The past two to three years have been amazing for the Singapore restaurant and bar scene with new cool cafés, funky cocktail bars, modern interpretations of Singaporean cuisine, even a restaurant where you dine in the dark!
2013 has been perhaps the most interesting year yet. Being that it’s almost coming to an end, the team at City Nomads felt it was time to reflect on what restaurants and bars were the most exciting, interesting and perhaps even ‘game-changing’ of the year.
So, without further ado, here is our top 10 most exciting new restaurants and bars to open in 2013:
1) Burnt Ends
Burnt Ends is just……cool. The decor, the low tapas bar counter where you play audience to the open-plan kitchen of the Amish-style bearded Chef Dave Pynt and team cooking up some delicious meaty treats right in front of you. They have a great selection of craft beers, and their cocktails aren’t too shabby either. Everything about this place has been put together so well. It’s certainly not cheap, but the experience and quality of the food makes for an excellent dining experience. Read our review here.
Burnt Ends is located at 20 Teck Lim Road, Singapore, 088391. Opening hours are Tuesday – Saturday 11:45am to 2pm, and Monday – Saturday: 6pm – midnight. Closed Sundays. To make a reservation, please call: 6224 3933.
2) The Spiffy Dapper
The Spiffy Dapper certainly has something of a cult following…and with good reason. It’s an awesome cocktail bar (now serving great coffee during the day as well) that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The team running it are an eccentric bunch who know how to have fun with their patrons. They also massively support the local arts and music scene – something which is much needed in Singapore. Hell, they even randomly play old 50s movies on the projector screen. Rather than trying to be slick as sh*t, uber professional or pompous, The Spiffy Dapper effortlessly provides a bar where anyone, from anywhere can come in, get an expertly made drink, and be greeted like an old friend. Read our review here.
The Spiffy Dapper is located at 73 Amoy Street, 069892. Opening hours are Daily: 4pm-midnight.
3) Ding Dong
It takes a very brave and confident Chef to create a menu that involves non-traditional Singaporean and Southeast Asian food in Singapore. It takes a very talented Chef to pull it off successfully. At Ding Dong, this has been done with aplomb with a menu conceived by Chef Ryan Clift (Exec Chef of Tipping Club & Open Door Policy).
Located on the upper end of Ann Siang, Ding Dong offers diners a time-clashing dining experience of traditional ingredients turned on their head to create some fantastic modern dishes. The cocktails here are created in the same vein, and are quite delectable. Read our review here.
Ding Dong is located at 23 Ann Siang Road Singapore 069703. Opening hours are Monday – Friday 12pm – 3pm, Monday – Saturday: 6pm to 12pm. To make a reservation, please call: 6557 0189.
4) NOX – Dining in the dark
Dining in the dark. Yes, yes, it’s a concept done in cities all over the world. However, its arrival in Singapore means something quite symbolic….that Singapore is ready for weirder and more unusual restaurant concepts. The fact that NOX is full pretty much every night shows that. Read our review here.
NOX – Dining in the dark is located at 269 Beach Road, Singapore 199546. Opening hours are Monday – Friday: 6PM to late, Saturday: 5PM to late, Sunday: 5PM to 11PM (last reservation 9PM)
Muchachos! 2012 was the start of the Mexican wave in Singapore, and Lucha Loco was instrumental to that. However 2013 saw places like Muchachos opening up, serving awesome burritos at an exceedingly pocket-friendly $12! Very affordable, just how it should be. Not only is Muchachos helping to show Singapore how delicious Mexican-style food is, but it’s showing that this style of food isn’t necessarily something to be coveted as expensive, gourmet, intricate or fine…just a giant mouthful of a delicious burrito as wide as your fist which makes for happy eating! Read our review here.
Muchachos is located at 22 Keong Saik Road, Singapore, 089129. Opening hours are Monday – Saturday: midday – midnight.
6) Merchants Wine Cellar and Store
Whist it was very sad to see the close of The Pigeonhole, Merchants has been one of our favourite concepts to open up this year in Singapore along Duxton Road. Sourcing wines from boutique vineyards directly, Merchants offers a casual atmosphere to enjoy a wide selection of excellent wines by the glass or bottle. The best part is that most of the wines here are not only delicious, but also super-reasonably priced. With most restaurants and bars in the CBD charging over $60 for a decent bottle, a quality bottle at Merchants will go for a little as $25 AND you’ll be supporting small family run vineyards. What’s not to like?
Merchants Wine Cellar and Store is located at Pasarbella@The Grandstand & 52 Duxton Rd. Please see individual locations for opening times.
7) The Beast
The Beast is barely a month old and is already one of our favourite bar hangouts in town. Founded by Jamie Koh, the owner of Chupitos in Clarke Quay, The Beast is an entirely different concept. Located in Kampong Glam, The Beast is an intimate and rustic venue specialising in the best of American food and drink. What this means is an awesome selection of bourbon and rye whiskies, great craft beer, and of course delicious (if massively unhealthy) comfort food like wings, burgers, ribs and home-made popcorn.
The Beast is located at 17 Jalan Klapa, Singapore 199329. Opening hours are Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 12am. Friday – Saturday: 5pm – 1am, Sunday: 10am – 5pm. To make a reservation, please call: 6295 0017.
Wolf is Singapore’s first ‘nose-to-tail’ concept restaurant. Like NOX, this concept is nothing new in well-established dining cities like London, New York and Sydney. However it’s conception in Singapore heralds a new era in culinary desires and endeavours.
In case you’re not sure what ‘nose-to-tail’ means, like the name suggests, no part of the animal is wasted. Instead of finding the regular cuts of meats, expect livers, hearts, trotters and tails to dominate the selection of main courses. Have you got the stomach for it? Read our review here.
Wolf is located at 18 Gemmill Lane, Singapore 069255. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday: 11am to 3pm, 6pm to midnight. To make a reservation, please call 6557 2224.
9) Artisan Boulangerie Compagnie
With the great coffee craze in full swing in our fair lion city, it was only a matter of time before the bakeries started kicking off. This year has been hugely successful for the Artisan Boulangerie Compagnie (now with three outlets!) for good reason. One of the great trends of 2013 is quality bakery and cafés and ABC is definitely at the forefront of this charge. Their baguettes are excellent, as are their gourmet (and affordable) patisserie treats. At this rate, it won’t be long before we’re all walking around declaring ‘Oo la la’ and harbouring baguettes on the baskets of our bicycles. Read our review here.
Artisan Boulangerie Compagnie is located at #01-01, 118 Killiney Road, #01-23, Great World City and #01-12, The Metropolis, 9 North Buona Vista Drive, #01-02 Asia Square Tower 2, 12 Marina View, #01-163/164 Vivo City 1 Harbourfront Walk, I12 Katong, 112 east coast road
I12 katong mall #01-05, and 30 Raffles Place, Chevron House #01-34 . Please see individual locations for opening times.
10) Jekyll & Hyde
Tras Street has taken the food and drink scene by storm. Previously being occupied primarily by dodgy KTV bars, more and more well-executed modern concepts are opening up on this narrow street. Jekyll & Hyde is a perfect example of this. With cool, minimalistic interior, there is something very ‘Manhattan’ about Jekyll & Hyde. The staff here are professional in every sense of the word and service is not only excellent, but also very personal. Watch out for these guys in 2014 as they become more and more popular I am sure.