Chit Chaat Chai
What: Indian restaurant Gayatri goes modern at Chit Chaat Chai, housed in one of the caravans.
The name is a play on “chit chat” and chaat refers to savoury snacks served in stalls or food carts in India. Chai, of course, refers to the popular masala tea with fragrant Indian spices and herbs.
Inspired by sandwich chains that allow customers to customise their sandwiches, diners can order kebabs and chapati wraps with fillings such as tandoori chicken and paneer (cottage cheese).
Prices start at $6, including a drink.
Gayatri chief operating officer S. Mahenthiran, 27, is also looking to introduce snacks such as mini versions of poori, which are unleavened deep-fried Indian breads usually served with curry.
Understanding that diners in the area are busy executives, he says: “People here want things to be fast-moving, no one has time for a five-course meal. Chit Chaat Chai fits that, plus we’ve always wanted a roadside concept with customisable wraps.”
Gayatri has four restaurants – in Race Course Road, Orchid Country Club, Concorde Hotel and Shopping Centre, and Telok Ayer Street –as well as a catering business
What: Go the whole hog at Iskina Cebu, which specialises in lechon or roast pig.
Previously located in Geylang East Avenue 3, Cebu-born owner Chris Calledo, 34, has found a new home at Timbre+, where he can roast up to eight pigs in six hours.
Returning to the menu are favourites such as lechon, spicy bellychon and sisig (Filipino sizzling pork). He also hopes to introduce more Cebu food such as soups, spicy lechon-infused rice and Cebu pochero, a popular Filipino stew, and dishes to pair with beer.
Diners can also pick meats and soup to form a meal, priced from $10. Meats are priced at $6 or $10 a portion.
Mr Calledo says: “Timbre+ is the right fit for the evolution of Iskina Cebu. I get a bigger kitchen and we can cater to special events as well.
Singapore hasn’t seen something like Timbre+ yet.”
What: Fans of wonton noodle stall Wong Kee at Maxwell Food Centre, which closed in October last year, can now head to Timbre+.
In addition to wonton noodles, young hawker Kelly Wong, 27, will also sell classic Cantonese roast meats at her stall, which – in keeping with the design of Timbre+ – is housed in a container.
Besides the signature wonton noodles, the brand is also known for its spinach and tomato noodles, which Ms Wong’s father supplies to other hawkers. Prices start at $3.50 for noodles and rice dishes.
On the Timbre+ space, Ms Wong says: “The location is good and is very modern compared with the usual hawker centres. It is also suitable for young people. I’m glad I’m not the only young hawker here.”
What: Food meets design at Food Anatomy, run by young hawkers Gee Jia Xin, 25, and Sean Wong, 31. They have been running Western food stall Deli & Daint at Maxwell Food Centre for the past four years.
They serve food that is in layers - like a lasagne - and a serving comes sliced in cake-sized cubes.
For example, a portion of the Loaded Potatoes Trio comes with layers of potato, sweet potato and purple sweet potato, topped with bacon.
Pork cheek charcoal pasta is also presented in compact layers, with the pork cheek on top.
All dishes, from appetiser to main course and dessert, are served this way and diners can pick them from the stall's display chiller. A set of three costs about $10 for lunch and $16 for dinner.
Ms Gee's unit can seat 30 diners.
On the layered food, she says: "We've had the idea for a while and were looking for a suitable place. We love the concept of Timbre+. Our food art matches the artistic feel of Timbre+."
What: Kush serves modern Singaporean charcoal-grilled skewers and rice bowls. It is the sister outlet of The Quarters at Icon Village, which is known for going local with dishes such as satay burgers, Duriancanboleh (durian creme brulee) and chilli crab pasta.
The name Kush is short for kushiyaki, which refers to skewered and grilled meats and vegetables.
Think rice bowls (from $10) topped with onsen egg, grilled chicken thigh or beef rendang, and sambal kang kong. Instead of using Japanese sake as a marinade for the meats, chef-owner Chung Deming uses Chinese rice wine. Prices for skewered meats start at $2.
He will have more premium options such as wagyu and Angus beef on the menu, along with his popular salted egg fries from The Quarters.
“Opening at Timbre+ is part of growing the business and improving our market reach,” he says.
“Many places lose a lot of flavour to mass-market production. I still want to provide flavour at good prices and serve fresh food to the masses.”