Get us in your inbox

Dawson Tan

Dawson Tan

Food & Drink Writer

Dawson is an absolute enthusiast for food and travel, especially when exploring different cultures and their cuisines. Calling Singapore home at the moment, he enjoys indulging in craft beer, cult films, trekking, beach-going or simply kickin' about in a game of footy. Whenever possible, he assumes the role of a part-time "vandal" painting captivating murals that are often larger than life around the community.

Articles (38)

Quick Bites: what to eat and other happenings in Singapore this week

Quick Bites: what to eat and other happenings in Singapore this week

Tired of hearing this question: what should we eat today? Well, us too. With new choices popping up every month, deals dropping every week, and cravings that fluctuate daily, choosing just what to eat can be a challenge. To help you decide on what's worth eating, we round up some of the latest food drops and happenings in town in this easy, bite-sized list.  RECOMMENDED: Hot new restaurants and cafés to dine at in Singapore

Hot new restaurants and cafés to dine at in Singapore

Hot new restaurants and cafés to dine at in Singapore

2022's been flying by fast: it's already July. And we all know the drill – the start of each month marks a new list of hot new restaurants or cafés to try. Simply by living in Singapore, a city that never sleeps (thanks to an endless choice of late-night supper spots), there's good food everywhere. From a new Japanese omakase joint by Les Amis Group or a lesser-known steakhouse in Bukit Timah, your calendar is bound to be fully booked out this month with quality dinners and brunch dates.  RECOMMENDED: The 50 best restaurants in Singapore you must try and the 50 best bars in Singapore

The best supper spots in Singapore for late-night dining

The best supper spots in Singapore for late-night dining

Some calls can't go unanswered – we’re talking about those late-night stomach growls that you can’t shake off with a protein bar or fruit. Well, well, if you're living in Singapore, one thing's for sure. You'll never go hungry at any time of the day, whether it's 4pm or 4am. For something more substantial (and delicious), saunter down to these 24-hour joints and restaurants that open till late for some post-OT or just a dirty supper with friends. There's nothing worse than going to bed hangry and unsatisfied. RECOMMENDED: Guide to Singapore after dark and the best late-night massage parlours in Singapore

The 50 best restaurants in Singapore you must try

The 50 best restaurants in Singapore you must try

Welcome to the Time Out Eat List, our handpicked best of Singapore’s food scene. These are the tastiest places to eat in this city right now: the freshest, most inventive and most memorable, ranked by expert local editors. You don't have to look very far to stumble upon an amazing dish in Singapore. The city is packed with boundary-pushing restaurants run by star-studded chefs as well as humble hawker finds that'll satiate your appetite for cheap. Narrowing down the best restaurants in town to a list of 50 is no easy feat – that's why we have separate lists for the best Japanese, French and Spanish restaurants among others – but these are the places we think are worth a visit for unbeatable food, electrifying ambience and genial service to boot. Eaten somewhere on this list and loved it? Know of a restaurant that should be on here instead? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutEatList Find out more about how Time Out makes recommendations and reviews restaurants

The best live jazz venues in Singapore

The best live jazz venues in Singapore

Nightlife in Singapore is not completed without the thumping sounds of the clubs or the acoustic melodies of a busker. But if you consider yourself a jazz purist or someone who simply enjoys the sweet of sounds of sax and double bass in the air, these spots in town are your best bet to find live jazz performances. RECOMMENDED: The best live music venues in Singapore and the best places for live world music in Singapore

The 50 best bars in Singapore

The 50 best bars in Singapore

Welcome to the Time Out Drink List, our handpicked ‘best of’ Singapore’s drinking scene. These are the most buzzing bars in this city right now: the most inventive and most memorable watering holes, all ranked by expert local editors. Drinking in Singapore is expensive so we did all the hard work for you – scouring the city every night in search of amazing drinks. Whether you sip or quaff, these are the city's top bars for a boozy night out. We've got joints stocked with quality vino, speakeasies hidden behind unmarked doors, dens devoted to whisky, craft beer breweries and much more in our roundup. We guarantee you won't be able to stop at one drink – just make sure you have a safe ride home. Disclaimer – the numbered list isn't a representation of any form of ranking.  Drank somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDrinkList. You can also find out more about how Time Out makes recommendations and reviews bars here.

The best Father’s Day dining deals in Singapore

The best Father’s Day dining deals in Singapore

While often neglected, there's no better time to show the most important man in your life some love and gratitude. This Father's Day, celebrate dad by taking him out to a fortuitous spread or ordering a winning meal from top spots around Singapore. This year, we’ve rounded up some scrumptious options – from guilt-free sweet treats to lavish feasts. RECOMMENDED: The ultimate Father's Day gift guide

The best buffets in Singapore

The best buffets in Singapore

Quality and quantity don’t always go hand in hand, but we found the places in Singapore that do it right. Whether you're looking for a free-flow boozy brunch or the best dim sum buffet in town to impress friends and family, we've got a recommendation for you that is guaranteed to stuff yourselves silly. RECOMMENDED: The best nasi padang restaurants in Singapore and the best steamboat and hot pot restaurants in Singapore

The best cafés in Singapore for brunch and coffee

The best cafés in Singapore for brunch and coffee

Whether you're looking for the perfect Instagram shot, a new weekend brunch hangout, or a mean cup of joe, these cafés in Singapore deliver on all those fronts and more. Need more than one cup of coffee to rev your engines? Go café hopping in Tiong Bahru or pop into the various coffee shops along Amoy Street that keep the caffeine-hungry CBD folks going. RECOMMENDED: The best cafés with free Wi-Fi and the best cafés for dessert

The best kid-friendly restaurants and cafés in Singapore

The best kid-friendly restaurants and cafés in Singapore

Looking for the best family restaurants in Singapore? Look no further than our list of themed restaurants, eateries with play areas and diners with menus specifically catered for the kiddos. These kid-friendly restaurants offer everything from mouth-watering Italian fare to colourful milkshakes and there's even a CoComelon themed restaurant that's bound to be a treat for the little ones. And for dessert, we've compiled a list of Singapore's best ice-cream shops for a sweet treat on a hot day. What are you waiting for? Get in on some delicious eats! Do take note that certain play areas might not be available even after the restriction lift.    RECOMMENDED The best free waterparks in Singapore and the best indoor playgrounds in Singapore

The best communal dining restaurants for big groups

The best communal dining restaurants for big groups

Eat together, stay together. It's always fun when people come together to eat, drink and be merry. From buffet tables to steaming hot dim sum, we show you how to over order and make the most out of those sharing platters. Pile on the food, we're ready for more.  RECOMMENDED: The best buffets in Singapore and the best Chinese restaurants in Singapore

Staycation spotlight: The Barracks Hotel Heritage Safari Experience

Staycation spotlight: The Barracks Hotel Heritage Safari Experience

Ever wondered what it’s like to stay in a charming colonial building previously occupied by the British Army? Well, The Barracks Hotel, located within idyllic Sentosa, treats you to a balanced retreat of tranquillity and exploration of Singapore’s storied past with its newly launched Heritage Safari. Proudly poised as a part of Far East Hospitality’s luxury portfolio, it truly lives up to its name where tailored care and attention to detail are immaculate. Here, tranquillity is the main takeaway. Pampered with the truest of luxuries, guests will relish with ease of mind while every need is taken care of.   Every stay in The Barracks Hotel is an exclusive heritage getaway steeped in rich history as you luxuriate in the tastefully decorated quarters that showcase a mix of vintage and modern décor for a warm and timeless ambience. Here’s what you can expect. Recommended: Staycation Spotlight: The Clan Hotel

Listings and reviews (61)

BRDL Bar and Restaurant

BRDL Bar and Restaurant

Located right smack along Braddell Road is a casual resto-bar that takes centre stage in The Refectory – an expansive multi-concept F&B space. First thing that caught our eye was the sparkling light fixtures towering over the bar. “It definitely attracts the attention of passersbys, especially when drivers zoom by the establishment. But there was this one time, a guest drove by and made a U-turn because he thought we were a light showroom as he wanted to buy some lights,” says Ming Tan, the chirpy Brand Director of the joint. But all jokes aside, light showroom it is not. Instead, this stylish 75-seater watering hole is more than meets the eye. Aside from a decent range of cocktails such as the signature smoky BRDL old-fashioned ($22) and ice-cold beers on tap, there’s also a slew of modern Asian dishes to feast and unwind over. Nibble on tasty wasabi crab and tobiko mini cornettos ($15), smoky savoury bombs of char siew pulled pork tacos ($15) or signature charcuterie boards ($68) if you’re feeling peckish. But if you're looking to be fully satiated, go with the hearty mains. Crowd favourites are the fork-tender Wagyu cheek rendang ($36), a light but flavourful ginger soy roasted barramundi with preserved cabbage ($32), and the seabass & prawn otah ballotine ($24) packed with tons of laksa flavours.  Though it was a modest black beer-braised beef that stole our hearts. “You’ve got to order this if it is the only thing you're having,” exclaimed my dining companion. Proper m

Ocean Restaurant

Ocean Restaurant

Ocean Restaurant is Singapore’s only underwater fine-dining restaurant and probably the hottest dining ticket in town: it’s uniquely housed within the world’s largest oceanarium at Resorts World Sentosa, with a breathtaking front-row seat to the massive undersea habitat, and headlined by a two-Michelin star celebrity chef Olivier Bellin, lauded for his fierce advocacy towards sustainable cooking approaches. With seafood sustainability a clear tenant in Bellin’s beliefs, Ocean shines in its sourcing and preparing of seafood options. “Purity is the DNA of this new menu,” says Chef Bellin. His emphasis on presenting natural and healthy flavours features a mix of responsibly sourced seafood, local produce and house-grown herbs. Serving up lunch ($148) and dinner ($248) formats, his conceived dishes are predominantly modern European where he experiments with textures and temperatures. In terms of the ambience, it’s still as majestic as ever, with the huge floor-to-ceiling glass panels of the aquarium giving the restaurant an azure glow. There’s also the clever use of sleek architectural lines in the main dining room inspired by the streamlined movement of the highly threatened manta ray. You’re likely to spend most of the meal gazing in wonderment as giant manta rays, zebra sharks and shoals of silvery fish glide past. Dining here is always surreal and hypnotic and the restaurant’s design takes full advantage of this – angled mirrors are placed at the opposite end of the viewing w

Osteria Mozza

Osteria Mozza

If you’re all familiar with American celebrity Chef Nancy Silverton, you’d know about Osteria Mozza. Lucky for us, the Cal-Italian dining concept is now back in Singapore with a spanking new 120-seater at the Hilton Singapore Orchard. Perched up five-storys high, the space is definitely brighter than the previous spot in Marina Bay Sands. It is said that the current interiors were modelled to the original one-Michelin starred outpost in Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles – think a Tuscan living room with a warm and cosy fireplace. The buzzy main dining hall is angled towards the all-new open kitchen with two wood-burning ovens. There’s also an alfresco area with a herb garden (where you can marvel at pretty sunsets) and the iconic mozzarella bar where mozzarellas, burratas and fresh cheeses with Italian cured meats are aplenty. Dishes here are nodes to classics that first rocketed Osteria Mozza into the dining sphere and a few others that were crafted exclusively with the Singapore outpost in mind. You just wouldn’t come to expect any frippery, tricks, or even fancy garnishes. Silverton’s approach has always been using and showcasing the freshest produce itself in its own expressive way. Read our full review here.

Hemlig

Hemlig

Clean and cosy is perhaps an apt label for its creative direction. Step into an airy space with snow-white walls, frames of iconic bridges that connect the Nordic countries and a simple elegant wood bar countertop. Food wise, things are kept true-to-style where it is homely as Randhem describes the food offerings to be "grandmother's food served by the grandson". If you’re familiar with Knut Randhem, you’d probably know of his negronis and his advocacy for Aquavit (A type of Scandinavian distilled spirit). Themed around the bridges that link up the Nordic countries, the cocktail menu showcases the best in the region. Our favourite tipple is without a doubt the Svinesund ($24) – named after the bridge that connects Sweden to Norway – where he combines cask-aged aquavit with campari and martini rosso. If it sounds familiar, it’s really a classic stiff negroni except with a Scandinavian influence all over. Read our full review here.

Brewerkz - Orchard Rendezvous Hotel

Brewerkz - Orchard Rendezvous Hotel

Brewerkz came a long way since it first began in 1997. Launching its fourth outpost in the rather antiquated part of bustling Orchard Road, the swanky 200-seater space caters to most occasions – from intimate group settings to just a casual session of people watching over a few refreshing swigs. Modern chic is without a doubt the chosen theme to go about. The space showcases tasteful touches such as light wood decor, Pollock-inspired distressed furniture, and a biophilic approach with greenery in almost every corner. But the highlight is the stunning bar which is adorned with handcrafted copper and custom tiles from Bali. After all, it houses 20 taps of award-winning craft beers and a seasonal selection which we reckon is definitely the soul of the restaurant. With the new look comes a new menu with a strong focus on local produce featuring a melting pot of modern European, classic American and Asian favourites. Take the 7-herbed crab cake ($28) for instance, where Group Executive Head Chef Seow Tzi Qin reimagines his childhood favourite dish, the nasi ulam – a traditional Malay mixed herb rice. He mixes the herbs found in the dish and adds sweet succulent blue swimmer’s crab. Fried to a crisp and served with an addictive assam dip, he reveals that it is his best-selling creation so far.  Sourced locally from Ah Hua Kelong, the mangrove red snapper ($30) is pan-roasted till the skin is golden brown, paired with creamy umami seaweed butter and ikura. On the side comes a silky

Basdban

Basdban

There’s so much more to Sichuan food than just mala. While a mishmash of ingredients stir-fried in numbing spice is what we know we like – Basdban sets out to change all that. Masterminded by the same people behind highly raved contemporary Sichuan concept Birds of a Feather, Basdban is helmed by Chef Pang Kok Keong – from Antoinette and Pang’s Hakka Noodles fame. Encapsulating it all as “Rock & Roll Sichuanese food”, the seasoned chef showcases his culinary flair with bold interpretations and a touch of cheeky creativity. An exciting slurry of delicious fusion small plates include the roasted eggplant ($14) and the Burn Baby Burn ($14) – both dishes will have anyone gladly eat their greens. The former has silky eggplant slathered in minced garlic, baked under a cloak of stretchy cheese. The textural treat is then bejewelled with Sichuanese smokey pork belly and homemade Sichuan spiced popcorn for a moreish treat. The latter saw charred wawa greens topped with freshly fried lard, preserved soybean and aged parmesan to deliver a combination of smoky, sweet and savoury flavours. Traditional starters are also available. Served in a communal hotpot, the Sichuanese skewers ($22) are great for sharing. Fish out a bounty of fresh seafood and vegetable skewers in punchy chilli oil and Sichuan peppercorn broth. Another worthy mention is the classic fried crispy pork trotters ($14) where bite-sized chunks of gelatinous goodness are shaken with peppery spice – it makes for a great snack

Sushi Ichizuke

Sushi Ichizuke

Savouring the freshest produce in complete zen – that's the idea most people have of an omakase experience. But Zouk Group is turning the lights down low at Sushi Ichizuke, a new omakase restaurant at The Cannery and the first in Clarke Quay. Situated right beside the group's new Japanese speakeasy Here Kitty Kitty, Sushi Ichizuke promises a more intimate  omakase experience than most are used to.  Dark walls form a long bamboo forest-like hallway, serving as your introduction to the main dining area (seats 16), with two private rooms that can take up to eight and 12 respectively. Dominated by stone walls, dark wood and mood lighting, the restaurant feels modern and sexy – great for date nights. And true to Zouk's DNA, Sushi Ichizuke will be "musically driven", offering what is now coined as "vibe dining omakase" with vibrant upbeat tracks that are unlike any traditional omakase experience. You're in good hands with Executive Chef Daisuke Suzuki at the helm. Only 35 years young, this suave chef brings with him a stellar portfolio from honing his skills with some of the most well-regarded Japanese restaurants. These include one-Michelin star restaurant, Sushi Wadatsumi in Hong Kong – where he was appointed head chef when he was just 26 years old – one-Michelin star, Ginza Iwa in Tokyo, and most notably, the three-Michelin star Gion Sasaki in Kyoto. Expect nothing short of fresh, seasonal ingredients (flown in twice a week from Tokyo's Toyosu Fish Market), intricate curing tech

Gary's Restaurant

Gary's Restaurant

The ever-quaint Rochester Commons sees another culinary addition of Gary’s as the contemporary Italian-inspired restaurant parks itself right beside the latest Les Bouchons outpost. Helmed by Taiwanese-Singaporean Chef Gary Wu, the veteran has over 28 years of industry experience cutting his teeth as sous chef in now one-Michelin star Italian restaurant, Buona Terra, and former private chef stints in Brunei. Despite its fancy private chateau-esque property, grand entrance, shiny marble floorings and white table clothed tables, the prices won’t put you off – there’s even a friendly $38 three-course set lunch. Chef Gary sets the tone with reimaginations of Italian fine cuisine with a Japanese sensibility where starters take the form of a refreshing garden salad ($20) that flexes uncanny resemblance with the iconic Marina Bay Sands, an innovative red prawn tartare with wakame ($26), and a bright citrusy Hokkaido scallop crudo ($20). For the mains, a whole salt-crust wild-caught seabass ($88) steals the limelight from the pasta. Meat lovers are also in for a treat with Chef Gary’s treatment of his meats. In his beefy repertoire, there are decadent Wagyu ribs ($19 per 100 grams), tender lamb racks ($48), and melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu beef cheeks ($38) to treat. Whether it's romantic evenings with a significant other or business lunches with esteemed partners, Gary’s is a place to visit if you’re ever in the area.

Enjoy Eating House and Bar (Stevens)

Enjoy Eating House and Bar (Stevens)

3 out of 5 stars

This trendy modern tzi char was first founded back in 2018 by a bosom pair of childhood friends, James and Joel. It first opened in Jalan Besar with heartwarming wok-kissed dishes that won the hearts of many and now, they've opened a second and larger outlet along Stevens Road. Following up on the buzz online, we paid a visit to the wok-hei paradise. Starting off with a pearly white bowl of XO White Fish Soup ($10), whiffs of XO permeated the air. Made by boiling fish bones for up to eight hours and with a dash of XO to finish, the collagen-rich soup is silky smooth and whets our appetite for what’s to come. Chef Joel’s secret recipe for his highly-raved pig trotter vermicelli hails from his grandma. Simply dubbed as Grandma’s Te Kah Bee Hoon ($14), this wok-fried vermicelli boasts deep savoury flavours of dark soy sauce and a luscious mix of fat and lean pork trotter. It’s a near-perfect dish but you’d expect the mushrooms to be braised together with the trotters but to our surprise – it didn’t. Word on the street is that the BBQ Pork Cheek ($19) is to die for but the looks of it when it arrived told another tale. One bite in and it was the opposite of that tender melt-in-your-mouth texture we kept hearing about. Instead, it was dry, leathery and sickly sweet. Perhaps an off day for the chef so order at your own risk.  Things took a turn for the better with the easy-to-eat Crispy Fish with Red Curry ($24). It came with thick slices of flaky barramundi swimming in a creamy mi

Torasho Ramen and Charcoal Bar

Torasho Ramen and Charcoal Bar

4 out of 5 stars

Breaking away from the main Tanjong Pagar stretch and meandering into Tras Street is a spot that serves up soul-comforting bowls of Japanese ramen and smoke-kissed tapas. Sporting both indoors and alfresco seatings for every occasion, the former features a relaxed atmosphere adorned with grungy concrete walls and larger-than-life murals while the latter is perfect for people-watching while having a few swigs. Helming the kitchen is ex-Executive Chef of Hide Yamamoto, Chef Sho Naganuma. Best known for his tsukemen – a type of dipping ramen, thick bouncy noodles are served separate from an intensely rich tonkotsu broth that is savoury, oniony sweet and rounds off with a subtle smoky bonito finish. Paired with slices of succulent charcoal pork, crunchy bamboo shoots, half an onsen egg, and garnished with nori painted with the Torasho motif using egg white, the signature is definitely a must-order. Then there was the crowd favourite Truffle Wagyu Dry Ramen. A melt-in-your-mouth wagyu nikomi that features a mix of lean, fatty and gelatinous tendon cuts alongside earthy mushrooms and black fungus. Expect all of that lavishly doused in an aromatic truffle ragout to delight both truffle and wagyu fans alike. But if you’re looking to spice things up, go for the Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen (Final Level - 3). A fiery and peppery spice mix is added to the creamy tonkotsu base to set your tastebuds ablaze with a long-lasting burn that lingers. Of course, there’s more than just ramen. The charcoa

Wakuda

Wakuda

Marina Bay Sands welcomes another Japanese dining concept by celebrated chef Tetsuya Wakuda (of two-Michelin-star Waku Ghin fame) alongside award-winning restaurateur John Kunkel of 50 Eggs Hospitality Group. Revel in a multitude of experiences from à la carte style dining at the alluring main dining hall, to artful Japanese mixology at the stylish bar as you enter. Setting a new standard for dining in Marina Bay Sands, the space oozes with fun conviviality and a touch of class. The food here redefines the conventional Japanese dining experience with access to an exclusive trove of international produce from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and more. It's a place that transforms high-quality seasonal ingredients into familiar Japanese favourites with a modern ‘Wakuda-style’ twist. Expect to feast on prized ingredients such as supreme quality Tokujyo AA uni from Hokkaido, well-marbled A5 Wagyu, black pork from Kagoshima, and fresh artisanal yuba (beancurd skin) from Kyoto. With a larger seating capacity and an extensive menu with over 100 Japanese dishes averagely priced at around $40, Wakuda reaches out to a wider audience with inclusivity and approachability in mind. What to order? Read our full review here.

The Kongsee

The Kongsee

Touting itself to be the spot that brings people together to relive and celebrate Singapore’s diverse cultural heritage, the nostalgic plates are curated by none other than the Father of Modern Singaporean cuisine, Chef-partner Willin Low. Step into its grungy interiors where a mix of traditional and contemporary elements flood the senses with nostalgia. The overall vibe is vibrant and upbeat but as the lights go dim, the space teases a much more sultry “helter-skelter” mood. Playful and unpretentious sharing plates take centre stage with addictive smoky Iberico Satays ($30), refreshing barramundi ceviche ($19), fusion mishmash Krapow Prata Pizza ($15), and the lauded signature of the mini Roxy crab laksa ($20). With 15 taps of local craft beers and an extensive cocktail menu, it is safe to say libations are aplenty at The Kongsee. Read our full review here.

News (59)

New Japanese restaurant Oumi serves up modern kappo cuisine on the 51st floor of CapitaSpring

New Japanese restaurant Oumi serves up modern kappo cuisine on the 51st floor of CapitaSpring

Newly opened Japanese restaurant Oumi completes the holy trinity of what is, quite possibly, the most exciting 1-Group dining concept this year: 1-Arden in the new CapitaSpring. Sharing the same nest and farm-to-table approach with coastal Australian restaurant, Kaarla, Head Chef Lamley Chua marries traditional Japanese kappo cuisine with bold Australian flavours and techniques. Photograph: Oumi Take the tempura crepe, for instance. He showcases his precision on the teppan grill where he cooks gruyere cheese tempura till it turns crackling crisp. The cheese skirt lookalike is then topped lavishly with dollops of azure blue wild Australian scampi roe, bright orange pops of Japanese flying fish roe, and creamy avocado slices – layered with Ao-togarashi (sweet green pepper) yoghurt to introduce a lick of spice. Each crunch releases a plethora of bold flavours to tingle the taste buds. Photograph: Oumi Another highlight is a twist on the traditional monaka. He first coaxes the foie gras by gently steeping it in milk overnight, helping to mellow out any overpowering livery flavours. Then, it is cleverly reimagined as a buttery ganache, blended together with fresh herbaceous Japanese green peppers and white miso. The ganache eventually gets piped into a light wafer together with salmon roe, flying fish roe, and sweet kombu-pickled daikon to finish. Then there’s a quintessential hassun (small seasonal dishes) where he pays tribute to the traditional kappo approach. He artfully p

Jinhonten is a new Japanese omakase restaurant by the Les Amis Group

Jinhonten is a new Japanese omakase restaurant by the Les Amis Group

Serving up a playful intersection of kappo and kaiseki is a Japanese omakase restaurant, Jinhonten. Semi-hidden behind the facade of another casual Japanese concept that is soon to arrive, it makes the latest member of the Les Amis Group’s eclectic portfolio of dining concepts. Meals here are touted to be far less traditional from their typically fine and stoic omakase counterparts – though the dated interiors say otherwise. Photograph: Jinhonten In hopes to appease the next generation of diners whose online followers eat before they do, Head Chef Issey Araki sets out to bring his charisma to the table. Cheekily donning crab shell masks, unveiling sizeable fresh seafood as large as his torso, and proudly exhibiting some showmanship with a steaming hot abalone, are just some of the theatrics Araki has up his sleeves to engage diners on a regular night. Except our visit wasn’t all that regular Instead, the supposedly high octane atmosphere felt tranquillized. Araki’s highly-lauded showmanship and flair were absent from start to end. You’d think it would be even more fitting to showcase those chops when a concept revolves itself around the headlining figure’s charisma. Even at the final kegani donabe course, I still harboured a sliver of hope for a special appearance from the quirky crab shell mask. But alas, it was a no-show. While the bland evening ensued, the charisma and flair were regretfully missed. But as we turn our focus on the special menu that was served, inklings o

Ocean Restaurant reopens with two-Michelin star celebrity chef Olivier Bellin

Ocean Restaurant reopens with two-Michelin star celebrity chef Olivier Bellin

There’s always an unspeakable sense of calmness and tranquillity when dining in Ocean Restaurant, the iconic underwater dining destination in Resorts World Sentosa. Since its highly anticipated reopening a few weeks ago, one thing remains constant: the alluring S.E.A. Aquarium backdrop where over 40,000 majestic marine animals are gracefully gliding around.  But all else underwent a facelift. From a brand new boutique wine cellar that holds up to 400 award-winning labels to the comfy dining chairs made from upcycled marine plastics, the rejuvenated interiors exude understated elegance. There’s also the clever use of sleek floor-to-ceiling architectural lines in the main dining room inspired by the streamlined movement of the highly threatened manta ray. Fresh new celebrity chef at the helm Photograph: Ocean Restaurant Hailing from Brittany, French Chef Olivier Bellin is no stranger to combining Michelin-starred culinary excellence with sustainable standards while honouring local produce. Having cut his teeth with culinary godfather figures of Joël Robuchon, Jacques Thorel, Jean Coussau and Guy Guilloux, the third-generation chef eventually returned to his family's century-old inn. He then transformed it into the renowned L’Auberge des Glazicks which has been awarded two Michelin stars since 2010. Best known for his sourcing prowess, all the while honouring Brittany’s local produce, supporting fisheries and growing his own herbs and vegetables on his own farm, and his fierc

New restaurant Hemlig is a culinary love letter to Scandinavian food

New restaurant Hemlig is a culinary love letter to Scandinavian food

Singapore is a global city that is home to many well-travelled citizens – yet, for many of us, our sole impression of Scandinavia is their "easy to put together furniture" and meatballs. Who else better to educate us on Scandinavian cuisine than Swede maverick Knut Randhem himself, with his latest Scandinavian dining experience, Hemlig. Photograph: Hemlig To back Randhem's walk and talk, the award-winning industry stalwart brings with him 18 years around the world – as a Brand Ambassador of Dictador rum in Bangkok, former Head Bartender of Hong Kong's Ce La Vi, and a Bar Manager at our own Butcher Boy. Most recently, he's also co-founded cult favourite Fung Kee Hotdogs.  Dreaming up a home away from home No, it’s not a Viking's war cry if you were wondering. Instead, the Hemlig namesake translates to “secret” in Scandinavian, representing Randhem’s life-long dream to introduce Scandinavian dining culture to Singapore and the region. It also offers an authentic slice of familiarity for Scandinavians who are away from home as well. Clean and cosy is perhaps an apt label for its creative direction. Step into a minimalistic space: snow-white walls, frames of iconic Nordic bridges, and a simple elegant wooden bar countertop. As for the food, things are kept true to style and homely. Randhem describes the food to be like a "grandmother's food served by the grandson". There's more than just meatballs on the menu Photograph: Dawson Tan Take the Gubbröra ($18, pictured above) whe

Here's why you shouldn't wait to visit the newly opened Osteria Mozza

Here's why you shouldn't wait to visit the newly opened Osteria Mozza

If you’re all familiar with American celebrity Chef Nancy Silverton, you’d know about Osteria Mozza. Lucky for us, the Cal-Italian dining concept is now back in Singapore with a spanking new 120-seater at the Hilton Singapore Orchard. Perched up five-storeys high, the space is definitely brighter than the previous spot in Marina Bay Sands. It is said that the current interiors were modelled to the original one-Michelin starred outpost in Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles – think a Tuscan living room with a warm and cosy fireplace. Photograph: Osteria Mozza/Daniel Koh As you step in, you’d be swallowed by the buzzy main dining hall that’s angled toward the all-new open kitchen with two wood-burning ovens. There’s also an alfresco area with a herb garden (where you can marvel at pretty sunsets) and the iconic mozzarella bar (pictured above) where mozzarella, burrata and fresh cheeses with Italian cured meats are aplenty. A little more about the bread maven if you didn’t already know.  Rising up from the days when she single-handedly popularised artisanal bread with La Brea Bakery that wasn’t simply made from a packet mix – mind you, that was back in the 80’s – to the birth of Osteria Mozza back in 2007, she’s no stranger to obsession. Photograph: Osteria Mozza Dishes here are nodes to classics that first rocketed Osteria Mozza into the dining sphere and a few others that were crafted exclusively with the Singapore outpost in mind. You just wouldn’t come to expect any frippery, tr

Flamingo is a funky coffee bar along vibrant Amoy Street

Flamingo is a funky coffee bar along vibrant Amoy Street

Next time you’re in the city, specifically the vibrant stretch of Amoy Street, and you’re faced with a dilemma of what to stop for a cup of joe – simply hightail it to Flamingo. This inviting all-day coffee bar is an arm of buzzy cocktail concept Stay Gold Flamingo, which first launched late 2021 by homegrown bartending mavericks Jerrold Khoo and Bai JiaWei. Bringing sandy shores and pink-hued Palomas right into the heart of the CBD, the laidback vibe allows for two things: peace and focus for the working folks or anyone looking to simply unwind over a crafted bevvy. Identify with the former? Good news, there’s coffee for fuel and power points at every seat for laptop juice. But if you’re leaning towards the latter, you’d probably find yourself jiving to the groovy, funk and indie tunes that remind you of a bygone disco era. Of course, the bean juice. It starts from just $4 for a pop of double espresso, otherwise, try the creative coffee-based concoctions such as the bubbly Coffee & Sparkling Coconut ($8). Partnering with a local specialty roaster, Cumulo Coffee, the Flamingo team develops their own coffee blends. Incorporating Ethiopian and Brazilian beans, the house blend boasts notes of chocolate and hazelnut, balanced by a hint of berries and a caramel finish – perfect if you like a lighter roast with fruitier profiles. Seasonal blends are also available upon request, since beans are sourced whenever a team member travels overseas. But if you’re not opposed to a little da

This intimate steakhouse is one of Bukit Timah's well-kept secrets

This intimate steakhouse is one of Bukit Timah's well-kept secrets

Notorious amongst the few who frequent Serene Centre was Fat Belly, a well-kept secret of Bukit Timah. Reaching the half-decade mark, this cosy open-grill steakhouse has since refreshed itself as FBG. The modus operandi still remains. Forget about your black Angus sirloins or ribeyes. Instead, off-cuts such as the full blood Wagyu ms 6/7 Denver and black opal f1 Wagyu ms 4/5 onglet are readily available and bloody affordable. Photograph: Joel Lim/FBG But for the uninitiated, meat matters here at FBG. Head Chef Spencer Lau and his team go against the grain when sourcing from a trusted network of producers for lesser-known cuts of meats. Simply incinerating them over charcoal embers, the meats are rightfully rested, then sliced and served. A range of crafted sauces such as the classic bordelaise red wine sauce to seasonal specials like the porcini compound butter are made to pair. Though we could really do without the sauces – the good ole sprinkle of coarse sea salt will do the trick.   Photograph: Joel Lim/FBG Take for instance – which also happens to be our favourite cut – the full blood Wagyu ms 6/7 Denver ($62) which hails from the famed Australian heritage beef producer 2GR. The succulent slab features well-marbled meat that produces both intense beefy and nutty flavours with buttery textures. But don’t go about expecting a typical melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu. This light jaw workout of a piece showcases its character best with each rep of the jaw crunch as it further unr

Look forward to an Italian spring affair with beautiful seasonal produce in Michelin-starred Braci

Look forward to an Italian spring affair with beautiful seasonal produce in Michelin-starred Braci

Before you step into the buzzy modern space of Braci, you’re first greeted by five glaring one-Michelin star awards and not the maître d' – pretty much a prelude to the tasty slew that’s to come. The best seats in the house face the Singapore River and across the charming stretch that is home to iconic art houses. Lovely rays of natural light illuminate the quaint 30-seater juxtaposed against a bustling open kitchen where the embers breathe in the Josper and Japanese shichirin grill. Photograph: Braci Designing the course around spring’s exceptional produce, Chef De Cuisine Matteo Ponti dreams up a progressive menu that pays tribute to his classic Italian roots peppered with personal stories from the young chef. By the end of the meal, you’ll know enough to decide whether you’d like to take him out on a date. All jokes aside, expect a string of elegant yet understated flavours that honours each ingredient and its provenance.   Photograph: Braci The culinary ballad typically starts with bite-sized trios. Small but mighty, the green asparagus brown butter sabayon tart is both airy and creamy while the superior oscietra caviar adds a touch of salinity and luxe. Our favourite, however, was the first baby corn of Spring from Japan with Nduja mayo and Turkish sumac dusted sakura ebi. After a light session in the Josper, the corn-on-the-cob resulted in an explosion of sweet, mild spice, smoke and earthy flavours.   Photograph: Braci With the arrival of the first cold starter,

Michelin-starred Restaurant JAG welcomes spring with a garden of flavours

Michelin-starred Restaurant JAG welcomes spring with a garden of flavours

Dine in Restaurant JAG once and you’ll immediately realise that they are far from fluff and flamboyance. Instead, it's a masterful presentation of culinary skill, made obvious in the restaurant's showcase of seasonality. The Spring Menu ($298) is no exception. Presented in eight courses, it is a consistent display of Chef Jeremy Gillon’s flair and precision in his innovative cooking – after all, he did earn the restaurant a Michelin star within its first year. Photograph: Justin Ong/Restaurant JAG The culinary ballad opens with an enchanting snow pea elixir, infused with ortis and crisp dehydrated sweet pea that's dusted with nori powder. The lightness of spring from the snow pea lingers on, and we can’t help but fantasise about having a bag of crisps to ourselves. Photograph: Justin Ong/Restaurant JAG The second canapé of pickled cauliflower with thyme citron is a real treat for our senses. Crunch into the cauliflower's burst of sharp acidity – it's balanced with clean minerality and a tinge of nuttiness. The third canapé, a sand carrot biscuit, sandwiches purple carrot purée that's dusted with curry powder. A floral, earthy yet sweet expression that highlights the prized harvest of young carrots in spring.  Photograph: Justin Ong/Restaurant JAG Before a string of cold appetisers, we refresh our palates with an amuse-bouche: an infusion of bonito and bouleau that's poured over fresh broccoli and fermented broccolini. Expect light citrus notes and hints of green savouri

Are we overreacting to the current chicken shortage?

Are we overreacting to the current chicken shortage?

The official export ban of fresh chicken from Malaysia to Singapore has officially begun. The news broke just about a week ago and triggered a nationwide panic attack. Some dramatic reactions to the ban – people mourning the dethronement of chicken rice as a national dish, and sharing a list of all the chicken rice dishes that Singaporeans love… that we can’t enjoy anymore – yup, this piece of news has devastated the nation. It isn’t the first time that Singapore has experienced commodity shortages. A quick flashback: toilet paper shortages at the start of the pandemic, then masks and PPE kits at the height of the pandemic, and most recently, the potato shortage largely due to the war in Ukraine. Now, it’s fresh chicken. Photograph: Thayut Sutheeravut/ Shutterstock Sure, some of the panic is justified  Chicken is central to so many of our favourite dishes: the iconic chicken rice, nasi lemak, curry chicken…the list goes on. And we love our affordable hawker culture, so when the price of these dishes go up so much as a cent – it hurts. It doesn’t help that predicted food shortages and an impending recession only spells more price hikes and more strapped wallets in the future. Cue the doom and gloom. Then there’s the whole debate of fresh versus frozen. Singaporeans are a fussy – okay, discerning – bunch. Many insist that fresh chicken has far superior taste and texture when compared to its frozen counterpart. So when a third of the nation’s fresh bird supply is held in a cho

This bold Singapore izakaya is Chef Willin Low's latest playground

This bold Singapore izakaya is Chef Willin Low's latest playground

Gemmill Lane is littered with time-tested dining establishments that could be described as a touch too ritzy for most. But fresh face on the lane, The Kongsee, seeks to stand out in a much different way. How so? Well, it is not quite your typical Japanese izakaya, but more so a candidly-coined Singapore izakaya that dreams big. Touting itself to be the spot that brings people together to relive and celebrate Singapore’s diverse cultural heritage, the nostalgic plates are curated by none other than the Father of Modern Singaporean cuisine, Chef-Partner Willin Low. Also known for his penchant for casual Japanese concepts, this venture comes as no surprise. Photograph: Nikko Pascua/Kongsee “With its dual meaning inspired by both the Hokkien word for “company” and the Malay word for “sharing”, it is our hope that The Kongsee will be a welcoming space that connects people with the delicious melting pot of different cultures and communities in modern Singapore through our food, drinks and convivial hospitality,” shares Chef-Partner Willin Low. Photograph: Nikko Pascua/Kongsee Step into its grungy interiors where a mix of traditional and contemporary elements flood the senses with nostalgia. Expect thematic trinkets such as Peranakan tiled tables, HDB gate railings, graffiti-clad walls with inspiring stories to tell, and our favourite, flocks of red paper planes bejewelling the ceilings symbolising the team’s ambition of taking the colloquial concept worldwide. The overall mood

Wakuda is now one of Marina Bay Sand's top Japanese restaurants – along with Waku Ghin

Wakuda is now one of Marina Bay Sand's top Japanese restaurants – along with Waku Ghin

Marina Bay Sands welcomes another Japanese dining concept by celebrated chef Tetsuya Wakuda (of two-Michelin-star Waku Ghin fame) alongside award-winning restaurateur John Kunkel of 50 Eggs Hospitality Group. Opening its doors in the grand lobby of the iconic grounds back in April, highly anticipated restaurant Wakuda has already massed a two-month waitlist. Photograph: Wakuda Revel in a multitude of experiences from à la carte dining at the alluring main dining hall, to artful Japanese mixology at the stylish bar as you enter. Setting a new standard for dining in Marina Bay Sands, the space oozes with fun conviviality and a touch of class. That’s not all as guests can also look forward to Wakuda's refined omakase experience with private rooms in time to come. Redefining the conventional Japanese dining experience with access to an exclusive trove of international produce from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and more, live stations sets the stage for the culinary brilliance of Chef Tetsuya and his team. Transforming high-quality seasonal ingredients into familiar Japanese favourites with a modern ‘Wakuda-style’ twist with prized ingredients featured on the menu, including supreme quality Tokujyo AA uni from Hokkaido, well-marbled A5 Wagyu, black pork from Kagoshima, and fresh artisanal yuba (beancurd skin) from Kyoto. Photograph: Stephen Chin Kick off the feast with exciting appetisers such as the big eye tuna ($32) and yuba ($38, pictured above). The former showcas