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Expat_Restaurant_Guide_2008

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					     auRant
 Rest 2008
 Guide
  hat ’ cooking?
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                          si d	 tw 	 m                 48 Chinese
                                                       e
                                                       52 Contemporary
                                                         n
                 ave	 it                            	
Take	 it	 or	 le	Hackett.	Thankfully,	that’s	not	the 	 58 French
comic	Buddy ore	–	the	choice	is	more	extenalite 	 62 Indian
                                                siv
case	in	Singap en	in	a	long	time	and	the	qu	 yoy 	 66 Indo-Chinese
than	we’ve	se ing	 better,	 too.	 So	 how	 do s	thu 	 68 International
                                                    e
just	 keeps	 gettxpat	Restaurant	Guide	2008	i ings,	 70 Italian
 choose?	The	E ant	 research,	 countless	 tast 	you	          anese
 result	 of	 cons	gourmet	experiences	keeping Julia 74 Jap al
                  st
 and	numerou 	best	dining	options	available.		her	 80 Loc
 abreast	of	the e	review	team	as	 usual	with            84 Mediterranean
  Hawes	leads	 thhat’s	hot.                             85 Middle-Eastern
  round	up	of	w                                         88 Thai
  B on appétit!                                          92 Honourable
                                                            Mentions
     Price	Guide                                     g	drinks.
                                  axes,	but	excludin
     For	a	fu ll	meal	including	t
                               00
     $ $ $ $ :	More	than	S$1nd	S$100
     $ $ $ :	Between	S$60	a 	S$60
      $ $ :	Between	S$30	and
      $ :	Less	than	S$30.



                                  T H E   E X PAT
                                                    47      AU G U S T   2 0 0 8
       KHA                                                PAtArA Fine tHAi
       Yenn Wong of Graze fame has finally given          Elegantly decorated, yes, but the cavernous
       us what we have been crying out for – a            space at Tanglin Mall does tend to mute the
       classy Thai experience. KHA is set within the      ambience somewhat. On the plus side, this is
       beautifully landscaped grounds of HortPark so      always a safe bet for a satisfying Thai meal
       like Graze over at Rochester, it’s already well    All the old favourites are on the menu, and
       ahead in the location stakes. Décor is an artful   chilli levels have been tamed so do say if
       blend of rustic meeting contemporary, there’s      you’re in the mood for some blistering heat.
       an alfresco cocktail lounge and dining section,    Green mango salad with softshell crab, tom
       and the food is a lip-smacking, modern take        yam soup, fried garoupa with tamarind sauce
       on Thai but wholly faithful to authentic tastes,   and prawns in green curry are well worth a
       so all in all it’s got all the boxes ticked.       try. Their Thai desserts are excellent – the
       33 Hyderabad Road, #02-02 HortPark,                buffet is a real treat.
       Tel: 6476 9000                                     Outlets at: Swissôtel The Stamford, Level Three,
       $$$$$                                              Tel: +65 6339-1488; Tanglin Mall, #03-14,
                                                          163 Tanglin Road, Tel: +65 6737-0818.
       LemongrAss                                         $ $$ $ $
       Want a successful restaurant? Here’s a
       smart premise: Thai food at very reasonable        restAurAnt 1827 tHAi
       prices. Lemongrass has been around for well        The Arts House is the setting and boy, does
       over a decade and there’s the reason. The          this restaurant live up to that in terms of décor.
       Heeren outlet packs the crowds in – and            It’s intimate and opulent at the same time,
       churns them out again pretty quickly, which        with beaded “curtains” to separate tables and
       is great if you’re in a hurry (perfect before      lashings of sultry red used throughout. The
       heading to the cinema over the road), but          restaurant bills itself as modern Thai, which
       not ove3rly conducive to a leisurely meal.         translates as a mix of traditional and re-
THAI




       Everything is good.                                worked, fusion dishes. Recommendations are
       The Heeren Shops, #05-02A, 260 Orchard Road,       the Thai fish patties with lemongrass, minced
       Tel: +65 6736-1998; 899 East Coast Road, Tel:      chicken salad and green prawn curry.
       +65 6443-1995; The Village Centre, #03-03, 3       1 Old Parliament Lane, The Arts House, Tel:
       South Buona Vista Road, Tel: +65 6873-2112;        +65 6337-1871.
       NTUC Lifestyle World-Downtown East, #01-41,
       1 Pasir Ris Close, Tel: +65 6583-2112.
                                                          $ $$ $ $
       $$$$$




               T H E   E X PAT
                                     88         AU G U S T    2 0 0 8
    THAI
sweet sALty sPicy                            suKHotHAi                                    tHAnying
Chris Millar was chef at Poppi at Fort       While not the best Thai food in town,        As close as you get to Royal Thai cuisine
Canning, which was one of Expat’s            Sukhothai is still a breath of fresh air     without getting on a plane to Bangkok.
favourite restaurants and has closed         by Boat Quay standards. Although,            The décor may seem dated but it
temporarily. In the meantime he’s            does anyone actually go to Boat Quay         does add to the sense of old-fashioned
keeping busy with this new venture, an       unless they have visitors in town? All       grandeur. From Thai salads and soups,
Asian food market meets trendy Thai          the old favourites are on the menu, the      to seafood and curries, the food has been
canteen. He’s having no problem pulling      straightforward Thai décor is pleasing,      consistently good for 20 years, and the
in the crowds even though it’s not a         and the tables right by the river – book     dessert buffet is legendary. There is a
conventional location, and we’d advise       these in advance – will make those           new outlet at the Amara on Sentosa.
reservations. The food is fresh and very     visitors happy, though you’ll have to run    Amara Hotel, Level Two, 165 Tanjong
tasty and, yes, there are Thai chefs in      the gauntlet of touts to get there.          Pagar Road, Tel: +65 6222-4688; Amara
the kitchen.                                 47 Boat Quay, Tel: +65 6538-2422.            Sanctuary Resort, 1 Larkhill Road, Sentosa,
392/394 Upper Bukit Timah Road, The          $$$$$                                        Tel: 6825 3881.
Rail Mall, Tel: 6877 2544                                                                 $ $ $$ $
$ $ $$$




                                           T H E   E X PAT
                                                               90         AU G U S T     2 0 0 8
    Mediterranean
Dolce Vita                                     esmiraDa                                     original sin
If you haven’t been here since the old         Big on lively Mediterranean attitude,        Would you ever have imagined a
Pronto days, you won’t recognise the           Esmirada is always reliable for an           vegetarian restaurant becoming such an
place. We urge you to go there post            informal meal. The portions tend             institution? We’re sure the people at
haste; it will not disappoint. The space       to be generous so the dishes are             Original Sin are fed up with comments
is very modern Med, with a minimally           ideal for sharing. Flavours are pretty       like that! Part of the Michelangelo’s
decorated, airy, resort-style interior.        authentic and the menu covers the            group, the laid-back ambience here
The top tables, naturally, are on the          whole reach of the Med, from Spanish         is utterly conducive to lazing away
terrace by the landscaped pool, but            paella, Italian swordfish carpaccio          a long lunch or an evening meal,
there are only a few so make sure you          and Greek moussaka through to the            particularly with the Michelangelo’s
reserve one. From certain angles you           headier cuisines of the Middle East          trademark extensive wine list. The
can see the high rises of the business         – think mezze platters, falafel and the      terrace is very popular so make sure
district and the Singapore Flyer, a            famous kebabs on pendant skewers.            you book ahead. Substantial portions of
view which is particularly seductive by        For convenience, go to the Orchard           heartily flavoured Mediterranean food
night. The menu presents diners with           location; for atmosphere head straight       and regularly changing specials bring
a contemporary and elegant take on             to Chijmes and grab a table under the        people back here time after time after
Mediterranean cuisine and you know             trees. On a moonlit night you could          time, which is no mean feat in fickle
you’re in for a culinary treat when the        almost imagine yourself in a town            Singapore. Expat favourites from the
freshly baked bread arrives with five          square on the balmy shores of the            à la carte include the mezze platter,
different spreads and dips. Bouillabaisse,     Med… okay, maybe not quite.                  magic mushrooms (not what you’re
turbot with clams and fresh herbs in a         Outlets at: Orchard Hotel, #01-29, 442       thinking) and lemon meringue tart.
beurre blanc, and suckling pig confit          Orchard Road, tel: +65 6735-3476;            $$ Chip Bee Gardens, 43 Jalan Merah
are all highlights on the current menu.        Chijmes, #01-17, 30 Victoria Street, tel:    Saga, #01-62, tel: +65 6475-5605.
Mandarin Oriental Singapore, Level 5, 5        +65 6336-3684.                               $ $$ $ $
Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, tel: +65
6885-3551.
                                               $$$$$
$ $ $$$




                                             T H E   E X PAT
                                                                  84         AU G U S T    2 0 0 8
restaurantGUIDE2008




                                                                                               MiddLe-eaStern
              al-Hamra
              Low-key and relaxed, this is a prime place in Holland V for tasty, al fresco dining.
              If you go for a weekend meal, you get the added entertainment of some serious
              people watching along Lorong Mambong. The Lebanese and Middle Eastern food
              is simple but well prepared, as witnessed by a super smooth hummus that was
              balanced, not dominated by tahini, warm, fresh pitta and a pile of flavourful falafel
              intensified by a spritz of lemon. We also rate their juicy lamb and seafood kebabs.
              23 Lorong Mambong, Holland Village, Tel: +65 6464-8488.
              $$$$$

                        T H E   E X PAT
                                             86         AU G U S T   2 0 0 8
        Ah hoi’s Kitchen                                     3435; 2 Stadium Walk #01-05, tel: +65 6440-
        Too often overlooked, Ah Hoi’s Kitchen is            3435; Block 11, #01-16 Dempsey Road, tel: +65
        a safe bet for authentic Singapore flavours in       6479-3435.
        a pretty, alfresco setting with the amenities
        of a hotel. Granted, you’re paying extra for         Long Beach also at: #01-01 Tanglin Village, 25
        the landscaped rooftop poolside (which sits          Dempsey Road, tel: +65 6323-2222; 1018 East
        above Tanglin Mall) but then you are getting         Coast Parkway, tel: +65 6445-8833
        decent service. So another good place to
        bring first time visitors, although now they         empire cAfé
        have competition from Long Beach and                 In a word, charming. From the nostalgia-
        Jumbo up the road at Dempsey. Delicious,             inducing décor, complete with kopi tiam
        fresh seafood is unmissable; lobster bee hoon,       marble-topped tables and Peranakan-style
        sambal prawns and chilli crab will have you          tiles, to the local flavours, this little place
        coming back for more.                                comes highly recommended. It is Raffles, so
        Level 4, Traders Hotel Singapore, 1A Cuscaden        expect slightly more elegant versions than the
        Road, tel: +65 6831-4373.                            ones at Maxwell Road and clearly the prices
                                                             are higher, but every once in a while you
        $$$$$                                                need a good dose of hawker food in a genteel
                                                             environment. Everything is good but if you
        eAst coAst                                           want suggestions, try the roti prata, crayfish
        seAfood centre                                       hor fun, char kway teow and chicken rice.
        A Singapore institution. Bright, usually raucous,    Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road, tel: +65 6431-
        plastic tables and chairs, indifferent service and   s6156
        architecture inspired by a fluorescent-lit toilet
                                                             $ $$ $ $
LOCAL




        block. The renditions of chilli crab, black
        pepper crab, garlic fried prawns, steamed fish
        may vary from place to place but they, and           newton circus
        brimming jugs of beer, keep us coming back           hAwKer centre
        time after time. Everyone has their favourite,       Another Singapore institution that is still going
        but Long Beach and Jumbo are consistently            strong. The much-feared makeover has tarted
        good and have gone upmarket in recent years          it up and while the new look is sympathetically
        with new outlets. The newest, and smartest,          “Asian”, it’s more sanitised and just ain’t the
        additions are up at Dempsey Road. So if your         same. Oh well, no use crying over spilt milk.
        visitors are a little too elderly or a little too    It is often dismissed by expats as too touristy,
        refined for the hullabaloo of the East Coast,        and local friends point out that the variety of
        you now have a more salubrious option.               hawker food on offer has diminished – there is
        East Coast Parkway, Block 1202.                      now much more seafood. Not because of the
                                                             Singapore love affair with all things from the
        $$-$$ $$$                                            seas, we feel, but because unsuspecting tourists
                                                             can be charged inflated prices. Cynicism aside,
        Jumbo also at: #B1-46/48 The Riverwalk,
                                                             it’s still popular, the food is good and it is
        20 Upper Circular Road, tel: +65 6534-3435;
                                                             relatively cheap.
        22 Kensington Park Road, Serangoon Gardens
                                                             Corner of Bukit Timah Road and Clemenceau
        Country Club, tel: +65 6383-3435; 30 Merchant
                                                             Avenue North.
        Road, #01-01/02 Riverside Point, tel: +65 6532-
                                                             $- $ $$ $ $

                 T H E   E X PAT
                                       80          AU G U S T    2 0 0 8
     LOCAL
rAffles courtyArd                               politics aside, many Nonya matriarchs           as sashimi, if the mood so takes you. The
For local seafood dishes and the ultimate       are lamenting the fact that daughters and       service is helpful too. A real find.
location, look no further than the Raffles      daughters-in-law are not learning the           1000 East Coast Parkway, Block B, Level
Courtyard. Visitors will be bowled over         old, admittedly labour-intensive, recipes       2, tel: +65 6246-0555.
and while your wallet will take more of         due to the constraints of working life.
                                                True Blue is one of the best Peranakan
                                                                                                $ $$$ $
a hit than at the East Coast, look at what
you’re getting for your money: excellent        restaurants in town, if not the best. It’s
                                                so cosy you feel as if you’re eating in
                                                                                                strAits Kitchen
food, sublime service, a decent wine list,                                                      More upmarket local cuisine, this time
and the unbeatable backdrop of Raffles.         someone’s home and check out the
                                                                                                in the vicinity of Orchard. If the décor
Rejoice in the fact that now you can            artifacts on display. All the quintessential
                                                                                                feels familiar, it’s because the same
bring out-of-towners for a well-priced          dishes are here: Assam fish head curry,
                                                                                                designers brought us Mezza9 upstairs.
meal here, rather than facing the dilemma       ayam buah keluak (chicken cooked with
                                                                                                All your Singaporean, Chinese, Malay
of braving the dreadful Long Bar or             Indonesian black nut) and fried ngoh
                                                                                                and Indian hawker centre favourites are
paying up for Doc Cheng’s or The Grill.         hiang (fried five spice meat rolls in
                                                                                                presented here in market-place buffet
Stingray and chilli crab are highlights,        beancurd skin)
                                                                                                style, from laksa and Hainanese chicken
but watch out for the regularly changing        117 East Coast Road, tel: +65 6440-0449.
                                                                                                rice to nasi goreng, and roti prata with
promotions that the F&B people at this          $$$$$                                           chicken curry. Don’t miss the freshly
institution are so good at.                                                                     made popiah counter. Hugely popular at
Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road, tel: +65 6431-     tung loK seAfood                                lunchtime, so do book.
6156.                                           gAllery                                         Grand Hyatt Singapore, Scotts Road, tel:
$ $ $$$                                         Superbly fresh seafood with the added           +65 6738-1234.
                                                bonus of air con, and looking much              $ $$ $ $
true Blue cuisine                               better for the recent renovation. Make
Peranakan cuisine is arguably the true          sure you eat as soon as the food arrives
indigenous cuisine of Singapore, being          as the chill factor can play havoc.
such a heady mix between Malay and              Everything from luxurious Maine
Chinese. Catch it while you can as              lobster and Alaskan king crab through
Peranakan culture, and everything that          to a winning rendition of black pepper
it entails, is dying out, some would            crab with whole peppercorns is on offer.
say as a result of the drive to inculcate       The produce is so pristine (delivered on
generic Sino culture in Singapore. Okay,        a daily basis) that some items are offered




                                              T H E   E X PAT
                                                                    82         AU G U S T      2 0 0 8
restAurAntGUIDE2008



                AkAshi                                              inAkAyA



     JAPANESE
                Not just a move, but a complete reinvention         So it’s not just a question of location, location,
                for Akashi. It was always a stalwart in the old     location; you have to have concept, concept,
                days in the basement of Tanglin Shopping            concept. The Man U boutique certainly had
                Centre – reliable fare and great prices. Now        the location but the kit clearly didn’t have the
                it has moved to an impressive space on the          sustainable pulling power. Inakaya and Akashi
                ground floor of Orchard Hotel (along with           took over the vacated premises earlier this
                newly opened, energetic sister restaurant           year and boy, do they seem to be cleaning
                Inakaya) and gone upmarket. The setting is          up. Inakaya is a hoot. This is Japanese food
                much smarter, the food is more elegant and          as theatre – no, not theatre, more like bawdy
                the quality higher and, yes, you’ve guessed it,     performance – and it’s great fun. There are just
                the good old prices are a thing of the past. To     three u-shaped counters, each equipped with a
                be fair, you are getting what you pay for.          large grill and a virtual market of produce on
                #01-01A Orchard Parade Hotel, 1 Tanglin Road,       display. Sit at a counter – you can book one
                tel: +65 6732-4438.                                 just for your group if there are enough of you
                $$$$$                                               – and just point at what you want the chefs to
                                                                    cook. Simple, delicious and usually boisterous.
                Aoki                                                We love it!
                                                                    #01-01 Orchard Parade Hotel, 1 Tanglin Road,
                Being part of the Les Amis Group, you know
                                                                    tel: +65 6732-1866.
                you are in for a pretty sublime experience.
                This is arguably the ultimate in Japanese dining    $$$$$
                and service, so expect a not insignificant
                contribution to your credit card statement. Play    JApAnese Dining sun
                it smart and go on expenses. The décor is the       Tucked away in a quiet upstairs corner of
                epitome of Zen minimalism. The menu covers          Chijmes, SUN is quite a find. Interiors are
                sushi, sashimi, shabu shabu, sukiyaki, tempura,     contemporary with Zen accents. The menu is
                and seasonal produce is a highlight. Everything     comprehensive so can be a little overwhelming
                is exquisitely presented.                           at first, but you can’t go wrong go with SUN
                Shaw Centre, #02-17, 1 Scotts Road, tel: +65        specialities like kamameshi (a rice casserole
                6333-8015.                                          dish), enoki beef rolls and delicate teriyaki foie
                $$$$$                                               gras canapé. Service is noteworthy. Sun With
                                                                    Moon Japanese Dining at Chijmes is, funnily
                ikukAn                                              enough, the sister restaurant.
                                                                    #02-01 Chijmes, 30 Victoria St, Tel: +65 6336-
                The name of the lane off Club Street may elicit
                                                                    3166; #03-15/17 Wheelock Place, 501 Orchard
                the odd giggle, but the food at Ikukan certainly
                                                                    Road, tel: +65 6733-6636.
                won’t. This is serious, creative Japanese fare
                in an elegant setting and unusually, a Western      $$$$$
                style of dining is predominant with starters,
                main courses and desserts. The speciality is        keyAki
                Japanese charcoal grill, so try the beef or black   Showing its age in terms of décor (20 years and
                cod. Set menus are good value too.                  counting), but a consistently impressive one-
                23 Mohamed Ali Lane #01-01, Tel: +65 6325-          stop shop for all the favourites from seasonal
                3362.                                               kaiseki menus through to teppanyaki, shabu
                $$$$$ $$$$$                                         shabu and grilled meat and fish items. The
                                                                    setting is reminiscent of a traditional shogun-
                inAgiku                                             era Japanese inn, or ryokan, and has a certain
                                                                    charm.
                The corporate big wigs love this one. No
                                                                    Pan Pacific Hotel, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Marina
                booking? No chance, particularly at lunchtime.
                                                                    Square, tel: +65 6434-8335.
                This is Japanese food as it should be – fresh
                ingredients, daily specials, and excellent          $$$$$
                service. The décor is quite simple, but there’s
                a range of seating choices from private rooms
                to the sushi bar.
                $$$ Level 3, Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah
                Road, tel: +65 6431-6156.
                $$$$$
                        T H E   E X PAT
                                               74         AU G U S T    2 0 0 8
     JAPANESE
kõ                                              nADAmAn
The modern minimalist décor mirrors the         Consistently rated as one of the best          service which at times can feel more akin
modern, and extensive, menu. And there’s        Japanese restaurants in town, although         to a three-star hotel experience.
more good news: the relatively reasonable       if we’re honest, the airport lounge-style      Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road, Tel:
pricing. The chef is Singaporean but the        décor leaves us a tad cold. The food           +65 6734-6281.
food is as authentic as it gets; highly
recommended are Wagyu nanbuyaki,
                                                is absolutely flawless, although the bill
                                                will probably leave you gasping. The
                                                                                               $$$$$
Wagyu beef that is grilled at your table on     extensive selection of dishes is impressive    shiro JApAnese
a nanbu pan plate, teppanyaki and sushi.
The kaki deep fried oysters in a crunchy
                                                – there’s nothing more annoying than a
                                                restaurant that doesn’t serve teppanyaki
                                                                                               hAute Cuisine
                                                                                               The neighbourhood setting is misleading;
crumb coating, are divine and there is          or shabu shabu along with the sashimi.
                                                                                               this ain’t no neighbourhood restaurant.
a wide vegetarian selection. Service is         Shangri-La Hotel, 22 Orange Grove Road,
                                                                                               Shiro would be far better suited to a
commendable and staff are confident             tel: +65 6213-4571.
                                                                                               just-off-Orchard location, although we
with suggestions.
InterContinental Singapore, 80 Middle Road,
                                                $$$$$                                          dread to think what that would do to
                                                                                               the already wince-inducing pricing. It’s
Singapore. tel: +65 6825-1064.
                                                rAku                                           strictly reservations-only here and you
$$$$$                                           Raku is very much in step with the trend       have to ring on a doorbell to gain access.
                                                for substance and style being given equal      This is the finest of dining Japanese-style,
kuriyA                                          weighting. The ambience here is modern         and the food is exquisite. If it’s not fresh,
And Raffles City makes it a hat-trick.          meets chilled out. We love to sit at the       it ain’t on the menu.
Slowly and surely, the Kuriya chain is in       counter and watch the chef deftly slicing      24 Greenwood Avenue, tel: +65 6462-2774.
the ascendant. From humble beginnings
with Kuriya at Shaw Centre, then came
                                                and dicing, then move outside to the sofas
                                                and relax over a coffee or, realistically,
                                                                                               $$$$$
classy Kuriya Dining, and last year saw
the arrival of an elegant third branch at
                                                another glass of sake. The food is above
                                                average and well priced, and if you’re a)
                                                                                               shunJuu
                                                                                               In keeping with a traditional izakaya, or
Raffles City. From soba, sushi and sashimi      starving or b) economically challenged,
                                                                                               rustic sake bar, the highlights here are
to teppanyaki, tempura and yakitori,            then go for the excellent buffet.
                                                                                               the good array of sake (over 30) and
quality is high and consistent. Whichever       10 Greenwood Avenue, tel: +65 6219-9447;
                                                                                               the lip-smacking selection of yakitori.
outlet you choose, make sure you ask            273 Holland Avenue, tel: +65 6469-6646.
                                                                                               If only snacks were this good in other
about the seasonal items.
Kuriya: Shaw Centre, #05-01, 1 Scotts
                                                $$$$$                                          bars… if you’ve developed some Dutch
                                                                                               courage over the sake, why not try fugu
Road, tel: +65 6735-5300; Kuriya Dining:
Great World City, #02-42, 1 Kim Seng
                                                shimA                                          (puffer fish) skewers? Otherwise stick to
                                                Famous for its teppanyaki and deservedly       juicy, charred beef and pork neck, oysters
Promenade, tel: +65 6736-0888; Kuriya
                                                so, Shima has been in business just shy of     wrapped in bacon (which is a match made
Raffles City, #B1-06/07 Raffles City
                                                30 years. We’re not sure if the décor has      in heaven) or the sashimi of the day. It’s
Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road,
                                                been renovated at any point during that        fun, it’s authentic and it’s a favourite.
tel: +65 6883-2020.
                                                time, but then again the 80s still rule…       30 Robertson Quay, #01-15 Riverside View,
$$$$$                                           right? Set menus offer good value as far       tel: +65 6887-3577.
                                                as Japanese food goes, and sushi, shabu
                                                shabu and sukiyaki are as commendable
                                                                                               $$$$$
                                                as the teppanyaki. The only quibble is the




                                              T H E   E X PAT
                                                                   76         AU G U S T      2 0 0 8
      restAurAntGUIDE2008




sushi yoshiDA
Yoshida-san keeps an ever-watchful eye            Immaculate ingredients and an obsession
over proceedings here, usually with a mug         with detail equal two things here;
of beer in hand – good man. The food is,          sensational food and an equally sensational
in a word, sensational even if the man            bill. As far as we know, this is the only
himself isn’t in the kitchen. The prices          tempura-centric joint in town. If you
can be too, but what do you expect when           choose the counter, be prepared to sit
the fish is flown in four times a week from       through the ritual of having the courses
Tsukiji market in Tokyo? Once you’ve              brought to you piece by piece – a prawn
tried the sashimi here, you’ll wonder why         head here (with separately fried legs we
you ever settled for anything less. The           might add), a gingko nut there - but you
Pacific snow crab with sea urchin in a            will never settle for anything less again.
bubbling butter sauce is truly one of life’s      And, yes, the batter is lighter than a
pleasures, as is simply grilled seasonal fish     butterfly’s kiss.
with a scattering of sea salt. The convivial      The Regent Singapore, #03-01, 1 Cuscaden
shophouse setting and the jazz notes just         Road, tel: +65 6725-3260.
add to the draw.
10 Devonshire Road, tel: +65 6735-
                                                  $$$$$
5014.
                                                  WAsAbi bistro
$$$$$-$$$$$                                       Chi-chi but enjoyable, this restaurant
                                                  is part of a chain from Hawaii which
tAtsuyA JApAnese                                  explains the decidedly avant-garde
restAurAnt                                        Japanese cuisine on offer. Certainly not
It’s hard to believe that this gem of a place     your standard sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki
has only been operating for five years, so        eatery, yes this is fusion, but let go of
much is it a part of the average foodie’s         your preconceptions and you’ll have a
consciousness. Tatsuya is about as close          rewarding experience. Signature dishes
as you’ll come here to truly authentic            include hand rolls and a concoction called
seasonal Japanese cuisine, and the menu           Kumi’s No.1 which blends avocado, crab
changes       accordingly.      Owner/chef,       and béchamel sauce and is addictive,
Ronnie Chia may be Singaporean but                we assure you. Top marks for the chic
the clientele is predominantly Japanese           ambience and the smooth service, and
and clearly appreciates his regular visits        the views over The Esplanade.
to the motherland. We hear that he goes           Fourth Floor, Mandarin Oriental Singapore,
to Japan every month for buying trips             Marina Square, 5 Raffles Avenue, tel: +65
and inspiration. The setting is small and         6885-3091.
friendly and the service is immaculate.
#01-05, Park Hotel Orchard, 270 Orchard
                                                  $$$$$
Road, tel: +65 6737-1160.
$$$$$
tenshin




                                                T H E   E X PAT
                                                                     78         AU G U S T      2 0 0 8
          Bonta                                                domvs
          Chef Pezzera used to run one of Jakarta’s            This old fashioned grande dame has been serving
          leading Italian restaurants and he is showing        up Italian fine dining since 1985 and a recent
          his deft touch here, succeeding in a location        refurb has rendered her far more appealing to
          where three previous Italian restaurants have        the modern, design-conscious consumer. The
          failed. His food shows creativity and ingredients    décor is still formal but has been lightened up
          are faultless. Décor is modern and simple, and       somewhat. Southern Italian cuisine, specifically
          service is well above average. The menu has          Sicilian, is now the order of the day so the food
          a leaning towards northern Italian dishes but        is lighter and fresher yet still refined. Think
          acknowledging Singapore’s passion for seafood,       along the lines of oven-baked spatchcock with
          shellfish and fish are also well represented.        candied orange tabbouleh, Burrata cheese with
          Some of our favourite dishes include Parma ham       Sicilian tomatoes, and angel hair pasta with
          with a melon compote, lobster tartare, tagliolini    Sicilian cured ham.
          with black summer truffle and pappardelle with       Sheraton Towers Singapore, 39 Scotts Road, tel:
          arrabiata oxtail ragu.                               +65 6839-5622.
          207 River Valley Road, 01-61 UE Square River
          Wing (junction of Mohamed Sultan Road and Unity
                                                               $$$$$
          Street), tel: +65 6333 8875.
                                                               gaRiBaLdi
          $$$$$                                                Despite stiff competition in the cool, modern
                                                               Italian category, Garibaldi is still packing them
          Cugini RestauRant                                    in. The décor is minimalist almost to the point
          and Lounge BaR                                       of austere (Gunther’s next door is in the same
ITALIAN



          Italian run and offering authentic Neapolitan        vein) but this means that all attention is on the
          pizzas (over 30 toppings) made from a secret         food and deservedly so. Chef Roberto Galetti
          recipe passed down through the generations.          has garnered a reputation for refined flavours
          Service is classically Italian: attentive with a     and his use of quality seasonal ingredients. The
          well-deserved meet-and-greet performed by            home-made pasta is excellent and sauces range
          the chef at the end of the evening. Pastas also      from classical to tantalisingly creative. Other
          deserve an honourable mention – the delicate         highlights include veal alla Milanese and osso
          truffle and potato ravioli in a walnut butter and    bucco.
          parmigiano sauce was a standout.                     36 Purvis Street, tel: +65 6837-1468.
          1 Unity Street, 01-27/28 Robertson Walk, tel: +65
          6836-9541.
                                                               $$$-$$$$$
          $$$$$                                                iL Lido
                                                               This stunningly located restaurant has got
          da PaoLo                                             everything going for it and attracts glamour
          Each Da Paolo outlet is smart casual and each        pusses and power brokers in their droves. With
          has slightly differing menus, but all do excellent   the arrival of chef Osvaldo Forlino, the food
          fresh pasta and sauces. The venue at Rochester       took a sharp turn for the better and is now on
          Park offers the most seductive setting although      a consistently good footing. Choose from set
          it is more of a hip bar serving a few bistro         menus, including a vegetarian one, or go à la
          dishes. You will find more classically Italian       carte. We cannot get enough of the squid ink
          menus at the other outlets: our faves are Il         tagliolini with sea urchin and a touch of chilli,
          Giardino and La Terrazza. On a different front,      and the braised Wagyu beef cheek. News has
          the Da Paolo food emporium has taken off big         just reached us that owner Beppe de Vito and
          time, offering both gourmet deli and dessert         Chef Osvaldo are putting the finishing touches
          pastry outlets.                                      to a new, even more elegant Italian fine dining
          Il Ristorante, 80 Club St, tel: +65 6224-7081; La    restaurant at One Fullerton where Centro used
          Terrazza, 44 Jalan Merah Saga, tel: +65 6476-        to be. It’s name? Forlino’s. We’ll keep you in
          1332; Il Giardino, Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah      the loop.
          Road, tel: +65 6463-9628; Pizza Bar, 44 Jalan        Sentosa Golf Club, 27 Bukit Manis Road, Sentosa,
          Merah Saga, #01-46, tel: +65 6479-6059. Bistro       tel: +65 6866-1977.
          Bar 3 Rochester Park, tel: +65 6774-5537.            $$$$$
          $$-$$$$$
                   T H E   E X PAT
                                         70          AU G U S T    2 0 0 8
     ITALIAN
La BRaCeRia                                     Award-winning wine list.                      delicious bottled Belgian beers. You can
This friendly neighbourhood eatery offers       Chip Bee Gardens, 44 Jalan Merah Saga,        always order drinks from L’Estaminet
a home-style experience that never fails        #01-60, tel: +65 6475-9069.                   next door.
to please. Tucked away in the heart of          $$$$$                                         6 Greenwood Avenue, tel: +65 6465-6556.
suburbia just off Sixth Avenue, it’s an                                                       $-$$$$$
unexpected but welcome find. The                modesto’s
setting is warm and intimate and the            A good location can help a restaurant         Pete’s PLaCe
food straightforward and rustic. Grilled        no end, and Modesto’s certainly has           This cosy eatery hasn’t changed a jot
meat items are a speciality; La Braceria        that. Recently renovated in neo-              – and that’s one of the reasons people
translates roughly as “grill room”. Don’t       classical style, the draws are the wood       love it. Along with just a mere handful
miss the homemade sausages.                     fired pizzas and the expansive terrace        of restaurants these days, Pete’s Place is
70 Greenleaf Road, Ban Guan Park, tel:          bordering Orchard Road.                       reminiscent of the good old days. We’re
+65 6465-5918.                                  1 Tanglin Road, #01-09/10 Orchard Parade      getting a little misty eyed here… Simply
$$-$$$$$                                        Hotel, tel: +65 6235-7808.                    put, you always know what you’re going
                                                $$$$$                                         to get – good old fashioned service from
menotti                                                                                       staff who know what they’re doing, and
An authentic Italian café-bar that combines     oso                                           delicious, rustic trattoria dishes. Great
                                                                                              pizza and calzone straight from the wood-
effortless style with an appetising all-day     Oso has garnered a very loyal following
menu – more café than restaurant though.                                                      fired oven. The signature dish is the
                                                over the years it has been in business.
As you would expect from an Italian café,                                                     cioppino, a tomato-based stew brimming
                                                The bijou, smart bar out front is a
the espresso and cappuccino is worth                                                          with seafood.
                                                chilled spot for an early evening bellini
returning for. From eggs benedict for                                                         Grand Hyatt Singapore, Basement, 10-12
                                                or prosecco, although the clean modern
breakfast to pasta or panini for lunch, to                                                    Scotts Road, tel: +65 6416-7113.
                                                décor in the small dining room beyond
braised lamb shank and a bottle of red          combined with the regularly wafting           $$$$$
for dinner, Menotti has all bases covered.      aromas of food entices you to hurry.
Save room for the desserts, particularly        Freshly cut salumi, or cured meats, are       Pontini
the gelati confections.                         a highlight as are the fresh pastas and       While the cavernous setting says, well,
252 North Bridge Road, #01-17 Raffles           vitello Milanese. Service is exemplary,       there’s no other way of putting this,
City Shopping Centre, tel: +65 6333-9366.       and the Italian cellar superb. Deservedly     bland hotel restaurant, the food is actually
$$$$$                                           popular. Rumoured to be relocating to         more than adequate so don’t be put off
                                                Bukit Pasoh Road soon.                        by first appearances. Look out for the
miCheLangeLo’s                                  27 Tanjong Pagar Road, tel: +65 6327-         well-stocked antipasto buffet. As well
It’s hard to believe this restaurant is 13.     8378.                                         as traditional North Italian dishes, fish
In its heyday, it was one of the next best      $$$$$                                         is a highlight here. We recommend the
                                                                                              linguine with half a Boston lobster.
things in Singapore. Time has passed but
not much has changed at Michelangelo’s,         PePeRoni PizzeRia                             Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Level 2,
                                                                                              tel: +65 6233-1133.
which is a good thing. Larger-than-life         A fun, family-friendly joint. One of those
Angelo cooks up monumental portions             places where you don’t feel like a pariah     $$$$$
of Italian food with strong Aussie-             for walking in with a gaggle of small
meets-Med influences. That may make             children. Best known for its authentic        PRego
it sound like fusion but trust us, it’s all     pizzas, which are cooked in a wood-           Although this once-buzzing number
pretty tasty. We’re still mad for Angelo’s      fired oven and also available for take-       is clearly showing her age and would
penne vodka after all these years. Veal         out. There’s alfresco dining in a small       benefit from an overhaul, there’s a good
chop with ratatouille is also a winner,         courtyard in addition to the cosy indoor      reason Prego is still popular. The menu is
and there is a good vegetarian selection.       area. Great, relaxed atmosphere and some      extensive and offers all the old favourites


                                              T H E   E X PAT
                                                                  72          AU G U S T     2 0 0 8
                                                                                                  RestauRantGUIDE2008




and the food is reliable. You know you’re          The bar is an absolute winner for pre-          tRattoRia
going to be satisfied with the likes of beef       dinner drinks or a digestif, while the          LafiandRa aL museo
carpaccio, braised veal shank and tiramisu.        chic indoor dining room is hardly an            The original Trattoria Lafiandra began as
And the service is usually first rate.             inferior option if you fancy a bit of air       a tiny outlet in Prinsep Street, building
Level 1, Fairmont Hotel, 80 Bras Basah             con comfort. Smart Italian food is the          its reputation through word of mouth.
Road, tel: +65 6431-5156.                          order of the day here; the home-made            Distinguished by Cataldo Lafiandra’s
$$$$$                                              pasta comes highly recommended. Look
                                                   out for seasonal specialities.
                                                                                                   homely cooking, the restaurant moved
                                                                                                   to larger premises at the Singapore Art
RistoRante                                         21 Club Street, tel: +65 6224-3534.             Museum but has managed to retain its
BoLogna                                            $$$$$                                           charm. Unpretentious is the best way to
An elegant, old-fashioned, hotel fine                                                              describe it – which is a compliment.
dining experience, granted, but don’t be           sistina PizzeRia                                171 Bras Basah Road, tel: +65 6884-
put off. This is a well-kept secret among          RistoRante                                      4035.
foodies and the cuisine is excellent. Chef         Relaxed and friendly, Sistina is a top spot     $$$$$
patron Carlo Marengoni serves refined              in Holland V for a laid back meal with
versions of the Italian classics. The likes of     friends or family. Get yourself one of the      vaLentino
risotto, tagliolini with rich lamb ragu and        tables on the terrace, order a bottle from a    We’re not quite sure what’s happened up
osso bucco are superb, and there is now            wine list that cannot fail to impress (over     at dear old Valentino, but all of a sudden
a grill section which will appeal to those         1,900 selections and counting), and browse      this could just be the toughest table to get
looking for something a little simpler.            through a menu that offers more than just       in town, apart from Buko Nero maybe.
The addition of an alfresco section was            good pizza. Food is robustly flavoured          Apparently you need to book at least
a smart idea.                                      and portioned, as you would expect from         seven days in advance, and we’re not just
Level 4, Marina Mandarin, 6 Raffles                chef Angelo Sanelli. Salads, pasta and          talking weekends. The authentic, comfort
Boulevard, tel: +65 6845-1111.                     pizza with refreshingly unconventional          food is the same as you would find in most
$$$$$                                              toppings, they’re all here, and there’s a
                                                   mini menu just for the kids.
                                                                                                   neighbourhood trattorie in Italy, so very
                                                                                                   tasty but not really worth getting overly
san maRCo                                          Chip Bee Gardens, 44 Jalan Merah Saga,
                                                   #01-58, Holland Village, tel: +65 6476-
                                                                                                   excited about. Chef Valtulina Valentino
San Marco offers arguably the boldest                                                              has made it a friendly family affair,
                                                   7782.                                           overseeing the kitchen and front of house
modern Italian food in Singapore.
Coupled with the sensational views over            $$$$$                                           with the help of family members including
Marina Bay, this is one of the top tables                                                          his parents, and this warm, home-from-
in town. Under Chef Paul Froggatt,                 sPizza                                          home feeling is one of the draws here.
who worked with Emmanuel Stroobant                 In the mood for some damn fine pizza?           11 Jalan Bingka, off Rifle Range Road, tel:
at Saint Pierre, the restaurant seems              The chain of Spizza restaurants serves up       +65 6462-0555.
to have found a fluidity that wasn’t               some of the best in town and, yes, the          $$$$$
apparent before. Previous creations,               crusts are divinely thin and crisp thanks to
while delicious, always seemed to be               the olive oil in the dough and the wood-        zamBuCa
striving too hard, whereas now it all              fired baking. Choose from 20 varieties          This is far from being a typical hotel
comes together cohesively. Flavours                with quality toppings – black truffle and       restaurant, which comes as no surprise
are fresh and bright, and ingredients              soft poached egg is a big Expat favourite.      bearing in mind it’s part of the
impeccable. Don’t miss crispy rack of              Eat in amid simple, café-style décor, or        Michelangelo’s group. The surroundings
Kurabuta piglet, a house speciality.               chill out at home and order take out.           are sleek and sophisticated and the
Check out that wine list.                          Outlets at: 29 Club Street, tel: +65 6224-      extensive menu offers an engaging choice
Level 8, The Fullerton Singapore, 1 Fullerton      2525; 26B Lorong Mambong, tel: +65              of modern Italian creations, with seafood
Square, tel: +65 6438-4404                         6468-1982; 1 Maritime Square, #01-69            and game being particular highlights.
$$$$$                                              Harbourfront Centre, tel: +65 6271-0923;
                                                   271 Bukit Timah Road, #01-09 Balmoral
                                                                                                   A huge selection of (predominantly
                                                                                                   Australian) wines and smooth service are
senso RistoRante                                   Plaza, tel: +65 6333-8148; 109 Killiney         the icing on the cake.
& BaR                                              Road, tel: +65 6732-4700.                       #03-00, Pan Pacific Hotel, 7 Raffles
Just as popular for its food as for its            $$$$$                                           Boulevard, tel: +65 6337-8086.
decidedly romantic alfresco courtyard.                                                             $$$$$
                                                 T H E   E X PAT
                                                                       73         AU G U S T      2 0 0 8
     INTERNATIONAL
Aerin’s	 	                                            BArnAcles                                           Greenwood Fish
This	casual,	modern	eatery	is	brought	to	             You	know	what?	This	place	isn’t	half	as	            mArket & Bistro
you	 by	 the	 people	 behind	 Whitebait	 &	           naff	as	the	name	implies	so	give	it	a	try	          Walk	 through	 the	 bustling,	 friendly	
Kale.	 It’s	 clearly	 not	 going	 to	 have	 the	      if	 you’re	 “over	 the	 water”.	 Sit	 alfresco	     fishmongers	 out	 front	 and	 you	 will	 find	
same	laid-back	feel	as	W&K	as	it’s	right	             overlooking	Siloso	Beach,	and	browse	a	             a	cosy	restaurant	that	has	earned	a	loyal	
in	the	middle	of	Raffles	City’s	basement	             menu	 where,	 not	 surprisingly,	 seafood	          following	thanks	to	its	fuss	free,	honest,	
atrium,	 but	 what	 it	 does,	 it	 does	 well.	       takes	 centre	 stage,	 cooked	 Asian	 or	           good	food.	The	chef	dishes	up	Western-
Expect	 appetising	 sustenance	 for	 tired,	          Mediterranean	style.	The	seafood	platter,	          style	 fish	 with	 the	 odd	 Asian	 influence,	
hungry	 shoppers	 and	 you	 won’t	 be	                like	a	classic	French	fruits	de	mer,	is	a	tour	     witness	 crab	 cakes	 with	 spicy	 peanut	
disappointed:	 soups,	 salads,	 sandwiches,	          de	 force	 of	 super	 fresh	 oysters,	 shrimps,	    sauce.	 Crowd	 pleasers	 include	 the	 fruits	
pasta,	meat	and	fish	mains.	                          mussels,	clams,	lobster	and	so	forth.	The	          de	mer	platter	with	its	chilled,	glistening	
252 North Bridge Road, Raffles City                   chilli	crab	ain’t	bad	either.                       pile	 of	 super	 fresh	 seafood,	 and	 the	
Shopping Centre, B1-11/12,            tel: +65        Rasa Sentosa Resort, 101 Siloso Road,               simply	grilled	fresh	catch.	Even	better	are	
6337-2231.                                            Sentosa, tel: +65 6371-2930.                        Tuesday	nights	when	oysters	go	for	just	
$ $ $$$                                               $$$$$                                               S$1	each.
                                                                                                          34 Greenwood Avenue, Singapore, tel: +65
BAr & BilliArd                                        Gordon Grill                                        6467-4950.
room	    	                                            Forty	has	been	and	gone	for	this	spritely	          $ $$ $ $
Buffets	 can	 be	 a	 bit	 hit	 and	 miss,	 but	 if	   lady	 –	 the	 delightful	 Gordon	 Grill	 is	
you	want	to	splash	out	and	spoil	yourself,	           45	 years	 old	 and	 embodies	 all	 that	 is	       hAliA
go	for	the	original	(we	think)	and	the	best	          appealing	 about	 tradition.	 The	 dining	          Nestled	 within	 the	 Botanical	 Garden’s	
(definitely).	The	Bar	&	Billiard	Room	has	            room	 is	 reminiscent	 of	 the	 grill	 rooms	       ginger	 garden,	 Halia	 is	 enchanting	 and	
mastered	 the	 gourmet	 buffet	 to	 such	 an	         of	 old	 Europe,	 minus	 the	 overwrought	          we’ve	noticed	a	marked	improvement	in	
extent	that	that’s	all	they	serve	now,	lunch	         opulence,	 and	 the	 menu	 features	 classic	       the	light,	Continental	food.	Dine	amidst	
and	 dinner.	 The	 evening	 variation	 does	          grill	items.	Maybe	some	oysters,	snails	or	         the	lush	greenery	on	the	alfresco	deck	or	
such	a	roaring	trade	that	this	venue	isn’t	           frogs	legs	to	start?	And	may	we	suggest	            if	you’ve	got	visitors	who	are	wilting	in	
really	a	bar	any	more.	But	be	grateful	for	           Australian	 Wagyu,	 a	 cut	 of	 Kobe,	 or	          the	heat,	get	a	table	in	the	glass-enclosed	
small	mercies,	at	least	they’ve	moved	the	            maybe	 Kurabuta	 pork	 belly	 to	 follow?	          dining	 room.	 As	 you	 can	 imagine,	 this	
smoky	 barbecue	 station,	 so	 you	 can	 sit	         The	 meat	 trolley	 service	 is	 a	 highlight;	     place	really	comes	into	its	own	at	night.	
on	the	verandah	overlooking	the	fountain	             the	meat	is	profferred,	cut	and	weighed	at	         If	you	can’t	decide,	try	the	black	pepper	
and	enjoy	a	sundowner	–	if	you	can	get	               your	table	then	whisked	away	to	a	waiting	          soft	shell	crab	and	the	Hokkaido	scallop	
a	table.	We’ve	said	it	before,	but	we	do	             chef.	 The	 service	 is	 as	 well	 polished	 as	    and	prawn	linguine.
miss	the	low-key	bar	atmosphere	and	the	              the	silver.	Ask	to	be	kept	informed	about	          Singapore Botanic Gardens, Ginger Garden,
languid	strumming	of	the	resident	band.               their	promotions	with	visiting	chefs	from	          1 Cluny Road, tel: +65 6476-6711.
Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road, Singapore, tel:
+65 6412-1194.
                                                      Michelin-starred	restaurants.
                                                      Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road, tel:
                                                                                                          $ $$ $ $
$ $ $$$                                               +65 6730-1744.
                                                      $$$$$

                                                  T H E    E X PAT
                                                                           68          AU G U S T        2 0 0 8
                                                                                                       restAurAntGUIDE2008




Pool Grill
Where	do	you	go	for	a	resort	atmosphere?	       set	 against	 the	 backdrop	 of	 lush	 jungle.	
No,	we’re	not	sending	you	off	to	Sentosa.	      And	 the	 original,	 PS	 at	 Paragon,	 is	 the	
Head	 instead	 to	 the	 gorgeously	 slinky	     most	 simple	 of	 the	 lot,	 a	 haven	 for	 the	
pool	 at	 the	 Marriott	 and	 avail	 yourself	  harried	shopper.	There	is	a	standard	à	la	
of	a	table	at	the	alfresco	Pool	Grill.	This	    carte	 menu	 at	 all	 the	 outlets.	 We	 don’t	
is	not	your	average	pool-side	restaurant.	      think	the	one	for	Paragon	and	Dempsey	
On	 offer	 is	 a	 deceptively	 simple,	         has	seen	any	changes	since	day	one,	but	
Australian-inspired	 modern	 grill	 menu	       to	 be	 fair	 it’s	 the	 chef’s	 specials	 at	 each	
that	 has	 proved	 a	 big	 hit.	 We	 like	 the	 location	that	are	the	highlight	–	creative,	
authentic	gazpacho	and	juicy,	grilled	beef	     fully	 flavoured,	 modern	 Aussie	 dishes.	
tenderloin.	Great	for	lunch	with	the	girls	     Home	 made	 cakes	 and	 desserts	 are	
and	charming	by	night.	It’s	an	oasis	in	the	    without	doubt	some	of	the	most	luscious	
heart	of	the	city.                              in	Singapore.	Service	can	still	be	an	issue	
Singapore Marriott Hotel, 320 Orchard           though,	particularly	at	Dempsey	for	some	
Road, tel: +65 6831-4627.                       reason.
$ $ $$$                                         PS Café at Harding, 28B Harding Road, tel:
                                                +65 9070 8782; PS Café at Palais, Level
                                                2 Palais Renaissance, tel: +65 9834-8232;
the Prime society                               PS Café at Paragon, Paragon #03-41, 290
You’re	 in	 the	 mood	 for	 a	 steak	 but	 not	 Orchard Road, tel: +65 6735-6765.
in	the	mood	to	pay	top	dollar.	Look	no	
further	than	Prime	Society.	The	menu	is	           $$$$$
very	 meaty,	 not	 surprisingly,	 and	 while	
not	in	the	same	league	as	Morton’s,	the	 the PumP room
steak	is	good	quality.	Your	slab	is	served	 There’s	 a	 bit	 of	 an	 “all	 things	 to	 all	
up	on	a	wooden	board	with	veggies	and	 people”	philosophy	going	on	here	in	terms	
fries	included	which	is	a	big	plus	in	our	 of		microbrewery	meets	bar,	meets	sports	
book	 in	 an	 age	 when	 some	 restaurants	 bar,	 meets	 cool	 club,	 with	 a	 live	 band	
seem	to	think	it	acceptable	to	serve	a	main	 thrown	in	for	good	measure.	But	ignore	
course	with	a	salad	garnish	and	charge	for	 all	that	if	you’re	in	search	of	a	satisfying	
side	 orders.	 The	 simple,	 contemporary	 meal.	The	food	is	of	a	surprisingly	good	
décor	 and	 an	 alfresco	 section,	 although	 standard	in	a	gastro	pub	sort	of	way,	and	
small,	is	another	plus.                         it’s	 a	 great	 spot	 for	 a	 lively	 meal	 with	
#01-20, 10 Dempsey Road, tel: +65 6474- friends.	 Thumbs	 up	 for	 Thai	 beef	 salad,	
7427.                                           caramelised	 onion	 and	 goats	 cheese	
                                                soufflé,	 fish	 and	 chips,	 and	 braised	 veal	
$ $ $$$                                         cheek	and	kidney	pie.
                                                3B River Valley Road, The Foundry #09-
Ps cAFé                                         10, tel: +65 6334-2628.
With	 the	 arrival	 of	 number	 three,	 there	
is	 now	 a	 PS	 Café	 to	 suit	 every	 mood.	      $$$$$
PS	 at	 Palais	 is	 the	 newest	 arrival	 and	
undoubtedly	the	chicest	of	the	triplets,	in	
keeping	with	the	clientele	that	frequents	
the	 shops	 at	 Palais	 Renaissance.	 PS	 at	
Harding	(Dempsey)	is	more	of	a	retreat,	




                                                T H E    E X PAT
                                                                        69           AU G U S T        2 0 0 8
     Indo-ChInese
IndoChIne                                       Le tonkIn
Waterfront                                      Authentic food, both Vietnamese                 Village, which is particularly appealing
Not the original but definitely the best        and a little French thrown in in                at night when Lorong Mambong is
IndoChine outlet in our book. The fact          acknowledgement of the country’s multi          closed to traffic.
that the Club Street outlet (soon to            cultural heritage, thanks to a chef and         Outlets at: 44 Lorong Mambong, Holland
relocate next door) is still going strong       owner who are both Vietnamese. Match            Village, tel: +65 6468-5798; Asian
when all about it seems to be in a state        that with a trendy, Oriental chic vibe          Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place, tel:
of flux is testament to its popularity.         and you have a winning combination,             +65 6338-7596.
Waterfront is pretty much unbeatable            and they even have al fresco tables on
                                                a landscaped deck. After Mohammed
                                                                                                $ $$ $ $
if you have visitors in town. Early
reservations are essential to guarantee         Sultan’s sharp downturn, it was a signal
                                                that things were on the up again with the
                                                                                                VIet Lang
an outdoor table. Service can be erratic                                                        This sassy little number has been given
and the food isn’t truly authentic, but         arrival of this little beauty. Top marks for    the seal of approval by Vietnamese
that’s not the main reason you come             imperial spring rolls with lobster, pho,        friends. Décor is smart – okay, so
here. The menu offers dishes from all           steamed crab claws and rack of lamb.            service can be a bit hit and miss – but
over Indochina: expect the likes of             18 Mohammed Sultan Road, tel: +65 6235-         food is consistently good and, more
Vietnamese spring rolls, fresh rice paper       6006.                                           importantly, authentic. The true mark
rolls, and seafood, poultry and meat
dishes enhanced by lashings of fresh
                                                $$$$$                                           of a good Vietnamese restaurant is the
                                                                                                quality of the imperial spring rolls and
Asian herbs and aromatics.
Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress
                                                SIem reap 1 & 2                                 the pho… they pass with flying colours.
                                                Good value appetisers and simple dishes         Also try beef wrapped in lot leaves. The
Place, tel: +65 6339-1720; 49B Club Street,     from all over Indochina are the order of        set lunch is a steal at around S$20.
tel: +65 6323-0503.                             the day here. Opt for airy al fresco seating    10 Parliament Lane, #03-01 The Annex,
$ $ $$$                                         at Empress Place (it’s easier to get a table    tel: +65 6337-3379.
                                                here than at Waterfront next door) or
                                                the cosy Oriental charm of Holland
                                                                                                $ $$ $ $




                                              T H E   E X PAT
                                                                    66         AU G U S T      2 0 0 8
    INDIAN
BomBay Woodlands                                the streets of Indian cities but is now          highlight here; try the masala crab cake
Goodness gracious me! Isn’t this little         served in restaurants worldwide. The             and you will never want to order anything
number looking snazzy these days after a        papri pakori chaat (crispy flour cakes with      else again – and serving sizes are big.
modernising makeover? So now you can            yoghurt, tamarind chutney, mint sauce            3A River Valley Road, Clarke Quay #02-
have delish South Indian veg food in a          and spices) is pretty damned good and            04, tel: +65 6333-4664.
smart environment. The à la carte reads         the dum biryani (yellow rice with chicken
                                                or beef) is much more interesting than
                                                                                                 $ $$$ $
like a what’s what guide to vegetarian
cuisine, but don’t overlook the daily lunch     it sounds. Undoubtedly the best thing
                                                about Chutney Mary is the Bollywood
                                                                                                 KInara
and dinner buffets. Must-tries include the                                                       Look how you’ve grown. Kinara is now
idli and vadai, or the paper-thin, crunchy      music videos played on a loop.
                                                                                                 three – locations that is. Boat Quay
masala dosai served with spicy sambar           719 East Coast Rd, tel: +65 6242-4468.
                                                                                                 is still an option if you’ve got visitors
and creamy coconut chutney.                     $$$$$                                            in town, Holland Village is altogether
Tanglin Shopping Centre, #B1-12, 19                                                              more salubrious and East Coasters now
Tanglin Road, tel: +65 6836 6961.               Go IndIa                                         don’t have to travel far from home to
$ $ $$$                                         Hungry and need to dive for cover at             enjoy consistently well executed dishes.
                                                Vivo City? Go India is probably your best        Tandoori seafood is a highlight.
Chat masala                                     bet. Also a good option pre or post flicks.      Outlets at: 57 Boat Quay, tel: +65 6533-
Tasty food from the length and breadth          All-white and full of modern Indian              0412; 24 Lorong Mambong, Holland Village,
of India is the order of the day here so        promise, the food is tasty although not          tel: +65 6467-4101; 164 Upper East Coast
you can head north menu-wise if you             quite as updated as the décor implies.           Road, tel: +65 6446-5745.
are feeling spicily challenged. Masala          Expect competent South Indian numbers
                                                and a decent buffet. The alfresco deck is
                                                                                                 $ $$ $ $
chicken, paprika prawns, Mysore mutton
and Kerala fish curry are all popular. If       a draw.
                                                #01-152/155 Vivocity, 1 Harbourfront
                                                                                                 maharaja
the East Coast is off your radar, try the                                                        This restaurant group has been going for
genteel environs of Greenwood Avenue            Walk, tel: +65 6376-9644.
                                                                                                 over 20 years now and what they don’t
instead.                                        $$$$$                                            know about the tandoor oven ain’t worth
158 Upper East Coast Road, tel: +65 6876                                                         knowing. Dishes are North Indian with a
0570; 18 Greenwood Avenue, tel : +65            Ivory – the                                      focus on Kasmiri and Mughlai. Tandoori
6762-2133.                                      IndIan KItChen                                   leg of young lamb is a conversation
$ - $$$$$                                       Sophisticated sister of Go India, this is one    stopper. Their home delivery is well
                                                of those pleasing restaurants that’s in the      worth checking out, but you need to
Chutney mary                                    middle of it all yet satisfyingly removed        allow ample time. Alas, the Boat Quay
Billed as serving Indian fast food, Chutney     from the melée. What we’re trying to             restaurant closed. Another victim of the
Mary is popular with Indian expats              say is that it’s upstairs at Clarke Quay.        rental hikes.
– which is always a good sign. Well             Dark, contemporary décor and moody               Block 44 Jalan Merah Saga #01-52, tel:
known for the range of chaat – an unfussy       lighting is not there to distract you from       +65 6474-0096.
tapas-style of food which originated on         the food which is good enough to bring
                                                people back time and again. Seafood is a
                                                                                                 $ $$ $ $


                                              T H E   E X PAT
                                                                    62          AU G U S T      2 0 0 8
the manGo tree                                   ranG mahal
If you’ve been to Kerala you will know           The granddaddy of them all. What
that nothing quite comes close. The              started out as a fledgling in 1971 at the
Kerala beach front idyll this is not, but        old Imperial Hotel (gone the same way
hey, chill out on the deck under the stars       as many an icon here – pulled down and
and take a bite of the delicious coastal         rebuilt as a glossy condo), now reigns
cuisine, and you can almost imagine being        supreme from palatial premises at the
there. We did say almost. The focus here         Pan Pac as the ultimate in modern Indian
is on the state’s spicy seafood dishes and       fine dining. This place could not be
while it’s a hell of a long time since our       more different from a traditional Indian
India backpacking days so we can’t vouch         restaurant if it tried, and it’s one of the
100 per cent for authenticity, it all tastes     few to serve both north and south Indian
good. Must tries include mussel masala,          cuisine. Perennial faves include tandoori
Kerala fish curry and grilled red snapper.       prawns, barely cooked tandoori oysters,
1000 East Coast Parkway, B23 Marine              and lamb kebabs flavoured with cloves.
Cove, tel: +65 6442-8655.                        Unmissable.
$ $ $$$                                          The Pan Pacific Singapore, Level 3, 7
                                                 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, tel: +65
mIrChI - taste                                   6333-1788.
of IndIa                                         $$$$$
Whether you’re at The Esplanade to see
a performance or for a leisurely meal, this      ras – the essenCe
is one top tip. Equal emphasis is placed on      of IndIa
the food as well as on the soothing modern       A sleek yet intimate slinky older sister to
environment, making this a sensuous              the excellent, traditional Vintage India
experience. The menu is comprehensive            at Dempsey. Ras is ideal if you’re in the
and there is as much for the chilli addict       mood for tip top food amid the preening
as for those who don’t like it hot. One          and prying of Clarke Quay. There’s not
of the house specialities is a starter of        a scrap of flocked wallpaper in sight; the
fried, battered green chilli stuffed with        food here is exceptional and the service
potato; don’t miss the prawn curry or the        exemplary – there should be more like
tandoori cubes of fish either.                   this.
Esplanade Mall, #02-23, 8 Raffles Avenue,        3D River Valley Road, #01-05A Clarke
tel: +65 6334-5590.                              Quay-Block D, tel: +65 6837-2800.
$ $ $$$                                          $$$$$
moGhul mahal                                     samy’s Curry
restaurant                                       restaurant
An oldie but a goodie. While this                Stylish and sophisticated Samy’s is not,
traditional-looking restaurant may not           but that’s probably the reason people
have the gloss of neighbouring Clarke            come here. It’s an authentic piece of old
Quay, it’s reassuring to know that some          Singapore, cheap as chips and damn good.
things don’t change. Expect a good range         You dine in what feels like a small school
of North Indian cuisine, with plenty of          hall, lulled by lazy ceiling fans. Waiters are
tandoor specialities and lamb on the menu        no longer clad in sarongs and sadly wear
– the rogan josh is a winner. Vegetarians        a uniform, but the food hasn’t changed.
get lots of choice too. The lunch buffet         No menu here; banana leaves are slapped
from Tuesday to Sunday is popular                down in front of you and curries spooned
enough that bookings are essential on            on from little metal buckets. The more
weekends.                                        “pricey” items such as tandoori jumbo
Novotel Clarke Quay, 177A River Valley           prawns come out first, so if you just fancy
Road, Level 6, tel: +65 6338-6907.               chicken or lamb then wait.
$ $ $$$                                          Block 25 Dempsey Road, Tel: +65 6472-
                                                 2080.
                                                 $$$$$

                                               T H E   E X PAT
                                                                     63          AU G U S T       2 0 0 8
    INDIAN
shahI maharanI                                 tandoor                                            vansh
This restaurant certainly harks back to        This venerable lady has been going for             We reckon this is the pick of the
the days of the Maharanis in terms of old      over 20 years and shows no signs of                restaurants at the Singapore Indoor
fashioned opulence. But the authentic          slowing down, which will be music to               Stadium. Vansh was very much a mover
and tasty North Indian food isn’t to be        the ears of those in the know. Those               and shaker on the “new Indian with
missed. The menu includes an impressive        not yet in the know might think that               attitude” scene when it first opened and
list of tandoori dishes and roti; highly       the Holiday Inn would be off the beaten            clearly has staying power. The menu is a
recommended are the tiger prawn curry          culinary track, but they would be missing          mix of the bold and the old and the staff
and Malai chicken kebab. Nightly live          out on some of the best north Indian               are always friendly. The post modern-
music is a highlight.                          food in town. The appetiser platter is a           esque interior is pleasing but it’s much
Raffles City Shopping Centre, #03-21B,         good way to kick off and do not miss the           more relaxing to sit outside.
252 North Bridge Road, tel: +65 6235-          jumbo prawn masala or the house dish of            Singapore Indoor Stadium, #01-04, 2
8840.                                          tandoori lobster. Biryanis and kebabs are          Stadium Walk, tel: +65 6345-4466.
$ $ $$$                                        also skillfully prepared.
                                               Holiday Inn Park View, 11 Cavenagh Road,
                                                                                                  $ $$ $ $
sonG of IndIa                                  Tel: +65 6733-8333.
                                                                                                  vIntaGe IndIa
The word that immediately springs to           $$$$$                                              The Raj-style interior may not appeal to
mind on entering Song of India is refined,                                                        everyone (you can always sit out back
if not lavish. Definitely not for those        tIffIn room                                        on the landscaped terrace), but the same
who are after a Racecourse Road type           Don’t for a minute think that this is some         cannot be said of the food. It’s excellent.
of experience. Housed in an old black          godforsaken “pack-‘em-in” tourist trap             Vintage India’s wide ranging menu covers
and white bungalow whose grounds have          of a restaurant that serves up curry along         dishes from all parts of the sub-continent
been lushly landscaped, this restaurant        with a Singapore Sling. It is Raffles after        once under British rule, from the far
has distinctly regal bearings. The menu        all. Yes, it is technically a buffet restaurant    south up to Afghan frontier country.
features regional classics as well as          but the food is absolutely spiffing, by jove.      There’s also a good selection of fish and
signature items from respected exec            Seriously, some of the most authentically          seafood dishes. Our top tips are the super
chef, Milind Sovani (formerly of Rang          fragrant north Indian curries in town are          tender grilled lamb kebab, murg rasheeda
Mahal) and vegetarian dishes feature as        dished up here, and the buffet approach            and Goan fish curry.
prominently as those using meat, fish or       means you get to sample a whole array.             10 Dempsey Road, #01-21 Dempsey Hill,
seafood. The wine list is impressive, too.     The setting is all colonial splendour and          Singapore, tel: +65 6471-3100.
33 Scotts Road, tel: +65 6836-0055.            the service is impeccable.                         $ $$$ $
$ $ $$$                                        Lobby Level, Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road,
                                               tel: +65 6431-6156
                                               $$$$$




                                             T H E   E X PAT
                                                                    64          AU G U S T       2 0 0 8
    FRENCH
André                                         the surroundings are much more of            love sitting alfresco and watching the
Rather an unsung hero. It’s hugely            a conversation piece. Lunchtime is           slow pace of life along the river.
popular at lunchtime – and with               popular but the restaurant comes into its    80 Mohammed Sultan Road, #01-13 The
good reason – although quieter in the         own with nightfall. Must tries include       Pier @ Robertson, tel: +65 6835-7818.
evenings, as is the problem for many          côte de boeuf, foie gras and escargots.
                                              Sommelier Elodie Jaglin is a font of
                                                                                           $ $$ $ $
restaurateurs in the CBD. Really good,
straightforward French food at very           knowledge, so do ask her advice.
                                              40C Harding Road, Singapore, tel: +65
                                                                                           CAfé de Amigo
reasonable prices. The escargot, duck                                                      This quirky little restaurant is tucked
confit and crème brûlée are excellent.        6475-1976.
                                                                                           away in a tecchie shopping centre and,
Give it a try.                                $$$$$                                        décor wise, is tucked up in a time warp
206 Telok Ayer Street, tel: +65 6223-                                                      but it has two redeeming factors. The
4548.                                         BiStro Petit SAlut                           rustic French fare is actually rather good
$ $ $$$                                       Still a popular stalwart of Holland V,       – oysters and escargots are a speciality
                                              despite the exec chef moving to the          – and there is a very civilised BYO
Au JArdin                                     sister restaurant at Dempsey, food has       policy: simply spend a minimum of S$35
One of the most romantic restaurants          remained consistent and the crowd            on food and get your bottle of wine
in Singapore. Its location in a black and     has stayed loyal. Expect the same            opened for free, though the strongly
white colonial house nestling in the lush     bistro dishes you always enjoyed here,       French-influenced wine list is impressive.
greenery of the Botanical Gardens is          from lobster bisque and duck confit          The Singaporean owner is a lover of
unsurpassed. This is fine contemporary        to irresistible desserts such as soufflé     French food and wine, and also sells
French dining at its best; just remember      and profiteroles. Atmosphere is as           wine on the premises.
that it’s set menus only so do give them      friendly and cosy as ever and service        Funan Digitalife Mall, #02-15, 109 North
advanced warning if you have any food         commendable. Reservations are essential      Bridge Road, tel: +65 6835-0238.
issues. Service is impeccable and as          for a terrace table.
                                              #01-54 Chip Bee Gardens, 44 Jalan Merah
                                                                                           $ $$ $ $
for the wine list… this is the Les Amis
group after all. Sunday brunch here is        Saga, tel: +65 6475-1476.
                                                                                           the frenCh StAll
sensational – a winner if you have guests     $$$$$                                        Okay, so prices aren’t really hawker
staying.                                                                                   standard, but who’s complaining – it’s
Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road,      BrASSerie Wolf                               still pretty damn cheap. Simple French
EJH Corner House, tel: +65 6466-8812.         This popular spot on the Singapore           food such as chicken liver pâté with
$ $ $$$                                       River is styled in the fashion of a          baguette, French onion soup and grilled
                                              typical Parisian bistro, and is brought      steak with frites.
Au Petit SAlut                                to us courtesy of veteran restaurateur       544 Serangoon Road, tel: +65 6299-3544.)
Popular exec chef Patrick Heuberger           Wolfgang Lapper, also owner of
                                              Esmirada. It hits the right balance
                                                                                           $- $ $$ $ $
and the Dempsey location have proved
a winning combination for Au Petit            between relaxed, bohemian atmosphere
                                              and authentic cuisine thanks to resident
                                                                                           gunther’S
Salut. Chef Heuberger has stuck to                                                         Chef Gunther Hubrechsen certainly
the same formula of well-executed             French chef Philippe Nouzillat.
                                                                                           caused a stir when he announced his
provincial French cuisine except now          Everything down to the waiters’ outfits
                                                                                           departure from Les Amis. He caused even
                                              transports you to the French capital. We



                                            T H E   E X PAT
                                                                58         AU G U S T     2 0 0 8
                                                                                                 reStAurAntGUIDE2008


more of a stir when he opened his own            l’AngéluS                                        better than that. This charming, relaxed
place in partnership with the Garibaldi          The food is authentically French, the            little eatery from those clever chaps at
group. At Gunther’s he has enhanced his          wine list is a joy and the décor does            L’Angélus packs them in with simple,
signature style of exquisite but not over-       its best to replicate a Gallic bistro. It’s      brasserie-style food and more than
wrought modern French food. Stand-out            also good value for money. What more             adequate steaks. Reservations are a must
dishes include scallop carpaccio with            do you want? Very popular with city              at weekends; try for one of the few tiny
confit egg, artichoke carpaccio, tarragon        lads on business lunches. The pan-fried          tables outside. Alternatively, there’s a
grilled langoustine and low temperature-         foie gras and the duck confit are highly         new outlet, Les Bouchons Rive Gauche,
braised veal cheek. Décor oozes dark,            recommended. To complete the dining              which opened at Roberton Quay in
stark, masculine elegance and is not             experience, service is personal and              River Cafe’s former premises. There are
everyone’s cup of tea; neither is the wine       professional.                                    more outdoor tables here and the view
list which has elicited much debate – an         85 Club Street, tel: +65 6225-6897.              over the river is a plus.
excellent selection but the pricing makes                                                         7 Ann Siang Hill, tel: +65 6423-0737;
you wince.                                       $$- $ $$ $ $                                     Les Bouchons Rive Gauche, #01-01 41
#01-03, 36 Purvis Street, tel: +65 6338                                                           Robertson Quay, tel: 6733 4414.
                                                 leS AmiS
8955.
                                                 After a much-talked about refurbishment          $ $$ $ $
$ $ $$$                                          that cost a cool couple of mil, and
                                                 despite Gunther’s departure, Les                 leS SAveurS
JAAn                                             Amis is shining brighter than ever.              What a shame that the powers that
The elegant and formal Jaan has                  If you thought it was formal before,             be at St Regis missed the opportunity
beautiful hand-woven Khmer                       you ain’t seen nothing yet. The main             to create something outstanding here.
upholstered seats and over-the-top               dining room downstairs is now a more             Yes, the food is definitely fine dining
crystal-encrusted ceilings. If you think         welcoming space compared to the                  in a simple yet creative way and
that’s impressive, wait until you see the        previous austerity; it’s in the private          the ingredients impeccable, but the
view of Singapore spread out before              rooms upstairs where the opulence is             décor is flashy and unimaginative, all
you. Those with vertigo might not want           more apparent. And, yes, there have              columns, high ceilings, plush carpets and
to sit near a window. Refined French             been subsequent price rises, but Les             staggeringly ornate chandeliers. It’s also
food with Asian accents is the name of           Amis is premier league and you get what          difficult to get round the fact that Les
the game here and it doesn’t disappoint.         you pay for. In the manner of many of            Saveurs doubles as the all-day dining
If indecision looms and you’re feeling           the forward-thinking Michelin-starred            restaurant. Sunday brunch is refined,
flush, try the nine-course dégustation           restaurants of Europe, the focus is on a         as you would expect, but stories have
menu. And if you’re stumped for which            simplicity of style that belies complex          filtered back to us that children are not
wine to match with the food, wine                technique but allows exceptional                 entirely welcome.
pairings are very considerately suggested        ingredients to take centre stage. Service        The St Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Road,
on the menu.                                     and wine list are still legendary. Never         tel: +65 6506-6866.
Swissôtel the Stamford, 70th Floor, tel: +65
6431-5670.
                                                 one to rest on its laurels, however, Les         $ $$ $$
                                                 Amis is about to stir things up again.
$ $ $$$                                          The restaurant is finally opening in             mAg’S Wine KitChen
                                                 Hong Kong, just around the corner from           Still going strong and beloved of city
lA BrASSerie                                     Pacific Place Three, and both Chef Mayr          boys on expense account lunches. You
Formerly Townhouse, La Brasserie                 and restaurant manager Randy See, are            might wonder why; it’s nothing flashy to
is running along exactly the same                heading up there to run operations.              look at and Mag doesn’t bother with a
principals as before, ie classic bistro fare     Super-talented chef sommelier, Timothy           menu. It’s the wine, you see. She has a
in vaguely contemporary surroundings.            Goh, has been promoted to manage                 very impressive and, more importantly,
The weekly-changing set lunch is a               proceedings in Singapore. Yet again we           fairly priced list which is something of a
huge draw, particularly for the guys and         have to say watch this space, although           rarity in Singapore. Mag’s predominantly
gals from the business district. At night        something tells us operations at Les             French repertoire is small but she does
it’s a much more relaxed affair – come           Amis won’t miss a beat.                          it so well and has garnered a very loyal
here for a meal or simply a couple of            Shaw Centre, #02-16, 1 Scotts Road, tel:         following. Eating here is like having a
light dishes with a bottle of wine from          +65 6733-2225.                                   cosy kitchen supper at a friend’s house,
the excellent wine list. Chef Emmanuel           $$$$$                                            but with a few first and second growths
Stroobant designed the menu so you                                                                thrown in.
know you’re in for some good grub.               leS BouChonS                                     86 Circular Road, tel: +65 6438-3836.
Level 2, 56 Circular Rd, tel: +65 6236-
5725.
                                                 Still the best frites in town, and still free    $ $$ $ $
                                                 flow with main courses. You can’t say
$ $ $$$

                                               T H E   E X PAT
                                                                     59          AU G U S T      2 0 0 8
    FRENCH
mimolette                                      collaboration, Picotin, is housed in a         from food to ambience, service and wine
Overlooking the Bukit Timah Saddle             quaint, renovated stable block at Turf         it’s all pretty faultless. Bompard’s deftness
Club, Mimolette makes for a pleasant           City, and is the embodiment of the old         of touch is evident even in rich dishes
alternative to the hustle and bustle of        adage “if something ain’t broke, don’t         such as lobster bisque with sea scallop
city dining. The menu manages (but             fix it’. It’s taken the best of Sebastien’s    and Wagyu beef cheek. Do not miss the
only just) to walk a fine line between         and L’Estaminet so now you have                soufflés. Also, check out their fab new
smart brasserie food and American diner        provincial French cuisine and friendly         gourmet cheese shop, La Fromagerie, at
style. Good for Sunday brunch and              neighbourhood bar under one roof,              5 Mohammed Sultan Road.
the lounge kicks off after midnight at         plus great pizza, and it’s wildly popular.     Fullerton Water Boathouse, 3 Fullerton
weekends. We hear that you shouldn’t           Emmanuel Stroobant is also a partner           Road, tel: +65 6534-5947.
drop your car keys into the middle of          and has relocated his Archangel deli
                                               concept here, although it is still a work
                                                                                              $ $$ $$
a table unless you really mean to (get
the picture?). If visiting during the day,     in progress.
                                               100 Turf Club Road, off Eng Neo Avenue,
                                                                                              SeBAStien’S BiStro
remember to slow down for the horses                                                          ‘Will it survive?’ was the question
– there are far too many crass guests          tel: +65 6877 1191
                                                                                              on everyone’s lips when insouciant
revving up their gleaming Ferraris.            $$$$$                                          French patron par excellence, Sebastien,
55 Fairways Drive, off Eng Neo Avenue,                                                        departed. Yes, the restaurant has
tel: +65 6467-7748.                            rAffleS grill                                  moved, but just round the corner to
$ $ $$$                                        Raffles Grill is the ultimate choice if        the larger premises vacated when The
                                               you need to impress. This is as old            Grill at Hillcrest closed. The food at this
niColAS le                                     fashioned formal as dining gets in             straightforward neighbourhood bistro
reStAurAnt                                     Singapore and tones are most definitely        is as tasty as ever whether you go à la
Chef Nicolas Joanny originally made            hushed. However the cuisine has a far          carte or choose something from the
his name here at the sadly now defunct         more innovative edge than the décor            substantial list of daily specials.
L’Aigle d’Or before heading up to              would imply and that’s what keeps              2 Greenwood Avenue, tel: +65 6465-1980.
Bangkok. Well now he’s back – and              this restaurant in every gourmet’s
                                               consciousness. Chef de cuisine, Charles
                                                                                              $ $$ $ $
how – with a little jewel of a restaurant
in a Chinatown shophouse. Think light,         Dubois leads an exceptionally well-
                                               run kitchen and his food demonstrates
                                                                                              viS à viS
modern French cuisine with the odd                                                            Something of a neighbourhood
Asian ingredient and you’ll be on the          precision and flair. The wine list is as
                                                                                              institution since 1992, this cosy
right track. Set lunches are great value       superb as ever, albeit with prices to
                                                                                              restaurant has stood the test of time by
but be aware that at night there is no à       match. Ask the excellent sommelier for
                                                                                              sticking with what it does best, typically
la carte, it’s a set S$100-or-so menu that     advice if in a quandary.
                                                                                              food from Provence, and not following
changes every couple of weeks.                 Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road, tel: +65
                                                                                              trends. Yes, the décor is a bit dated but
35 Keong Saik Road, tel: +65 6224-2404.        6431-6156.
                                                                                              you come here for the classics and the
$ $ $$$                                        $$$$$                                          noteworthy wine list. Lots of truffles,
                                                                                              foie gras and game on the menu, and
PiCotin                                        SAint Julien le                                the French onion soup and escargots
The Les Amis group has had to grit its         reStAurAnt                                     are a highlight. Since a new owner
collective teeth in recent years with          With views out over Marina Bay                 took over, Vis à Vis has merged with
a number of high profile departures            and a dynamic husband and wife duo             the Thai restaurant next door and now
– they might say defections. Last              running the show, it’s not surprising that     offers a French-Thai menu. But it still
year proved to be no different with            this multi award-winning fine dining           has a loyal following.
the resignation of Sebastien from              restaurant goes from strength to strength.     12 Chun Tin Road, tel: +65 6468-7433.
his eponymous restaurant, and Jacky            Chef Julien Bompard and Maitre d’ Edith
                                               Lai certainly have their house in order:
                                                                                              $ $$$ $
Stevens from L’Estaminet. Their new


                                             T H E   E X PAT
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                    BLU                                                    reservation to get in town, and that’s despite
                    While the décor doesn’t seem to have changed           offering two sittings a nights. You need to plan
                    perceptibly since Blu first opened, it has seen        at least one month in advance. Also difficult




     CONTEMPORARY
                    a whole host of changes in concept: originally         is categorising it; we’re just going to have to
                    Californian, then modern European and now              go for fusionesque-Italian with strong Asian
                    French-inspired contemporary cuisine. Not              influences. Chef Oscar keeps the menu compact,
                    that we’re knocking those modifications;               but if you have any trouble deciding there are
                    they say that if something ain’t broke don’t           also excellent value set lunches and dinners. Go
                    fix it, then the opposite must also be true.           without preconceptions and surrender yourself
                    British chef Robin Zavou brings Michelin-              to a unique culinary experience.
                    starred-restaurant experience with him and             126 Tanjong Pagar Road, tel: +65 6324-6225.
                    has created a stylish menu of pure flavours.           $ $$ $ $
                    We’re rather keen on sautéed crayfish with
                    linguine and shellfish foam, roasted turbot in         the CeLLar Door
                    mussel and clam chowder and roasted venison            Now very much a mainstay of the Bukit
                    with bitter chocolate sauce – it works, trust          Timah strip, this casual little restaurant is a
                    us. Service is immaculate.                             huge hit with the expat community. Make a
                    Level 24, Shangri-La Hotel, 22 Orange Grove            reservation and you’re in for a treat of New
                    Road, tel: +65 6213-4598.                              Zealand and Aussie tastes. The menu changes
                    $$$$$                                                  every few months to reflect and highlight
                                                                           what’s in season. The delicatessen a couple of
                    Broth                                                  doors down offers fresh breads, delish cheeses,
                    Still a firm favourite here at Expat. Proprietor       and predominantly Kiwi wines.
                    Steven Hansen, may be Australian but the               619 Bukit Timah Road, tel: +65 6463-5296.
                    recently rejigged menu is modern European              $ $$ $ $
                    and the mood is definitely Continental.
                    There’s nothing better than sitting out on the
                    pavement and soaking in the unique, peaceful
                                                                           CiCaDa
                                                                           Michael Lu, he of Hacienda fame, seems to
                    atmosphere of Duxton Hill over a bottle of
                                                                           have a flair for finding venues off the beaten
                    wine. Broth is one of those restaurants where
                                                                           track. Colbar aside, there was never much of a
                    the experience is just as enjoyable whether at
                                                                           reason to visit Portsdown Road, now there is
                    lunch or at dinner. The lamb loin coated in
                                                                           a slew of new bars and cafés making the jaunt
                    herbs is still a standout dish after all these years
                                                                           a little more worthwhile. Cicada bills itself as
                    and whatever you do, don’t miss dessert.
                                                                           a French-Californian restaurant and gastrobar
                    21 Duxton Hill, tel: +65 6323-3353.
                                                                           (oh lord are we starting to loath that term)
                    $$$ $$                                                 serving burgers (including the ever ubiquitous
                                                                           Wagyu) and pastas in a minimalist setting.
                    Brown SUgar                                            7 Portsdown Road, tel: +65 6472-2100.
                    Great little restaurant in an unusual location,
                    namely the StarDus clubhouse on River
                                                                           $ $$ $ $
                    Valley. Loved it for lunch; probably fun for
                    dinner with a group, but we’re not sure it
                                                                           the CLiff
                                                                           Still one of the sleekest, sexiest venues in
                    would suit dinner à deux. Décor is simple and
                                                                           town despite the slew of new design-focused
                    contemporary and food is modern brasserie
                                                                           “lifestyle” restaurants that have opened of
                    style: think along the lines of mushroom
                                                                           late. Sitting at the low-level, moodily lit
                    cappuccino, sautéed squid, pan-seared tuna
                                                                           bar, glass of champagne in hand, and gazing
                    with lemon and tomato couscous, roasted veal
                                                                           out over the South China Sea (which looks
                    loin. The pineapple and banana crumble was
                                                                           much better at night, it has to be said) is very
                    superb. Good value set lunch at S$23 for two
                                                                           much in the style of the “new Sentosa”. Chef
                    courses or S$27 for three.
                                                                           Armstrong is the man responsible for the
                    #01-04 Stardus Clubhouse, 277 River Valley
                                                                           contemporary crustacean and fish menu and
                    Road, Tel: +65 6333-6612
                                                                           people just can’t get enough of it. Never fear,
                    $$$$$                                                  though, meat items are available too.
                                                                           Sentosa Resort & Spa, 2 Bukit Manis Road,
                    BUko nero                                              Sentosa, tel: +65 6275-0331.
                    Without doubt, this tiny restaurant yet again
                    wins the coveted title of the most difficult
                                                                           $ $$ $ $

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     CONTEMPORARY
CorianDer Leaf                                  avant-garde venue. The menu features
Enticing flavours from the Near East            dishes with Western overtones but Asian         of Flutes At The Fort. In terms of setting
(Turkey and Lebanon) mingle with those          influences which is another way of saying       – a tranquil, restored black and white up
from a little closer to home in this modern     it’s fusion but done in Raffles’ hallmark       on Fort Canning – impeccable service,
Asian bistro. All the old favourites are        elegant style. While the food has its           consistently well-executed food and
still here which makes us very happy.           proponents and detractors, the décor is         the price you pay for all that, Flutes is
The mezze platter is one of the best            universally liked and blends plantation-        pretty much unmatched. Chef Francois
ways to kick off your meal or you could         style with Far Eastern elegance. Think          Mermilliod serves up a very competent
try the sugar and Szechuan peppercorn           highly polished black and white chequered       menu of contemporary Australian fare
cured beef. For mains, how about white          marble floor tiles, black white woven           – think scallop carpaccio, scampi bisque,
miso marinated cod with lemongrass              rattan chairs, charming little booths with      seared Wagyu beef and desserts that are
and tomato emulsion, or the excellent           white gauzy curtains. Bring visitors here       out of this world. We’re all in favour of
succulent tandoori chicken?                     and they will know they’re in the Orient.       the new outdoor bar on the decking next
3A River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, 2nd          Raffles Hotel Arcade, #02-20, 1 Beach           to the final (promise!) flight of stairs.
Floor, tel: +65 6732-3354.                      Road, tel: +65 6412-1241.                       21 Lewin Terrace, tel: +65 6338-8770.
$ $ $$$                                         $$$$$                                           $ $$$ $
Cork                                            eqUinox                                         gLoBaL kitChen
We love this cool, gem of a modern              reStaUrant                                      One of the better in-house hotel dining
European restaurant. It’s a lunch hot spot      Whether you choose the Asian or the             options in town. It’s been open since
for city types but usually quieter come         European menu, the cuisine at Equinox           2006 but has stayed very low key, in case
nightfall. Cork comes from the people           is still impressive. Not quite as impressive    you were wondering why you hadn’t
who brought us Pierside (which has              as that stunning view though. The prices        heard of it. Décor is contemporary,
temporarily closed for a major renovation)      may not impress you quite so much, but          although we find it a little cold and the
and Marmalade Pantry, so expect the             you get what you pay for in this life.          atmosphere can be lacking on a slow
same levels of attention to detail, good        Did you know that you can see three             night, but the food is good. Regularly
service and even better food. You can           countries from up here in this elegant          invited visiting chefs also inject freshness
choose from the à la carte or from the          eyrie 226 metres above sea level? Not just      and creativity into proceedings.
selection of tapas-style small plates which     Singapore, but Indonesia and Malaysia           Level 3, Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles
also make great accompaniments for early        too. How about that? The menu should            Boulevard, tel: +65 6826-8333.
                                                entice you enough to drag you away;
evening drinks. Top marks go to the salt
cod brandade, chicken skewers encrusted         recommendations go to seared beef               $ $$$ $
                                                carpaccio and the pan-fried tiger prawn
with dukkah, and balsamic roasted pork
belly, which achieves crispy crackling and      with seared scallop. The lunch buffet is        graze
                                                well worth considering.                         Another fabulous black and white
sinful stickiness at the same time. Heaven.
                                                70th Floor, Fairmont Singapore, 2 Stamford      location, this time in the F&B hub of
The floor to ceiling wine tower is a show
                                                Road, tel: +65 6431-6156.                       Rochester Park. Granted, Graze did get
stopper.
                                                                                                off to a bit of a rocky start but it has really
#01-08 Capital Tower, 168 Robinson Road,        $$$$$                                           settled into its groove in the past year
tel: +65 6327-9169.
                                                                                                and is now producing consistent, modern
$ $ $$$                                         fLUteS at the fort                              Australian food, and service has improved.
                                                You can never have too much of a good           The setting is visually very appealing,
DoC Cheng’S                                     thing, and we certainly can’t get enough        casual and minimal in style, and most of
Eclectic and intriguing is the best way                                                         the seating is alfresco which was a smart
of describing this venerable lady’s most


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move on the restaurant’s part as people        has also been expanded even further, so           interior is styled in minimal fashion, with
tend to want to sit outdoors if there is       for those who were underwhelmed by                Aboriginal murals to enliven things, but
the option. The chef handles seafood well      the idea of sitting at a counter there are        it’s the food that stands out here at this
and the skillfully barbecued items are still   now more table options. There is also             friendly restaurant. Don’t overlook the
up there amongst our faves.                    now a decent-sized private room and               good little wine shop upstairs.
4 Rochester Park, tel: +65 6775-9000.          an intimate chef’s table. Iggy’s is only          $$$ 52 Circular Road, tel: +65 6438-
$ $ $$$                                        restaurant in Singapore to be included            0141.
                                               in Restaurant magazine’s list of top 100          $ $$$ $
harBoUr griLL &                                restaurants in the world. Need we say
oySter Bar                                     more? Just remember that set menus are
                                               the order of the day here so call ahead if
                                                                                                 novUS
Crikey! As the late, great, animal man                                                           Start your meal off at the stylish bar – a
                                               you have food issues.
would say. This restaurant will soon be                                                          martini or a glass of champagne would
                                               The Regent Singapore, Level 3, 1 Cuscaden
turning 40. Life begins at 40, apparently,                                                       probably be appropriate – then head into
                                               Road, tel: +65 6732-2234.
but the Harbour Grill is one of those                                                            the sophisticated, seductively masculine
few restaurants that does not need a new       $$$$$                                             dining room for some impressive modern
lease of life. As popular as ever, it has                                                        European cuisine. Novus gets it right on
a very loyal, long-standing following          MarMaLaDe Pantry                                  the three critical fronts: food, service
amongst gourmets in Singapore, yet             Marmalade Pantry is still one of the top          and ambience. The menu is compact but
garners new fans all the time. They might      venues of choice for tai tais who do eat          that helps eliminate indecision which is
well take up arms if there was ever a          lunch. But do not let that fact lead you          a good thing, and it changes quarterly to
sniff of a renovation. Chef Jouhannand,        into assuming that what’s on the menu             reflect the seasons. The set lunch is also
who worked for Alain Ducasse, takes            plays second fiddle to the socialites, as         highly recommended and is good value
a contemporary Continental approach            you would be missing out on some top              at S$38 for four courses.
with the menu and there are also regular       nosh. If you haven’t been here before,            The National Museum, 93 Stamford Road,
luxury food promotions featuring the           the shopping-centre basement location is          Singapore, tel: +65 6336-8770.
likes of caviar, white truffles and oysters.
The décor, while traditional, has a
                                               a bit odd, but the food - a great selection
                                               of smoothies, salads, and modern bistro
                                                                                                 $ $$$ $
charming Oriental-plantation feel to it        fare - more than makes up for it. The
and the service is smooth and sincere.         only downside is that it doesn’t quite            Privé
Hilton Hotel, 581 Orchard Road, tel: +65       work at night, so please, Marmalade               More of the above (similar concept
6730-3393.                                     Group, can you open a venue where we              and same ownership) but in a different
                                                                                                 setting. Privé is located on Singapore’s
$ $ $$$                                        can indulge in your fab food for dinner?
                                               Palais Renaissance, #B1-08/11, 390                only private island – Keppel Island – and
                                                                                                 is a multi-concept venue including a
iggy’S                                         Orchard Road, tel: +65 6734-2700.
                                                                                                 waterfront gastrobar, a bakery café and
There was a collective waiting with            $$$$$                                             a modern, 88-seat restaurant helmed
bated breath late last year when news                                                            by celebrity chef Tony Bilson, who
reached Singapore’s gourmet community          the MooMBa                                        is hailed as the godfather of modern
that Chef Dorin Schuster was leaving           Twelve years on and Singapore’s first             Australian cuisine. Standout main course
Iggy’s. But after testing the new              Australian eatery is still pulling in the         is the pan roasted Australian barramundi
waters, we are delighted to report that        crowds. If our collective memory serves           – extremely fresh, cooked just right,
all is smooth sailing with the ground-         us right, it was dishing up the likes of emu      served with a bordelaise sauce.
breaking, sleekly modern European food         and kangaroo with native ingredients such         2 Keppel Bay Vista, Marina at Keppel Bay,
that reveals the odd Asian nuance. The         as lemon myrtle long before it became             tel: +65 6776-0777.
talented team of Singaporean chefs who         trendy. These days the menu leans more
worked under Schuster haven’t missed           towards modern Australian as opposed to           $ $$ $$
a beat, with owner Ignatius Chan still         bush tucker: look out for roasted beetroot
very much at the forefront of new menu         and pumpkin salad, herb-crusted rack of
concepts and development. The interior         lamb and chargrilled beef. The shophouse




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                    reStaUrant eMBer                                  the UniverSaL
                                                                      The Universal ups the ante in the pretty


     CONTEMPORARY
                    Ember’s unpretentious, bright and airy interior
                    gives a hint as to what’s on offer food-wise.     Duxton Hill conservation area. Located
                    Multi-award-winning chef, Sebastian Ng,           in a shophouse, there is a trendy wine bar
                    brings us fresh, bright, modern European          downstairs with the restaurant above, offering
                    flavours that are so popular this place is        smart dining without being overly fussy.
                    usually packed at lunch and at dinner. Talking    Chef Ben Kuang is a Raffles Hotel alumnus
                    of that the former, Ember has one of the best     and while the food is not quite Raffles Grill,
                    set lunches in town; it offers a good choice      neither does it try to be. The Universal offers
                    for each course in contrast to some restaurants   a modern take on European classics such as
                    where you can tell by just looking at the set     pan-fried foie gras with duck breast, and
                    that the chef is uninspired.                      slow-braised Kurabuta pork cheek. Service is
                    Hotel 1929, 50 Keong Saik Road, tel: +65 6347-    above average.
                    1928.                                             36 Duxton Hill, Singapore, tel: +65 6325-0188.
                    $$$$$                                             $ $$ $ $
                    Saint Pierre                                      whiteBait & kaLe
                    Emmanuel Stroobant’s inventiveness seems to       Simple mod Oz meets Mediterranean flavour
                    know no bounds, despite an ever-expanding         are what keeps people coming back to this
                    empire. He has made the very wise choice          Sydney-style modern bistro. Think creative
                    to remain at the helm of his iconic flagship      salads that are almost a meal in themselves,
                    restaurant rather than spreading himself too      robust pasta dishes and simple but pleasing
                    thin. His audience wants him and they want        mains. The snapper pie is as good as it ever
                    his food. And in international recognition        was and do look out for the daily fresh fish on
                    of his considerable talents, he has recently      the specials blackboard as it’s usually a very
                    been invited to join the prestigious Relais       tasty option. A well-turned-out dish of duck
                    & Chateaux collection of luxury hotels and        leg confit with rocket and white beans sums
                    gourmet restaurants. Between Stroobant’s          up all that’s good about Whitebait & Kale.
                    mastery and precision in the kitchen and his      Don’t miss the pavlova on any account, and
                    wife Edina’s warm and relaxed management          ask about their cooking classes.
                    style, you are assured of a memorable meal        1 Orchard Boulevard, #01-01 Camden Medical
                    every time you visit. As with all fine dining     Centre, tel: +65 6333-8697.
                    restaurants, menus are changed seasonally.
                    Foie gras remains a perennial speciality,
                                                                      $ $$ $ $
                    however.
                    Central Mall, 3 Magazine Road, #01–01, tel:
                                                                      wine garage
                                                                      Simple, tasty European food using good
                    +65 6438-0887.
                                                                      ingredients is the ideal accompaniment to
                    $$$$$                                             the stellar wine collection at Wine Garage.
                                                                      There are over 1,000 bottles and the pricing
                    SUBUrBia                                          is remarkably reasonable too – hence the fact
                    Fabulous setting, good service, shame about       that this eatery is usually pretty busy. We
                    the old fashioned menu. It’s not that the         wish they could sort out the chill factor in
                    food is badly cooked, just that boozy, cream-     the indoor dining section as design-wise, as
                    enriched sauces don’t cut it any more. We         well as temperature-wise, it’s pretty cool. No
                    reckon that a contemporary European style         matter, the alfresco area overlooking the river
                    would lift this place into the premier league     is relaxing and it’s always fun to see people
                    of “lifestyle” eateries in Singapore. Lobster     weaving around outside at Brewerkz (a sister
                    bisque, rack of lamb, and crab linguine are all   establishment) after getting a little over-
                    commendable, however.                             enthusiastic about the handmade beer.
                    30 Allanbrooke Road, Sentosa, tel: +65 6376-      30 Merchant Road, #01-07 Riverside Point, tel:
                    5938.                                             +65 6533-3188.
                    $$$$$                                             $ $$ $ $


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               Chef Chan’s                                         Crystal Jade JianG
               He was already much-talked about in his former      nan Cuisine



     CHINESE
               niche on North Bridge Road. Then former             We loved this place as Hu Cui, and were
               Hai Tien Lo (Pan Pacific) Exec Chef, Chan           delighted to discover, after the name change
               Chen Hai, moved his eponymous eatery over           a year or so ago, that’s all that had changed.
               to far more salubrious premises at the National     Well, okay, so the menu was expanded but
               Museum and created a flurry of chatter. The         more importantly, all the old faves are still
               concept is not dissimilar to Iggy’s: a handful      there such as the fabulous xiao long bao (soupy
               of tables, regularly changing set menus and,        pork dumplings), pan-fried river prawns and
               oh yes, the food’s not bad either. If you know      Peking duck. For good food in a sophisticated
               a thing or two about Chinese antiques, take a       environment this place is hard to beat.
               look around you and be impressed.                   Ngee Ann City, Tower B, #02-12, 391 Orchard
               #01-06 National Museum of Singapore, 93             Road, tel: +65 6238-1011.
               Stamford Road, tel: +65 6333-0073
                                                                   $ $$ $ $
               $$$$$
               Cherry Garden                                       Crystal Jade PalaCe
               Need a venue for a business lunch, a dim            Yes, it is not dissimilar to Piccadilly Circus
               sum extravaganza or a more intimate evening         come weekends but do try it mid-week when
               meal? The elegant, modern Oriental décor            things are much less frenetic – ie garrulous
               lends itself to all occasions. The menu focuses     grannies and screaming children are otherwise
               predominantly on Cantonese cuisine with the         engaged. Tip top Cantonese food, so you’re
               odd favourite from other regions – hot and          guaranteed succulent roasted meat with crispy
               sour soup for example. Roasted meats are a          skin, and an excellent assortment of freshly
               highlight, and desserts are particularly pleasing   made dim sum.
               for those with European tastes.                     #04-19 Ngee Ann City, 391A Orchard Road, tel:
               The Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina    +65 6735-2388
               Square, tel: +65 6885-3538.
                                                                   $ $$ $ $
               $$$$$
                                                                   din tai funG
               Club Chinois                                        Divine dumplings and hand-made noodles
               Club Chinois is still one of the leading lights     at rock bottom prices are what pack them in
               in the Tung Lok stable. Award-winning               here. No reservations so you will probably
               modern Chinese food, often with international       have to queue; don’t give up though as it does
               influences, and a glam environment are the          tend to shift quite quickly. The original outlet
               draws here. It should also be mentioned,            in Taipei was once voted one of the world’s
               darlings, that it’s a favourite “Hi-So” haunt       top 10 restaurants by the New York Times.
               (dreadful phrase, but you know what we mean)        290 Orchard Road, #B1-03/06 Paragon, tel: +65
               so seeing and being seen are just as important      6836-8336; Raffles City, B1-08, tel: +65 6336-
               as what’s on your plate.                            6369; 435 Orchard Road, #02-48 Wisma Atria,
               Orchard Parade Hotel, #02-18, 1 Tanglin Road,       tel: +65 6732-1383
               Tel: +65 6834-0660.
                                                                   $$$ $ $
               $$$$$
                                                                   Grand shanGhai
               Crystal Jade                                        We love the evocative 1930s setting and the
               Golden PalaCe                                       authentic Shanghainese cuisine. The nostalgia
               This is tai tai heaven, but that doesn’t mean the   factor is upped by the resident jazz band.
               food shouldn’t be taken seriously. This classy      Signature dishes include crispy eel, braised
               number has garnered a reputation for top notch      pork belly served with utterly sinful golden
               food, and has both Cantonese and Teochew            fried buns and, above all, those irresistible
               menus. Expect roasted goose, typical Teochew        xiao long bao dumplings.
               stewed dishes, superb seafood. And of course,       King’s Centre, #01-01, 390 Havelock Road, tel:
               it’s a winner for dim sum with the girls.           +65 6836-6866.
               #05-22/24 Paragon, 290 Orchard Road, tel: +65
               6734-6866.
                                                                   $ $$ $ $
               $$$$$

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                                              48         AU G U S T    2 0 0 8
     CHINESE
hai tien lo                                       JianG nan Chun
If you have visitors or need to do some           Widely acclaimed Cantonese food and             and it shows in the quality of the cuisine.
corporate ego massaging, this is a great          Four Seasons style. It’s a combination          Top dim sum and Peking duck.
option. Not only is the cuisine classically       that’s hard to beat. The service is             Sheraton Towers, 39 Scotts Road, tel: +65
Cantonese, the views from up here are             seamless and the setting is genteel and         6839-5623.
sensational. This 20-year-old restaurant
had a makeover last year and is looking
                                                  exclusive. The menu sees a mix of
                                                  traditional favourites and dishes with a
                                                                                                  $ $$$ $
all the better for it. Expect good dim
sum, and some international touches such
                                                  modern twist, while the weekend dim
                                                  sum brunch meets with rave reviews.
                                                                                                  MadaMe butterfly
                                                                                                  The IndoChine group knows how to
as black truffle, foie gras and wasabi.           Four Seasons Hotel, Level Two, 190 Orchard
                                                                                                  corner the market in glamorous locations
Pan Pacific Hotel, Level 37, 7 Raffles            Boulevard, tel: +65 6831-7220.
                                                                                                  and Madame Butterfly is no exception.
Boulevard, Marina Square, tel: +65 6826-
8338.
                                                  $$$$$                                           Enter through the Asian chic downstairs
                                                                                                  bar, which opens on to the throng of
$ $ $$$                                           lei Garden                                      Clarke Quay, and climb up to the stairs
                                                  Let’s face it, even though Chijmes is           to the sprawling antique-filled restaurant
hua tinG                                          selectively charming there’s not a lot          above. The food is a modern take on
For some of the most authentic Cantonese          to draw you in food-wise. Lei Garden,           the cuisine of China and Indochina,
food in town, look no further than multi-         however, dishes up some very tasty Hong         though really it’s the setting that’s the
award-winning Hua Ting. The typically             Kong fare making it another winning             draw here.
Chinese décor may not inspire but don’t           option if you have visitors in town. If         3A Merchant’s Court, River Valley Road,
be put off. The master chef knows his             they get squeamish at seeing live seafood       #01-02, tel: +65 6557-6266.
stuff, so feast happily on steamed fish
and seafood and juicy roasted pork and
                                                  clearly heading for its doom, just ask for
                                                  one of the many private rooms instead.
                                                                                                  $ $- $ $$$ $
suckling pig.
Orchard Hotel, Level 2, 442 Orchard Road,
                                                  Don’t miss the lobster rolls or the lobster
                                                  noodles, and the fabulous chilli wontons
                                                                                                  MaJestiC
tel: +65 6734-3880.                               will have you breathing fire.
                                                                                                  restaurant
                                                                                                  Boy, did this place cause a stir when it
$ $ $$$                                           Outlets: Lei Garden, Chijmes, #01-24, 30
                                                  Victoria Street, tel: +65 6339-3822; Orchard
                                                                                                  first opened. For all the right reasons,
                                                                                                  mind you. Gorgeous, re-modelled
Jade                                              Lei Garden, Orchard Shopping Centre, Level
                                                  3, 321 Orchard Road, tel: +65 6734-3988.
                                                                                                  boutique hotel in Chinatown meets fab
It may no longer be part of the Tung Lok                                                          food. It doesn’t get much better than
group, but that’s no reason to shun Jade.         $$$$$                                           this in the style and substance stakes.
The setting offers classical European                                                             The décor is retro, post-modern, the
elegance (none of that over-the-top               li bai                                          Canto-Teochew-Szechuan cuisine is
Chinoiserie) and the menu features                Not on many an expat’s radar due to             fittingly contemporary and the crowd,
both classical and more modern Chinese            its basement location, which is a shame         very cutting edge, darling.
food such as roast suckling pig skin and          as Li Bai is one of the most consistently       Lobby Level, New Majestic Hotel, 31-37
Peking duck with five-spice foie gras or          rated Cantonese restaurants in town. It’s       Bukit Pasoh Road, tel: + 65 6511-4718.
abalone in truffle sauce.
The Fullerton Hotel, Lobby Level, 1 Fullerton
                                                  hushed and discreet – probably not the
                                                  place to bring the kids for a meal, then
                                                                                                  $ $$$ $
Square, tel: +65 6877-8188.                       – and the service is faultless. Attention
$ $ $$$                                           to detail is the name of the game here




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Min JianG                                          royal China                                    suMMer PalaCe
To eat uptown or out of town, that is              If you’re feasting at Raffles, try this for    A genteel, tranquil Cantonese restaurant.
the question. With two top locations               a good, old-fashioned Chinese dining           Yes, it is possible. And, no, you’re
and good food to boot, Min Jiang has a             experience. The Chinois décor will             not dreaming, the staff really are that
lot going for it. There aren’t many places         resonate with those who love a touch of        friendly. This is a top spot for a leisurely
in Singapore where you can sit poolside            nostalgia, as will the traditional menu.       meal, much more of a haunt for the
for a Szechuanese spread. Alternatively,           Shark’s fin and bird’s nest galore for the     Singaporean grande dame than the flashy
enjoy the tropical black and white                 ecologically challenged, plus steamed          tai tai – and all the better for it, we say.
environment at Rochester Park, where               cod Hong Kong-style, crispy aromatic           The roast suckling pig is unmissable.
the menu focuses more on the food                  duck and lobster noodles.                      Regent Hotel, 1 Cuscaden Road, tel: +65
of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou                 Raffles Hotel Arcade, Level 3, tel: +65        6725-3288.
(Cantonese to you and us).                         6412-1330.                                     $ $$$ $
Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road, tel:          $$$$$
+65 6737-7411; Min Jiang One North, 5
                                                                                                  szeChuan Court
Rochester Park, tel: +65 6744-0122.
                                                   shanG PalaCe                                   Shopped out in Raffles City and in
$ $ $$$                                            Always reliable for Cantonese fare and         need of sustenance? Forget the food
                                                   wildly popular at weekends for dim             court and head here instead. Last year’s
My huMble house                                    sum (no booking, no chance), Shang             trendy renovation still looks good and
Humble it certainly ain’t. The modern              Palace was beginning to look rather            the crowd-pleasing mix of Szechuan and
Chinese décor is drop dead gorgeous.               like a dowager duchess fallen on hard          Cantonese cuisine still holds sway, so
Tung Lok Group’s executive chef                    times. Then came the face lift and, boy,       look out for satisfyingly fiery wok-fried
and general rainmaker, Sam Leong,                  this veteran is looking more like a sexy       prawns with dried red chilli, suckling pig
oversees a lavish menu of re-invented              spring chicken. The food is top quality        and deep fried pork ribs. The dim sum is
classics. Try fried green tea dumplings,           and also appealing to more conservative        well worth a taste as well.
chawanmushi with crab claws and pork               Western palates.                               Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road,
rib in champagne sauce. Adjoining the              Shangri-La Hotel, 22 Orange Grove Road,        tel: +65 6431-5323.
restaurant is the intimate Space @ My              tel: +65 6213-4473.                            $ $$$ $
Humble House, where local dishes with              $$$$$
a modern twist are served against a
                                                                                                  Wan hao
backdrop of zen minimalism. Either is
ideal for a pre or post-performance bite.
                                                   si Chuan dou hua                               The elegant décor and soothing
                                                   If you’re out to impress the big guns, a       atmosphere make for a very pleasant
Esplanade Mall, #02-27/29, 8 Raffles
                                                   table at a window on the 60th floor of         dining experience. Note to the ladies:
Avenue, tel: +65 6423-1881.
                                                   UOB Plaza should do the trick, along           great for a bite when shopping with
$ $ $$$                                            with the superb food. You’ll need to           the girls. Blokes will probably prefer
                                                   book in advance though. The menu               Crossroads downstairs… something to
noble house                                        covers all the bases from Szechuan and         do with the “people” watching factor.
MillenniuM                                         Canton – probably the top two favourite        Dim sum and other expat faves such as
This place has been around for years               Chinese regional cuisines for expats.          cubed tenderloin with black pepper, and
– and is bound to last for years more if           Expect some lip-smackingly spicy little        barbecued meats are all dished up by a
the lunchtime crowds which flock here              numbers to enliven proceedings - we’re         master chef from Hong Kong.
are any indication. It’s vast and décor            mad for the hand made dan dan noodle.          Singapore Marriott Hotel, 320 Orchard
is the expected Cantonese style but at             Also look out for the acrobatic tea            Road, Tel: +65 6831-4615.
least it’s light and airy. Actually, it hardly
matters when the food is this good and
                                                   pourers. Cirque du Soleil eat your heart
                                                   out!
                                                                                                  $ $$$ $
inexpensive, and it certainly keeps the            #60-01 UOB Plaza 1, 80 Raffles Place, tel:
Shenton Way brigade happy. After all,              +65 6535-6006.
they say that an army marches on its
stomach…
                                                   $$-$ $ $$ $
5 Shenton Way, UIC Building #06-13, tel:
+65 6227-0933.
$ -$$ $$$



                                                 T H E   E X PAT
                                                                      51         AU G U S T      2 0 0 8
                  HONOURABLE
                   MENTIONS
 This select little bunch opened as we went to press for
the 2008 Restaurant Guide. Look out for full reviews in
                 upcoming issues of Expat.


Basilico                                          the first place as it was overwhelmingly      deconsecrated chapel up at Dempsey has
So Capers has gone the way of all                 popular. The food will be the same, we        had an absolutely stunning makeover.
restaurants that reach the end of their           hear, although the ambience will be a bit     It’s light, airy and spacious. The menu
natural life. Not that there was anything         more casual – knowing these guys and          focuses on smart European comfort food,
wrong with it per se, it was just a bit dull.     their meticulous attention to detail, that    but the clincher is that Chef Daniel Sia
We always thought The Regent could do             probably just means they’re dispensing        has previously worked with the legendary
better. Now they’re bringing us a new             with the white cloths.                        Justin Quek in Shanghai and before that
Italian restaurant, focusing on seasonal          Address to be confirmed                       at Harvey Nicks restaurant in London.
cuisine, complete with rotisserie, wood-                                                        39C Harding Road, tel: +65 6473- 9965.
fired pizza oven, an espresso counter             cassis
and walk-in wine cellar. There are also           Drop dead gorgeous, glamourlicious,           YantRa
al fresco tables by the pool so we’re             restored black and white, serving modern      Apparently one of the best Northern
imagining some structural renovations             French food. This restaurant would be         Indian restaurants to open in years.
have been made.                                   just as at home on the Cote d’Azur. The       Décor is sleek, chic fine dining, food is
The Regent Singapore, Level 2, 1 Cuscaden         French head chef has Michelin-starred         expertly prepared and service is superb.
Road, tel: +65 6725-3205                          experience, and the service is said to        Goodness, are they going to give Rang
                                                  be good. Sounds like a welcome new            Mahal a run for their money?
canteen                                           arrival to us.                                163 Tanglin Road, #01-28/33 Tanglin
Okay, you’re right, this isn’t new. The Les       7 Rochester Park, tel: +65 6872-9366.         Mall, tel: +65 6836-3088
Amis group is resurrecting Canteen and
the new one will have a prime location in         White RaBBit
Shaw Centre right on Scotts Road. We              Totally bizarre name, granted, but
were never quite sure why it closed in            don’t let that put you off. The old,




                                                T H E   E X PAT
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