1) Acqua E Farina

It’s not often a restaurant successfully combines the best of two worlds. New Italian outfit Acqua E Farina does just that. Co-founders and executive chefs Roberto Galbiati and Antonio Manetto, who met while working in the Da Paolo Group, come from the north and south of Italy respectively, which means there’s a good mix of light and richer dishes here. Pizzas, for instance, have a light and crisp base topped with delicious savoury sweet combos like ricotta cheese and salami. Pastas and risottos, on the other hand, show more Northern influence – try the creamy sunny-yellow saffron risotto topped with fennel sausage.   The Rail Mall, 400 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Tel: 6462-0926

2) 13 Duxton Hill

The menu of modern Australian eatery Thirteen Duxton is designed around its name, meaning there’s just 13 dishes to choose from here. Head chef John-Paul Fiechtner, who spent time at top establishments like Le Chateaubriand in Paris and Lume in Melbourne, changes the menu daily according to what he finds at local markets every morning. This means simple produce like baby corn elevated with a savoury butter made from the head juices of fresh prawns and topped with burnt cocoa to emphasise the smoky flavours at play here. 13 Duxton Hill. Tel: 9054 1435

3) Ho Rang I

Add Horangi to your list of authentic Korean restaurants in Singapore. This unassuming family-run establishment tucked away in the Thomson neighbourhood is a favourite among Koreans, often seen tucking into steaming large plates of stew. The Haemul Pajeong (seafood omelette) is typical comfort food with its crisp edges and generous plump prawns. For something to share. the Haemul Tang – made with scallops, clams and a whole crab simmered in a spicy stock – is a good dish for two. 165 Thomson Rd. Tel: 6251 0123

4) Akira Back

Las Vegas-based chef Akira Back’s namesake restaurant in JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach can be quite a lot to take in at first: The restaurant serves Korean-Japanese fusion fare, and its head honcho was formerly a professional snowboarder who made the jump to sushi chef “to be cool”. Luckily, the food here is comforting with some interesting twists. Back marries the familiar flavours of Korean (spicy and mildly sweet) with the fresh, lightness of Japanese cuisine, a move that should sit well with local palates. Try the miso black cod that is simply grilled, paired with a refreshing yuzu sake foam.

5) Morsels at Dempsey

The quaint outfit run by Petrina Loh finds a new home just before CNY (28 Jan), amidst the lush greenery of Dempsey. The interior is now more rustic barnyard then whimsical, though signature dishes like Loh’s charred house-poached octopus with squid ink risotto and salted egg sauce , and steamed Venus clams in fig broth, remain on the menu. For a more intimate dining experience, book the chef’s table where up to four guests get to dine in the kitchen while watching Loh at work. 25 Dempsey Road, #01-04