LOWER EAST SIDE TAQUERIA
The Mexican craze shows no signs of dying just yet. Adding another notch to Singapore’s Mexicana spread is the brainchild of Spathe Public House’s Christopher Lim and chef Cludio Sandiri, Lower East Side Taqueria. Like the best of Mexican cuisine, prepare for a fiery feast as this restaurant takes pride in their specially imported selection of chilli from the motherland, like habaneros, poblanos and jalapenos that comes in three-level hotness. Take a bite off its cumin and grilled chicken burrito, a hearty and flavourful char-grilled beef is a mouth-watering slab of Australian grain-fed (read: full flavour) rib-eyed served with chopped jalepeno and homemade salsa verde.
19 East Coast Road
Tel: 9824 4009
When one door closes, another one opens – this is true Joseph Wong, owner of the now-defunct Foodbar Dada and his new venture, 63Celsius. The evolving menu focuses on the simple-is-best philosophy, as in the case with the grilled USDA prime rib eye, served unseasoned to fully emphasise its full natural flavours. For your carb fix, the 6 3 Delicia Rice is a shellfish-braised Spanish rice dish with scallops, baby peas and grilled prawns. And if you’re missing that Josper grill goodness from Foodbar Dada, opt for the Josper –grilled pork tenderloin, a signature favourite.
Asia Square Tower 2, #01-13
Tel: 9639 7862
MYKONOS ON THE BAY
Made by Greeks for an authentic taste of Greece, Mykonos by the Bay is our modern take on Greek taverns, a complete setting and all the physicality of a tavern: exposed brick bar, hardwood flooring and the Grecian white and blue décor. The menu caters on traditional dishes such as charcoal-grilled meats and fish, gemista (oven-basked baldo rice and greek herbs stuffed with roma tomatoes with yoghurt mint sauce), giovyetsi garida (short pasta with Mediterranean red prawns, cherry tomatoes and saffron), and melitzanes imam (baby eggplant with caramelised onions stuffinf, spiced with cinnamon, and soft baked feta). Save some space for its baklava, a sweet-tooth dream come true mixture of bitter chocolate, orange zest, walnut filling clove and cinnamon, rolled in phyllo pastry.
Quayside Isle #01-10 Sentosa Cove
Tel: 6334 3818
Though technically not a restaurant, Javier de las Muelas’s One Ninety Bar at The Four Seasons Hotel Singapore is jumping in the wood-fired dishes bandwagon as well. Besides its award-winning, hand crafted cocktails (expect nothing less than superb brews from the brain behind Dry Martini Bar in Barcelona), the bar has standout delicacies from its wood-fired oven: wood-fired focaccia and truffle mascarpone cheese, and wagyu mini sliders with onion marmalade and horseradish mayo. Say who that bar bites can’t be gourmet experience?
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
Tel: 6831 7671
Being two- faced isn’t always a bad thing, Bincho shows. The mee pok stall by day and neuvo yakitori joint by night is the latest project by Loh Lik Peng’s Unlisted Collection, adding his touch of modernity to the district’s distinct heritage. Like its namesake (Bincho-tan is the white charcoal used in Japan to grill yakitori), its grill galore at Bincho. Helmed by chef Asai Masashi (from the famed Abeno Tsuji Culinary Institute), expect a nose-to-tail concept where every part of a chicken is used for grilling. For the culinary adventurous, dip your fork in the cartilage, liver and the heart.
Hua Bee Kopitiam
Tel: 6438 4567
Dine like the maharajas of yesteryear at Pind Balluchi with its true-to-style original recipes from the annals of Indian royalty. The already-established dining institution back in India spares no expense in sticking to its culinary DNA for its restaurant here, using a myriad of regionally-imported spices that are rare in Singapore, to maintain authenticity in flavour. Standout dishes include the Pathar Lamb Kebab (granite stone-cooked lamb, heated over a bed of hot coals) macde with dagadh phool (a rare lichen) that gives this dish an exquisite piquant-earthly taste; and the galouti kebab, hand-minced lamb infused with over 130 exotic spices originally made for a king.
3B River Valley Road #01-15
Tel: 6337 7350
TABLE BY RANG MAHAL
Table by Rang Mahal – or Rang Mahal-lite, as I’d like to call it – is a more relaxed, bistro-style version of its fine-dining sister establishment. Tandoori is the name of the game for its Executive Set Lunch, available in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, with favourites such as tandoori mushroom and murg angar served in a modernised bento-style. For dinner, go back to the basics with traditional chicken tikka (chicken cubes marinated in red chilli and yoghurt) and the vegetarian tandoori palak paneer (Indian cottage cheese wrapped in tangy yoghurt masala)
41 Seah Street, Naumai Hotel
Tel: 6403 6005
The Spanish may have their moment with tapas and the Greeks with methezes, but the Italians are back in the spotlight with their own brand of small plates. Traditionally served in Venice’s bacari (wine bars), cicheti are signature snacks of regional favourites. The oven is wood-fired using Acunto Forni oven (which has the capacity to be fired to 600 degrees Celcius) for their Neapolitan pizzas and some main dishes. Traditional picks include polpette di carne (sautéed meatballs in home-made tomato sauce), a gamberi grassi in garlic butter sauce and pappardelle ragu (pasta served al dente with slow-braised lamb shoulder ragout).
52 Kandahar Street
Tel: 6292 5012