With salsa music — the kind that makes you want to shake your hips like Shakira — blasting throughout the restaurant, and a menu devoted to Peruvian ceviches, TONO promises plenty of fresh seafood and good vibrations. This Peruvian cevicheria is the first of its kind in Singapore. Expect five types of ceviches (from $24) made with line-caught fish from New Zealand; and tiraditos ($24) — a carpaccio-like dish featuring sashimi cuts of fish flavoured with leche de tigre (Tiger’s milk: a citrus-based marinade that cures the seafood in a ceviche) and plantain chips. For the cooked offerings, there’s an array of fried snacks drizzled over with smoked chilli mayo ($32), mixed seafood cooked a la plancha ($34) and fishermen’s stew that’s prepared with Peruvian corn cider ($34). Throw in a couple of pisco sours and you’re set for the night.
7 Fraser Street #01-49/50 Duo Galleria, Singapore 189356. Tel: +65 6702 7320 / 9452 1008
Jiak Pa Lang Eating House
Inspired by the ubiquitous zi char eateries found all over the island, executive chef of Jiak Pa Lang Eating House Nixon Low brings a modern, experimental touch to the age-old traditions of communal dining. Set in the Alexandra business district, the homey eatery serves up rice or salad bowls with varied toppings like sesame soy chicken ($7.90) come lunchtime. The zi char influence comes in for their sharing dishes, where local favourites are combined in ways that you’ve never thought of, but make a surprising amount of sense. There’s their bak kut teh jelly with you tiao, which combines two Teochew dishes — clear bak kut teh (peppery pork rib soup) and ter ka tang (pork trotter aspic) — for an entirely new dish. Then, there’s the ang ji kao stout-braised beef cheek ($17), which combines a kopitiam (coffeeshop) quaff with a hearty French bistro favourite. We can only say, #jinhojiak!
456 Alexandra Road, #01-06 Fragrance Empire Building, Singapore 119962. Tel: +65 6266 8511
After leaving The Kitchen At Bacchanalia, chef Ivan Brehm embarks on a new journey with Nouri, his first restaurant opened in partnership with The Unlisted Collection. On the menu is what he calls “crossroads cooking”, where dishes present familiar points from multiple cultures. The homey open kitchen makes you feel like you’re in a friend’s house but the evocative food leaves no doubt that there is some serious cooking happening here. His silken cheese, made with fresh milk and finished with nutmeg and lemon, makes one think of both silken tofu and panna cotta. Another dish takes its cues from nduja (a spicy Calabrian sausage spread), where a rich cracker of wagyu beef and kimchi conjures up the same meaty, fermented flavours. And that comforting vegetable broth at the beginning of the meal? Just further drives home the point of Nouri as a place for nourishment, and it’s no coincidence that’s what “nouri” means in Greek. Just like the food, the beverage list has also been curated to tell stories, with a range of hard-to-find orange wines and non-alcoholic juices and teas for pairing. Lunch: 5-course at $85 /Dinner: 5-course at $140 and 7-course at $170.
72 Amoy Street, Singapore 069891. Tel: +65 6221 4148
Like how the fashion world loves to mix luxe and mass market elements, pairing craft beers with hawker centre food has been happening for some time now. Enter a new high-low formula: cocktails and claypot rice. Provisions is Singapore’s first skewers and claypot rice cocktail bar. Each claypot is prepared from scratch, for that much coveted layer of crunchy, browned rice at the bottom of each pot, with unexpected toppings like oolong-mushroom combo ($9), as well as oyster and uni ($28). If it’s light snacks that you’re after, there are skewers ($4-10) with everything from chicken offal to seafood grilled over a charcoal fire. To complete the experience, opt for one of their bespoke cocktails; we had a G&T prepared with a chrysanthemum-infused gin that was nothing short of delicious.
7 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249671. Tel: +65 6250 7090/ +65 9783 0792
From the people that brought you the 90’s-themed bar Fresh! comes a no-frills concept named after the drinking game responsible for many a booze-soaked night. Five Ten positions itself to do the same, especially since all their items are modestly priced at either $5 or $10. Inspired by Taiwanese kuai chao (stir-fry) eateries, the menu offers familiar favourites like deep fried tau kwa with century egg ($5); grilled eggplant with cuttlefish and ebi crisps; and beef tripe and tendon skewers ($10), stewed until tender and flavourful. Drinks are mostly uncomplicated, with a selection of gaoliang slushies, beer, wine and house spirits that’ll do the job.
237 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058786. Tel: +65 6924 7352
The Bird Southern Table & Bar
Comforting, hearty and unpretentious, Southern American food is a diversely delicious beast. And the new Yardbird Southern Table & Bar (aka The Bird Southern Table & Bar) at Marina Bay Sands has got it all – everything from fried chicken, deviled eggs, shrimp and grits, to fluffy biscuits and peach cobblers. The Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken ($35) starts with a 27-hour brining process, followed by a dredge through their secret recipe of spices and flour, before it’s fried to perfection. At the Singapore outpost, you can also expect a slew of exclusive dishes with an inventive spin on local cuisine. Think: Low Country Laksa ($38) which features a skin-on snapper filet, served with Carolina gold rice pirlau (a heritage rice grain that is indigenous to South Carolina), sweet corn, spiced pecans, and crispy poached farm egg in a caramelised ginger and coconut broth. Wash it all down with the Toasted Pecan Bourbon ($24) – this place just happens to offer one of Asia’s most impressive selections of bourbon.
2 Bayfront Avenue, B1-07 & L1-82 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972. Tel: +65 6688 9959
Party the night away with yakitori and cocktails at this Japanese pop art-themed izakaya. Upon stepping in , you’re greeted by a barrage of eye-popping murals and neon lights, before registering the unmistakable smell of meat being grilled. Besides the usual yakitori and kushiyaki options (from $3), you can also get some skewers like the chicken heart and thigh done Szechuan-style, covered in a piquant spice blend. While waiting for your skewers, nibble on one of their cold dishes like thinly-sliced salmon cartilage in a spicy sauce, which has a texture between gelatinous and chewy. Cocktails are the brainchildren of Sam Wong (of the Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall fame), and include plenty of spirit infusions. Try the Dozo Mango ($19), a refreshing tipple of mango and pineapple-infused gin and sake.
Imagine this: you step off the street in Spain, hungry, and before you know it you find yourself working on your fourth glass of wine, all the while picking at an endless stream of tapas making their way to you. Tapas Club aims to recreate this right in the heart of Singapore’s shopping district, with authentic Spanish fare at affordable prices. Helmed by executive chefs Jose Alonso and Manuel Berganza, who have years of friendship and experience between them, having worked at many an illustrious kitchen – Alonso has worked alongside big names like Sergi Arola and Francis Paniego in Spain; while Berganza’s restaurant in New York, Andanada, won a Michelin star. The menu at Tapas Club offers a wide range of classic tapas; from crispy, addictive patatas bravas ($9.90) to tuna tartare with ajo blanco ($12.90). For more substantial plates, head for the tapas+, where you’ll find Josper-grilled items like moreish, tender pork shoulder ($20), beef shortribs ($20) and octopus ($22). For drinks, there’s Spanish beer Ambar, as well as a respectable selection of small-batch, new-to-market wines from all over Spain, curated by chefs Alonso and Berganza.
181 Orchard Road, #02-13 to 15, Orchard Central, Singapore 238896. Tel: +65 3163 7577