Put yourself in the shoes of Song Joong Ki or Song Hye Kyo, from popular Korean drama Descendants of the Sun, when you visit Dal.Komm Coffee. The Korean café chain was where scenes from the drama were shot. Beyond its wide range of drinks and snacks, music plays a key role in the café's identity. You'll find vinyl covers on the walls and an area dedicated to open mic events. Find a cosy seat and sip on your drink, choose from espressos ($4.50), cappuccinos ($6/$6.50) and caffé lattes ($6-$7.50) brewed from three exclusively sourced Arabica bean blends. Alternatively, satiate your sweet tooth with refreshing drinks like the honey grapefruit ($8.50/$8.90) or strawberry cube ($8.50), where frozen strawberries are crushed and heaped on top of iced milk.
The new Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine in ION Orchard is a more refined version of the original, with a spacious main dining hall and six lavish private rooms. Signature dishes include diced abalone and chicken wrapped in egg white ($25), soon hock fish ($10/100g) served in a broth with minced pork and Chinese cabbage, and a combination platter of sliced duck meat, duck tongue, cuttlefish and beef tripe marinated Teochew style ($34-$68).
While the à la carte menu is available for lunch, the dinner experience is purely omakase ($75/ten-course, $90/12-course, $120/14-course, $140/18-course). From the first course, we knew that Kite will bust every convention we have of mod-Sin cooking. The chicken rice crackers have the same garlicky taste as our national dish but it's been reinterpreted here in a way that we've never seen before. Similarly, the Mangalica pig collar is served in a spiced broth with you tiao veloute to mimic the taste of bak kut teh. This is subtle yet clever cooking.
The star dish, though, is uncharacteristically Japanese. The mentaiko somen is served with Hokkaido scallops, unagi and tobiko – each bite is full of flavour and the scallops are seared to a perfect medium-rare. While the menu does seem disconnected at points, these hints of Japanese influence are at least tied together by the sake pairing ($40/three glasses, $70/five glasses).
Charcoal black frozen yoghurt might not sound very appetising but this tangy creation at Kokopanda is tastes better than it looks. The Koko Black Yogo is made from roasted coconut husk, containing edible activated charcoal, that aids digestion while providing you with a tasty treat.
Choose to have it plain or twisted with the Koko White Creamo, a soft-serve ice cream made from milk from Korea. Top the soft-serve with dried fruits, imported from Korea, such as strawberries, apples, and Jeju tangerines. Each cup is priced at $4.90 with one free topping or $5.90 for a cup with three toppings.
The refreshed dining menu still pays homage to local produce and flavours. Besides herbs and plants from OFC’s own backyard, up to 90% of the fresh ingredients featured on the menu are sourced from farms in and around Singapore – just ask the friendly server about the origins of your meal.
If you’re only going to have one starter, make it the steak tartar ($26) marinated with ginger chilli, spring onion and coriander puree served with an organic egg yolk. Standout mains include the OFC fish burger ($30) which features a firm, fork-tender red grouper patty nestled between squid ink buns, and the roasted pink red snapper ($32) sitting on a spread of roselle and hibiscus ketchup, pickled cucumbers and a sesame cucumber salad.
Pololi, Asia’s first poké chain, is surfing straight out of Hong Kong and setting up shack on our shores in the CBD. Chef-owner Steph Kudus taps into her time living in Hawaii to capture the laid-back 'Aloha Spirit' in the beachy-chic takeout shop. The five flavours available daily are rotated from a repertoire of over 20 different poké flavours so you'll always have something new to try each time you head to the store.
Select your bowl size ($17.99/180g and $15.99/150g) and pick from flavours such as the signature traditional spicy or yuzu salmon. Weekly specials include sweet onion teriyaki swordfish, Thai spicy tuna, Korean spicy tako, ginger marlin and even sambal, for those who like their fish with local spices. Also, grab some Hawaiian treats such as Spam musubi, tropical granitas and Kona Brewing Co’s beer while you’re there.
Nicholas Teo, previously sous chef, has taken over as head chef of :pluck from Brandon Teo, who still has a stake in the restaurant. 'Singapore Asian Fusion' is the name of the game with chef Teo offering new treats like tom yum cereal salmon ($15), buttery grilled squid ($15) and spicy grilled beef ribeye ($16). These are served with your choice of bee hoon or rice during lunch but plated in larger sharing portions during dinner.
The steakhouse serves beef from Argentina, Australia and the US, which is grilled Latin-style on a parrilla grill – try the Brandt USDA prime corn-fed Angus ($90) or opt for the tasting platter of five breeds ($250). There’s also plenty of seafood on the menu including Petuna ocean trout tartare ($25) and Maine lobster salad ($35).
Head down on Tuesdays to enjoy Tomahawk steaks ($199) that have been dry aged for 30 days with Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel. These intensely flavourful steaks are large enough to feed two to three or even four when you order some of the restaurant’s signature sides to share. Our top picks are the wasabi mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts with bacon and roasted baby carrots.
Known for its coffee, tarts and French artisanal breads including the ever-popular croissant ($2.70) and the sinful Kouign-Amann ($3.50), the Raffles City outlet also rolls out a full menu – just don’t expect to see the café-standard eggs Benedict on it. Instead, you’ll find the pancake burger with a house-made breakfast sausage, crispy bacon and organic New Zealand egg served with tater tots on the side ($18), ebiko crab and prawn toastie ($19), and cheesy crusted polenta with prawns on red pepper sauce ($16). On the healthier side of the menu is the Rainbow Rice Bowl ($16) with spicy pineapple kimchi, mixed sprouts, salsa verde and purple potato crisps, and kale salad ($14) with both crispy and chewy farro grains.
Fans of Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodles at Pek Kio market can now enjoy a hearty bowl of prawn mee at its new digs in Esplanade Mall. Priced just a dollar more than the bowls at Pek Kio, the prawn noodles (from $6) taste just as good as the original. Since queues are rather long, we suggest zooming in straight for the $12 or $20 bowls that come with larger prawns to make the trip count. Choose to have your soup with either dry mee kia coated in Wah Kee's signature sambal chilli sauce or with your noodle of choice. The restaurant also serves fresh oysters ($48/dozen), mussels cooked in white wine ($30) and grilled squid ($15) for people looking for variety.
One of Bangkok’s most beloved cafés has finally made its way to our shores. The brand first launched in 1980 selling men's casual wear but has since expanded into women's wear, leather goods, accessories and food. There are 14 Greyhound Cafés in Bangkok and you can expect the same recipes and quality of food at its Singapore outpost. Greyhound Café serves Thai food with a twist like spicy spaghetti ($26) seasoned with fresh peppercorns and holy basil as well as more traditional dishes like Tom Yum Soup ($18). Don’t miss its famous chicken wings ($14) either, each wing is split into two for your snacking convenience and is marinated in fish sauce before being deep fried ‘til golden brown.
There are now more options to indulge in frozen yoghurt as one of America's largest self-serve froyo chains lands in Singapore. Yogurtland showcases eight of its 200 flavours daily and customers can help themselves to as much or as little froyo and toppings as they'd like for $3 per 100g. Flavours include plain tart, matcha and Belgian chocolate froyo made from 100% Californian milk from free-range cows.