FOOD FESTIVAL | SAVOUR 2013 is back for a second run with a bigger line-up of master classes, live demonstrations, workshops and gourmet shopping. This year’s showcase will include over 30 world-renowned chefs and a two-storey gourmet market all in one exclusive purpose-built, air-cooled venue and under one ticket. Savour will be held at the F1 Pit Building and Paddock grounds from 11 to 14 April 2013. Tickets are priced at $35 for the Savour pass (access to gourmet market only) at $65 for the all-inclusive Savour premier pass and are available on SISTIC.
FOOD FESTIVAL | Choose from among 300 inclusive expert master classes, workshops and demonstrations and sample gourmet dishes created by Michelin-starred chefs. Look out for Chef Moon of Mikuni who will showcase his expert take on modern-meets-traditional Japanese cuisine and/or partake in wine blending sessions by Equatorial wines at Savour’s wine theatre. New this year is the gourmet market’s baking arena where participants can try their hand at baking fresh bread and pastries under the watchful eye of professional bakers.
FOOD FESTIVAL | Title sponsor Nespresso will definitely have a stall at Savour 2013. Sample Nespresso coffee, try your hand at making a Nespresso tiramisu and sample a Nespresso martini. Tickets to Savour are priced at $35 for the Savour pass (access to gourmet market only) and at $65 for the all-inclusive Savour premier pass and are available via SISTIC.
RESTAURANT WEEK | Bookings open on 22nd Feb for the sixth edition of Singapore Restaurant Week, which will take place between 18 and 24 March 2013. There is a total of 110 participating restaurants, and new entrants include Le Petit Cancale, Kaixo, Gunther’s, Picotin Express and 7 Adam. All participating restaurants will offer exclusive three-course menus for lunch ($29.25) and dinner ($40.95), with the exception of DiningCity star restaurants that charge a supplement of $15 and $20 for lunch and dinner respectively. Most participating restaurants will offer up a ‘grand tasting platter’ of their signature items as one of the courses.
NEW RESTAURANT | New kid on the block at noisy Boat Quay is Homebodies(Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11am-9.30pm). Brought to you by the folks behind the Robertson Quay café, Smitten, Homebodies serves good coffee ($3.50-$5) made from Brazilian, Costa Rican and Ethiopian blends; craft beers like the Dead Guy ale ($15) and La Chouffe strong ale ($15) and pairs these with a small selection of gourmet hot dogs. There is a decadent wagyu dog ($10) and a kurobuta pork dog ($10) with sausages that come naturally cased with no added fillers, MSG or artificial coloring. Paying homage to their predecessors (Homebodies occupies the second floor space that previously housed Absinthe Artisan, the cocktail bar) they also serve three kinds of absinthe ($15).
NEW RESTAURANTS| Sydney-based gourmet burger chain, Charlie & Co. (Opening hours: Sun-Wed 10am-6pm; Thu 10am-9pm; Fri-Sat 10am-10pm) sets up shop at ION Orchard’s newly revamped food hall. These guys use top-notch ingredients, fresh produce and a 100 per cent pure Australian wagyu in their burgers. Test these waters with the classic Charlie burger ($15) – lettuce, tomatoes and gherkins sit atop a succulent wagyu patty drizzled with Charlie’s signature tomato sauce, free-range aioli and topped with a choice of aged cheddar, brie or blue cheese. The burgers pair well with the premium Australian beers and ciders on offer.
NEW RESTAURANT | Rabbit Carrot Gun (Opening hours: Tue 3-10:30pm; Wed-Sun 9am-10.30pm) at East Coast Road is a restaurant and café that serves hearty English grub; they shun microwaves so all the food is cooked and freshly baked on the premises. The usual eggs and sausages is available during brunch here, but we prefer the lunch (or dinner) options like the Proper prawn cocktail ($16.50) and Mr McGregor’s fish pie topped with mashed potatoes ($24). Wash these down with a pint of Buckshot ale ($12), or something from their carefully curated wine list.
NEW RESTAURANT | Keeping it casual is the brand new Communal (Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm, 6-10pm) on North Canal Road. Singapore-based American chef Ryan Jette’s adds his own twist to diner-style grub. Expect cranked up comfort food like the lobster mac and cheese gratin ($20), the Caesar salad soup with bacon and aloe vera ($9) and prawns and polenta ($18) – Communal’s upscale version of shrimp and grits. They even have the classic American diner sides like biscuits with sausage gravy ($5) and cornbread with honey butter ($6). Like several other new eateries, Communal also serves craft beers although from American breweries as well as a selection of American wines.
NEW RESTAURANT | Before you say "not another speakeasy style bar", stop and take a look at Fordham and Grand's (Opening hours: Daily 6pm-3am) menu. This unassuming watering hole (they did not have a door sign till very recently) boasts of a curated wine list of a 100 wines under $100. Nibbles from their supper menu (available from 10.30pm-2am) include Ortiz anchovies ($16) and a charcuterie platter ($18). The dinner menu has an intriguing green pea risotto with zucchini flower and parmesan ($24) and a good ol’ beef steak with shoestring fries and mesclun salad ($30). Dessert includes french toast with dark rum sabayon ($15). We are sold.
NEW RESTAURANT | Last year’s much appreciated seafood specialty pop-up – The Naked Finn (Opening hours: Mon-Thu 6pm-midnight; weekends and public holidays 6pm-2am), now has a permanent spot at art enclave Gillman Barracks. Minimalist décor and the serene surroundings let the star of the show shine: the expertly-cooked seafood. Here you'll find high quality seafood, predominantly locally-sourced crustaceans that are cooked simply, and, most importantly, priced reasonably. The menu changes according to market availability but the usual suspects are lobsters, shrimp, clams, squid and fish. The cooking style is largely Asian and the mains are served with a side of bee hoon (in place of bread).
NEW RESTAURANT | The trendy Mohamed Sultan Road hood just got trendier with the opening of Spathe Public House (Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm), a restaurant-cafe with a sharing-plates menu. Pronounced ‘speyth’, the philosophy here is that good food is meant for sharing and the air is of a convivial social house. Expect mammoth-sized portions for big groups to tuck into. Groups of four to six persons can plough through the Mohamed Sultan Meter Dog ($55 for sharing portion; $18 for individual portion) - a metre-long strip of veal and curry wurst. There is also pub grub like confit duck puff ($38 for sharing; $18 for individual) and an intriguing sous vide Spanish octopus salad ($38 for sharing;$18 for individual). Gather up the troops and go.
NEW RESTAURANT | Brand new Dolce Tokyo (Opening hours: Daily 11:30am-10pm) is dishing up Japanese-meets-Italian sweet treats and coffee at 313 Somerset. Don’t know where to begin? Try the signature Dessert Bento ($18.90) which includes several tasting portions of their best-selling items. There is a shiratama (Japanese rice cake) with konnyaku (elephant yam jelly), panna cotta with caramel and marshmallow and a brownie with vanilla gelato.
NEW RESTAURANT | Bak kut teh lovers will rejoice at the opening of BKT by Kong Kee (Opening hours: Daily 11am-10pm). They are the first bak kut teh restaurant in Singapore to serve all the popular styles of pork bone tea under one roof. They have Teochew, Malaysian and even a Klang style dry bak kut teh.
NEW RESTAURANT | ME@OUE (Opening hours: Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm and 5.30-10pm; Sun 5.30-10pm) is a one-stop shop for Japanese, Chinese and French cuisines in the CBD. Perched on the 19th floor rooftop of OUE Bayfront, the restaurant brings together two Michelin-starred chefs - Laurent Peugeot (of LP+Tetsu) and Masayasu Yonemura, as well as Malaysian celebrity chef Justin Hor. As it is a venture by Food Junction, Overseas Union Enterprise and Mediacorp, diners are told that they can should expect to be rubbing shoulders with the likes of stars like Zoe Tay and Tay Ping Hui. With all these big guns in the fray, the expectations from this fine dine spot are sky-high.
HEAR IT FIRST | NEW RESTAURANT | Serangoon's Jalan Riang foodie enclave has a new player, Rokeby (Opening hours: Daily 9am-10pm) - an Australian gourmet bistro serving artisanal coffee and brunch nosh. The menu features all the usual suspects like eggs, pasta, salads and coffee, and the café looks cozy and inviting. They softly opened their doors the week of 17 February. We will make our way there soon to see if they live up to the competition.
HEAR IT FIRST | NEW RESTAURANT | Olivia Cassevaelun Fancourt (Opening hours: noon-2.30pm and 6-10.30pm) at The Arts House is a new French- and Italian-influenced restaurant named after Sir Stamford Raffles' little-known first wife. Tucked away in The Arts House's annex second floor this 60-seat restaurant has five- and seven-course degustation menus at $102 and $133.75 respectively. We are intrigued, not just by their exhaustive selection of wines but also how they'll tie in to their back-story.
NEW MENU | Swensen’s dessert menu now has two new waffle dishes. Inspired by San Francisco’s iconic landmark is Golden Gate ($9.50) – two scoops of creamy vanilla ice cream with strawberry topping, chocolate wafers, whipped cream and maraschino cherries, all perched atop a golden waffle base. There is also the Waffles Supreme ($7.50), a stack of thick waffles served with homemade honey butter cream.
LIMITED EDITION MENU | Drop in at Tuxedo Café and Patisserie (Tea hours: 3pm-6pm) at The Carlton hotel for some tea time indulgence. For just $9.90 enjoy a special set of coffee or tea paired with one of their signature mini cakes. We love the Tuxedo cake made with Valrhona chocolate and their croissants. The tea set is on offer for a limited time only.
LIMITED EDITION MENU | Indulge in some lobster lovin’ at Clifford (Opening hours: Daily: noon-2.30pm and 6.30-10.20pm) at The Fullerton Bay hotel between until 14 March. Expect the freshest crustaceans cooked in classic styles: there is a lobster thermidor ($69.50), cognac-flamed and topped with porcini mushrooms and crème Royale; a lobster bouillabaisse ($69.50), stewed with clams and mussels in saffron fennel broth; and a decadent lobster Catalane ($62), the lobster poached with roasted pimento, shallots, wine tomatoes and shaved bottarga and citrus.
LIMITED EDITION MENU | Until 30 April, step into any of the three Kungfu Paradise (Opening hours: Daily 11am-2am) outlets to sample their all-day breakfast menu. Start with eggs Benedict with lemon butter sauce ($12.90) or the Kay’s breakfast combo ($12.80), Kungfu Paradise's version of the full works – fried eggs, sausages, bacon and toast. To end off with a sweet note, tuck in to Wafflelicious ($9.90) - fluffy waffles topped with strawberries, blueberries, fruit cocktail and strawberry sauce.
NEW MENU | Morton’s Steakhouse (Opening hours Mon-Sat 5-11pm; Sun 5-10pm), famous for their Mortini Hours (free steak sandwiches on Mondays to Saturdays from 5 to 7pm) have amped up their food menu to include a variety of bar bites. They have mini crab cake BLTs ($39.60), a trio of prime cheeseburgers ($28) and a smoked salmon pizza ($35.10) to name a few.
NEW MENU | Fresh from snagging the second best spot on The Miele Guide's top 20 restaurants in Asia 2013, Waku Ghin (Opening hours: Daily, two seatings 6pm and 8.30pm) unveils a full, bar eats menu to go with their award-winning cocktails. The Bar at Waku Ghin’s gourmet menu features dishes like the aburi (Japanese for "roasted") ocean trout ($40.60), a grilled loin of ocean trout with soy, chili, yuzu and olive oil, and the grilled Canadian lobster open sandwich ($72.76). There are also cheese platters, a selection of oysters and a 20g tian of caviar ($110).
LIMITED EDITION MENU | Jiang Nan Chun (Opening hours: Daily 11.30am-2.30pm and 6pm-10.30pm) at the Four Seasons goes back to the basics all all through the month of March. Chef Alan Chan’s ‘days of nostalgia’ menu features traditional Cantonese fare that is inspired by the chef’s early days in Hong Kong. Double-boiled for a minimum of eight hours, the chicken broth has seahorses, sea dragons and sea coconut ($34 per person) is a nourishing and comforting. The chef’s signatures are the stir-fried minced oyster with Chinese sausage served on lettuce ($32) and braised beancurd with pork belly, chives and shrimp paste served in a claypot ($20).
LIMITED EDITION MENU | The organic goodness menu at Peach Blossoms (Opening hours: noon-3pm and 6.30-11pm) is back by popular demand. Between 1 March to 30 April, sample health-conscious fare like the baked organic pumpkin with cheese served in organic kiwi ($13.20 per piece) or the nutritious steamed organic egg with braised dried scallop ($11). The menu is available a la carte or as a six-course set menu at $61.60 per person, with a minimum order of two.
LIMITED EDITION MENU | Sushi Tei's winter epicurean menu is only available till the 19th of March, and we recommend that you head down there soon to sample the melt-in-your-mouth ankimo (liver of the monkfish) gunkan Sushi ($3.80) and the ankimo ponzu ($6.50) – both are served in traditional Japanese style with grated radish, green onions, and a tangy citrus-based ponzu sauce. Oyster lovers can sample the bamboo oyster roll ($8) - hollowed out cucumber filled with oysters, eggs, tomatoes and drizzled with sesame sauce. For dessert, there is a very creamy and pleasing Naruto sweet potato ice cream ($3.40). Available at all Sushi Tei outlets island wide.
SNOW IN SINGAPORE | The folk at Tampopo are going the extra mile to bring Japan to Singapore. On 23 and 24 February they will bring in snow from Hokkaido to Singapore. We blizzard you not - three tons of snow will be shoveled up and imported to Singapore, and will be on display (and for play) at the Liang Court atrium (Timings: 11.30am, 2pm, 5.30pm, 7-8pm). There will be snow, snowmen and loads of photo opportunities. All you need after is a piping-hot bowl of ramen.