Plating, ambience, and presentation might not affect the taste of a dish, but they do have a huge impact on the dining experience. In fact, shoddy environments and poorly-designed concepts can make or break your next dinner date. Instagram feed stuck in a rut? Feeling a lack of inspiration? Feast your eyes on the most gram-worthy establishments in Singapore – we’ve run the gamut from hotpot restaurants to high-brow cocktail bars.
Haidilao Hot Pot
We’re all familiar with gravity-defying noodles and disarming hospitality, but as far as hotpot restaurant decor goes, Haidilao Hot Pot sits in the top spot for us. Twelve stores have been launched in twelve distinct locations around Singapore, but their latest at Marina Square takes the cake: LCD panels display glowing imagery of cascading waterfalls and robot servers make the futuristic restaurant look like something out of the Avatar – talk about immersive.
And from now till 31 December 2020, get a S$10 return Voucher with any minimum spend of S$30.
Haidilao Hot Pot Marina Square is located at 6 Raffles Boulevard, #01-19/25 Marina Square, Singapore 039594.
With exquisite food and an impressive tea programme, Chef Shigeru Koizumi takes traditional kappo-style omakase for a contemporary ride at Esora. Set in a refurbished shophouse on Mohamed Sultan Road, Esora’s aesthetic melds rustic elements of nature with trademark Japanese precision. The space is drenched in natural light, with the main counter below a washi paper skylight that nods to Chef Koizumi’s love for the sky, and also a reference to the restaurant’s name – ‘painting in the sky’ in Japanese.
Esora is located at 15 Mohamed Sultan Rd, Singapore 238964, p. +65 6365 1266. Open Tue 7pm – 9pm, Wed-Fri 12pm – 1.30pm and 7pm – 9pm, Sat 6pm – 8.45pm.
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Who can deny a steaming basket of fresh xiao long bao? Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao’s refreshed menu of expertly executed Northern Chinese specialities is a sight for sore eyes. Hot off the extensive new selection, dive into a sumptuous serve of Pork Collar with Fresh Szechuan Peppercorn & Preserved Vegetables Soup 猪颈肉酸菜汤 ($16.80++), while Pan-Fried Chives Pancake with Egg 韭菜盒子 (S$5.80++ for two) form elegant parcels of golden pastry wrapped with prettily-crimped edges.
From now till 31 December 2020, UOB Jadeite Members get exclusive savings: 12% cashback in terms of Jpoints, 10% off for purchases of Longevity Buns & Whole Cakes at estore.crystaljade.com and 10% off purchases of Whole Cakes at Crystal Jade My Bread outlets. Complimentary selected non-alcoholic beverages or Pu-er Chinese Tea with every S$30 spent are also available till 30 December 2020, from Mon-Fri excludng the eve of and public holidays, and limited to 10 redemptions per table. Click here for more information.
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao outlets are located at Toa Payoh, Bugis Junction, Holland Avenue, Jurong Point and Takashimaya Shopping Centre.
Fresh out the oven, Firebake’s woodfired sourdoughs and homespun pies smell, taste, and look fantastic. Using historical European woodfired techniques and contemporary global influences, get the best of both old and new worlds with a panini starter inspired by the indomitable Singaporean kaya toast, the Kanini (S$4.50++), or have a little bit of everything with the Woodfired Bread Board (S$10++), complete with extra virgin olive oil and artisanal butters.
Firebake is located at 237 East Coast Rd, Singapore 428930, p. +65 6440 1228. Open Tue-Thu 3pm – 10pm, Fri-Sun 9am – 10pm.
Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena
For mains, check out beautifully-styled comfort food with a local spin at Courtyard by Marriott’s Sky22. High up on the hotel’s 22nd floor, this contemporary dining destination in Novena features Executive Chef John Chye’s newest creations – Oven-Cooked Kampung Chicken (S$26++) served with creamy barley risotto and king oyster mushrooms and Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank (S$32++) with sides of garlic mash and baby spinach – perfect pairings to go with panoramic views of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
Sky22 is located at Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena, 99 Irrawaddy Rd, Singapore 329568, p. +65 6378 2040. Open daily, 6.30am – 10pm.
Great looking food isn’t just reserved for high-brow restaurants – the casual dining situation at Dancing Crab ~ The Seafood Place does due diligence, too. With good vibes and hearty bowls of overflowing seafood like Boston Lobster and Dungeness Crab, there’s no need for finicky parts and excessive decoration. Dig into their Black Pepper Crab (S$112++ for 2 crabs) or jump on the bandwagon with Live Lobster Rolls (S$36++).
From now till 31 December 2020, enjoy a complimentary TungLokFirst Membership, pre-loaded with a value of S$30 in the membership card.
Dancing Crab outlets are located at Harbourfront, Orchard Road, and Turf Club. Open daily 11.30am – 3pm and 5.30pm – 10pm.
No Instagram-worthy article would be complete without the famous Harvest Queen cocktail, featured in the new cocktail menu debuted in December last year at MO BAR, Mandarin Oriental, Singapore (read our review here).
Inspired by the people and places of Asia Pacific, every one of their 16 new drinks come served in thoughtfully sourced and designed vessels. Take the Hai Phong-inspired Harvest Queen (S$24++), for one.
Made with Agricole Rhum from South of Hanoi and combined with apple and guava, this fruity concoction smells amazing, and look cool to boot.
From now till 30 Dec 2020, dine-in customers get 15% off their total food bill.
MO BAR is located at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797, p. +65 6885 3500. Open Mon-Fri 2pm – 1am, Sat-Sun 11am – 1am.
Tian Fu Tea Room
Chinese tea rooms have never looked so good. Tian Fu Tea Room offers over 30 types of premium leaves skillfully brewed by trained Tea Connoisseurs, all in the confines of a beautiful and tranquil space. Savour the flavour of familiar greens and flowery whites, and enjoy them with delectable handcrafted dim sum items at the Imperial High Tea. Available from 2.30pm to 6pm at TOP of UOB Plaza and PARKROYAL on Beach Road outlets, guests can choose from eight selected teas from the menu, presented in delicate and Instagram-able teaware that is different for each guest for a unique drinking experience.
Tian Fu Tea Room outlets are located at PARKROYAL on Beach Road and TOP of UOB Plaza. Open daily 2.30pm – 6pm.
Ash & Elm
When it comes to striking desserts and bold flavours, Ash & Elm at InterContinental Singapore has things down pat. Recipient of the Singapore Tatler Best Dining Restaurants Award, Ash & Elm offers European cuisine which revolve around the use of fine produce sourced from around the world, house-cured and premium meats, as well as sustainably-sourced seafood. Try their Deconstructed Tiramisu (S$17++) for a refreshing take on the traditional Italian dessert, or experience apple three ways in the Apple Trio (S$25++, serves two-three): crumble, terrine, and sorbet.
From now till 31 December 2020, enjoy 20% off total bill.
Ash & Elm is located at InterContinental Singapore, 80 Middle Rd, Singapore 188966, p. +65 6825 1008. Open for breakfast daily (6am – 10.30am), lunch Mon-Fri (12pm – 3pm), dinner daily (6pm – 10.30pm), and brunch on Sat-Sun (12.30pm – 2.30pm).
When it comes to thinking out of the dessert box, few come close to local Willy Wonka Janice Wong and her whimsical creations. You’ll find them at boozy dessert concept 2am:dessertbar at Holland Village, which has been a pillar of the district since its first conception in 2007. Take your dessert experience to the next level with Janice as she pushes the boundaries between sweet and savoury, presenting carefully designed offerings as unique as they are delicious.
2am:dessertbar is located at 21a Lorong Liput Singapore 277733, p. +65 6291 9727. Open Tue-Fri 3pm – 2am, Sat-Sun 2pm – 2am. Closed Mon.
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