Now that the awards season high has died down, it’s back to the grind on our never-ending quest to unearth new gems in Singapore. And while openings seemed to reach a plateau in March, the second half of 2019 is starting off strong with a slew of fresh restaurants and bars. From the reopening greatly-missed establishments like Whitegrass and UNA, to the latest French offering at Raffles Hotel, here is the newest in the local culinary scene.
New Restaurants in Singapore
The once-defunct Whitegrass (which closed in December last year) has decided to reopen its doors to the public with a brand new direction in the form of French fare with a Japanese twist. Led by Head Chef Takuya Yamashita, previously the Head Chef at Tokyo’s one-Michelin-starred Ciel et Sol, his five- and eight-course degustation menus are centred around honouring high-quality ingredients, with the freshest seafood air-flown daily from Japan’s best fish markets. Enjoy creations like the Oyster, specially sourced from the Hyogo Prefecture and served with Granny Smith apple purée, baby zucchini, and nasturtium leaves.
Whitegrass is located at 30 Victoria Street, #01-26/27 CHIJMES, p.+65 6337 7810. Opens Tue-Sat 6pm-10pm.
Because locals can’t get enough of the stuff, more Japanese cuisine is heading your way with Gaijin. The two-storey Japanese restaurant in King Albert Park Mall plants its roots in tradition, with a focus on all the casual comforts (read: udon, ramen, and donburi). Steep in the warmth of a piping hot bowl of Gyudon or Tempura Udon enhanced with buttery slices of angus short plate and black tiger prawns. Like a little more heat? The Kara Gaijin Tonkotsu Ramen offers up to three levels of housemade chilli, which washes down lovely with Orion beers from Okinawa and sakes from Saito and Nanbubijin.
Gaijin is located at 9 King Albert Park, #01-40, Singapore 598332, p.+65 6904 0400. Opens daily, 12pm-3pm and 6pm-10pm.
Derived from the word “cosmos”, Kausmo is the brainchild of co-founders Lisa Tang and Kuah Chew Shian. The creative concept aims to repurpose fruits and vegetables that are overstocked, over-ripened, oddly-shaped, and would otherwise go to waste. Each dish sees highly-curated ingredients, like seafood from small farming communities in the region to secondary cuts of meat which are often overlooked in favour of prime cuts. What you get are sustainable and delicious inventions like Brown Butter Mushroom Pate on Almond Crisp and Citrus Seabass Belly & Peppery Rami Nettle. If you’re looking for a feast, Kausmo will offer a six-course Carte Blanche menu at S$75++, with kombucha pairing for an extra charge.
Kausmo is located at 1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #03-07, Singapore 228208, p.+65 8126 8538. Opens Tue-Sun, first seating at 6.30pm and second at 8.30pm. Closed Mon and alternate Sundays.
Capitol Milk Bar
Get a real blast from the past at the Capitol Milk Bar on the grounds of The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore. The nostalgic revival of the Magnolia Snack Bar from 1937 (ask your grandparents) brings back its ice creams, milkshakes and cakes, blending old-school and new creations such as a Milo ‘Dinosaur’ Milk Shake and The Classic “New Yorker” hotdog. Complete with jukebox-era accents, silestone table and counter tops, and ceramic mosaic flooring, relive the best of the ’60s under the glow of vintage posters and neon lights.
The Capital Milk Bar is located at Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski, #01-84B, 13 Stamford Road, Singapore 178905, p. +65 6715 6874. Opens daily, 11am-9pm.
UNA at The Alkaff Mansion
Now that it has left Rochester Park, UNA brings its romantic Basque cuisine to The Alkaff Mansion on top of Telok Blangah hill. UNA’s deliciously modern Spanish fare returns with its signature selection of paellas and more seafood. Try the Pulpo A La Parrilla Con Papas Arrugadas Y Mojo, a tender octopus grilled over a charcoal-fired parrilla grill accompanied with baby potatoes and coriander-paprika sauce. You’ll also enjoy the evergreen Cochinillo Asado, or Spanish crispy roasted suckling pig. What a feast.
UNA is located at The Alkaff Mansion, 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178, p. +65 6773 0070. Opens Wed-Sun, 6pm-10.30pm.
For the discerning sake enthusiast, sake bar MoboMoga is a must-try. The purveyors of rare sake take you across Japan’s unique prefectures through drink – imbibe the spirit of Yamagata Prefecture through a cloudy sake or enjoy a historic blast from the past with the rare Aramasa No. 6, produced in the traditional Kimoto method, for a low-yeast libation. And for those in need of a little nibble beforehand, the bar also serves a decent izakaya menu.
MoboMoga is located at 207 River Valley Road, #01-58 UE Square River Wing, Singapore 238275, p.+ 65 6219 3430. Opens Mon-Sat 6pm-12am.
The name is an amalgamation of co-founder Christina Keilthy’s Godma and Mama: two women who guard the heirloom recipes from two proud Peranakan families – the same recipes that greatly influence Chef Owner Fredric Goh’s extensive menu. Old meets new with traditional favourites and mod-Peranakan brunches, and highlights include the All Star Egg Skin Popiah (S$6.50++) and the fundamental classic Ayam Buah Keluak (S$18.90++). On the bar front, the Peranakan Blue (S$22++) is made with Brass Lion Distillery’s Butterfly Pea Gin for a refreshing and local twist on the G&T. Something stronger takes the form of The Emperor of Melaka (S$22++), essentially an Old Fashioned with a twist of baba culture imbued.
Godmama is located at Funan Mall, 109 North Bridge Road, #04-07, Singapore 179105, p. +65 6970 0828. Opens Sun-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10am-12am.
The Affogato Lounge
Following their Cluny Court success, the folks behind The Affogato Bar is introducing their second coffee bar concept at KēSa House: The Affogato Lounge. With it comes the unveiling of the first Asian-inspired affogato dessert, Coco Black. Fresh coconut ice cream is piled atop chunks of kaya bread pudding and served with a generous dollop of pulut hitam. It’s cut through by Ozone Roaster’s flagship espresso, Empire, for added depth and notes of chocolate and caramel. But the Lounge isn’t a one-trick pony – they also serve coffee cocktails, aromatic Pryce Teas, and a menu of quick bites perfect for lunch dates.
The Affogato Lounge is located at 55 Keong Saik Road, #01-02, Singapore 089158, p. +65 9889 7005. Opens Tue-Sun 11am-11pm.
La Dame de Pic
With a total of seven Michelin stars under her belt, world-renowned Anne-Sophie Pic breaks into Asia with the highly-anticipated La Dame de Pic at Raffles Singapore. Pic’s culinary identity is put in full view for patrons to experience, boasting a menu of aromatic complexities and powerful flavours. Led by Chef de Cuisine Kevin Gatin, a long-time protégé of Pic herself, the restaurant offers seasonal set menus (S$128++/lunch and S$198++/dinner) with inspiration from Valence and South East Asia. How do Berlingots with White Mille-feuille sound?
La Dame de Pic is located at 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673, p. +65 6337 1886. Lunch and dinner is available from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 12pm-2pm and 7pm-9.30pm.
New Bars in Singapore
While megaclub MARQUEE has been the hype of the hour since its opening in April, the lesser-known AVENUE was unveiled in an understated ceremony in May. Its ambience is a stark contrast to the blood-pumping action of the nightclub, but it doesn’t dull in comparison in terms of grandeur. Occupying 372 square metres of a luxuriously opulent space (gilded metal accents and textured granite countertops), feast on bespoke cocktails like a gula melaka Singapore Sling or a smokey CC Old Fashioned. Then, engage in some friendly competition with a mini bowling alley and vintage arcade games like pinball and skee ball.
AVENUE Singapore is located at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue, Basement 3, Singapore 018972, p. +65 6688 8680. Opens Wed-Thu 7pm-3am, Fri 7pm-5am, Sat 10pm-5am.
Looking for a listening lounge that devotes its musical playlist to classical music? Perched above French bistro Atout on Dempsey Hill is the all-new Maduro. The man behind it is Mr. P, a classically-trained pianist with a penchant for swinging jazz, and the music at Maduro reflects his stories perfectly. Drinks are also a nod to the nostalgic classics – from Scotland’s finest malts to vintage Old World wines and also unique amari and aperitivi cocktails. Sit in for live music at 1819 Tuesdays and Tiara Friday Club: events that bring experimental edge to Mr. P’s music offerings.
Maduro is located at 40C Harding Road, Level 3, Singapore 249548, p. +65 6950 5855. Opens Mon-Thu 2pm-1am, Fri-Sat 2pm-2am.
The Bar at 15 Stamford
The Capitol Kempinski Singapore unveils its newest drinking spot in the form of The Bar at 15 Stamford, a swanky watering hole that brings in 160 labels of rum including the Silver Seal Fine Caroni Heavy Rum 1997 from the Caroni Distillery in Trinidad, as well as over 250 wine labels for oenophiles. The bar also translates its extensive collection of rums into an entourage of craft cocktails, which include its signature Plantation 1840. On the weekends, watch this space transform with renowned guest DJs spicing up the mood.
The Bar at 15 Stamford is located at 15 Stamford Road, Singapore 178906, p. +65 6715 6871. Opens daily, 4pm-12am.