01 Glitz and Gordon Ramsay
Everybody’s favourite shouty chef Gordon Ramsay has finally rolled up the shutters of the Singapore spin-off of his Bread Street kitchen restaurant chain. Housed in the Marina Bay Sands complex amid celebrity-chef peers such as Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali and Daniel Boulud, Ramsay’s two-storey, 150-seater outfit offers calming waterfront vistas of Marina Bay on the top floor and peeks into a buzzy open kitchen counter on the other.
Its slightly pricey menu encompasses British classics such as fish and chips with crushed peas, Irish Angus steaks and treacle tarts. There are also Asian-inflected new creations by head chef Sabrina Stillhart, such as tamarind and coriander-spiced fried chicken wings, and garlic and tuna tartare tossed with chilli, garlic and sesame.
Bread Street Kitchen, #01-81 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Tel: 6688-5665
02 NOODLE FEVER
In the wake of Tim Ho Wan’s runaway success in Singapore comes yet another Michelin-star Hong Kong F&B name hoping to strike gold here. Opened in July 2015, Mak’s Noodle in Centrepoint is an offshoot of the Anthony Bourdain-approved wonton noodle chain, and a joint venture between the brand’s current third-generation owner Tony Yung and newly set up F&B company Asia Gourmet. Noodles start from $6.90 a bowl at the 40-seater local outlet.
To ensure like-for-like consistency between Hong Kong and Singapore, noodles and wonton skins are all imported from Hong Kong, while a 70-year-old head chef who heads Mak’s Noodle flagship outlet in Wellington will also relocate here for the first two years.
Mak’s Noodle, #01-63/64 The Centrepoint. Tel: 6235-5778
03 WORLD’S FAMOUS DUCKS
After opening venues in Shanghai and Bangkok, Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant has finally set up shop here in April 2015. The new digs, sited in the newly refurbished Capitol Theatre, are far swankier than its 25-year-old Bayswater, London original. What remains the same are the world-famous roast ducks (from $22 for a portion to $68 for a whole), bathed in the house’s signature gravy. Well-executed and full-flavoured, the restaurant’s other dishes are worthy a try too, such as the soya sauce chicken and salted egg yolk tofu dishes.
Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant, #02-27/28/29 Capitol Piazza. Tel: 6702-1838
04 RAZZLE DAZZLE
Who knew that ice-cream toasts, bunny-eared chairs and waitresses dressed in French chambermaid outfits could spark off a frenzy? But Dazzling Cafe did, drawing hour-long queues on its initial days of opening at the Capitol Piazza in May 2015. Brought in by 22-year-old local franchisee Serene Tan, the Taiwanese jewellery boutique-turned-cafe chain’s Singapore outpost is also its first in South-east Asia and marks its growing appetite for expansion in the region.
Desserts such as ice-cream floats, custard and honeydraped thick toasts and mochistuffed waffles are the highlights here, along with a limited selection of savoury French toasts and pastas, including a Spicy Seafood Tom Yam Tomato Spaghetti that is a specially created hat tip to Singapore.
Dazzling Cafe, #01-85 Capitol Piazza. Tel: 6384-3310
05 SERIES OF FIRSTS
Five cafes, an artisanal sourdough bakery and a boutique coffee roaster later, Sydney-based concept Luxe has made its first international foray with inaugural restaurant Luxe Singapore. The interior of the 50-seater is similar to the Sydney cafe chain’s, thanks to Australian designer Victoria Hampshire’s use of Nordic stools, stucco walls and bright, airy space.
Singapore-born and Australia-raised chef Chui Lee Luk oversees the menu here, which features modern Australian fare with a South-east Asian twist. Think moreish parmesan doughnuts that come with a dipping sauce infused with chilli padi, or grilled barramundi with a tangy rojak flower butter.
Luxe Singapore #01-04, 1 Keong Saik Road
06 MEAT AND GREET
Famed UK burger chain Meatliquor set up its first global outpost in Duxton in May 2015 – and it’s already on the hunt for two further outlets in Singapore. Known for bringing an irreverent British edge to American comfort food, Meatliquor was founded in 2011 by Scott Collins and Yianni Papoutsis after a successful burger pop-up stint, and has since grown to span six outlets across the UK.
The Singapore venture was set up in partnership with The Blind Group, the folks behind feeding spots such as Oxwell & Co and Operation Dagger. Bestsellers here include the Dead Hippie, padded out with two mustard-fried beef patties and American cheese, the Dirty Chicken burger, and madefor- Singapore sambal chicken wings and soft shell crab with Cajun spices. Even better news? Most menu items are under $20.
Meatliquor, 99 Duxton Road. Tel: 6221-5343