Claypots Full Circle
Things have indeed come full circle for the Claypots Group. It is apt that Claypots’ first international outlet has found its home in Singapore, where founder Renan Goskin was first inspired to start Claypots, intrigued by the bold and spicy flavours, as well as the use of claypots in Singaporean cuisine. 22 years and several branches in Australia later, Claypots Full Circle returns back to Singapore in a raw and rustic space tucked away in Amoy Street, serving up the beloved dishes of Claypots Australia, as well as dishes exclusive to Singapore that boast bold flavours delivered with a smoky kiss of wok hei. Even though seafood dishes are the star here, don’t skip out on starters such as the cheese saganaki ($15), an addictive oven-baked cheese caramelised with to achieve a crème brûlée texture. If you fear carbs, don’t go for the garlic prawn (market price), nor the Full Circle port Arlington mussels ($25). Even though both are primarily protein-based dishes, their juices – a simple mix of herbs and oil for the garlic prawn, and a splash of wine and butter for the mussels – are dangerously wonderful for soaking plate after plate of the light and airy pide ($3) in. The protein is of course, cooked perfectly: tender and never rubbery. Large crowds may choose to opt for the St Kilda shellfish stir-fry (market price), an enormous platter of an assortment of shellfish such as flower crabs and prawns tossed with herbs and spices in a wok. A mound of jasmine rice nests below the shellfish, perfect for soaking up all that sweet seafood-infused gravy.
103 Amoy St, Singapore 069923. Tel: +65 6203 2203. Website here
Tortelli stuffed with braised pigeon at Guccio RistoranteGood food cooked simply and excellently is Chef Marco’s philosophy at Guccio Ristorante, where authentic Italian hospitality and the best ingredients treated with care and respect shine through. Flavours here do not spin uncontrollably towards the progressive; rather, they are layered with nuance and careful attention, resulting in well-balanced dishes with bright flavours. Start your meal with refreshing antipasti such as the delicate gamberi ($32), which combines juicy raw Sicilian red prawns with green pea coulis and lemon-scented buffalo ricotta. Flesh out your meal with handmade pasta, such as the tortelli ($44), stuffed with pigeon cooked in an aromatic blend of thyme, orange and marsala wine, and served with tender slices of pigeon breast seared with vanilla essence, which lends a fruity aroma offsetting any gamey flavours of the pigeon. The manzo ($44) is also another standout – tender U.S. prime beef short ribs sous-vided for 48 hours is seasoned simply, yet boasts an incredible depth of flavour and a natural sweetness that only a good cut of beef can produce. Don’t forget dessert – the cioccolato ($18) presents a degustation of Valrhona chocolates in varying levels of sweetness and different textures, which makes every bite an invitation for the next. For a sampling of the chef’s signature dishes, diners may opt for the four-course menu ($98) or the six-course menu ($128).
20 Gemmill Lane, Singapore 069256. Telephone: +65 6224 1684. Website here
Took Lae Dee
The folks that brought in Tim Ho Wan and Tsuta Ramen have just introduced Took Lae Dee, one of Bangkok’s most well-known 24/7 chains. Thai for “cheap and good”, Took Lae Dee serves up authentic Thai dishes at reasonable prices, without service charge or GST. Expect classics like pad krapow ($3.80) – Thai basil chicken or pork served with rice; sour and spicy tom yum ($6.80), available with chicken or seafood; and Thai green curry ($7). Don’t forget to try their noodle dishes, which range from pad thai hor kai (pad thai wrapped with fluffy omelette, $8) and pla pad tao see (fried noodles topped with fish in black bean sauce, $6). Had your share of unfortunate run-ins with too-spicy food in Bangkok? Dishes here come with a spiciness rating, so you can approach with caution. If things do get too hot, cool down with one of their signature drinks such as the rich, creamy Tok Lee Dae Thai iced milk tea ($2.80), and refreshing iced butterfly pea tea ($2.80).
18 Tai Seng St, Singapore 534119. Tel: 6702 2000. Website here
Le Bon Funk
The latest natural wine spot to open in town. Le Bon Funk is almost painfully-hip, combining a curing and fermentation-heavy menu with a winemaker-centric selection of wines. Heading the kitchen is chef-owner and Burnt Ends alumni chef Keirin Buck, who has put together an ever-changing menu of intriguing, delicious plates that make perfect drinking food. Crowd favourites include a sandwich of thinly-sliced cured beef tongue ($24) piled onto brioche and dressed with gribiche; and housemade rabbit boudin blanc ($16) with a quenelle of carrot and liver puree. You might also find dishes like the very St John-esque beef tendon nuggets ($15), and foie gras toast ($16) prepared with ethereal shavings of the liver, balanced with an aromatic cedar jelly. Hungry? Their whole heritage chicken ($68), roasted and dusted with fennel pollen, comfortably feeds three. Wines are the brainchild of sommelier Josée Yeomans, who is constantly adding to the eclectic selection of natural and minimal-intervention wines that lean towards fresher, brighter wines that do well in the Singaporean weather.
29 Club St, Singapore 069414. Tel: +65 6224 1490. Website here
Opened as a collaboration between Hong Kong-based craft beer brewery and executive chef Vincent “Vinny” Lauria, The Guild offers an eclectic menu heavily influenced by local dishes alongside a selection of craft beers and cocktails. Many Lauria’s creations make use of local ingredients, including freshly-harvested oysters from a farm off Pulau Ubin, which are available raw ($6 each), or deep-fried and served with hollandaise, pickled shallots, chilli and corriander. Other local produce, like mushrooms go in a smoked mushroom salad ($12); and frogs from Jurong Frog Farm, whose legs are prepared General Tso-style, and hashima (the fatty tissue found around a frog’s fallopian tubes) is used – surprisingly so – like bone marrow, paired with oxtail marmalade and served on toast ($22). There’s also their spin on the BBQ Stingray, with dry-rubbed skate wing brightened with a sugar snap pea citronette ($32). Beers include a core selection from Young Masters, as well as a curated range from international breweries. The best part? All the brews go through an unbroken cold chain before reaching the space, for optimal freshness. If liquid bread isn’t your jam, they’ve also got G&T on one of the taps, as well as a cocktail programme focused on small batch spirits.
55 Keong Saik Rd, #01-01, Singapore 089158. Tel: +65 6224 1262. Website here
The lunch menu at the newly launched NUDE Chill at Marina One is divided into “Grill” and “Chill”. Dishes from “Grill” are essentially the fuss-free versions of dinner options offered at NUDE Grill, while items from “Chill” are well-executed versions of comfort food. The steak frites ($23) features a grass-fed wagyu bavette steak, accompanied by steak fries, fried egg, and French beans. While the bavette is a leaner cut of meat that takes a bit more jaw work to work through, the cow’s grass-fed diet lends the meat a depth of flavour. More tender cuts of beef can be found in dishes like the Japanese A4 wagyu don ($38), which features Kagoshima wagyu shaved upon order over perfectly cooked rice. NUDE sources their meat directly from a butchery in Kagoshima, Japan, which allows them to price their beef affordably, while still delivering a delicious experience. Meanwhile, “Chill” offers dishes such a simple meatball pasta elevated with juicy meatballs made from wagyu trimmings alongside a rich Vietnamese tomato ragu ($24.50). While a selection of wines and beers are available for lunch, the evening is when NUDE Chill’s full range of beverages impress. Before dinner, sip farm-to-table cocktails, and exceptional beers from Brewlander, an up-and-coming Singapore craft brewery.
5 Straits View #01-22, Marina One, Singapore 018935. Tel: +65 6581 9306. Website here
Clan Café, Straits Clan
Fresh, Asian-inspired flavours find their place in the likes of grain bowls, sandwiches, broths, and salads at Clan Café, the only non members-exclusive portion of Straits Clan. Dining at Clan Café feels like a welcome respite from the bustling city with its bright, airy space accented by a thoughtfully furnished interior. The miso salmon grain bowl ($17) is a joy to eat: pan-seared salmon and a colourful medley of vegetables rest atop a toothsome mix of red and brown rice, koshihikari and red quinoa. Marinated for 48 hours, the salmon is tender and packed with flavour. Don’t forget to add a soul-satisfying bowl of broth for just $7.50 – the chicken and leek broth has the creamy, full-bodied consistency of ramen soup, yet leaves a sweet, clean and clear flavour on the palate. A range of herbal teas ($8 per pot) concocted by local tea specialists, A.muse projects, is a soothing accompaniment to the wholesome mains, while house-made desserts like kueh salat ($6.90) and a moist chocolate cake ($9.90) inspired by Singapore’s beloved Lana cakes ends the meal on a sweet note.
31 Bukit Pasoh Rd, Singapore 089845. Tel: +65 6320 9180. Website here
The Butcher’s Wife
Showcasing modern European cuisine that is 100% gluten-free, The Butcher’s Wife is the latest addition to the hip and trendy Tiong Bahru neighbourhood. With a mission to make gluten-free fare a gastronomic experience and not just an afterthought, the dishes here aim to challenge the notion that gluten-free food can only be bland and boring. Mains such as the chestnuts papardelle with 8 hours braised ossobuco ragu($29), and the grilled octopus with celeraic foam, capers, tuna mayo and seeds salsa verde ($28) showcase the restaurant’s choice selection of seafood and meats. Vegetarian diners are not left behind either, with creative starters such as a sprouting broccoli and tardivo salad ($17), and a carrot and quinoa tartare ($18) with cured egg yolk, herb salad, and pickled ginger mayo. Of course, desserts are not left behind either, with delights such as the Rum Baba ($15) served with white chocolate, saffron syrup and rhubarb, as well as the tropical pineapple carpaccio ($14), drizzled with ginger syrup, and topped with coconut sorbet and curry crumble.
19 Yong Siak Street, (Yong Siak View), Singapore 168650. Tel: +65 6221 9307. Website here
Trapizza, Shangri-la’s Rasa Sentosa
After a six month renovation, the newly launched Trapizza unveils a bigger dining and activity area, as well as a bolder menu. Trapizza’s new setting welcomes families and island visitors with a panoramic view of Siloso beach from the main dining area. Diners may also opt for the fully air-conditioned private dining room for an intimate dining experience, while a new water play area ensures that kids have a good time in this family-oriented eatery. The all-time favourite wood-fired thin crust pizzas are still a mainstay in the menu. Other exciting additions include foie gras orecchiette, truffle pappardelle, crispy fried veal milanese and calzone. The beverage list also gets a facelift, with creative reinterpretations of classic cocktails such as the Pizzatinis, which incorporates savoury pizza toppings and flavours into martinis. Cake on a shake, an indulgent milkshake with slices of cake atop, is another exciting beverage to look forward to.
10 Siloso Beach Walk, Singapore 098970. Tel: +65 6376 2662. Website here