From international celebrity chefs to homegrown brands getting their time in the limelight, this line-up of the latest openings in June shows that the F&B industry is on the mend after a sluggish two years in the pandemic.
1. Nobu Singapore
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, Level 3, 190 Orchard Boulevard
Open: Monday to Sunday (6pm to 10.30pm)
The famed Nobu Matsuhisa has finally arrived in Singapore. One of the first chefs in the US to introduce Japanese-Peruvian cuisine, his Nobu Hospitality empire includes hotels and restaurants around the world as well as in neighbouring cities such as Kuala Lumpur and Manila.
Taking up residence in Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, the Singapore outpost showcases an identical menu to what you’d find at all Nobu restaurants but with a few extra perks. It’s the first to have a chef’s table (a private dining room with its own functional kitchen), a zen garden and two teppanyaki grills.
Split into cold and hot dishes, the menu is mostly a throwback to the 90s when the combination of ponzu, sesame oil and raw fish was considered ingenious. Even the decor — wood-clad interior, panelled ceiling and indoor trees — looks like it never left that era.
What to order: Black cod miso (S$68), whitefish tiradito — a Peruvian raw-fish dish (S$39)
28 Ann Siang Road, 01-02
Open: Monday to Saturday (12pm to 10pm)
Its name is derived from Japanese pavilions and the newest kid on the block sees Yamashita in charge of the savoury fare and matcha specialists Hvala responsible for the sweets (and tea). A range of comfort food makes up the menu with open-faced sandos, crepes, curry, cha soba, and chazuke (hot green tea over rice). For dessert, matcha fans can’t pass up the matcha goma garden comprising warabi mochi, homemade ice cream and a goma chocolate cookie.
Tea, in particular those of the Chinese and Japanese variety, is the go-to drink here. You’ll find small-batch artisanal teas such as the Golden Key or Snowflake Dancong that are grown in specific regions or harvested only in the winter.
What to order: Wagyu sukiyaki tamago sando (S$24), matcha goma garden (S$17)
Palais Renaissance, B1-04/05, 390 Orchard Road
Open: Monday to Sunday (4.30pm to 11pm)
Celebrating the fruits of the sea is exactly what Estuary’s mainly pescetarian menu does. Founded by serial entrepreneur and former DJ Daniel Ong, the restaurant-bar aims for sustainability; it gets some of its seafood from Ah Hua Kelong and vegetables from indoor farm Artisan Green.
Led by head chef Polo Seah, former group executive chef from the Jigger and Pony group, the nosh here bears some similarities to the previous places he’s worked at, including Humpback and Caffe Fernet.
There are freshly shucked oysters and a handful of options for cold dishes (hamachi ceviche and octopus carpaccio), but the highlight has to be its aged barramundi or turbot. Hung up in the dry ageing cabinet for up to 14 days — depending on the fish’s fat content — it’s then thrown onto the grill and served with a choice of chipotle agrodolce (a sweet-and-sour sauce), baba ghanoush, walnut tarator (a sauce) or seaweed beurre blanc sauce.
What to order: Sea urchin with burrata, kumquat and grilled sourdough (S$26), Sarawak Bario claypot rice (S$30)
4. Luce by Davide Giacomelli
InterContinental Singapore, Level 1, 80 Middle Road
Open: Wednesday to Sunday (12pm to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10.30pm)
This new restaurant taking over Ash & Elm at InterContinental Singapore might be the answer to authentic Italian cuisine in the Bugis area.
Davide Giacomelli, a young aspiring chef who’s spent 13 years in Michelin-starred kitchens, is the face and chef de cuisine of this venture after emerging as the best from a global talent scouting exercise by the hotel.
The space serves as the hotel’s breakfast buffet during the day and then transforms into Luce for lunch and dinner. Expect comfort food such as the acquerello lobster, a risotto cooked simply in lobster stock with tender chunks of lobster meat, as well as a lively brunch on weekends.
What to order: Acquerello lobster (S$46), tagliatelle coda mi manzo — freshly made tagliatelle pasta with deboned oxtail (S$36)
128 Tembeling Road
Open: Tuesday to Thursday (6pm to 10.30pm), Friday and Saturday (12pm to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10.30pm)
Expanding its Italian-focused collection of restaurants, The Cicheti Group marks its first foray into the east with a collaboration with a celebrated local sfoglino (male pasta maker).
Better known as Ben Fatto and the private dinners he organises, Yum Hwa Lee takes charge of the pasta-making process from scratch. He works behind glass panels in the pasta facility that’s hard to miss; it’s positioned right by the front and looks out to the main road. The highlight at Forma is, after all, the handmade pasta.
Meant to be eaten as appetisers, the pasta portions here are smaller than what most places offer but are cooked perfectly al dente. They’re even tossed sparingly in sauces to let the taste and texture of the pasta shine through.
What to order: Carciofi con stracciatella di formaggio, or braised baby artichokes (S$21), tortellini in brodo — sealed mini pockets of pasta stuffed with pork and cheese in a clear chicken broth (S$34), crostata al limone di amalfi — Amalfi lemon curd tart (S$16)
6. One Prawn & Co
458 MacPherson Road
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (11am to 5pm)
From fine-dining kitchens such as Burnt Ends and Forlino to a hawker stall at Golden Mile Food Centre, Gwyneth Ang has put everything she’s learnt to perfect a bowl of prawn noodles.
Recently moving to its standalone eatery at MacPherson, One Prawn & Co continues to serve bowls of noodles in piping-hot prawn-and-pork broth. Using up to 18kg of prawns a day that take four hours to prepare, the meat goes into housemade tobiko prawn balls as well.
All the soup options come in a claypot each, and are accompanied by a side of dry noodles that include a dollop of its homemade sambal chilli sauce, fried shallots as well as a generous serving of fried pork lard bits.
What to order: Tobiko prawn ball and small prawns (S$8), ngoh hiang platter (S$11.50)
Singapore Botanic Gardens Gallop Extension, 11 Gallop Road
Open: Wednesday and Thursday (6pm to 11.30pm), Friday to Sunday (12pm to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10pm)
Peranakan poster boy and chef Malcolm Lee of one Michelin-starred Candlenut carries on his mission of discovering his heritage with a new restaurant at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Named after the tree from which the buah keluak nut — an ingredient so essential to the cuisine — comes, Pangium seeks out the origins of what he calls “Straits cuisine”. Using what he knows best as a foundation for culinary exploration, the tasting menu promises to keep on evolving as Lee dives deeper into history.
What to order: Lunch (S$198++), dinner (S$258++)
8. Sushi Yujo
Amara Hotel, 02-26, 165 Tanjong Pagar Road
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (12pm to 3pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm)
Chef Desmond Fong helms Sushi Yujo, yet another Japanese restaurant to open in the last year or so. The former head chef at Sushi Jin under the Les Amis Group, he’s got the techniques down pat as well as a sense of what Singaporeans like.
You’ll get standard nigiri that’s made with fish flown in from Toyosu market four times a week, and his signature cooked dishes: Aburi ootoro (seared fatty tuna) that’s seared then topped with negitoro, truffle caviar and gold leaf.
The lunch omakase, less indulgent than dinner, is offered in two different sets — Rikai and Shinrai. Opt for the latter for a Yujo wagyu don, containing thinly sliced marbled beef on a glorious poached egg.
What to order: Shinrai set lunch (S$198)
9. Osteria Mozza
Hilton Singapore Orchard, Level 5, 333 Orchard Road
Open: Tuesday to Saturday (5pm to 10.30pm)
Osteria Mozza returns after a brief closure at the spanking new Hilton Singapore Orchard. Shaking off a scandal its previous co-owner was involved in, the Cal-Italian restaurant is back with most of the same staff, that mozzarella bar and a novel set of dishes to boot.
Dressed in a more elegant interpretation of a Tuscan farmhouse, the establishment takes the direction set by co-owner and celebrity chef Nancy Silverton. Gunning for simplicity, the new items on the menu showcase fresh produce and bright flavours such as the Nancy’s Caesar, a crostini topped with slices of boiled egg, anchovies and leek.
Watch out for its famous pizzas, which were once the highlight of the restaurant at its former post at Marina Bay Sands. They will make a comeback in the following months with an improved dough recipe.
What to order: Nancy’s Caesar (S$23), orecchiette (a type of pasta) with sausage and Swiss chard (S$32)
Capella Singapore, 1 The Knolls, Sentosa
Open: Monday to Sunday (7am to 11am, 12pm to 10pm)
Mauro Colagreco of Michelin-starred Mirazur in France must have liked the overwhelming response he got during his pop-up at Mandala Club on Bukit Pasoh Road. He’s set up Fiamma (“flame” in Italian) at the upmarket Capella Singapore hotel.
Open-flame cooking, of course, takes centrestage at this all-day dining restaurant. Inspired by his grandmother’s cooking and big family dinners, the fare is a blend of fine techniques from his award-winning fine-dining restaurant and comforting Italian fare, such as pizza and pasta.
Expect the chef’s signature dish — the carpaccio di pomodoro e pesca (thin slices of heirloom tomatoes and peaches with chives and citrus) — and specialty pasta Trofie Al Pesto from Liguria in northwest Italy.
What to order: Carpaccio di pomodoro e pesca (S$26), pescato del giorno — fresh fish prepared a la Ligure that’s baked or sauteed with black olives, pine nuts and vegetables (S$68)
11. Little Farms
Tanglin Mall, 02-136/138, 163 Tanglin Road
Open: Monday to Thursday, and Sunday (7.30am to 9.30pm), Friday and Saturday (7.30am to 10pm)
Its sixth outlet, Little Farms at Tanglin Mall gets help from its new acquisition, Starter Lab, for a casual all-day dining concept called Little Farms Table.
Welcoming sourdough experts into the fold is a no-brainer for the business that values fresh and organic produce. As such, you’ll find elements of levain appearing throughout the menu in dishes such as the “Starter” blinis board comprising griddle-fried pancakes made from live starter with feta, tomatoes and greens from the vertical indoor garden.
The flagship store also houses a butcher, deli counter, specialty cheese department, a Starter Lab bakery, and a wine shop.
What to order: “Starter” blinis board (S$20+ for two, S$30+ for three), honey roasted seasonal stone fruits (S$17)
12. Shake Shake In A Tub
111 Somerset, 01-08, 111 Somerset Road
Open: Monday to Sunday (10am to 10pm)
Homegrown brand Shake Shake In A Tub levels up from its food kiosks to a flagship cafe in the heart of town. Fitted with a dazzling colour palette of bright yellow and pink, the eatery serves up items that are best consumed right away, such as a cheese fondue dip and an impressive miniature Ferris wheel of fried chicken and fries.
What to order: Say Cheese! Fondue (S$21.90), Triple Truffle Fried Chicken set (S$19.90)
13. La Petite Boulangerie
2 Marne Road, 01-04
Open: Tuesday (10am to 6pm), Wednesday to Saturday (9.30am to 6pm)
This quaint pastry shop helmed by Celeste Teh shares a space with furniture store My Selection. La Petite Boulangerie is Teh’s first solo venture. A former air stewardess, she went on to train under the tutelage of Jean-Francois Arnaud — one of France’s most renowned patissiers.
With his guidance, she mastered the merveilleux, a small cake that’s traditionally made of two meringues held together with whipped cream, then dusted with chocolate shavings. Putting her spin on it, she has come up with flavours ranging from kaya and coconut to a cheesecake almond crumble that comes in regular and mini sizes.
The other pastry, escargot or pain aux raisins, in the shop is also reworked with contemporary flavours such as gula melaka and pearl sugar.
What to order: Merveilleux (S$9), escargot (S$5.50)
14. Joyden Canton Kitchen
Great World City, 01-141/142, 1 Kim Seng Promenade
Open: Monday to Friday (11.30am to 3.30pm, 5.30pm to 9.30pm), Saturday and Sunday (11am to 9.30pm)
Now at Great World City, it’ll take less time to get your hands on one of its signature dishes, including the Moonlight rice vermicelli with egg white and scallop, a cloud of beaten egg whites with a singular yolk in the centre.
What to order: Moonlight rice vermicelli with egg white and scallop (S$22), fish maw and tiger prawns with glass noodles (S$22)
15. Jumbo Signatures
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Singapore, B1-01B, 2 Bayfront Avenue
Open: Monday to Thursday, and Sunday (11.30am to 3pm, 5.30pm to 10pm), Friday and Saturday (12pm to 3.30pm, 5.30pm to 11pm)
Quintessentially Singaporean, the chain of Jumbo seafood restaurants has long been a reliable go-to for chilli and black pepper crab. In an effort to suit the upmarket clientele at Marina Bay Sands, Jumbo Signatures is the latest concept by the group for an elevated experience of Singapore cuisine.
While you’ll still get the classic dishes available at its regular outlets, this restaurant offers a tasting menu made up of all the dishes it’s known for, such as scallops wrapped in yam ring or yuan yang fried rice with cod fish and fresh mushrooms. The debut menu also comes with a wine pairing option comprising a mix of Old and New World vintages.
What to order: Tasting menu (S$158+)