Open For Business: Arbora, Empress Porridge and Menya Kokoro



Arbora is a new hill-top garden dining concept at Faber Peak Singapore, offering an all-day dining menu by executive chef Kenny Yeo.

It has a selection of Western favourites, with some twists in the chef's creations.

Rack of Lamb ($36++, above) is served with housemade prune sauce instead of mint jelly; and Fisherman's Stew ($42++), a tomato-based seafood broth, includes slow-cooked tender baby abalones.

There are 10 snacks, four salads, 17 mains, five desserts and four kids' options, with prices ranging from $8.50++ for snacks and $18++ for mains.

There are also value sets for two to six people ($75++ to $200++), comprising a main course, snacks and desserts.

Besides Rack of Lamb, other highly recommended dishes by the chef are Wild Mushroom Salad ($14++), Braised Beef Cheek ($36++) and Smoked Duck Mushroom Ragout ($22++).

Arbora offers drinks like fresh-pressed juices, craft beers and botanical-inspired cocktails.

The made-to-order fresh-pressed juices are available in three variations.

The Tropi-Kale ($12++) features kale blended with a mix of pineapple sweetness and green apple tartness, while Sun-kissed Quencher ($12++) is served with fresh-cut watermelon cubes.

Where: Level 2 Faber Peak Singapore, 109 Mount Faber Road

Open: 11am to 11pm daily

Info: Call 6377-9688, e-mail or go to


The dishes at family owned and run Empress Porridge are inspired by traditional recipes passed down from previous generations and its menu changes slightly each week, based on the fresh ingredients available at the market.


Its Signature Empress Porridge ($4/$5 nett, small/regular, above) is a mixture of brown and white rice, cooked with dried scallops, cuttlefish, dried shrimp, tender pork collar and braised peanuts.

The eatery also serves local favourites such as white/black carrot cake ($2.50) and other dishes (from $5) such as pork trotter bee hoon, prawn paste chicken and lotus leaf glutinous rice and desserts such as tau suan, bubur chacha and pulut hitam.

For people starting their workday, Empress Porridge offers Grab N Go breakfast sets (7.30 to 10am) with a choice of porridge, bee hoon, lotus leaf rice, mee siam, chwee kueh plus chee cheong fun and carrot cake paired with a hot coffee, tea or barley water ($4 a set).

Take-home dinners are also available for up to five people ($8 to $9 a person) and the set comprises three dishes (at least one protein and one vegetable dish), a soup and rice.

Empress Porridge also does outdoor catering for meetings and private events, with large pots of porridge and buffet-style spreads.

Where: 01-15 Galaxis, 1 Fusionopolis Place

Open: 7.30am to 7.30pm (Mondays to Fridays), 8am to 1pm (Saturdays); closed on Sundays and public holidays

Info: Call 9383-6788 or 6909-5228, e-mail or go to


After setting up 27 outlets in Japan, Indonesia, Spain, Thailand and Vancouver in four years, Menya Kokoro has opened its first branch in Singapore at Suntec City Mall, where it serves its best-selling signature Maze-Soba.

Its ingredients include Japanese-style slow-braised chashu, minced meat sauce made from a secret recipe, ground saba fish, poached eggs, nori, green onions, leek, bamboo shoots and chopped garlic.

Menya Kokoro says the noodles are cooked for eight minutes and 40 seconds using the chef's fine-spun techniques to achieve the ideal texture. All noodles are made with multi-grain flour, comprising more than 35 per cent whole wheat. Japanese water-softening technology is used to remove the minerals in the water.

The Maze-Soba dishes (regular: $10.80++ to $13.80++; large: $12.80++ to $15.80++) are available in cheese, curry, vegan and spicy versions.


Tokyo Maze-Soba (above) is described as the "original" version.

Two dishes have been specially created for the Singapore outlet. The Maze-Don is a new twist on the traditional Maze-Soba, using Japanese Michelin-acclaimed Tawaraya rice from Hokkaido and Niigata. The rice arrives from Japan in its raw state and is polished only upon order.

The other dish is the Curry Maze-Don, a Japanese curry rice bowl topped with grilled chicken.

Every main course is accompanied by a bowl of soup and oimeishi (a small portion of rice).

Where: 03-313 Suntec City Mall (Towers 1 & 2), 3 Temasek Boulevard

Open: 11am to 10pm daily

Info: Call 6235-3386 or go to

• Opening a restaurant? Send the details to

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 21, 2018, with the headline 'Open For Business'. Print Edition | Subscribe