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Hot new restaurants and cafés to dine at in Singapore

October's list of the new restaurants, cafés and menu updates to check out in Singapore

Yi by Jereme Leung
By Nicole-Marie Ng and Time Out Singapore editors |
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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 Yi by Jereme Leung, a gorgeous modern-Chinese restaurant at the revamped Raffles Hotel, Chinese steamed buns reimagined at Bao Boy and Ding Dong, as well as other delectable dining delights.

RECOMMENDED The 50 best restaurants in Singapore and the 50 best cafés in Singapore

Restaurants, Chinese

Yi by Jereme Leung

icon-location-pin City Hall

Jereme Leung makes his Singapore return at the recently revamped Raffles Hotel, which now offers a suite of A-list restaurants helmed by the best chefs around the world – and Yi by Jereme Leung is no exception. The focus on art and excellence is apparent from the moment you step into the restaurant. The entryway is adorned with an installation by Moss & Lam – 1,000 individually strung floral strands drape from the ceiling to the walls, beckoning you towards the main dining hall. Each dish also comes beautifully plated – from the Hundred-ring Cucumber and Poached Sea Whelk ($26), a spiral of finely sliced cucumber and crunchy sea whelk tossed in a soy sauce and garlic vinaigrette to the cold platter of brined duck breast, beef tripe and ox tongue drizzled with spicy Sichuan dressing ($28).

Bao Boy
Photo by: Gerry Cavanagh
Restaurants, Burgers

Bao Boy

icon-location-pin Raffles Place

This is not your usual dim sum establishment. Neither is it your regular burger joint. Aptly located on HongKong Street, Bao Boy is a restaurant-bar focusing on steamed buns stuffed with Asian flavours with a twist. Case in point, the fried chicken and cheese bao ($14), buttermilk-soaked chicken thigh topped with shredded cabbage with a touch of yuzu kosho as well as the pulled pork banh mi bao ($14) stacked with Iberico pork jowl, liver pate and a squeeze of sriracha. It’s not just steamed buns on the menu. Share a plate of chilli crab mac and cheese ($16) or salmon tartare nachos ($12) or pop open a bottle of natural wine (from $16 a glass/$70 a bottle) from its extensive certified-organic selection.

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Restaurants, Contemporary Asian

Ding Dong

icon-location-pin Tanjong Pagar

This contemporary South-East Asian restaurant by The Spa Esprit group is all things cheeky and fun. Its new lunch menu is a sinful affair with the Baoger, burgers made with pillowy soft steamed buns instead of the usual baked-and-sesame-topped variety. For $26, you get a Baoger of your choice – lemongrass pork collar, sambal ayam penyet, beef bergedil or kam heong seafood – as well as a side dish. Choose from papaya salad, corn, potato noisettes or sauteed shrooms.

Restaurants, Chinese

Grand Shanghai

icon-location-pin Raffles Place

The sheer size of the dining room conjures the atmospheric grandeur of old Shanghainese supper clubs. The revamped Grand Shanghai evokes 1930s Shanghai, with musicians performing live over dinner enhance the experience alongside art-deco motifs, oriental touches and a minimalist colour palette that gives the space a timeless elegance. The menu offers an extensive list of traditional Chinese delicacies presented in creative ways. Take, for instance, the Light and Shadow Duck – thin slices of crispy duck and deep-fried lotus root hang from a tree made from sugar. Another standout is the codfish soup served in individual portions with egg white and carrot puree for a touch of sweetness.  

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Restaurants

Beurre

icon-location-pin Outram

At Beurre, butter is so important, the restaurant is named after it. Which is surprising, then, that the ingredient doesn’t feature as prominently as we’d expect on the menu. The French omelette ($18) is pillowy soft, and comes studded with crab cooked in a lobster bisque. It is simple, elegant, and flavoured deeply by the crustacean. There is also the pork ($24), served with a curious mix of salted popcorn, sweetcorn puree, and a spicy Sichuan gremolata that leaves us equal parts fascinated and confused. The same can be said about the unagi mantou ($18). Eel is grilled over charcoal, broken up into small pieces and served with cubes of deep-fried mantou. Tossed with sakura fish floss and baby shrimp, it’s textual variation makes this dish a party in the mouth.

Restaurants, Peranakan

Belimbing Superstar

icon-location-pin Tanjong Pagar

If you are looking for The Coconut Club’s famous $12.80 nasi lemak, know that you won’t find the restaurant at its original location. It has since moved to a newer, bigger space at Ann Siang House. Instead, what you will find is its Peranakan sister: Belimbing Superstar. And as its name suggests, the restaurant has aspirations. It began a year ago, when chef Ben Teo went into the kitchens of others to learn all about Nonya cuisine. Now, he hopes to celebrate this disappearing culinary tradition, by using what he learned to prepare accessible Peranakan food for all to enjoy – slow, laborious cooking process and all. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait long for the food. Everything is already prepared, splayed out for diners to pick and choose. Ordering is simple: point at what you want, cai png style, and hope that the servers scoop up a generous serving for you.

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Restaurants, Japanese

Seizan Uni Ramen

icon-location-pin Orchard

This new ramen joint located within Picnic Food Park is tempting you with the gonads of sea urchins. Don’t expect slivers of orange atop your noodles, though. Each bowl ($21) comes with a rich and briny broth made from premium bafun uni. Eating these noods is a test of speed – you need to slurp the noodles down quick, lest it absorbs all the soup.  If the stall’s name sounds familiar, it’s because the ramen joint is an offshoot of Seizan, a two-Michelin-starred kaiseki restaurant in Tokyo renowned for its dashi. And even though the restaurants are 5000km apart, the stock is still treated with the same reverence. Try it plain with somen ($18): spring water from Mount Fuji is specially imported to make the soup base; and kombu, as well as two different types of fish flakes, are then added to flavour the dashi, resulting in a deep and complex broth. Also on the menu is the Kumamoto Wagyu ramen ($20), made with the same dashi base but topped off with vegetables, beef bones and tendon.

Restaurants, Japanese

Sushiro

icon-location-pin Tiong Bahru

Sushiro, located in Tiong Bahru Plaza, is Japan’s highest-earning conveyor belt restaurant, and the brand’s first outpost in Southeast Asia. The 162-seat space might look like any regular sushi joint, but it’s in the kitchen where things differ. Three sushi-making robots help create parcels of vinegared rice, with air pumped within each morsel to make it less dense. Plates that make its rounds on the conveyor belt are also fitted with a specialised chip; each plate can only travel 350m on the lane before it is removed to ensure freshness.  Ordering here feels familiar – grab what you want from the lower rotating belt while the top conveyor belt delivers food that you ordered straight to your table. Over 100 varieties of sushi and side dishes are available.

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Restaurants, Mexican

El Mero Mero

icon-location-pin City Hall

When El Mero Mero first opened its doors five years ago, it quickly became the go-to place in the city for hearty Mexican food. But this isn't your dingy back alley tacqueria – the recently revamped space is thoughtfully decorated and you can choose between marble tables or a seat by the open kitchen. The food is equally inviting with plenty of new dishes on the menu. There are the usual suspects like guacamole ($12/$18), baja fish tacos ($14) and hamachi and coconut ceviche ($21) done right, as well as rarer sights in Singapore such as tortilla soup ($14), a comforting bowl of tomatoes, garlic, onion and chilli blended together with flamed corn tortilla.

Auntie's Wok & Steam
Photo: Auntie's Wok & Steam
Restaurants, Chinese

Auntie's Wok and Steam

icon-location-pin Rochor

Set in a stylish hotel with Mid-century modern trimmings, Auntie's Wok and Steam keeps things cosy with homey dishes. On top of the all-day menu, mala addicts can get their fix of spicy Sichuan cuisine at the new Auntie's Mala Dinner happening daily from 6pm to 10pm. Good for two, a $60 set get comes with a large Mala Xiang Guo pot (choose from Kurobuta pork collar, Wagyu beef or barramundi fillet), a generous serving of Firecracker Chicken (think la zi ji but with bigger chunks of chicken), rice and four bottles of Andaz Pale Ale. Alternatively, you can order a Mini Mala Claypot Set ($25) that you can pair with a bottle of Young Master Mala Beer ($10), a Sichuan peppercorn lager which was a sold-out release at Beerfest Asia 2019. The beer – which is only available in Andaz Singapore – is clean, crisp with a touch of heat and sweetness that compliments the spicy meal.

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Restaurants, Contemporary European

Preludio

icon-location-pin Raffles Place

Think of summer and visions of clear blue skies, white sandy beaches, vibrant floral blooms and lush open fields typically come to mind. But at Preludio, summer is viewed in black and white. Its new menus ($58/four-course lunch, $98/seven-course lunch, $188/six-course dinner and $238/eight-course) follow the theme of monochrome – a concept that finds its way in the food, drink, decor and beyond. Begin your meal with the Deadliest Catch, named after the dangerous conditions in which Alaskan king crabs are caught. It's blanketed with pristinely white coconut jelly and topped with a quenelle of white corn and onion sorbet that complements the natural sweetness of the crab exquisitely. Yet another snow-white dish, Make it Pop, dazzles with its unconventionality. Foie grad terrine is glazed with coffee kombucha and covered in smoked olive oil powder and popping candy – a playful treat meant to surprise and delight diners, Preludio's modus operandi.

Restaurants, Contemporary European

V Dining

icon-location-pin Orchard

Fine dining doesn't always have to be a white tablecloth, three-digit-bill affair. V Dining new menus are making premium epicurean experiences more accessible with two, three and five-course lunch menus priced at $48, $60 and $90 as well as two, three and five-course dinner menus at $58, $70 and $100 in the heart of Orchard Road. Wines are also available at an affordable $14 per glass. The intimate 35-seat dining room overlooks the busy shopping district from sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows and head chef Lee Jing Peng prepares dishes such as pan-seared foie gras with a minced duck meat parcel from the open kitchen. Other highlights on the menu include the corn soup, a comforting bowl with myriad textures – creamy soup envelops a soft onion ring that hides bacon foam within. V Dining also shows off shiny new V-Zug equipment as the restaurant is housed within the Swiss company's showroom.  

Still hungry? Check out these hot spots

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