None of that Tex-Mex or Cali-Mex nonsense over here. Expect authentic Mexican food just like the ones you’d find in a taqueria in Mexico or a food cart along the streets of New York, served up with a whole lot of hospitality from the bubbly waitstaff, and from the chef “Papi” Mauricio himself. Chef Mauricio offers honest, no-frills dishes reminiscent of his hometown Tlaxcala, a small state in central Mexico. Highlights include the tacos de asada (marinated steak with homemade tomatillo salsa) and the tacos de pescado ($13 for two, $19 for three). The latter sees crisp yet juicy dory fish drizzled with smoked chipotle aioli, tucked in between hand-rolled corn tortillas. Chef Mauricio handles his vegetables as well as his proteins – the mushroom quesadilla ($12) and the Mexican cactus salad ($12) are simple, but pack a punch in flavours. Hearty burritos (chicken/beef/pork) can also be found here, which are perfect washed down with delicious frozen margaritas ($18) available in rotating flavours such as strawberry, lime and pineapple. A tight but well-curated selection of tequilas, a signature house beer, and wines selected to complement the menu are also available here.
39 Seah Street, Singapore 188395. Tel: +65 6258 0701. Website here
House of MU
What do Burmese teak furniture and Josper-grilled meats have in common? We don’t have an answer for that, but if you’re dining at the newly-opened House of MU, it’s a large part of the experience. The restaurant’s owned in part by a Burmese teak trading company, and is used to showcase custom made furniture–all of which are for sale. While appreciating the decor, dine on comforting European classics by Les Amis alum, head chef Tyrell Joon, who has curated a menu of family-style sharing dishes. Highlights include pan-seared scallops with cauliflower puree and fresh apples ($19), and the heaving MUN-ster platter ($138, for 3-4 pax), a collection of meats done up in a Josper oven fired with bincho-tan and apple wood. For the carb-heads, there’s a Choose Your Own Pasta/Risotto section on the menu, where you customise your own dish with sauces like truffle cream or aglio olio; and additional toppings (from $5) ranging from crayfish to uni and scallops. Care has also been given to the drinks selection (on of the owners is a Master of Wine student), which focuses on intruiging vinos, and gins–although there is also a respectable list of other options.
11 Mohamed Sultan Rd, Singapore 239010. Tel: +65 6732 1011.
Ganglamedo Vegetarian Restaurant
With a name meaning “snow lotus”, Ganglamedo feels like the kind of place that you go to get your chakras re-aligned, and they might just very well be. The vegetarian fine dining spot goes by the creed of serving “organic, nourishing, and plant-based ingredients in the most unprocessed state possible”, complete with exotic ingredients from Tibet. Expect plenty of Cordyceps Sinesis (a fungus that’s said to confer a myriad of health benefits), which the restaurant sources from Naqu, Tibet. Dish highlights include double-boiled soup ($68) with black truffle, matsutake, bamboo fungus, and cordyceps; and a satisfying fried spinach pancake ($12). Dine in a group and go for the Tibetan-style vegetarian hotpot ($35), which comes with an assortment of beautiful seasonal vegetables, served with your choice of mushroom, tomato, white pea, or hot and sour soup base.
40 Craig Rd, Singapore 089678. Tel: +65 9651 9788. Website here
The PS. Cafe group has traded its Chop Suey outlet at Martin Road for a brand new concept called Jypsy. The original setting has been transformed into a stunning light-filled space with oversized lanterns hanging overhead. The design evokes a coastal theme with shades of white, blue and neutral woods. Stretch out on the comfortable seats strewn with cushions, while you tuck into the casual and contemporary food. It almost feels likes you’re dining in relaxing Okinawa/ sunny Sydney. Rustling up his modern creations at the open kitchen is Osaka-born Chef Taka, who has experience in traditional sushi bars and modern Japanese restaurants. His offerings of premium Japanese produce woven with fresh, playful elements, reflect a confident hand in the kitchen.
A good start to the meal is The JYPSY Salmon Tacos featuring crunchy seaweed filled with a combo of diced king salmon, and perked up with avocado and tomato salsa, wasabi mayo and ikura ($14). Or munch on the plump unagi and pork gyoza paired with ginger-scallion ponzu sauce ($12). Great for sharing too is the Nest of Fries – a mountain of crispy shredded potato, elevated with white truffle oil, wasabi mayo, and teriyaki balsamic sauce ($11). This addictive mess is a spin on the classic kakiage (deep-fried vegetables). To lighten things up, there’s the JYPSY Crunchy Cabbage Pile laced with sesame dressing and smoked paprika oil ($7). For your carb-fix, we recommend the Smokey Unagi Fried Rice comprising wok-fried Japanese rice, topped with a slab of grilled unagi from Japan. Sharing plate space is silky tofu, pickles, omelette, and slaw ($22). After sweetening your meal with yuzu soft serve sorbet and light cream puffs, you’d walk out of Jypsy with a smile on your face and good tastes lingering on your palate.
No.38 Martin Road, Singapore 239072. Tel: +65 8188 6177. Website here