There are new restaurants and cafés opening up pretty much every day in Singapore. And creative chefs are constantly updating and improving their menus. This month, we have a spot hawking $15 chicken rice, a minimalist café opened by Singapore's first National Brewers’ Cup champion and more.
In darkness, comes light. Amidst the uncertainty Covid-19 has brought to Singapore's dining scene, Lumo is a shining beacon of hope. It has everything it takes for a F&B business to survive in this day and age: a novel cocktail programme that runs the gamut of low ABV concoctions to those that will have you stumbling out the door, sharing plates of glistening meats straight from the wood-fire grill and a fun, convivial atmosphere peppered with American rock classics from the noughties. Try cocktails like the Salt Honey Fizz ($20), a riff on the classic Ramos Gin Fizz made with vodka, caramelised honey, sea salt and a blend of seven different plant-based milks or skips straight to the sharing plates. The Sakura pork chop ($32) dressed in a whisky and raisin veal jus is a must-order.
The Crystal Jade Kitchen has re-opened its doors at the newly renovated Great World mall. To mark its new chapter, it has rebranded to Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen, debuting a contemporary space with fresh additions to the menu. You’ll find sticks of turnips ($5.30) marinated in a refreshing mixture of sour plum and orange peel, pan-fried pumpkin and yam cake ($5.30), and a Scotch egg-inspired deep-fried marinated egg covered in prawn paste ($5.80).
Sometimes, it's better to keep things simple. Lucid's interiors of grey and white – with its milky countertops, concrete floor and metallic accents – make for an Instagrammable spot. But it's more than just a treat for the eyes. The minimalist hide-out also serves cups of quality brews by co-owner Andrea Tan, the first National Brewers’ Cup champion in Singapore. Lucid's menu reflects its minimalist philosophy as well – you’ll only find that coffee and a small selection of bakes are available.
This pancake specialist makes its gluten-free treats using a batter that comprises organic Japanese rice flour, Japanese eggs, and Kagoshima brown sugar to create its signature, inch-thick wobbly stacks. Its pillow-soft circles are best enjoyed with fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce, and a side of homemade vanilla ice cream ($19/$22); or with sweet potato paste and chestnut purée in the mont blanc pancake ($19/$22).
Would you pay $15 for a plate of chicken rice? You might at Picnic Food Park. Its owner Cheng Hsian Yao created a premium version inspired by his grandfather’s recipe. Lavish ingredients are used: kampong chickens raised on a diet of corn and bentong ginger, a pungent variant sourced from Pahang, Malaysia, which lends subtle heat to the rice and chilli. Prices start from $14.90 for a set of one, and comes with sides of oyster vegetables and chicken soup.
Japan’s largest conveyor belt chain, Sushiro, opens its third outlet in Woodland’s Causeway Point. At this new 136-seater, you can look forward to affordable cuts of fresh seafood that start from just $2.20 – with over 100 different options to choose from. Other than the crowd-favourite otoro ($4.80), Japanese egg omelette ($2.20), and salmon with basil cheese ($2.20), expect to find the Singapore-exclusive chicken rice nigiri ($2.20) and other seasonal creations that change every month.
You can now customise and enjoy freshly wrapped daifuku, a traditional Japanese mochi dessert, at Daifuku by Seizan. This dessert joint is a collaboration between local restaurant Picnic Food Park and two-Michelin-starred kaiseki restaurant Seizan Tokyo. Rice flour is mixed with soft spring water from Mount Fuji then pounded for at least an hour to yield a stretchy, chewy skin that’s then used to wrap fillings of red bean and strawberry, cheese mousse and yuzu honey, custard cream and Oreo cookie, and more.
Another bubble tea chain has reached our shores – this time it is Taiwan’s Chun Fun How, famous for its 'grammable floral cups and sweet potato milk tea. Sample brews made from tea leaves imported directly from its homeland, like the signature Four Seasons Tea ($3.80) with light, floral notes, and the sweet potato black tea latte ($7.60), made using yellow sweet potatoes that are blended down to lend a creamy-sweet finish.
This Japanese sandwich bar serves various sando creations. Deep-fried meat and eggs come sandwiched between slices of shokupan – softer, fluffier than the usual sliced white bread. Popular option includes the pork loin katsu ($10) where the meat is first brined, then breaded with panko crumbs before hitting the deep-fryer, complete with onions caramelised with duck fat and tonkatsu sauce; or the tamago sando ($5) where fluffy eggs are cooked with dashi stock and slathered with kombu mayonnaise.
Previously only available via its website, the sweet treats from Pâtisserie CLÉ can now be purchased from its new home in Paya Lebar. Owners Germaine Li and Joy Chiam have worked as pastry chefs in the kitchens of Les Amis and Joël Robuchon Restaurant. Now, the pair are using what they’ve learnt to create unique sweet treats that include Noisette ($8.50), a dark chocolate cake with hazelnut praline, or the special Orh Blanc Tart ($8), which is a playful twist on the French Mont Blanc dessert where yam paste is used instead of chestnut paste.
The Italian restaurant, perched on the 43rd floor of Ocean Financial Centre, is hoping to further elevate your dining experience with fresh additions from new head chef Andrea De Paolo. He's previously worked in restaurants like Art and one-Michelin-starred Braci – and now, at Zafferano, he presents Italian plates made with a twist. For a true showcase of the chef’s playfulness, consider the Chef’s Menu ($118 for four-courses, $148 for five-courses) with offerings both authentic and innovative.