Photo: The Banana Leaf Apolo
Over 130 items, incuding an aromatic curry
Offering an extensive spread of about 130 items on its menu, Tomo Izakaya uses only the freshest ingredients flown in twice weekly from the world-renowned Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, Japan. The great thing about izakaya-style dining: You can take your time ordering your food. After settling down with some beers or sakes, you can opt for the traditional sequence of a communal izakaya meal. The meal will start with sashimi and onto grilled items, followed by the next three dishes prepared in different ways (steamed, stewed and deep-fried) and ending off with a salad. Dishes like rice, noodles and miso soup are typically ordered as the final items of the meal. This dining tradition encourages patrons to kick back, relax, and celebrate their friendship over a long meal – and that’s exactly what Tomo Izakaya is promoting.
It’s no surprise, then, that the Japanese tavern is a popular hangout among the working crowd who look forward to unwinding and socialising over sake and Japanese pub grub, such as buta kakuni (braised pork belly, $15), This dish is stewed for 24 hours till the bones of the pork belly turn soft, leaving the tender, collagen-rich meat to melt in your mouth. Other popular pub grub includes tsukune teriyaki (homemade minced chicken meatballs with teriyaki sauce, $6.50), and shiitake mentai cheese (shiitake mushroom wrapped with pork belly and grilled with cheese and spicy cod roe, $7.50).
Apart from tapas-style bites, TOMO Izakaya also serves up sizeable dishes such as curry nanban udon (noodles in Japanese curry soup with pork, $12). The unmistakable fragrance of Japanese curry instantly draws you out of any sake-induced haze and whets your appetite for that one hearty dish to complete your izakaya experience. Flavourful and with just the right level of spiciness, the curry nanban udon is comfort food at its brothy finest.
American Express cardmembers receive a $20 voucher with minimum spending of $100. Terms and conditions apply.
TOMO Izakaya | Address 1: #01-04 Clarke Quay, 3A River Valley Road | Tel: 63330100 | Opening hours: Sun-Thu noon-3pm, 6pm-1am , Fri, Sat & eve of public holidays noon-3pm, 6pm-3amn
TOMO Izakaya | Address 2: #01-09 Esplanade Mall | Tel: 63330012 | Opening hours: Sun-Thu noon-3pm, 6pm-1am , Fri, Sat & eve of public holidays noon-3pm, 6pm-3amn
Buyan Russian Restaurant & Caviar Bar
From smoky skewered meat to well-preserved flavours
If you haven’t tried authentic dishes from Russia and other former Soviet Union countries like Ukraine, Georgia and Uzbekistan before, you’re missing out on some really great nosh. Good thing this delectable cuisine is readily accessible – there’s one located right smack in the popular Duxton district. Buyan Russian Restaurant & Caviar Bar serves up a wide selection of Russian favourites, from homey stews to scrumptious meat pies.
A must-try is solyonaya selyodka (salted herring, $18). This daily appetiser – made up of herring in mustard and sour cream, vegetables, nuts, eggs and onions – harks back to the 15th century in Novgorod, where it is known to be one of the most important historic cities in Russia. Its popularity among the locals was cemented by the end of the 17th century – Solyonaya Selyodka became one of the main dishes of the Russian national table.
Another distinctively Russian dish is the solenya (non-vinegared pickles, $10). This appetite-whetting dish was created for the long and harsh Russian winters, which require lots of preserved foods to get through. Vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes and cabbage are first pickled in brine with added dill, blackcurrant leaves and other herbs and spices, before undergoing a natural fermentation process to attain an exquisitely piquant flavour.
Certainly, no Russian meal is complete without shashlik (grilled skewered meat, $38). Make no mistake; shashlik is no run-of-the-mill kebab. It consists of large chunks of meat, which are marinated overnight in marinades like wine, vinegar, herbs and spices, and cooked on an open-fire grill. The result? Tender, juicy meat that will more than satisfy your carnivorous cravings.
American Express cardmembers enjoy 20 per cent savings on caviar, fine wine bottles and vodka. Terms and conditions apply.
Buyan Russian Restaurant & Caviar Bar | Address: 9/10 Duxton Hill | Tel: 62237008 | Opening hours: Mon & Sat noon-3pm, 6-10.30pm; Tue-Fri noon-3pm, 6-10pm; Bar opened till late
The Banana Leaf Apolo
Unpretentious mix of spices
It’s nearly impossible not to be tempted by the heavenly smell of Indian spices that hits you each time you walk past an Indian restaurant. From the assortment of curries and sambals to fragrant biryani, you will be spoilt for choice. For a taste of authentic, unpretentious Indian cuisine, you’ll definitely want to dine at one of Little India’s culinary hotspots, The Banana Leaf Apolo.
Nothing spells Indian dining tradition like eating straight from a banana leaf, which helps enhance the flavour of the dish. Here in Singapore, we can thank The Banana Leaf Apolo for introducing this unique tradition since the restaurant was founded in 1974. Serving up both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes from North and South India, The Banana Leaf Apolo is extremely popular among locals and tourists alike. A must-try is Chicken Masala, $5. Unlike its usual way of being doused in gravy, this signature dish is served dry – and may prove to be a challenge for non-spicy taste buds! Another crowd-favourite is the fish head curry, from $22. Tangy, spicy, and coupled with fresh fish, this dish is best enjoyed with a plate of fluffy briyani. (P.S. We hear even Anthony Bourdain is a fan!)
American Express cardmembers enjoy 10 per cent savings on total bill with minimum spending of $40. Terms and conditions apply.
The Banana Leaf Apolo | Address: 54 Race Course Road | Tel: 62938682 | Opening hours: Daily 10.30am-10.30pm
The Song of India
Multi-sensory traditional Indian cuisine
Pegged as one of the few highly-acclaimed Indian fine dining restaurants in Singapore, The Song of India has won numerous awards and accolades since it opened its doors in 2006 – and it’s easy to see (and smell) why. From the opulent chandeliers and designer flatware to the aroma of traditional Indian cuisine, you are treated to a multi-sensory experience the moment the charming black-and-white bungalow is in sight.
One of the restaurant’s most popular signature dishes is the nalli gosht (lamb shanks in herb and Lucknavi jus, $39), which boasts a rich gravy that perfectly complements the flavourful, tender meat. Fans of desserts, don’t leave the restaurant without trying kulfi (Indian ice cream blended with Indian spices, $15). The Indian spices add a unique kick to the dessert, which is delightfully creamy without being cloying.
This Christmas, The Song of India is launching an exclusive spread of festive dishes whipped up by the illustrious chef Manjunath Mural. The star dish is the stuffed tandoori turkey, from $109, which is marinated in the chef’s special tandoori paste and slow-cooked to succulent, juicy perfection in the clay oven. The spread also includes other festive dishes with an exotic Indian twist, such as the season’s special blue cheese naan, and plum and champagne grape soup.
The five-course Christmas celebration feast is available from 20 to 26 December. The stuffed tandoori turkey is also available for takeaway during the period (pre-order two days in advance).
American Express cardmembers enjoy 10 per cent savings on tandoori turkey takeaway*, $25 savings with minimum spending of $250, and 15 per cent savings on customised dining events (minimum 8 pax). Terms and conditions apply: valid for pre-order from November 16, 2013. Two-day advanced booking is required. Collection is available between 20 and 26 December..
The Song of India | Address: 33 Scotts Road | Tel: 68360055 | Opening hours: Daily noon-2.30pm, 6-10.30pm
Click here for full terms and conditions of the dining promotions.