New restaurants and menus in Singapore (June 2019)
Scrumptious new food to be had at Firebake, Jimoto Dining, The Black Swan, and Racines.
Sourdough darlings Firebake has a new menu, this time with even more dishes inspired by chef-owner Konstantino Blokbergen’s Greek heritage. Included is an Australian wagyu burger that features house-baked sourdough potato buns, cheddar, Grana Padano, and pastitsada sauce — a spiced, tomato-based beef sauce from the Greek island of Corfu. For the full experience, try a Greek coffee. It's made in a copper pot over a bed of hot sand; and served with lokoumi, a confection similar to Turkish delight. For a place that specialises in bread, it's only natural that they do tartines. Flavours vary from day to day, and can include variations like a vegetarian combination of avocado pesto, feta, pickled pistachios, and mushrooms. New on the menu is also a moreish seafood risotto, which they prepare with fish stock, Grana Padano, and a lift of sherry vinegar. This comes with spears of asparagus and grilled Mediterranean sea bass. There's also a prixe fixe lunch menu now, where you can get two or three-course affairs with mains like the new grilled Argentinian striploin — which they char in their mammoth wood-fired oven and serve on rye bread with salsa verde.
237 East Coast Road. Tel: 6440-1228
The Black Swan
They might not put it front-and-centre, but the menuat The Black Swan has minimal-waste slant that proves that trimmings and odds-and-ends can also make good eating. Broccoli stems go into a hummus with pine nuts, served with dangerously addictive polenta chips; while sourdough discard — a by-product of maintaining a healthy sourdough starter — gets made into rosemary-scented chips for their beef tartare. Meanwhile, the new menu introduces even more of chef Alysia Chan's hearty, no-nonsense cooking. Expect plenty of Asian-inflected European dishes, like grilled maine lobster with burnt scallions, romesco, and a chewy, flavourful crowning glory of black barley and corn risotto. Other highlights include a selection of lesser-known beef variety and cuts from their chophouse that includes vintage beef and bavette; and the housemade charcuterie. The cocktails here are noteworthy too, as they're more flavour than flair. Try the ginger & spice highball, which bar supervisor Joanna Lee concocts from a homemade spiced rum blend, orange seltzer, and bitters.
19 Cecil Street. Tel: 6438-3757
Previously named Jimoto-Ya — which was known for its whisky-spiked ramen — this restaurant has rebranded to focus on sushi and omakase. Helming the kitchen is Chef Takahiro Sato, who counts experience at Sushi Hashida and Melbourne’s Kakizaki. Ensconced away in the Joo Chiat neighbourhood, the intimate 21-seater has all the charm of a hidden gem. Their relatively affordable omakases start from $55; with a constantly-changing a la carte menu. Like any sushi spot worth its salt, the rice, fish, and vinegar all have particular provenances. Jimoto uses a secret red vinegar blend, sasanishiki rice from Miyagi prefecture, and seafood — many of which are marinated or cured Edomae-style — flown in from Japan. They've also got a pretty expansive drinks programme, spanning sake, wines, whisky, and even cognac. The restaurant is flexible with their pairings, so there's a chance to try something new each time. Interesting results we've had include a pairing of sweet, late harvest semillon with buttery otoro that works in the same way foie gras is paired with Sauternes.
325 Joo Chiat Road. Tel: 6223-3397
Sofitel City Centre's Racines continues with hits yin-yang philosophy with a new menu. Dishes still see the same Chinese-French split, with executive chef Jean Charles Dubois heading the French kitchen brigade, and executive Chinese chef Andrew Chong in charge of the local and Asian food. New items include foie gras, available in two different dishes: Sichuan inflected, in a terrine with cocoa and Sichuan pepper; or in the classic way, pan-seared with caramelised figs. Other ingredients receiving the same treatment include scallops. The Western version, using Atlantic scallops, comes pan-seared and served with beetroot, crispy capers, and beurre blanc flavoured with loomi, a Persian spice made with dried lemon; while the Chinese kitchen's rendition features a spin on local laksa with Hokkaido scallops, fried rock lobster, and onsen tamago.
Sofitel Singapore City, 9 Wallich Street. Tel: 6428-5000