YUE LONG MEN HOTPOT
This hotpot restaurant in Chinatown boasts a secret blend of tongue-searing spices that originated from Sichuan in its fiery-hot Mala soup base and offers up to three levels of spiciness for its Mala hotpot.
For diners game to test the "Singapore's spiciest Mala hotpot" claim, it is offering 50 per cent off its a la carte menu for a limited period.
Yue Long Men also has a selection of other soups, such as the classic clear broth, the signature sour fish version, and tomato and mushroom broths. Diners also get to customise individual hotpots.
There are more than 90 hotpot items ($8++ to $36++ for meat, $6++ to $48++ for seafood, $6++ to $16++ for hotpot favourites) to choose from, supplemented by an array of platters, condiments, fruit, ice cream and other desserts.
Hotpot items include premium US snow beef, black pork and fresh mullet slices, as well as more exotic choices such as pig throat and brain.
The restaurant also serves dishes such as spicy century eggs ($8++), garlic pork belly ($10++), Yang Zhou fried rice ($10++) and dumplings ($8++ for six pieces).
Where: 75-77 Pagoda Street
Info: Call 6909-0611 or go to www.facebook.com/yuelongmen
Open: 11am to 11pm daily
The new three-storey restaurant and bar at Boat Quay focuses on the bright flavours of Asia and offers sharing plates and vegetarian, vegan, gluten-and dairy-free options.
Start with light bites and salads such as pork and chicken choi bao ($3.50++ a piece); blue swimmer crab and pomelo salad ($14++); and Vietnamese minced pork and chicken spring rolls with sweet and spicy dipping sauce (above, $12++ for three pieces).
Larger plates come in the form of coconut chicken salad with chilli, beans, peanuts and mango ($16++); crispy chilli beef with green mango salad and crispy noodles ($18++); and pan-seared 300g sirloin steak, sambal green beans and pho herbs ($35++).
Other favourites include freshly shucked oysters served with chilli-lime dressing, fresh lime and ponzu sauce and salmon roe.
Desserts include the chef's interpretation of mango pudding with coconut sago and mango sorbet ($12++) and Valrhona chocolate and tofu mousse with chai-spiced shortbread and passionfruit curd ($14++).
For drinks, try Pimms Gardens ($18++ a glass), a housemade favourite of gin, liquor and ginger ale that takes two days to prepare.
Where: 63 Boat Quay
Open: 11.30am to midnight (weekdays), 4.30pm to midnight (Saturdays), closed on Sundays
Info: Call 6732-1698 or go to www.facebook.com/thesampansg
HALCYON & CRANE
Located on the third level of The Paragon, Halcyon & Crane serves cafe-style cuisine that is modern European with touches of Sichuanese flavours.
The breakfast menu offers bites such as Ham & Cheesy Egg Crepe ($19++) - a shout-out to Shanghai pancake wraps with Sichuan-style sausage; and King's Chicken Hash Benedict ($21++), English muffins topped with gongbao chicken, sous-vide egg and cheddar cheese.
After 11.30am, the all-day dining menu takes centre stage. For a lighter meal, go for Smoked Tuna Tataki Salad ($21++), tossed with a dressing of spicy red oil vinaigrette and citrus. The Speciality Beef & Tomato Braised Rice ($28++) is doused in a rich broth concocted with Angus brisket, spices and herbs over 16 hours, given a more wholesome touch with a mix of kamut, buckwheat and barley grains.
Heartier dishes include Beetroot & Seafood Risotto ($32++), made with Japanese pearl rice and a touch of pickled chilli; and Baby Chicken Roulade ($32++), spring chicken marinated with honey fish sauce, five-spice powder and Sichuan pepper.
There are also small plates for sharing, desserts, smoothies and shakes, cocktails and takeawaysalads, pastas and juices.
Where: 03-09 The Paragon, 290 Orchard Road
Open: 9am to 10pm daily
Info: Call or SMS 9721-5121 or go to www.facebook.com/halcyoncrane
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