In this month's edition of Hot New Tables: 5th Quarter, Grain Traders, LOKKE, Maggie Joan's, Labyrnith, Raven, and more
Restaurants are popping out like SG50 babies in Singapore, and it’s no different this month of October. Bring out of towners to this modern Chinese restaurants or have a fancy (but affordable) meal at a fine contemporary grill specialising in cured meat; sink your teeth into Hong Kong’s best burger joints and grab a wholesome lunch at CBD’s coolest spot. Choices are aplenty!
Unlisted Collection has done it again with 5th Quarter. Partnering with W Hotel’s former chef de cuisine Drew Nocente, the 70-seater, meat-crazed communal restaurant brings more than just good cuts of meat to the table. Instead, each dish is prepared exquisitely using different elements such as curing, fermenting, smoking, and pickling. Start the meal with the Chef Selection of 5 Types of Charcuterie (S$18); the cold meat platter includes a good selection of house-made cured meat, a Pâté or Terrine, and one Rillette. Other must try includes the indulgently-sinful Salt ‘n’ Pepper Tripe ($12) that’s lightly season with sze chuan pepper as well as the mouth-watering, grass-fed short ribs ($36) that was smoked for eight-hours, followed by a 48-hour sous-vide treatment – the meat was so tender, my steak knife glided through it like it was just butter.
5th Quarter, 39 Syed Alwi Road,Singapore 207630, p. 6291 1936. Open Tue-Sun, 12pm-2:30pm, 6:30 pm-10:30 pm.
Looks like Gemmill Lane is bound for a serious revival. Not long after Delicacy and Bar-A-Thym opened alongside established spots Club Street Social and Luke’s Oyster Bar, Maggie Joan’s, a new hush-hush underground restaurant accessed by a narrow alleyway off the street, has followed suit. Moosehead Kitchen and Bar’s owners Glen and Daniel Ballis, along with their friend Darren Micallef, are the brains responsible for this so-hip-it-hurts space, which is named after Daniel’s two grandmothers (Maggie and Joan). The tight menu, crafted by chef Oliver Hyde (he’s the former sous chef of Pollen Singapore), is modern Mediterranean, and features fresh plates like an egg, dukkah and saffron mayo appetiser, amazing-sounding seafood entrees (scallop carpaccio, peas and ham is one), and hearty mains like a slow-braised lamb shoulder.
Maggie Joan’s, #01-01, 110 Amoy Street, Singapore 069930, p. 6221 5564. Open Mon-Fri 12pm-2.30pm, 6-11pm; Sat 6-11pm.
Inspired by founder Norman Hartono love for Chinese take-out dishes during his time in California, Tung Lok’s newest venture LOKKE gives a playful spin to classic Chinese dishes that will please both traditionalists and modern Chinese eaters alike. Highly recommended is the Firecracker Chicken Nest, which is based on the fiery Chongqing and Kung Pao chicken; the deep-fried chicken dish is season with five spice and dried chillies, and comes with four raw eggs to wash down the heat.
LOKKEE, #03-01, Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839, p. 6884 4566. Open Mon-Sun 11am-3pm and 5:30 pm-10pm.
Working in the CBD sometimes mean that there’s literally no rest for the wicked; lunches are usually packed to go and eaten at the desk. So you can imagine our joy when Grain Traders – a casual lunchtime joint started by Javier Perez’s from Kilo – open its doors this month. Serving wholesome real food (food which nourishes everyone, from producers, consumers, communities, and even the earth) in a bowl, Grain Traders brings a slice of comfort to the never-ending CBD stress. Everything is priced at $16 and you can either build your own bowl or just choose one of their Hero creations like the energy-boosting Rooster Crow.
Grain Traders, #01-01/02/03,138 Market Street, Singapore 048946. Open Mon-Fri, 8pm-8am.
Butchers Club Burger
The newest bad boy to hit Clarke Quay, Butchers Club Burger is considered as the best burger joint in Hong Kong. The menu is simple, but the taste impeccable. Top on our list is the house’s signature burger; made up of a juicy dry-aged Black Aangus grain-fed beef patty that’s sandwiched between crispy Canadian strip bacon glazed in maple syrup, and topped with the special house’s caramelised onion spread, English white cheddar, pickle and tomatoes. Don’t forget to order a side of duck fat fries to accompany your burger; the lip-smacking side is fried thrice in duck fat and boasts a crispy crunch.
The Butchers Club Burger, 3A River Valley Road #01-01B, Singapore 179020. Open Sun-Tue, 12pm-12am, Wed-Thur, 12pm-2am, Fri-Sat, 12pm-4am.
Labyrinth has always been one of our go-to restos for good reason. The food and service are always sensational, and flavours are always kept distinctively Singaporean presented in consistently impressive ways. Every trip here will take you on an gastronomical adventure. We particularly love the new Experience Menu – a decadent, nine-course meal with a lovely backstory, which aims to take you through Singapore in 24 hours, food-wise. Save room for the Singapore Breakfast, a snazzy (and delicious) spin on a favourite local delicacy.
Restaurant Labyrinth, Esplanade Mall, #02-23, 8 Raffles Avenue, Singapore 039802, Open Mon-Fri, 12pm-3pm, 530pm-11pm, Sat-Sun, 530pm-11pm.
Malaysian burger franchise Kaw Kaw landed on Singapore shores recently – bringing with it the famous ‘burger bakar’ or grilled patty burgers. Decked out with a rustic touch (think lots of wood and brick walls), dining at this cafe is a laidback, no-frills experience. While the menu features appetizers, pastas and salads, we suggest diving straight into the delicious, extremely moreish burgers. Chicken lovers, order up The Permaisuri – made with fried chicken thigh, melted cheese, turkey ham slice, chicken floss and lemon. Beef burgers are a must-try too here; the patties are oh-so-tender, buns are nice and crisp, and some options are even served up with beef bacon, which is a major plus for our Muslim friends.
Kaw Kaw, 28 Aliwal Street, 0101 Aliwal Art Center, Singapore 19918, Open Mon-Sun, 11am-11pm.