With two custom-made woodfire ovens on-site, Firebake is extremely serious about its sourdough breads. There are four types available: white, rye, wholemeal and fruit, each made with all-natural, top quality ingredients like organic flour from Western Australia and Nordaq Fresh filtered water. It’s not playing around with the food either – expect dishes like four-spice liver pate ($12) that's made with equal parts butter and liver for a luscious spread, Norwegian blue mussels cooked with lager and chorizo ($25) and grilled pork belly served in a sweet garden vegetable broth ($22). Everything's cooked on two 1880s refurbished Husqvarna cast iron stoves from Sweden that are powered by woodfire, keeping to the theme of rustic soul food from the hearth and heart.
Grilled chicken on a stick might seem like a simple concept, but Birders does so much more than that. Chicken parts are elevated beyond the normal sprinkling of salt, with different sauces paired with parts such as heart ($4) with spring onions and ginger, and breast ($3.50) with mustard and panko. The yakitori restaurant also has one of the best chicken liver pâtés ($16) in town, served with a side of deep fried mantou sliders and yuzu marmalade. Wash it all down with a wide variety of sake, including affordable, single-serve sake cups if you don't feel like shelling out for the full bottle.
With a menu that changes with the seasons, Lewin Terrace is a fine-dining restaurant that combines French cooking techniques with only the best produce from Japan. For Spring, the restaurant has five and seven-course menus that highlight the beauty of spring, using ingredients like cherry blossoms and mountain vegetables. Spring is also the only time where the restaurant brings in sakuradai, a sea bream that is harvested during sakura season, which is pan-fried with sakura ebi and asparagus. Another standout is chef's Wagyu Meets Tiger, a wagyu beef brisket that's been stewed in Tiger beer served alongside dried figs and apricots for a touch of sweetness.
The handsome 130-seater ground floor dining room and showcase bar with the kitchen is run by culinary director Daniel Sia, who has updated the menu to feature more modern chophouse plates. Think dishes like hand-chopped steak tartare ($26), Vidalia onion broth with bone marrow flan ($26), and The Black Swan Burger ($32). The steaks are sourced from boutique ranches around the world, so you'll find Brandt USDA choice tenderloin ($60) and Tajima wagyu striploin ($60) on the menu. Desserts are also a twist on steakhouse classics – don't miss the cookies and cream ($16) with milkshakes spiked with Baileys.
On the first floor, SPRMRKT Daily is a grocery shop, retail space and riverside café rolled into one. Try the blackened fish and chips ($20) featuring locally-caught fish fillets fried in house-made squid ink batter, or the fail-safe English Breakfast ($28) of Kurobuta pork sausage, bacon, vine-ripened tomatoes, sauteed mushroom, two eggs served with toasted brioche.
Climb the stairs up to SPRMRKT Kitchen and Bar, and the vibe changes completely. Here, Singaporean chef-owner Joseph Yeo serves dishes like the twice-cooked chicken roulade ($28) on a bed of smoked curried cauliflower puree and chicken jus, and smoked lobster tail ($42), with macaroni mixed with three cheeses and pumpkin, and topped with toasted garlic panko bread crumbs for extra crunch. Desserts are equally stunning with the Earl Grey creme brûlée ($16) taking the cake with its lemon lavendar streusel base, fresh seasonal fruits and edible pressed flowers.
Whet your appetite with starters like Spanner crab salad ($15) dressed in wasabi mayonnaise and served with diced apple and red-veined sorrel, and Angus beef tartare ($16), which features hand-chopped beef fillet marinated with chives, mustard seeds and accompanied with sourdough crisps. For mains, try the lobster fregola sarda pasta ($28) topped with an onsen egg and parmesan shavings or the melt-in-your-mouth braised beef cheeks ($32) served with browned butter potato puree, heirloom carrots and asparagus. Those looking for a healthier option, there's a salmon ochazuke ($24) on offer, which features seared slices of Norwegian salmon, edamame and ikura, served with a teapot of smoked tea dashi.
For a wide variety of Japanese dishes right in the heart of town, head to Kotobuki at Wisma Atria. Dine at the izakaya portion of the restaurant or head outside to the café concept where you'll be served the restaurant's speciality cold drip, siphon or hand-drip coffee – freshly made using beans imported from Japan.
Hit up Schmear for fresh hand-rolled bagels and classic all-American food. The open-air restaurant lets you take in sweeping views of the marina as you bite into one of its signature bagels smeared with cream cheese that comes in different flavours such as chocolate, spring onion and more. Kids will love the pizza bagels (from $8), spread with tomato sauce and sprinkled with cheese and various toppings of their choice, while parents chow down on a juicy beef burger (from $16).
You might remember this cramped little restaurant selling rice bowls made with Vietnamese broken rice, but ComNam's new menu now focuses on Vietnamese street eats like Hanoi-style bun cha ($9.90), banh xeo ($12.90) crepe stuffed with pork and prawns, and fragrant rice with braised pork and egg ($9.90). The restaurant's interior has also been updated to make it more comfortable for group dining. Expect booth seats and a large communal table – you'll need the space in order to have more to share.
Starbucks' first Reserve Coffee Bar has made its way to Singapore. The immersive coffee bar experience aims to be fun and educational, teaching coffee enthusiasts about different rare beans. The United Square store is the only one to use the state-of-the-art Black Eagle espresso machine and also carries nitro cold brew on tap for those hot days where you're craving a refreshing shot of caffeine.
The Raffles City outlet rolls out a full menu – just don’t expect to see the café-standard eggs Benedict on it. Instead, you'll find savoury-sweet pancake burgers such as the PB&B pancake burger ($23), that has spiced pork belly, caramelised-to-perfection bananas and ricotta cheese, drizzled with a good dose of sweet maple syrup, of course. Another wacky creation takes inspiration from okonomiyaki (Japanese cabbage pancakes), the Kim Cheesy pancake burger ($23) is a flavourful mix of kimchi-infused pancakes, sweet bean sauce, tofu, sauteed cabbage, green onions and crispy bread crumbs, topped with smoked bonito flakes.
On the healthier side of the menu is the Instagram-worthy Rainbow Rice Bowl ($18) with spicy pineapple kimchi, mixed sprouts, salsa verde and purple potato crisps, and an even heartier Rainbow Rice Bowl 2.0 version ($22) with crispy cucumber, avocado, chorizo and toasted almonds – both are topped with a sunny side up egg. Other offerings include the French onion burger ($23), DIY prawn croquette wraps ($21) and hand-pulled TBB flat bread ($18).
Brunch is now available during the weekend at this café. Dishes include The Birds Skillet ($23), a rustic platter comprising bacon, camembert, cheddar, Sichuan sausage, spicy chorizo and roasted baby potatoes topped with two eggs. Big Bird 1st ($25) puts a spin on classic eggs Benedict by serving it with mala hollandaise alongside the usual English muffin, bacon, sausage and poached egg.
Try the signature Straits Afternoon Tea ($38/person, minimum two to dine) that’s packed with Peranakan favourites like tender braised pork belly in a steamed lotus leaf bun, otah otah on toast and a sambal ayam panggang sandwich that’s bursting with rich flavours. There’s also kueh pie tee, yam cake with XO sauce and Nyonya chicken curry puffs for a hit of spice. Your sweet tooth won’t be neglected, either – think pandan chiffon cake, kueh lapis and a host of other homemade Nyonya kuehs. \
For a more classic afternoon tea experience, opt for Crossroads’ English Afternoon Tea ($38/person, minimum two to dine). Aside from homemade buttermilk raisin and plain scones that are served with jam and clotted cream, you’ll find an assortment of sandwiches like smoked salmon and dill, chicken breast and avocado, and truffle egg mayo. Save room for the collection of French pastries and desserts like macarons and lemon curd tarts, too.