New restaurants to try in Singapore (February 2019)
The wheels of fate — and gastronomy — continue to turn as restaurants move, and new ones open.
After an illustrious 8 years at their iconic location in Kampong Bugis, Kilo Kitchen is starting somewhat fresh in Duxton, with chef Manel Valero is now heading the kitchen again after departing in 2016 for a sabbatical. All the Kilo hallmarks remain: unfussy sharing plates, big flavours, and international influences, which you'll find in perennial favourites like grilled baby corn with chipotle and furikake; and their seafood ceviche, which features tuna, octopus, and snapper in a piquant dressing. The breezy new space now features a wood-fired grill in the centre of the open kitchen, which is fed with a combination of apple, cherry, and jarrah woods to fire dishes like grilled lamb shank with roasted peppers and za'atar bread. Also keep a look out for Valero's dangerously addictive fermented potato focaccia (which also appeared during his brief stint with natural wine rabblerousers RVLT) served with confit garlic and adobo dip.
97 Duxton Road. Tel: 9625-0279
New Ubin Zhongshan Park
The New Ubin zichar empire continues to grow with their third outlet opening in hotel Ramada by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park. Set to be the hotel's main dining concept, the latest New Ubin seats 150, and will be offering rice bowls for lunch in addition to the favourites that you know and love. Tuck into their signature USDA Black Angus ‘Choice’ Rib-Eye with the "Heart Attack" fried rice and a more recent decadence: kopitiam-style soft boiled eggs with foie gras and a sprinkling of truffle salt. While it's part of the hotel, the restaurant continues with its tradition of not charging corkage, so break out all your best wines and spirits for a conveniently-located zichar feast.
16 Ah Hood Rd, Ramada by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park. Tel: 6808-6846
This reservations-only spot offers a discreet dining experience alongside a quite predictably modern European degustation menu that changes regularly. Current highlights include an intensely flavoured seafood-amalgamation of freshly-picked crab, aerated shrimp, and marinated bloody mary tomatoes; and a comforting surf-and-not-quite-turf of cod in a spiced duck consomme. Curiously enough (although it's a welcome sight), Hokkien mee also features in the menu, only this version is luxed up with lobster stock and meat. There's also a private dining area on the second level of the restaurant, where the minimum spending fee is $1000.
369 Jalan Besar. Tel: 6610-0555
Swiss high-end kitchen appliance brand V-Zug has launched their first restaurant in Singapore, situated right next to their showroom and advice centre Zugorama. Christened quite matter-of-factly V-Restaurant, the semi fine-dining spot has been conceptualised in conjunction with Tippling Club/Grow Bali's chef Ryan Clift, who also happens to be V-Zug's global ambassador. Heading the kitchen is Tippling Club alum chef Lee Jing Peng, who will be offering degustation-only menus for both lunch (2, 3, and 5 courses) and dinner (5 or 10 courses). The menu offers quite-straightforward dishes like wagyu tartare and watercress veloute; although bits of Tippling Club-esque modernist cooking does sneak in in things like "textures of green curry" served with roast barramundi; and an el Bulli invention, the air baguette, here served with Manchego and truffles. Needless to say, it's all prepared using V-Zug's appliances.
It's a little hard to follow but: Thai luxury property developers Sansiri have launched a multi-concept lifestyle space in Singapore, and the restaurant part — in addition to a showroom and an art gallery — of that is known as JAM. The concept brings together chefs Ming Tan of Park Bench Deli, and Jeremy Cheok of blowout popup Garang Grill to present contemporary Asian sharing plates. That is, familiar, moreish flavours refined for a restaurant setting. Expect dishes like thick-cut scallop carpaccio dressed in yuzu and truffle, spring onion, and topped with kombu and trout roe. Another highlight is the restaurant's charcoal grill, which is used to imbue smoke and char in dishes like prime rib with shio-kombu butter and salsa verde; and Iberico pork collar with stone fruit compote. There's also a cocktail programme courtesy of the guys behind Sunday Punch, who will be riffing on classics — their negroni pays homage to home base with the inclusion of Thai red tea.