, 6 to 9.30pm daily, book five days in advance from Jan 30 to Feb 19 Tel: 6679-2900 Info: Go to www.facebook.com/folkloresg or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
MADAME FAN'S FIRST CHINESE NEW YEAR
Stylish fine-dining Chinese restaurant Madame Fan debuts its Lunar New Year menus by executive Chinese chef Mike Tan.
Set lunch menus are priced from $78++ a person (minimum two to dine), while dinner menus are from $128++ a person. An a la carte menu is also available.
Toss to a year of abundance with the Prosperity Yusheng ($88 or $128, dine-in only), which includes a refreshing mix of crispy rice noodles, purple cabbage, pomelo, mandarin orange and green mango.
The premium seven-course dinner menu ($238++, minimum four to dine) includes bird's nest, crab meat and crab roe in supreme stock; South Africa abalone and tofu with seasonal vegetables; and charcoal-grilled wagyu with foie gras. End on a sweet note with a chocolate cremeux with Mandarin orange dessert.
Where: Madame Fan, The NCO Club, 32 Beach Road MRT: Esplanade When: Till Feb 19, noon to 3pm, 6 to 11pm; Feb 4, 6 to 8pm, 8.30 to 10.30pm, pre-payment required, dinner only Tel: 6818-1921 Info: Go to http://madamefan.sg or e-mail dining.reservations@theNCOclub.com
TIM HO WAN'S REVAMP
In line with its new and ninth outlet opening at Great World City, the brand has also updated and revamped menus in the other eight outlets.
The co-founding Hong Kong chef duo Mak Kwai Pui and Leung Fai Keung were in town recently for the launch, and it is good to know that they are adamant about raising the standards again.
New dishes include Hong Kong braised beef soup noodle ($8.80) with tender and flavourful beef in a light broth; pork dumplings in a hot and spicy sauce ($6); and spicy fried rice ($7.50). Fried rice is not something I would normally order, but this is cooked with egg, edamame and fragrant lup cheong.
The classics remain. The signature Baked BBQ Pork Buns ($5.80) retains its crisp crust and is filled with diced barbecued pork; and the barbecue pork rice rolls (chee cheong fun, $5.50), which have thinner sheets now, are made with a blend of four flours.
Where: Tim Ho Wan outlets including Great World City, Pacific Plaza and Westgate MRT: Tiong Bahru/Orchard/Jurong East Open: Various opening hours Info: Go to www.timhowan.com for full list of outlets and opening hours