In a dining landscape where there's a constant sense of one-upmanship, there's something to be said for classic dishes. Tablescape brings a sense of that with a new executive chef, Armando Aristarco, who has created a tight menu of European classics, each given a little lift of modernity. There's both bread and dessert trolley services, which add a bit of old-school luxury to the experience. Given to every diner, the complimentary bread comes with house-churned butter, and sees 4 types available at any one time. Dishes are mostly comfort food, including familiar combinations like sous vide egg with parmesan sauce, asparagus, and black truffles; and a crudo-like creation of raw scallops with salmon roe and cucumber gazpacho. Other times, the dishes get an injection of innovation — like smoked duck and foie gras risotto that arrived at your table lightly smoked. What you really want to keep a lookout for though, is the catch-of-the-day. Aristarco has a personal fisherman in Lombok, who line-catches seafood that the chef then cooks simply on a Josper to highlight its freshness — something that, in our books, is the true luxury.
Park Hotel City Hall, 10 Coleman Street, Level 3. Tel: 6432 5566
The prodigal son returns. With the much anticipated reopening of Raffles Hotel comes a Chinese restaurant by chef-restaurateur Jereme Leung, who used to head Jiang Nan Chun at the Four Seasons before leaving for China. 17 years and an F&B empire later, Leung has returned to Singapore with a contemporary Chinese restaurant. Rather than focusing on modernising dishes by adopting Western ingredients though, Yi's taking Chinese cuisine into the future by, ironically enough, exploring lesser-known traditional Chinese ingredients and techniques, and delving into the ethnic, provincial dishes of China's massively varied cuisines. Examples of this include the Hundred-Ring cucumber with poached sea whelk — a dish that requires exceptional knife skills to achieve dozens of equally-spaced cuts on a cucumber, turning it into a continuous spiral that they then top with the shellfish. Other highlights include an appetiser of brined duck breast, beef tripe, and ox tongue with Sichuan-chilli dressing — a dish that sees the common Sichuanese street food of beef offal elevated with sous vide duck breast and beef tongue.
Raffles Hotel Singapore, 1 Beach Road. Reserve here.
Further proving that Dempsey Hill is making a comeback as a prime dining destination — the guys behind Baker & Cook is opening a full dining concept in the area, complete with a sister outlet of Plank right next door. The 12,000 sq ft space will be a one-stop shop for all baked-goods and all-day dining needs. Breakfast at Baker & Cook sees continental options like Turkish Eggs — whipped yogurt, poached eggs and aleppo chilli butter — and Dutch babies topped with Earl Grey-poached pear, berries, maple yogurt, and lemon curd. Post breakfast, the restaurant will offer a mix of small and large sharing plates, with dishes such as miso-glazed eggplants, Barramundi baked in paper, and herb-roasted chicken with tomato and butter bean stew. Plank, meanwhile, will offer a selection of sourdough pizzas (it's in their name) including dessert options like Banoffee (banana-toffee) with roasted pecans and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
With a refurbishment and a new chef, Italian native Mauro Sanna, at its helm, Fairmont Singapore's mainstay Prego continues with serving refined, authentic Italian cuisine. There are multiple, possible experiences to be had with the new Prego — whether its a light aperitivo at the 18-seater Island Bar, or a hefty, sit-down dinner. Highlights from the new menu include Anguilla Affumicata, a dish of golden beets and house-smoked eel; and a selection of pastas and pizzas that are prepared with fresh dough that they make in-house each day. For long-time diners of the Italian restaurant, their signature Prego pizza — topped with sundried tomatoes, ham, wild and brown button mushrooms, fresh cream and parmesan — remains.
Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road. Tel: 6431 6156