Creative director turned full-time foodie Veronica Phua and her husband shares about their favourite takeaways, deliveries, and dine-in experiences in recent times.
“One of our favourite places in recent times (pre-dining restrictions) is this modern-Korean restaurant called Anju. I’d say there’s nothing else like it now because most Korean places are on the traditional side. There’s Meta – which I also love – but Anju is a casual place so the food is a la carte, and sharing plates. There’s no fuss, and the food is fun and flavourful – like a starter of black bean (like the kind you find in banchan) with mascarpone and chive oil, served with sourdough chips. You have to try the Hogam Jeon, which is like a rosti with zucchini and seafood – then you can top up to add mozzarella, which comes all hot and gooey and is great with the crispy potato. There’s also an off-menu item of cold “bingsu” noodles – which, instead of plain ice, comes with shavings of the frozen pickling liquid from their white kimchi. This is only available occasionally – so call ahead to request!”
What else to try:
Young Gae, a 21 day-old chicken that’s butterflied, deboned, and grilled. Served with a spicy, tangy, and sweet sauce.
Korean beverages: stuff you won’t even find in the Korean specialty shops – from Champagne Makgeolli and chestnut blossom wine to craft soju.
(Related: 4 Asian restaurants to order takeaway from)
“We dined in just before the heightened restrictions and I have to say chef Aitor’s new space is stunning. It certainly elevates the meal, but the food is also more refined. I think having a new place really encouraged the team to take things to the next level.
The best thing we had was probably this bright, intense tomato dish with tomato essence jelly, tomato sorbet, and fresh micro and Amela tomatoes. Then, close seconds would be rich, earthy morel mushrooms stuffed with liver pate and topped with lardo; and a crispy-skinned black-spotted sea bream with razor clams and caviar in donostiarra sauce (a garlic-heavy white sauce made with fish stock). As always, chef Aitor’s signature txuleta (vintage, aged beef) came perfectly cooked.”
Everything was super fresh and the packaging was beautiful. The box chirashi came with all the usual premium seafood like chutoro and uni, but also uncommon items like braised shiitake mushrooms, which gave the dish a lot of flavour. We also liked the very generously-portioned futomaki.
Generous portions, and great and expected flavours. Standouts included their cold capellini – which a lot of restaurants do, but Alma;s comes with a seaweed sauce which is perfumed wonderfully by yuzu. The huge portion comes with caviar, boston lobster, and uni – so it’s very worth it for the $67 price. Their signature aged Irish duck is also something you really want to eat at home because it’s a whole duck, and something you really want to dig into with your hands. It’s very flavourful and just the right level of salty – so good when chased with some red wine. The dessert is also really fun – it’s their take on the old-school ice cream carts’ rainbow bread sandwich. There’s brioche naturally coloured with pandan, beetroot, and pineapple; and ondeh ondeh ice cream made with gula jawa and Hokkaido milk.
(Related: Designing restaurants with intent)
“Mustard Seed has the kind of food that I want to hog all for myself. It’s one of our favourite restaurants and even with the takeaway chef Ming Kiat’s managed to keep the essence of their flavour. One dish that has really stuck with me is a squid kerabu with grilled squid, white corn, long bean, cucumber, and aromatics like kaffir lime.”