1 BLEND IT UP
Local chef Peter Neo, a veteran in the culinary scene with 35 years of experience, now helms the casual Italian fusion restaurant Blend It Up.
Signature dishes include roasted pork belly with porcini sauce ($25); Blend It Up pizza ($19), with feta and mozzarella cheese, honey-baked ham, mushrooms and a sunny side up; and barbecued honey pork ribs ($26).
Other dishes include tom yam seafood risotto ($18); salted egg pizza ($18); laksa chicken lasagne ($18); and whole grilled squid ($26, pictured), seasoned with a blend of mixed herbs, paprika, crushed black pepper, basil and diced cherry tomatoes.
For desserts, pick from durian lava cake ($13) with a scoop of gelato; tiramisu pistachio ($11); and chocolate fondant cake ($8).
Where: Quemoy Building, 325 Upper Paya Lebar Road
Open: 11.30am to 3pm, 6 to 10.30pm daily
Info: Call 6281-2688 or go to www.facebook.com/blenditupsg
Popular popsicle brand Popbar, which was founded in New York in 2010, has opened its first outlet in Singapore at Plaza Singapura.
All popGelato ($5.40), popSorbetto ($4.90) and yogurtPop ($5.40) options are gluten-free and made with fresh ingredients. Instead of a cup or a cone, the gelato is on a stick, and small batches of 26 popbars are produced at a time. Flavours rotate on a daily basis.
PopSorbetto options include blood orange, mixed berries and peach, while popGelato choices include pistachio, chocolate and tiramisu.
Jazz up your popsicle with Dippings (add 50 cents) or Poppings (add 50 cents).
Popbar also has outlets in Canada, Japan, Russia and South Korea.
Where: B2-64 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road
Open: 10.30am to 10pm daily
For Bavarian classics, head to the new Brez'n at Valley Point. The restaurant's name is inspired by the Bavarian word for pretzel, which is typical Bavarian sourdough bread.
The kitchen is helmed by chef Dominik Osterreicher, the former executive chef of restaurant chain Brotzeit, which is known for its German fare.
The menu features oven-baked pretzel sandwiches filled with various ingredients. They include Brez'n sandwich raucherlachs (smoked salmon sandwich, $15), with smoked salmon, house-made Bavarian potato and cheese spread, served with side salad.
Other highlights include wurstelpfanne ($34, serves two), a sausage pan with assorted sausages served with sauerkraut and baked potato with sour cream and bacon, and the Brez'n Platter ($88, serves four to five), with a pork knuckle and a variety of sausages.
Brez'n is by food and beverage company Ponte Group, which is behind restaurants such as Erwin's Gastrobar, LeVeL33 and Paulaner Brauhaus Guangzhou.
Where: 01-21 Valley Point, 491 River Valley Road
Open: 11.30am to 11pm (Monday to Thursday and public holiday), 11.30am to midnight (Friday), 8am to 11pm (weekend)
Info: Call 6235-1613 or go to www.brezn.sg
4 TALAY THAI
The dining scene in Clarke Quay continues to heat up with the addition of Thai restaurant Talay Thai.
It features "Thai tapas" with a focus on seafood. Menu highlights include spanner crab miang kham ($16) with spanner crab wrapped in fresh betel nut leaves, garnished with a mix of peanuts, lime, chilli and dried shrimp; nam pla prawn ceviche ($16); and fresh oysters with trio granita ($18), where the oysters are topped with kaffir limoncello, citrus grapefruit and yuzu vodka granita.
For a bit of everything, order the Talay platter ($46) with chargrilled squid, grilled prawns with spicy tamarind glaze, baked oysters with nam jim dressing, and mussels and clams tom kha.
Main course items are also available, such as nam jim salmon belly ($20); phat pong mud crab curry (seasonal price); and stewed pork belly in northern Thai curry ($18).
Where: Clarke Quay, Block 3E River Valley Road, 01-05
Open: Noon to 11pm (Sunday to Thursday, last order at 10pm), noon to 2am (Friday and Saturday, last order at 1am)
Info: Call 6337-1838 or go to www.facebook.com/talaythaisg
5 TENSHO BY MOF
Tendon, or tempura donburi, has quickly become a hot favourite that Singaporeans are lining up for.
Adding to the restaurants specialising in the one bowl wonder of fried tempura on Japanese rice is the five-day-old Tensho by MOF (food and beverage group Ministry of Food) at The Centrepoint.
Pick either the Vege Tendon ($13.90) with vegetable tempura, or Mixed Tendon ($14.90, pictured) with prawn, dory and vegetable tempura. Both options come with an onsen egg, chawanmushi and miso soup.
Tensho is the ninth concept to join the MOF Group, which also owns brands such as Italian restaurant chain Lenas, Korean barbecue chain Daessiksin and Danro Japanese Hotpot.
Where: B1-20 The Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Road
Open: 11.30am to 10pm (Sunday to Thursday), 11.30am to 10.30pm (Friday and Saturday)
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