Halcyon and Crane
From the guys behind popular modern-Sichuan concept comes Halcyon and Crane. The restaurant’s design is inspired by the picturesque city of Chengdu in Sichuan province, providing a peaceful respite from the bustle of the city — even though it’s located right in the heart of the shopping district. The food is chiefly cafe-style modern European, but with many Sichuan inflections — liberal use of spices like Sichuan peppercorns and chilli; and condiments like Chinese vinegar lifts ordinary cafe-style food into delightfully exciting dishes. Experience this with their cured sausage shakshuka, where the traditionally-Mediterranean/African baked egg dish gets a spicy twist with a specialty mala-flavoured air dried pork sausage from Sichuan. Other highlights include their ham and cheesy egg crepes, a jianbing-like creation stuffed with with jullienned carrots, celtuce, lettuce, black forest ham, and Sichuan-style sausage; served with an extremely moreish sauce made from mayonnaise and Lao Gan Ma (an extremely popular chilli-based condiment that, among other things, has been praised by John Cena). For something non-spicy, head for the chicken and mushroom vermicelli, where comforting, flavourful chicken broth meets a vermicelli that they specially bring in from Chengdu, and features a smoother, more chewy texture than the usual mee sua.
290 Orchard Rd, #03-09 The Paragon, Singapore 238859. Tel: +65 6416 4886. Website here
Ever craved Chinese food, but wanted something slightly different? Rest assured, a brand new Chinese-Indonesian restaurant has opened up on East Coast Road. A fusion between Chinese and local Indonesian cuisine, conceptualized by the Blue Waves group, there are many options on the menu to cater to any pork-loving tastebuds such as Sate Babi, pork satay, Nasi Campur Babi, mixed pork rice, and Sup Baikut, Indonesian-style pork ribs sitting in a hearty vegetable soup. If pork isn’t a food preference, Kota88 has Kepiting Sauce Padang, a Sri Lankan crab flavored with a mixture of sweet, sour, and salty padang sauce, an aromatic spicy crab broth infused with spices such as turmeric, candlenut, shallot, and chilli.
#01-02, 907 E Coast Road, Singapore 459107. Tel: +65 6242 2645. Website here
Arbora: a one-of-a-kind dining experience that starts from the moment you take a trip up Mount Faber Park in the Singapore Cable Car. The restaurant rises above the park, overlooking exceptional views of treetops and stretches of walkways. In the day, the interior of the restaurant is engulfed in natural light for that picture-worthy Rack of Lamb, ($36) that comes drizzled with prune sauce, as opposed to the typical mint jelly. For seafood lovers, opt for the Fisherman’s Stew ($42), a crustacean-filled tomato-based broth. For drinks, sip on a Tropi-Kale ($12), fresh-pressed kale juice infused with pineapple and green apple, or a Honey & Spice ($15), a Pernod and Triple Sec combination with raw honey, kaffir lime and condiment star anise, alfresco while enjoying the sound from the Bell of Happiness, a popular landmark at Mount Faber.
109 Mount Faber Road, Singapore 099203. Tel: +65 6377 9688. Website here
A contemporary dining concept for Italian-food lovers has made it presence at Binjai Park. LINO serves a variety of handmade pizzas, one of which includes Burrata, slow roasted cherry tomatoes, passata and basil ($28), and an asparagus with braised leek, scallion, garlic, goat’s cheese and pancetta ($28) that are all prepared in a wood fire oven. However, the Italian-inspired restaurant does not solely deliver their Italian-inspired dish options through pizza. Consider a Cappellacci with celery root and edamame ($22) or Seabream with burnt lemon and salsa verde ($49). For the health-conscious, fear not, LINO has Roasted Beetroot Salad with beetroot cream, buffalo mozzarella and horseradish ($18). Those that are refraining from overindulging in carbs, the restaurant offers Zucchini Noodles with basil pesto, cherry tomato and pine nuts ($24). As for the final course in the meal, a wise person once told me that dessert goes to your heart and with LINO’s Sfera Di Cioccolota ($16), a dark chocolate brownie mousse with hints of orange and roasted almonds, you can now be the sweeter person you aspire to be.
7 Binjai Park, Singapore 589821. Tel: +65 6463 7800
Italian food done well and an extensive selection of wines, sans starched white tablecloths and fussy table service. Bar Cicheti lives up to being Singapore’s first wine and pasta bar with a focused but well-executed menu, hospitable service, and a cosy wood-panelled interior conducive to staying on hour after hour. Don’t dive right into the pasta menu – the antipasti menu offers up gems like the fried sage leaves ($8) which sees the leaves coated in a light-as-air batter and served with a sprinkle of salt, perfect for nibbling on throughout the evening. The burratina (specially flown in from Puglia) with burnt onion jam and grilled sourdough ($25) is also a must-have – the flavours and textures work excellently together. Of course, you should have ordered a glass (or bottle) of wine by now – the wine menu here offers an excellent range focused on natural and biodynamic wines sourced from independent boutique vineyards. The affable in-house sommelier is also always happy to make recommendations. The pasta here is made fresh, which certainly shows in dishes like the soft and pillowy gnocchi ($14/$24) and the spinach pappardelle with bolognese ($15/$25). But the main star is undoubtedly the spaghetti cacio e pepe ($14/$26), which – if bak kut teh were turned into a pasta dish – would certainly taste like this. Piquant Sarawak pepper gives this simple dish a rather fiery kick, while creamy parmigiano and a bright squeeze of lemon help round out the flavours for an intensely satisfying and addictive dish.
10 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089264. Tel: +65 6789 9806. Website here