Duck Confit | Photo: Au Chocolat
Conservative or escapist, shutterbugs or chocolate monster, there’re a few outstanding restaurants American Express recommends for every type of foodie.
The great molecular gastronomy escape
Diners familiar to tucking in beneath the chugging sounds of Au Chocolat’s toy train would profess to you that the eatery is so much more than just the home of fantasy desserts.
The frozen hot chocolate ($12) and Chocolate Bonanza (mousse, crumble, lava and ice cream, $22) are guaranteed to satisfy any sweet tooth craving, while the restaurant offers a satisfying series of chocolate-inspired mains.
Chocolate-lovers will relish Au Chocolat Benedict ($18), which gives a peculiar dark chocolate and red wine spin to Eggs Benedict, and mocca ribs ($35) with sweet potato fries. The latter is Au Chocolat’s hefty answer to coffee-flavoured pork ribs of Chinese cuisine. Au Chocolate’s truffle fries ($18) just might be the best in the land.
For diners not inclined to being served chocolate in every course, there are alternatives like duck confit ($27) with baby carrots, mash and poached pear, and aglio olio vongole ($24).
Au Chocolat is the materialised dreams of a few local chocolate connoisseurs, who have made it a point to come up with new set menus frequently. The restaurant will celebrate its first anniversary on 3 August, and National Day on 9 August with an array of red-and-white creations. Au Chocolat currently serves up foie gras at a promotion price of $5 with every entrée and recently debuted its chocolate fondue high tea set.
Au Chocolat | Address: 2 Bayfront Avenue, #01-03 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands | Tel: 66887227 | Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-11pm, Fri & Sat 11am-midnight
Double Boiled Mixed Seafood Soup
Imperial Treasure Seafood Restaurant
Flavours of home
The show-stealer of this restaurant’s vast Cantonese menu is its crispy rice roll with shrimp ($6). A crispy second skin made from rice separates its soft, white exterior with its tender, crunchy prawn filling.
Aside from this inventive culinary delight, Imperial Treasure is also well known for a myriad of other gastronomic innovations. The acclaimed homegrown establishment has been popular since the debut of its first outlet in 2004. It is now a network of 22 outlets, which include a bakery, ballroom and brand new restaurant in Shanghai. The JEM outlet – the first outlet in the west of Singapore – offers the same seafood-heavy menu.
Some dishes to order at the JEM outlet: siew mai (steamed pork dumpling, $4.80) garnished with flavourful fish roe, and har gow (prawn dumpling, $5) steamed to succulent perfection. Both dishes are available during lunch only.
Imperial Treasure Seafood Restaurant’s most popular prawn dishes include prawns sautéed in chilli ($20 to $40), and prawns wrapped in a deep fried beancurd skin roll ($4.80). This new all-day dining outlet’s grilled cod fish fillet ($12) is worth a try for its fragrance and off-kilter texture. A hearty meal at Imperial Treasure Seafood Restaurant is best washed down with the double boiled mixed seafood soup, which comes served in a bowl made out of a yellow melon.
Imperial Treasure Seafood Restaurant | Address: 50 Jurong Gateway, #B1-11 JEM | Tel: 63391811 | Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11.30am-10pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 10.30am- 10pm
Asian Sweet Potato Mash with Truffle Oil
SuperTree by IndoChine
Indochina-inspired fusion dishes at the top of a super tree
IndoChine’s top-of-the-Gardens by the Bay outpost is definitely not just another picturesque venue serving moderate cuisine. For the culinary daredevil who enjoys an exotic locale and bears lofty culinary standards, SuperTree – Michael Ma’s tenth food and beverage brainchild in Singapore– touts lovely, Indochina-inspired fusion creations.
SuperTree’s Asian sweet potato mash ($22) served with truffle oil, and crispy lychee with kurobuta pork loin and bacon ($22) are worthy examples that should be in your order list.
SuperTree delicacies like the thit bo luc lac (blackpepper beef with garlic and butter, $36 or 48) thoroughly satisfy the eater, with flavours created through both South-East Asian and western cooking styles.
At the top floor is a bar that serves up a bevy of refreshing beverages as well as a stunning, unblocked view of Marina Bay Sands and the ever-changing bay surroundings. Did we mention that Steven Tyler was here?
SuperTree by IndoChine | 18 Marina Gardens Drive, #03-01 Gardens by the Bay | Tel: 66948489 | Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 10am-1am, Fri & Sat 10am-2am
Segovian-style Suckling Pig
The great molecular gastronomy escape, all day
Catalunya head chef Alain Devahive peppers his creations with whimsical morsels of his scientific artisanship. He cooked at Elbulli under the tutelage of molecular gastronomy chef Ferran Adria for ten years before opening his own restaurant in Singapore.
Having had the likes of Sally Yeh and the Prince of Monaco over for dinner at Catalunya, he teases the adventurous eater with dishes like the meat-like tomato-based Catalunya tartar ($20). His spherical olives ($3) are reconstruction of olives into the form of bubbles.
Catalunya’s flagship product is the Iberian black pig, whose lomo (loin, $45), jamon ($55) and paletilla (shoulder blade, $30) has nutty flavours, thanks to the dark-skinned mammal’s diet of acorns. The meats are best enjoyed over Catalan bread and olive oil ($10), also known as pa amb tomaquet.
In case you were looking for tradition: servers at Catalunya demonstrate the tenderness of its Segovian-style suckling pig ($135) by slicing it up the traditional way – with a small serving plate. The Spanish establishment reinterprets the roasted meat canelon ($19) in a bed of rich cheese sauce.
The kitchen is open from noon to 2pm and from 6.30pm to 11pm, drinks and tapas portions of mains are served all day, making this an ideal place for food at any time of the day. Try Catalunya’s Stairway To Heaven ($19) cocktail – it was named ‘Best Spanish Cocktail of the Year’ by Bacardi Legacy last year. That must count for something.
Catalunya | Address: 82 Collyer Quay, The Fullerton Pavillion | Tel: 65340886 | Opening Hours: Daily noon-2am