From modern Chinese in Duxton Hill, to French comfort food in the heartlands and cool Korean in the city, these new restaurants are a good start to 2018......
2018 is looking mighty fine for Singapore foodies. In case you missed it: Xin Divine at Duxton Hill presents a lesson in Modern Chinese; Summer Hill is serving up French comfort foods in Clementi; Origin at the Shangri-La does a life-changing steak (and lobster); alittle tashi serves up big flavours in Jalan Besar; Kimme on Amoy does modern Korean, but not as you know it; and Tablescape is all about the old school touches. Get into our latest roundup of Hot New Tables.
There’s no shortage of Chinese restaurants in Singapore, but modern Chinese restaurants that nail the combo of classic cuisine and European techniques in a stylish way? Not so much. New player Xin Divine in Duxton Hill is one to watch: owner Jolin Lee set out to deliver the elusive comfort of Chinese food, but satisfy modern palates, and yes the food is already living up to its name. With three chefs at the helm specialising in Szechuan, Cantonese and French cuisine, expect to dive into dishes from Szechuan-style tortellini in chilli oil to Poulet de Bresse with foie gras (a rendition of ‘drunken chicken’), Chilean seabass served with garlicky Szechuan-style eggplant and topped with deep-fried enoki or a spectacular osmanthus sphere for dessert with chilled winter melon and rock sugar soup (pictured top). It’s a well thought through spread that leaves you feeling decadently nourished.
Xin Divine, 10 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089594
Two words: dessert trolley. Tablescape at the Grand Park City Hall is a smaller hotel restaurant by design, and bringing back some old-school touches (like that spectacular trolley rolling up to your table). We also appreciate the bread trolley with its impressive range of house bakes and the cheese selection being presented at the table – nice, touch, Tablescape, nice touch. The menu, of course, has European classics, but with modern treatments – the house-cured gravlax is served with a cream cheese ice cream, for example, and perched on top of the steak tartare is a crispy, battered poached egg instead of the industry standard raw yolk. Executive chef Robert Chan’s signature Veal Sweetbread in Two-Minute Pea Soup is divine. Coming up for Easter weekend at Tablescape? Afternoon tea, with goodies from that dessert trolley for $24++ per person. Pinkies up!
Tablescape; Level 3, 10 Coleman Street, Grand Park City Hall, S179809
As the sister restaurant of Michelin-starred restaurant Meta, Kimme on Amoy St is serving Korean-influenced dishes in the city… but not like we’ve ever experienced it. European classics such as steak tartare and tagliatelle get the Kimme treatment: the former, with sesame oil, mirin and salted sago crackers; the latter, with dashi broth and seaweed to mimic the feel of Korean japchae noodles. Dishes start at just $13 here – between December hot new table Blackwattle and Kimme, we can’t we decide which is the best new addition to Amoy… Get our full review of Kimme to help make up your mind.
Kimme; 47 Amoy St, Singapore 069873, p. 6514 1588
We’ve got a soft spot for this new restaurant and bar in Jalan Besar, which serves up Asian comfort foods and global flavours in a totally unexpected combination. But it works, and we love it (we told you all about it in our review of alittle tashi). Think sticky, garlicky stir-fried blood cockles in chilli jam; charcoal-grilled beef short rib with a Middle-Eastern coriander and cumin sauce; punchy Asian pickles; crispy pork belly with mussels; and homemade sauces including addictive miso cream and Asian chimichurri. This place stays open until 12, so go ahead an graze on that intriguing menu.
alittletashi; 39 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207538
If you loved dearly departed French restaurant Cocotte, here’s your reason to head over to Sunset Way, stat. Former head chef Anthony Yeoh has reunited with a handful of the Cocotte crew to open Summer Hill, and yes his famous French-style roast chicken has made the journey to Clementi too. From the incredibly comforting soup to the home-style French faves on the tout petit menu, and the lovely vibes from this friendly bunch, we love this joint. Heads up: there’s only one indoor table at Summer Hill, so sneak out of work for lunch if you want to snap it up, but the outdoor dining area is just as charming. Get our full review of Summer Hill.
Summer Hill; Block 106 Clementi Street 12, #01-62, Singapore 120106 (Sunset Way); p. 6251 5337
Origin Grill and Bar
The Shangri-La’s swish, art deco-inspired restaurant is all about provenance: local and regional ingredients carefully chosen for their quality get a mod-Aus approach thanks to Aussie chef Heidi Flanagan. It’s all beautiful: check out our review of Origin restaurant for more about the amazing char-grilled octopus, Lombok lobster, and the star dish for carnivores: snow-aged Wagyu, which really does melt in your mouth. Origin also boasts a has a seriously good looking bar, but more on that in another story…
Origin Grill and Bar; 22 Orange Grove Road, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, Lobby Level, Tower Wing, Singapore, 258350
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