SALT’S New Eats

We bring you a round-up of the what's-what in the food world in the coming month.

By Levin Tan | 25 April, 2019 | Restaurants
2019-04-25 10:57:46 2019-04-25 10:59:19

Crystal Jade Jiang Nan
1 Harbourfront Walk #01-52
Vivocity, Singapore 098585
Tel: 6221 1830

Crystal Jade Jiang Nan has launched a new concept worth experiencing first-hand. Previously they focused more on dim sum delights, but now you can also enjoy Jiang Nan and Sichuan specialties from a curated menu that encourages communal dining over small plates alongside a selection of fine teas.  Many may not be familiar with the food of Jiang Nan; known as the land of rice and fish, their cuisine balances vibrancy with bursts of flavor.

We can’t recommend enough the Three Delicacies Platter ($16.80) that comes with Nanjing salted duck slices, chilled spinach with fresh lily bulbs and sesame sauce, and Jiangsu smoked fish. This is the best for those who want a little taste of everything. Another must-try is their Yangzhou fried rice ($16.80), which Crystal Jade has reinvented by using orzo pasta instead. Surprisingly, it is a wonderful fit with these signature flavours, and even one-ups regular old white rice.

Chi Kinjo
29 Stanley Street, Singapore 068738
Tel: 6260 5284

Chi Kinjo is the new kid on the Japanese block. A modern sushi bar and highball den, it draws inspiration from old-time Kyoto-in-chaos and Chi Kinjo itself was a little basement bar and restaurant hideout. Though its principal concept is Japanese cuisine and drinks, the restaurant is anything but. Its menu purposefully crosses boundaries between traditional and modern, eastern and western, creating something truly worth talking about.

Their Kaffir Lime Karaage ($15++) takes the bar bite to another level. Served with a charred red pepper mayo dip, it is juicy and gives a kick of flavour that we’ve known like no other. They also offer Chirashi and Bento box lunch menu sets ($18++) that will cater to the working crowd. Highball offerings worth checking out include the Shiso Watermelon ($14++) and Sweet Pear and Rosemary ($16++), all incorporating traditional eastern ingredients to create something deliciously contemporary.

various outlets

Already a staple for ramen connoisseurs, Ippudo is now launching their new seasonal addition: Rich Curry Tonkotsu Ramen ($17++), a special creation made with the Singaporean palate in mind. Steering away from the usually sweet-tasting Japanese curry, it instead imparts a more savoury flavour. Topped with fried burdock roots, red and yellow peppers, spinach, as well as familiar parties such as the perfectly-cooked tamago and charred chashu, it is a definite must-try if you are a big fan of spice and love seeing the Japanese curry taken to new heights.

Native Kitchen
10 Artillery Avenue Sentosa Island, Village Hotel at Sentosa #02-02, Singapore 099951
Tel: 6722 0818

This new restaurant at Sentosa’s Village Hotel is surely to be the new haunt for Singapore socialites. Housing a wide variety of culinary styles under one roof, it is the perfect tropical islander get-away. Delectable dishes include their Island Ceviche, the freshes sashimi marinated in a wonderfully creamy and zesty sauce served in a fresh coconut, and the hearty Meat Platter, where you can taste some of the softest, most tender short-rib around town. The kitchen is helmed by culinary veteran Chef Patrice, who came from France and has travelled all around the world to bring you this specially curated menu. Several visits will need to be in order to try the entirety of their extensive menu.

1 Unity Street, Level 1, Park Hotel Clarke Quay, Singapore 237983
Tel: 6593 8855

We’ve touched on Porta a few times, but that’s only because they’ve got their kitchen on overdrive. Yet again they’ve surprised us with a fantastic new menu offering more fine dishes and vegetable options capitalising on light and refreshing flavours. For appetisers, we’re really keen on their Spicy Salmon Tartare and Prawn and Avocado. They’re also updated their Duck Ragout to now include a robust parmesan sauce to accompany silky handmade pappardelle. New dessert options include their light-as-clouds Black Forest cake and the tangy Key Lime Meringue.

Smoke & Mirrors
#06-01, National Gallery Singapore
1 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
Tel: 9380 6313

For the after-work alcoholics out there, a new head bartender has entered the ring: Spanish-born Jorge Conde brings his decades of experience to concoct a new creative cocktail menu entitled Illusion of Flavours. Expect surprising flavours mixed with modern techniques topped off with eye-catching flairs. The menu is divided into six distinct categories, each defined by unique flavour sensations. We really love The Japanese Gang is Still Alive ($25) – whiskey sour infused with black sesame and black rice, with rice vinegar and aquafaba to give a bubbly effervescence as you sip. Also worth trying is Dali’s Self Portrait ($28), which has whiskey and vermouth mixed with bacon fat and artichoke, laced with burnt rosemary smoke.

All these cocktails might sound simply out of this world, and that’s because they truly fit the bill. You have to go down in person to try at least one drink from each of the six categories, ranging from fizzy & Elegant to Savoury & Umami.

LAVO Italian Restaurant & Rooftop Bar
Level 57, Tower 1, Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
Tel: 6688 8591

From 12pm to 3pm every Sunday, enjoy an adults-only champagne buffet brunch offering a 360-degree view of the iconic Singapore city skyline. LAVO’s Sunday Funday is a boozy brunch that allows guests to soak up the atmosphere 57-storeys high featuring live DJ sets and free flow Veuve Clicquot champagne, Mimosa and Bloody Mary cocktails, and Singapore Slings, as well as a free flow of red and white wine, Peroni beer, and a selection of non-alcoholic beverages ($158++ per person; SGD$98++ (buffet only)).

You can also look forward to a smorgasbord of culinary treats that include U.S and Irish oysters, shrimp cocktails, chilled snow crab, and an assortment of canapes that include charred octopus with fennel and red wine vinaigrette, tuna tartare with black olive vinaigrette, and eggplant caponata with whipped goat cheese.  No brunch is complete without LAVO’s breakfast hits that include mixed wild mushroom frittata, apple wood smoked bacon, and its signature meatballs made from imperial wagyu and Italian sausage.

Shangri-La Hotel
22 Orange Grove Rd, Singapore 258350
Tel: 6213 4398

We know this isn’t technically happening in April, but it would be remiss for us to exclude from our round-up as you’ll definitely need to prep ahead: on Sunday, May 5 2019, from 12.30pm to 5pm, Shangri-La Hotel is holding its inaugural GastroFest. There will be a smorgasbord of epicurean fare including a Gin Garden, alongside live music, performances and fun activities. Some featured restaurants include The Line and Waterfall Ristorante Italiano, Meat Smith, TONO Cevicheria, Coconut Club, The Pantree and Springleaf Prata. To settle your stomach, take a break with extraordinary tipples from East Imperial and Drinksfellas. As you bump to beats by DJ Justo and Havana Social Club, Buds by Shangri-La will have activities organized for the little ones too, so there’ll be everything for everyone. Better write this down in your diary and tickets are in demand: gets your now at

Marina Mandarin Singapore
6 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, Singapore 039594
Tel: 6845 1000

As the second quarter of the year rolls round, Marina Mandarin’s restaurants have revamped some of its menus with new and enticing treats worth tasting. At AquaMarine, their Halal-certified Hong Kong Delights buffet will transport you to a world of nostalgia as they revisit traditional Hong Kong cuisine reminiscent of the good old days. There’ll be goodies like Traditional Quail Egg Siew Mai and Braised Beef Rib with Muy Choy.

At Peach Blossoms, they have conceived of a special 6-course set menu in conjunction with the World Gourmet Summit, available till 30 April 2019. Expect a wonderful array of gastronomic masterpieces made with finesse and with complex flavours in mind, such as Smoked Caviar and Flaky Pastry, as well as Steamed Sea Perch with Chilli and Ginger Blossom in Bamboo.

NO MILK Bistro
18 Pahang St, Singapore 198615
Tel: 6291 5854

Lactose intolerant gourmands rejoice! No Milk Bistro’s Fish Soup Boutique on level 1 will be serving up traditional goodness sans—you’ve guessed it—milk. Their clear-bodied soup doesn’t skim on flavour and resembles a wonderfully clear consommé. On level 2 where their rooftop bistro is located, enjoy fusion eats late into the night. Their daily handmade pastas rival the best high street Italian restaurants around town. There’s also a bar serving up good booze, with special deals that’ll make it worth your while.

Black Tap
L1-80, Bay Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
Tel: 6688 9957

After a rousing opening last year, Black Tap finally brings on board saucy Singaporean specials inspired by what our city has to offer. What screams Singapore more than Chilli Crab? With their Chilli Crab Sandwich, a crisp battered soft shell crab is nested atop their potato bun, and served with coleslaw plus mini mantous. For teetotalers who’ve always had to avoid the Singapore Sling, swing by and pick up one of their Straits Shakes, which is a gula melaka and coconut cream infused milkshake with a rich vanilla base, alongside old school treats like gem biscuits and more.

Level 4, Grand Park Orchard
270 Orchard Road, Singapore 238857
Tel: 6603 8855

A revamped menu has yet again been born from this iconic establishment. Scrumptious additions include a newcomer on the Dim Sum Platter of Steamed Dumpling with Shrimp, Scallop and Sea Urchin, as well as more hearty dishes like Deep-fried Chilean Sea Bass with Enoki in Truffle Sauce. There’ll also be the return of old favourites like the Black Truffle Crispy Roast Duck. As always, remember to save some space for dessert. We particularly loved their Chilled Avocado Milkshake with Rum & Raisin—something bold and incredibly trademark of Mitzo.

1 Cluny Road (via Tyersall Avenue), Ginger Garden
Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569
Tel: 8444 1148

Ramadan is fast approaching. Venerable halal fine-dining restaurant Halia will be offering a resplendent Ramadan Communal Feast Menu the entire period, offering culinary delights like Blackmore Wagyu Spare Ribs and Pan-fried Barramundi, as well as sweet treats such as Sticky Toffee Pudding. They also have an option for delivery straight to you: use the promotional code “FREEDELIVERY” (valid until 4 June 2019) to have your delivery fee waivered. Also being Halia’s 18th Anniversary this year, enjoy 18% off your bill when you quote “HALIA18” all of 2019. The Ramadan Communal Feast requires you put in your order up to 4 days in advance, so we recommend you do so right away! Pre-orders close on 28 May 2019.

Bar Cicheti
10 Jiak Chuan Rd, Singapore 089264
Tel: 6789 9801

Bar Cicheti springs upon us their new seasonal menu that capitalises on produce currently at its peak–sweet mushrooms, tender meat, fresh scallops, cooked with utmost perfection in classic dishes such as Spaghetti ala Vongole. They’ve also come up with even more varieties of pasta and vegetarian options: where else in Singapore can you find homemade Paccheri and Bucatini? These rarely-heard of pastas have to be taste-tested in person.

Writer who cracks heads like they crack quail eggs; always looking for opportunities to ingest insects, just because it’s something they’ve yet to do.