Located on the top two floors of a newly restored heritage shophouse in Boat Quay is Braci (pronounced "bra-chee"), a modern Italian restaurant and rooftop bar that overlooks the Singapore River.
It is opened by Singapore-based Italian restaurateur Beppe de Vito, whose stable of eateries includes Osteria Art & Sons.
Braci means ember in Italian, so diners can expect charcoal-inspired dishes, such as the Piedmontese Beef Rib Steak ($138 for 1kg, serves two), which is grilled at 350 deg C in the restaurant's Josper oven; and Pork Cheek ($68, serves two), where an entire pig's head is marinated and slow-cooked for four hours, before the cheek and jowl are given a smoky finish over charcoal.
Braci also boasts an array of pastas and appetisers, including Tuna Millefeuille with fresh truffles and mushrooms ($28); Romanesco with burrata mousse and shaved bottarga ($24); and housemade Tagliolini with red prawn tartare and baeri caviar ($38, photo 1).
Finish off your meal with bar recommendations, such as the Tiramisu ($24), a concoction of orange-and-vanilla-infused vodka, coffee, chocolate and hazelnut liqueurs.
Where: 52 Boat Quay, 05-01
Open: Monday to Saturday, 6 to 11pm (restaurant), 5pm to midnight (bar), closed on Sunday
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2 GRIGNOTER BY CHEF JUSTIN QUEK
Singapore celebrity chef Justin Quek, who runs Sky On 57 at Marina Bay Sands, has opened Grignoter, South-east Asia's first Bordeaux wine bar.
At the bar - which is located off Keong Saik Road and created in partnership with the Bordeaux Wine Council - wine lovers can expect more than 50 selections.
Highlights include chef Quek's private label, JQ Poupille 2010 ($98 a bottle), an organic red wine made of 100 per cent Merlot; and the 2009 and 2010 Chateau Haut Cardinal Grand Cru from Saint-Emilion, France ($138 a bottle), which he calls "one of my happiest discoveries".
Grignoter means nibble in French, so pair your wines with affordably priced small plates. One menu highlight is the Signature Croque Monsieur ($17, photo 2), which comes with gratinated cheese, ham and is finished off with a few rounds of black pepper from the pepper mill.
Another dish to try is charcoal leek dressed with hazelnut oil and balsamic vinegar, topped with a poached egg ($13).
On the menu are also seasonal creations, such as blue cheese ice cream with melon and Sauternes jelly ($12); and baked black figs with Spanish ham and Roquefort cream sauce ($14.50).
Where: 2 Teck Lim Road
Open: Noon to midnight (Tuesday to Friday, lunch is available from Oct 6), 5pm to midnight (Monday and Saturday), closed on Sunday
Info: Call 6438-3802
3 KEE HIONG BAK KUT TEH
There is a new bak kut teh player in town.
Located at People's Park Centre in Chinatown, Kee Hiong is from Klang, Malaysia. Its owners say the soup is less peppery and more herbal, with more than 10 types of Chinese herbs added to the broth.
Menu highlights include the Dry BKT ($8.50, photo 3), served in a claypot and packed with different cuts of meat; and the Big Bone "Tua Kut" BKT ($9) that offers meat, collagen, skin and a little fat in one dish. Complementing the porkiness and robust flavours is steamed and fluffy garlic rice (70 cents a bowl).
The eatery has a promotion in which diners get a Dry BKT, a side dish (choose from dough fritters, braised egg, braised peanuts or enoki mushrooms) and a bowl of garlic rice for $9.
Where: 01-05L People's Park Centre, 101 Upper Cross Street
Open: 10.30am to 8pm daily
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4 FAT PRINCE
This modern Middle Eastern restaurant and bar in Tanjong Pagar will transport you to the bohemian Karakoy neighbourhood in Istanbul, Turkey. The beautiful interior features wooden rafters and Arabic mosaic tiles on the walls.
However, the kebabs are the stars. These are grilled over charcoal on skewers hand-carried from Istanbul's Grand Bazaar and marinated with spices imported from the Turkish city.
Kebab options (average price is $10 a kebab, photo 4) include Okra Falafel with Eggplant Puree, and Duck and Pistachio Kofte with Fig Compote.
The eatery also serves a unique Fat Prince Hummus ($11), which is made with duck fat instead of tahini, for richer flavour.
The drinks menu features housemade Turkish sodas, which can be spiked with any house pour ($16 with alcohol, $8 without). Soda flavours include Orange & Cardamom and Fig & Date.
Where: 48 Peck Seah Street
Open: 8am to midnight (Tuesday to Friday), 11am to midnight (Saturday and Sunday)
Info: Call: 6221-3683
5 TALAY KATA
Thai barbecue and steamboat buffet restaurant Talay Kata has opened at Orchard Central.
From $18.80++ for lunch and from $28.80 ++ for dinner on weekdays, the seafood-centric spread boasts offerings such as stone crab, crayfish, slipper lobsters, Japanese scallops and bamboo clams.
However, meat lovers can still have their pick of pig jowl, pork belly slices and poultry options.
Apart from several types of housemade dipping sauces and soup bases, the restaurant also has a soup base (photo 5) made with salted egg, seafood broth, whipping cream and Thai herbs.
For a sweet ending, diners can make their own creations at the dessert bar.
Where: 08-04 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road
Open: Lunch: 11.30am to 3pm (Monday to Friday), 11.30am to 5pm (Saturday, Sunday, eve of public holiday and public holiday); Dinner: 6 to 10pm (Monday to Sunday, eve of public holiday and public holiday)
Info: E-mail email@example.com
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