The Cliff is Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa’s latest iteration of their Italian dining establishment. Previously named Illido by the Cliff, the new concept features a more casual, all-day dining concept. Think sofa bed, drapes and poolside, rather than bow ties and suits. This fresh dining concept is based off the Italian adage “il dolce far niente”, or simply, the pleasure of doing nothing; to completely enjoy and savour the moment. Sample authentic Italian fare like the Beef Cheek Tortelli with Grana Padano Cream and Red Wine Sauce ($30) and the Spaghetti ‘Alla Chitarra’ with Smoky Lobster ($42). These dishes ooze Italian influence are a great way to experience an Italian getaway without splashing out big time on plane tickets.
The Cliff also has a separate bar and pool menu for diners looking to spend the day chilling by the poolside or their special Sunset Lounge, which is a soothing sanctuary by day, romantic escape by night.
2 Bukit Manis Road, Sentosa, Singapore 099891. Tel: +65 6708 8310
The first yakitori joint ever in Bishan Park, ToriYard is a place where good friends, delectable grilled meats and house-made drinks meet. Their open-concept kitchen features glass-lined yakitori stations which allow guests full view of their skewers being cooked over specialty charcoal imported from Japan.
The menu is curated and designed by Tokyo native Chef Hasegawa Isao, and features unique starters such as Tsukune Ohba Tsutsumi Age (deep fried chicken ball with perilla leaf, $8) and Onsen Tamago Cocktail (onsen egg, foie gras, salmon roe and uni, $17). Isao employs a unique method of skewering the Momo (Chicken Thigh) yakitori ($7), meticulously ensuring that each morsel of tender chicken thigh is wrapped in chicken skin before barbequing the entire skewer to crispy, sizzling perfection. Complement each yakitori dish with a smorgasbord of 11 sauces and dips. This establishment also has a range of house-flavoured shochu, infused with coffee, yuzu, grape and apple, to choose from in the event you’re a bit thirsty.
1380 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Bishan Park 2, Singapore 569930. Tel: +65 9296 5988
The Gyu Bar
Continuing with the theme of grilled meats is The Gyu Bar, which recently opened its doors along Stevens Road. The 35-seater specialises in offering an indulgent yet educational yakiniku experience for meat lovers, together with fine sakes. Their yakiniku dishes are made with the Kumamoto Kuroge strain of Japanese black Wagyu known for their excellent texture, flavour and rich aroma. The chilled (never frozen) beef is displayed in all its bovine goodness with house specials like Wagyu Yukke (beef tartare, $38) and Wagyu Tataki (Beef Carpaccio, $38). Beef lovers will also not want to miss the Gyu Bar Platter ($98): A rare opportunity to eat your way through every cut and consistency of beef imaginable in a single sitting. For those who prefer to have their meals readily-cooked should try the Signature Roast Beef Don ($35), a house specialty that stars slow-roasted Hokkaido top round beef and the chef’s secret gravy, topped with an onsen egg.
Best of all, in the spirit of omotenashi (Japanese hospitality), every patron of The Gyu Bar is treated to their first cup of sake at no charge. You heard that right: your first swig of that Japanese nectar is on the house, always. Upon guests’ arrival, they are taken to the “Sake Glass Wall”: where guests can choose their sake vessel of choice from owners’ collection of sake cups.
30 Steven Road, #01-08, Singapore 257840. Tel: +65 6732 0702
Verde Kitchen, Hilton Singapore
Verde Kitchen is the newest healthy-eating establishment on the block which is big on supporting locally grown, sustainable ingredients. This 32-seat restaurant is located at level two of Hilton Singapore, and has an industrial-chic aesthetic that is casual enough for a lunch time get-together and classy enough to impress your co-workers. Diners can expect to find dishes packed with superfoods like wakame, kale, pomegranate, avocado and turmeric.
Mains include free-range Pulled Pork Burger with cheddar, purple and white coleslaw on a sunflower seed brioche bun ($28) and Organic Basil-crusted Glacier 51 Tooth Fish with local mushrooms and thyme jus ($38). As for the desserts, Verde Kitchen makes it a point to make its dessert menu low-sugar. Tuck in to treats like the Chia Seed and Caramelized Hazelnut Pudding ($14) and Flourless Chocolate Cake ($14) without the guilt.
Verde Kitchen also has a punchy drinks menu which incorporates everything from fresh fruits, nut milks and butters, chia seeds, spirulina to natural sweeteners like agave and raw honey. Popular power potions include Detox Zinger (apple, celery, cucumber, ginger, lemon, $11), Be Strong (turmeric, carrot, orange, apple, pineapple, lemon, $11), and The Energizer (banana, dates, chia seeds, Himalayan salt, peanut butter, almond milk, $12).
581 Orchard Road, Singapore 238883. Tel: +65 6730 3397
Adding the “contemporary” label to Chinese cuisine seems to be de riguer these days, with many restaurants offering non-traditional ingredients like truffles, foie gras and uni alongside traditional dishes. At Xin Divine, they take it one step further by having three chefs, each with specialised in a different cuisine–Szechuan, Cantonese and French–in order to bring the best of both worlds together onto a plate. Here, the notion of spoiling a broth with too many cooks is proven wrong with dishes like their Poulet De Bresse ($35). The dish features an inspired combination of drunken-style French chicken and foie gras, rolled into a roulade that’s painstakingly sous vide and then deep fried with a tempura batter. It’s then served alongside sweet corn and nu er hong puree, mushrooms, and popped rice. More traditional highlights include their Szechuan-style tortellini ($18), which is effectively 紅油抄手 (meat dumplings in a spicy, sour sauce) prepared with Kurobuta pork, Szechuan peppers, ginger and Zhejiang vinegar, and chilli oil foam. Dessert is also an equally engaging affair, with options like their Osmanthus Sphere ($12), a take on a the local cheng tng with a clear, jelly-like sphere (thanks molecuar gastronomy!) filled with winter melon and rock sugar soup, osmanthus, wolfberries, and pang da hai (malva nut). Served alongside is a shot of fizzy red date juice that we’d most definitely drink daily if it came in a can.
10 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089594
Tel: +65 3100 0030
LES45 (Lower East Side 45)
Two words: tableside guacamole. The latest addition to the 45th story of 50 Raffles place (the level is also occupied by other Hidden Door Concepts restaurants like Sear and Angie’s oyster bar) is a modern Mexican joint slinging drinks, tacos, good vibes, and some of the best guacamole we’ve ever had. The ubiquitous dip ($30) is made upon order in a traditional Mexican mortar and pestle called a molcajete, and goes perfectly with their homemade corn chips. Other standouts include refreshing, ceviche-like scallop aguachile ($25), served with avocado and pickled jimaca; and the internationally-inspired chicken tinga tostada ($18) with mango guacamole and wasabi fried egg. The splendid view also inspires a drink or two–there’s a respectable selection of tequila, mezcal, and cachaca which are available as tasting flights (from $34), and breezy, uncomplicated cocktails like the LES45 Mojito ($18) with rum, ginger, mind, agave syrup, lime, and brown sugar; and a mezcal spin on an Old Fashioned named the Mezcal Old Passioned ($21). They’ve also got homemade horchata ($8), prepared with almonds, rice, cinnamon, and if you so please, something alcoholic (from an additional $8).
50 Raffles Place, Level 45, Singapore 048623
Tel: +65 6221 9555
Located at hotel Wanderlust, this cellar door concept offers unfussy bites and over 300 labels from boutique wineries from around the world. Expect a restrained menu of comfort dishes: from chicken risotto ($20), to tiger prawn tagliatelle ($18) in a chardonnay cream sauce; and Angus rib-eye with gravy and confit potatoes ($32). To go with your wine is are snacks like fish tempura tacos ($12); sweet potato fries with mentaiko aioli ($8); as well as cold cuts and cheese platters ($24 each, for sharing). The main star of the show here though, are the wines. Labels span the globe, from Old World, to New World wines, and uncommon wine regions like Japan and Uruguay. The wines also cover multiple styles–including natural, orange, and biodynamic–as well as grape varietals, including lesser-known ones like Albillo. It’s the perfect place to start an education (and drunk), with bottles starting from $35, and pours by the glass starting from $6.
2 Dickson Road, Singapore 209494. Tel: +65 6298 1188