Keong Saik favourite Neon Pigeon has moved, and is now offering its trendy, Japanese-inspired food and drink from its new digs at Carpenter Street. With its larger space, the restaurant is now organised into three sections for different experiences: a bar out front for casual drinks, a raw bar with counter seats where you can watch chefs in action, and the main seating area. Drink in the eclectic wall murals from acclaimed street artist Zero while drinking in a selection of sake, and easy-drinking cocktails like the Kosupure, a fizzy, easy-drinking tipple of Midori, Laird’s applejack, fino sherry – all garnished with a stick of pocky. The food’s no slouch either, with favourites like their edamame hummus joining new creations like the crowd pleasing sweetcorn rice — bomba rice cooked in a sweetcorn reduction and served with grilled corn and an egg yolk.
36 Carpenter St, #01-01. Tel: 6222-3623
The Singapore offshoot of the one Michelin-starred Restaurant Gaig in Barcelona, Spain has introduced a refreshed menu of modern spins on Catalan classics, as well as extended its dining space – all amidst a challenging new climate. Dish highlights include an intriguing pairing of foie gras terrine, anchovies, and hazelnut sable – where briny anchovies and rich duck liver is brought together with a sweet and tangy raspberry coulis. We’re also fond of the Bomba de la Barceloneta, a bomb-shaped croquette filled with minced beef and potatoes and served with a contextually, properly spicy brava sauce and aioli. Don’t forget to try one of the restaurant’s classics: Gaig’s traditional cannelloni, a stick-to-your-ribs plate that comes stuffed with beef and pork, and served in a truffle cream sauce.
16 Stanley Street. Tel: 6221-2134
If the lack of ability to go overseas has taught us anything – it’s that Singaporeans next preferred activity to travelling is eating. Newly opened sushi omakase concept Masaaki is already flourishing, and it’s in part due to chef Masaaki Sakashita’s pedigree at other Japanese heavyweights like Ishi and Hashida Sushi. While dishes vary depending on the season and the chef, it’s all detail focused – with eye-catching choices like a sushi platter made from delicate washi paper and ebony chopsticks.
26 Beach Road, South Beach, #B1-17. Tel: 6388-1555
(Related: Sommelier-curated bottles at Urbanfindr)
The ilLido Group shows no signs of slowing down with Gemma, a new florentine steakhouse that focuses on doing the classics well. Headed by group executive chef Daniele Sperindio, Gemma focuses on large format steaks cooked in their Josper for hearty, sharing-friendly mains. Gather friends or family to work on hefty cuts like like Tuscan-style bistecca Fiorentina or an aged porterhouse, or go solo with smaller portions like Miyazaki wagyu sirloin, or a Te Mana lamb rack. The sides though, are where the chefs can get creative – enter whipped Agria potato with purple sage and fermented parsnip; or celeriac carpaccio with dill oil and black garlic.
1 St Andrews Road 05-03 National Gallery. Tel: 8787-0977
While chef-owner Andrew Walsh has always expressed bits of his Irish heritage at restaurant Cure, he’s gone all out with his Nua (Gaelic for “new”) Irish menu — presenting dishes inspired by traditional dishes, childhood memories, and produce from the island. There are dishes that are fine dining expressions of humble fare: like soda bread, here baked with Guinness and glazed with a treacle, Guinness-fermented honey glaze. There’s also a potato crisp sandwich, here re-interpreted as a potato terrine topped with crispy garlic, shallots, and spring onions. Other highlights from the menu include an umami-rich grain porridge, topped with a runny egg yolk and blanketed by a thin layer of aged tenderloin from John Stone, a sustainably-run Irish farm that’s been producing grass fed beef for 50 years. We’re also fond of the Silver Farm duck, here grilled on binchotan before being served with a confit duck leg “takoyaki”, and an incredibly moreish espuma of duck fat, salted duck eggs, juniper, and thyme.
21 Keong Saik Road. Tel: 6221-2189
Soon to open: Carne
The best chef in the world – according to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list – is opening a burger joint in Singapore. Mauro Colagreco, chef of three-Michelin-starred Mirazur, also runs a burger chain called Carne, which has three stores and two franchises in Buenos Aires, Argentina. What makes the burger so special? Not much in the way of fancy techniques or ingredients – just stellar produce and a focus on sustainability. The chain makes it a point to work with local produce, as well as farmers that care about their animals, to bring consumers a burger that’s not just delicious, but ethical.