While there’s certainly no better time for traditions (and clichés) than the festive season, a little unconventionality helps to keep things interesting. Those seeking to inject a hint of quirk into their yuletide feasting can count on these local restaurants to put a spin on traditional Christmas table must-haves like turkey, cranberry, chestnuts and pumpkin.
SENSO RISTORANTE & BAR
With its dimly-lit courtyard setting and warm interiors, the widely-raved Italian restaurant may just be the ideal destination for those seeking a Christmas dinner that is more to the romantic side. Senso draws upon its heritage this festive season, melding key elements of traditional Italian cooking with classic Christmas ingredients. The Creamy Pumpkin Soup, topped with pan-seared foie gras, vanilla oil and toasted hazelnuts, and the full-flavoured Homemade Pumpkin Ravioli with lobster, caviar, scampi and espuma are perfect examples of this amalgamation. Senso has something in store for die-hard purists too, such as the Braised Turkey Breast, served with cranberry sauce, sautéed brussel sprouts and mushroom ragout, and the Traditional Christmas Endive Salad, tossed with decadent black winter truffle, smoked duck breast and a smooth walnut dressing. Don’t forget to pair your merry feasting with a drink or two from the restaurant’s well-stocked bar, like a flute of Ca’del Bosco Franciacorta wine brought in all the way from Lombardy, Italy.
21 Club Street. Tel: 6224 3534
SPATHE PUBLIC HOUSE
Bohemianesque communal dining spot Spathe presents a Christmas menu of mammoth proportions in both size and flavour, blending and plating traditional festive feasting elements in unexpected ways. Vegetarians and vegans should probably look elsewhere because at Spathe, it’s either go big on meat or go home. Leading the pack of eclectic, succulent offerings is the Christmas Turducken, a veritable poultry portmanteau of quail in a chicken in a duck in a turkey – yup, that’s four varieties quite literally rolled into one – served with roasted chestnuts and cabbage braised in cranberry sauce and red wine. If the idea daunts you, have these meats their own, like the Whole Roasted Quail with sweet potato and peach chutney, or the whimsically-named Red Nose Duck, comprising a juicy roasted duck breast, yam gnocchi, shitake and plum poached in spiced red wine. When it’s time for a sugar high, go for the Brandy Soaked Baba with eggnog crème patisserie, poached chestnuts and crushed hazelnuts. Those craving something thoroughly festive will love the Gingerbread Goblet, a delicious blend of coffee, Baileys, Kahlua, ginger syrup and cinnamon powder, served with a freshly-baked gingerbread man and homemade candy floss – it’s Christmas in a glass.
8 Mohamed Sultan Road #01-01. Tel: 6735 1035
NUVO RESTAURANT & LOUNGE
Contemporary Italian-Japanese restaurant NUVO sees festive feasting through the lens of its pet cuisine to surprising effect. Helmed by award-winning Chef Mark Richards, who is recognised for his modernist cooking style and innovative menus, Christmas dinner at NUVO is promised to be a culinary adventure owing to the restaurant’s knack for marrying a unique blend of quintessentially Italian and Japanese ingredients. Start with the Smoked Turkey and Tako Okonomiyaki Frittata, where napa cabbage, tonkatsu, basil, karashi aioli and turkey ham are blended into a sumptuous Japanese-style pancake. As for mains, NUVO offers the Roasted Kurobuta Pork Ribs, topped with a very festive blend of caramelised chestnuts, granny smiths and cranberry sauce, and the Ranger’s Valley Wagyu Rump Cap, accompanied with a side of pumpkin mash. End off your gastronomic night with the interesting White Chocolate and White Miso Christmas Bread Pudding, crafted from black Jamaican rum and white chocolate from Amedei Tuscany.
6 Raffles Boulevard #02-100. Tel: 6822 2098