New restaurants, cafés and bars to check out in November
There are new restaurants, cafés and bars opening up pretty much every day in Singapore and menus are constantly changing. This month, we've got a restaurant serving Basque cuisine, Michelin bib-gourmand worthy chicken rice and more. RECOMMENDED The 50 best restaurants in Singapore and the 50 best cafés in Singapore
Where to get the best fried chicken in Singapore
There are many ways to fry a chicken. Lucky for us, Singapore’s foreign talent policy is open enough to accommodate so many different sorts of fried chicken on our shores. From the classic fresh-from-the-grease bucket fare to the Japanese karaage, all around the world people have been doing fried chicken in their own different ways. Do we tolerate it? More than that, we embrace it fully with our hearts and stomachs. RECOMMENDED: The best burgers in Singapore and the best pizza joints in Singapore
The best sandwich shops in Singapore
Sandwiches don't have to be the boring, brown bag affair no more – who knew two slices of bread could be made better with the help of a couple of other ingredients? From thick sandwiches chock full of meat and all kinds of delicious sauces to jazzed up avocado toasties, here's the sandwich shops that will keep you happy (and full) during lunch time. RECOMMENDED: The best burgers in Singapore and juice bars in Singapore
The best Don Don Donki snacks to try
We've seen the yellow plastic bags on the streets of Somerset and Tanjong Pagar and we've heard about the famous theme song that plays over and over in the stores. We're talking about Don Don Donki where you can find almost everything, including snacks. We pick our favourites from the range they have stocked there so let's get munching. RECOMMENDED: Unique local snacks to try in Singapore and old-school childhood snacks we love in Singapore
Where to eat local desserts in Singapore
Once in a while, that craving for something sweet and comforting hits you hard. And that's okay, you should give in to your cravings. With the amount of local desserts we have, there should be a reason to treat yourself every day. We gathered the best local desserts places to hit for when that craving hits. RECOMMENDED: The best cake shops in Singapore and the best cafés in Singapore for dessert
New restaurants and cafés in Singapore
Basque Kitchen by Aitor
Following his departure from one-Michelin-starred Iggy’s at the Hilton Singapore, chef Aitor Jeronimo Orive has teamed up with hotel and restaurant group Unlisted Collection to open Basque Kitchen. Inspired by the cuisine of Basque Country, where meats are grilled over hot coals and stews are rustic and hearty – he elevates the homey dishes he grew up eating with techniques he's learnt cooking at some of the top restaurants in the world including Mugaritz and The Fat Duck. Standouts include the oxtail bomba rice, his spin on Japanse gyu don made with Spanish bomba rice and Angus oxtail, topped with a confit of quail egg yolk. It wouldn't be Basque cooking without Txuleta, charcoal-grilled Angus prime rib served black and blue – charred on the outside and rare on the inside. Pair it with an extensive range of Spanish wines, there's everything from heavyweights like Peter Sisseck to small-batch boutique producers plus Spanish gins, pacharáns and Basque ciders to choose from.
Not one just for the tourist hordes, Blossom is a new contemporary Chinese restaurant at the sprawling lobby of the Marina Bay Sands hotel. Helmed by Cantonese chef Fok Kai Yee, who's spent years in the kitchen of Summer Pavilion and chef Jason Lau who's cooked at Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck, the restaurant serves a mix of Chinese cuisines ranging from classic Cantonese and Shanghainese to spicier Sichuan dishes. Dim sum is available during lunch and afternoon tea while the à la carte offerings include more extravagant sharing plates like the roast chicken smoked with 15-year-old pu'er tea leaves and chrysanthemum. Individual plates with a succulent tiger prawn and braised four-head South African abalone are also available for those looking to indulge.
With the plant-based trend picking up in the restaurant scene, The Botanic has done right by switching things. Think vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes like pressed tofu with Sichuan dressing, grilled king brown mushrooms and cashew nuts ($16) and burrata with butternut pumpkin ($15). But if you love you're meat, don't fuss too much. There are free-range, organic meat and seafood offerings as well. The grilled squid with inked rice ($22) is a standout. Stay for desserts like chendol pavlova ($12) and a fruit-based cocktail selection (prices start from $18) to sweeten up your experience.
Go-Ang Pratunam Chicken RIce
Popular award-winning chicken rice from Bangkok, Go-Ang Pratunam finally opens up in Singapore. The brand has been established for over 50 years in Thailand and this is its first overseas outlet. While it's not like our local favourite, you can't deny that it's pretty decent plate of chicken rice ($5.50) – the only difference is the chilli. Instead of the zesty variety we're accustomed to, this one is sticky, sweet and slightly spicy. On top of your usual chicken rice options, you can also expect some zi char dishes like braised pork ($8), steamed fish ($28), omelette ($5.50) and basil chicken ($8).
No stranger to Singapore's fine dining scene, Waku Ghin by acclaimed chef Tetsuya Wakuda serves Japanese cuisine with an Australian twist. Don't expect your typical kaiseki meal here, the ten-course ($450) begins in a private room where you're treated to an exclusive teppanyaki presentation of dishes like Ohmi wagyu with wasabi and citrus soy as well as a seafood bouillabaisse packed with ingredients like Canadian lobster and rockfish from Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Can't quite blow $450 on a meal? Then head to Waku Ghin for lunch on Friday where you can treat yourself to a five-course executive lunch for $180. The lunch menu changes seasonally but features some of Tetsuya's signature dishes, including a morsel of his famed botan shrimp, Oscietra caviar and sea urchin combination over sushi rice or even pasta. After your mains, you're led out to an open seating area where you can savour dessert alongside the glittering vistas of Marina Bay.
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The best cake shops in Singapore
Birthday cakes. Wedding cakes. Cheesecake. Chocolate cake. Cake for one. We sift through the best bakeries to present you with the best cake shops on the island. Don't worry – the perfect cake is not a lie. But if you want to lie to yourself about the calories you're consuming, go right ahead. RECOMMENDED: The best traditional bakeries and cake shops in Singapore and the best cafés in Singapore for dessert
The best French restaurants in Singapore
French dining is in its golden age in Singapore. French restaurants dominated the 2017 edition of the Michelin Guide and it was mainly French restaurants that again clinched us spots on last year Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list. While decorated fine-dining establishment may get most of the limelight, Singapore has also been steadily building up a broad portfolio that traverses price points and culinary regions. We survey the landscape to spotlight the best French establishments worthy of your money.
The best board game cafes in Singapore
Take that casual cafe hangout with friends to another level with some board games. Don't knock it till you try it – it's the same thing only there's some gaming fun in the equation. Go retro and check out these board game cafes in town. RECOMMENDED: The best communal dining restaurants for big groups and 50 best cafés in Singapore
The best restaurants and cafés in Katong
There's no shortage of things to do in the eastern neighbourhood of Katong but eating definitely steals the limelight. The heritage district is rich in local Peranakan culture and also features incredibly varied cuisines, with Vietnamese and European communities making it their home. Then, there are the ultra-hip cafés that have sprouted up in recent years to check out too, here's our guide on how to eat your way through Katong.
Hawker spotlight: Chop Chop Biryani and Meats
Nasi biryani served with a side of Cantonese roast pork belly might have purists throwing their arms up in despair – but isn’t that what Singaporean food is all about? Combining cuisines and crossing cultural boundaries to create something delicious. The idea came to Chop Chop Biryani & Meats’ owner Gino Goh by chance. He brought his signature siew yoke to a potluck one day while a friend made biryani. The combination was so good, it sparked a business idea in him. Goh is no stranger to the food scene in Singapore. He’s been a chef for 12 years before moving on to consult for The Refinery, Cafe Nido and Tyrwhitt Little Cafe. He set up Chop Chop in August last year at Amoy Street Food Centre – already a hotbed of young hawkerpreneurs – and sees it as a space to test out locally-inspired fusion dishes. “Growing up in Penang and in a Peranakan family, I’m very familiar with spices,” Goh shares. “All this while, I’ve been cooking more ang moh food, so I wanted to go back to my roots and do something local but with a twist.” Chop Chop does biryani sets with an unconventional choice of protein: siew yoke, soft bone pork masala, grilled sotong, char siew and salted egg chicken. Prices start at $5 for one meat, $6.50 for two and $8 for three and each set comes with a side of cabbage, egg, pineapple salsa, papadum and fluffy basmati rice studded with spices. While the siew yoke is a perennial fave, give some of the other options a go. The soft bone pork masala is a star – stewed fo
Hawker spotlight: Hong Seng Curry Rice
Hainanese curry rice is a messy affair. Deep-fried pieces of pork are snipped with a pair of scissors, stewed cabbage is strewn over the plate and thick curry is sloppily ladled over rice. It’s not a glamorous dish and being a hawker is definitely not a glitzy career, so it’s surprising to see a handsome 27-year-old calling the shots at Hong Seng Curry Rice. Three years ago, Alex Lim was fresh out of university and ready to take on the business world. Armed with a shiny new degree in banking and finance, he was looking to invest in his first big project – his family’s humble Hainanese curry rice stall at Redhill Food Centre. “When my sisters and I graduated,” recalls Lim, “my dad wanted to retire. I thought it’d be a huge waste because I grew up eating his curry rice and know that people love it as much as I do. I took it as a challenge to test out the F&B industry and learned the ropes from my dad and uncle for three months. Those months were hell. I got to the stall at 4am every day to fry eggs and we’d only be done with prep for all 23 dishes at 11am. At 2pm we’d do the second round of cooking for the dinner crowd because we open ‘til 11pm.” Those three months paid off. Not only does Hong Seng continue to see long queues, Lim has also expanded the business to include three other outlets at SMU, Chinatown and Yishun. His mother oversees the original outlet at Redhill, where a plate of rice with pork chops, cabbage and curry starts from $2.20, while popular add-ons includ
Hawker spotlight: Tew Chew Street Tew Chew Porridge
When you’re ill, chances are you gravitate towards a steaming bowl of Teochew porridge. Yes, the traditional dish can be bland and uninteresting – earning its reputation as food for the sick – but the secret to good Teochew porridge lies in the accompanying dishes. They have to be punchy enough to hold its own despite being dunked in water and rice and Tew Chew Street Tew Chew Porridge has mastered the art of striking this balance. Tan Huat Seng, 64, and Ng Tjip Moi, 57, have been hawking Teochew porridge at Chinatown Complex for more than 20 years. Tan is a second generation hawker who took over the stall from his father after completing his National Service. It was formerly at Teochew Street, hence the name, before it relocated to its current home. The husband and wife duo start prepping at 6am to serve the breakfast crowd at around nine – but come around 11am for a full range of what they have to offer. Signature dishes include steamed pork topped with onions and chincalok ($2), chai po omelette ($1.50) and braised pork trotters ($2.50). A Teochew meal is not be complete without steamed fish and Mr Tan sources for what’s fresh and in season from the market. He recommends the yellow croaker ($17), which is prized for its soft and sweet flesh, and serves it with an addictive chilli and garlic sauce as well as a tau cheo dip. “During my father’s time, we used to serve even more dishes. Crabs and lobsters were so cheap, you could get one the size of your face for about $5!
Hawker spotlight: Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Mee
DON’T BE FOOLED by the stall's name – Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee has been housed in Jalan Bukit Merah’s ABC Food Centre since 1993 and there’s still a relentless queue snaking around the shop ’til the late hours of the night, when loyal customers clear up the final few plates of this carby delight. It’s hard to pass up a comforting serving of Hokkien mee lovingly prepared by owner Toh Seng Wang, who has been dishing out his wildly popular prawn noodles for over 40 years. It’s an absolute treat to witness the 68-year-old – who’s as strong as an ox – raising his ladle high up in the air, showering the noodles with stock and working up a storm with his giant wok. His noodles are doused in a prawn stock that is painstakingly prepared every day, paired with pre-peeled juicy prawns and sotong. When he pops that huge wooden lid open – another sign that this place is legit – it won’t be long until you are greeted with piping hot noodles steeped in a rich crustacean sauce (and history). Yi Sheng’s humble beginnings date back to the 1950s, when Toh’s father would roll out the hearty dish in a pushcart along the streets of Tiong Bahru. The recipe was passed down to his son in the 80s and now Toh says: “I will never leave (this craft), I will fry until I can’t fry any more.” And don’t be afraid to ask for an extra serving of sambal. Trust us – it’s that tasty. Quite the traditionalist, Toh follows his father’s recipe to a tee, only making slight changes over the year