TUNGLOK SIGNATURES' SUCKLING PIG
It may seem unfair to creative chefs that they cannot copyright their dishes, but diners are not complaining.
Six years after I wrote about the wonderful suckling pig stuffed with glutinous rice from Hong Kong's Kimberley Chinese Restaurant, a number of restaurants here have come up with their version of the dish.
The latest is TungLok Signatures, which launched the dish at its outlets this month.
The pig, which costs $298, is enough for a table of 10. You just need to order a vegetable and a soup to complete your meal, so it does not work out to be too crippling to the pocket.
And it tastes great, boasting crisp crackling and delicious, soft rice soaked in the pig's juices.
The dish is part of the restaurant's revamped offerings, now listed in two separate menus.
The Big Menu lists banquet dishes and individually plated items that are ideal for formal or business meals. Dishes include Pan-fried Lobster Steak With Chef's Special Sauce ($28 a person) and Double-Boiled Abalone With Seafood, Sliced Ham And Cream Of Pumpkin ($28 a person).
But if you are there with family or close friends, look at the Small Menu. You find homey dishes, most of which are meant to be shared, such as Deep-fried Cod With Salted Egg Yolk ($38) and Steamed Minced Pork With Salted Fish And Vegetables ($16).
WHERE: TungLok Signatures, four outlets at 02-18 Orchard Parade Hotel, 1 Tanglin Road; 02-88 The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street; 01-57 VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk; and 01-26 Changi City Point, 5 Changi Business Park Central 1 MRT: Orchard, Clarke Quay, HarbourFront, Expo OPEN: 11.30am to 3pm, 6 to 10.30pm daily TEL: 6834-0660 (Orchard Parade Hotel), 6336-6022 (The Central), 6376-9555 (VivoCity), 6636-0606 (Changi City Point)
LA BRASSERIE REOPENS
La Brasserie at Fullerton Bay Hotel has reopened after a refurbishment last month and now boasts lighter colours in its furniture, carpet and drapes.
The menu has been updated too, though some brasserie classics such as Traditional Onion Soup ($19) have remained.
What is new is a focus on the south of France, where Mediterranean influences can be seen in dishes such as Aubergine Caviar Tartine ($19) and Lobster a L'Americaine ($68).
Another new feature is a selection of Galettes ($23 each, $28 with a bottle of cider), which are crispy buckwheat crepes topped with ingredients such as honey baked ham, gruyere cheese and an egg, or cheese, mushrooms and spinach.
WHERE: La Brasserie, The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore, 80 Collyer Quay, MRT: Raffles Place OPEN: Noon to 2.30pm on weekdays (buffet brunch is served on weekends), 6.30 to 10.30pm daily TEL: 6597-5288
THE LIME TRUCK AT SUNTEC CITY
Food trucks have not taken off here, partly because of a lack of parking spaces for the vehicles and also food being easily available in food centres, but that does not mean one cannot enjoy the fare that made these trucks so popular in the United States.
The Lime Truck from California, which won Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race in 2011, has parked itself as a stationary stall at Pasarbella @ Suntec City.
You find many of the eatery's signature tacos on the menu. My favourites are No.#1 Steak Taco ($4.60), with the sweet and spicy beef strips served with soya ginger slaw, cilantro chimichurri and wonton skin crisps, as well as Chips + Zesty Lime Guac ($3.90), a guacamole which can be shared as a starter.
Most items come with a zesty element, which makes them taste fresh and appetising. And the tortilla, which is made from scratch at the stall, is nice and soft - not thick and floury like some of the factory-made variety.
WHERE: The Lime Truck, 455-456 Pasarbella@Suntec City, 3 Temasek Boulevard MRT: Esplanade/Promenade OPEN: 10am to 10pm daily
NATIONAL DAY DIM SUM
National Day may be over, but Si Chuan Dou Hua in Kitchener Road is still celebrating the nation's 52nd birthday.
It is offering an a la carte dim sum buffet for lunch with 52 items at $52 for two persons until Sept 30.
The theme is nostalgia, so expect items such as Char Siew Bun With Preserved Vegetables and Macau Deep-fried Bun With Pork Chop. But the chef has also come up with some new dim sum such as Steamed Bean Curd Skin Roll Topped With Minced Fish.
There are dishes too, such as Prawn With Signature Soya Bean Crumb In Osmanthus Sauce and Chilled Chicken In Spicy Bean Paste.
WHERE: Si Chuan Dou Hua, Parkroyal on Kitchener Road, 181 Kitchener Road MRT: Farrer Park WHEN: Till Sept 30, 11.30 to 2.30pm daily PRICE: $52 for two persons TEL: 6428-3170
Book a meal at TungLok Signatures, La Brasserie or Si Chuan Dou Hua with Chope.