RAISING THE FLAG | Arossa Wine & Grill Restaurant | Part of Arossa's National Day five-course menu ($75), this dessert resembles the Singapore flag using yogurt and berry semifreddo (a semi-frozen dessert).
PICK ‘N MIX | Casa Verde | Casa Verde's National Day three-course specials ($9.80) are a steal. Among the dishes is Uncle Dan’s rojak, which consists of green apple, pineapple, youtiao (fried dough sticks), taupok (fried beancurd), white turnip, cucumber, grated peanuts, ginger flower tossed in a rojak sauce of assam paste, shrimp paste and sugar.
A CUT ABOVE | Cut | Imagine the everyday kaya-toast-and-coffee combo flipped inside out. Cut by Wolfgang Puck does a version of this breakfast in the form of dessert ($24). With a coconut sponge base, the kaya toast baked Alaska is topped with pandan gelato and a coconut sorbet dome covered with little meringue peaks. Spoon a little of the accompanying egg yolk sabayon and coffee crumble for additional texture. An equally unconventional drizzle of soya sauce completes this dish. We think this might be a late contender to HungryGoWhere's '52 dishes you must eat in Singapore' feature.
FIT FOR ROYALTY | db Bistro Moderne | It seems natural to pair the king and queen of fruits when incorporating a tropical edge to a French dessert favourite. The rise of the sweet durian souffle by db Bistro Moderne is intensified with mangosteen sorbet on the side, blending the hot and cold together. Priced at $15.
FULL STEAM AHEAD | Din Tai Fung | As some adventurous menus have proven, you may stuff just about anything you want in a dim sum — mixed mushrooms, foie gras, beef cheek — so why not chilli crab? Din Tai Fung’s steamed chilli crab dumplings (four pieces for $7.50) are a tangy combination of chewy, tangy goodness. Bite into the thin dumpling skin, which retain the restaurant's signature "18 folds", and uncover chunks of fresh crabmeat in a spicy chilli-crab-based broth.
BOOK A TABLE | TURN THE OTHER CHEEK | Ding Dong | The unmistakable smell of rendang wafts through the air of every Malay household during the festive Hari Raya Puasa season, but the dish hardly takes advantage of the most succulent part of the meat — the cheek. Ding Dong has remained true to the original recipe with its use of curry powder, turmeric powder and fresh coconut, but has done a sous vide, marinating the beef cheek for 48 hours before serving it with a siphoned espuma rendang curry. Priced at $24.
BOOK A TABLE | DELICIOUSLY STUFFED | Forlino | Another chilli crab reincarnate, Forlino's chilli crab raviolone features ravioli stuffed with crab meat, tomato, ginger and chili, and served with a crab bisque sauce that mimics the texture of the original, with an egg scrambled into it. It is part of a buffet ($208++ per person) that is complemented by Prosecco wines, house wines and beers. Enjoy this with an uninterrupted view of the Marina Bay waterfront from the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
PERANAKAN PORKER | Lime | Parkroyal on Pickering's restaurant, Lime, has a good babi pongteh (stewed pork with fermented soy beans), which is part of the lunch (Mondays to Fridays $45, Saturdays $48) and dinner (Mondays to Thursdays $58, Fridays and Saturdays $62) buffet. The dish is a beloved medley of Peranakan larder flavours. Using a foundation of onion, garlic and salted bean nursed slowly until golden brown and fragrant, the chef chooses to cook pork shoulder instead of the belly to avoid the fattening parts — thus lessening the guilt that those who are health-conscious may face.
BOOK A TABLE | SPANISH FLAIR | My Little Spanish Place | My Little Spanish Place understands the demand for a compulsory eggs-and-toast brunch (be it at a kopitiam or a cafe) and has introduced the chilli crab toast ($22). Similar to the Spanish brunch dish of torrada de jamon, the fresh crab meat is cooked in a sweet and spicy garlic sauce. Using toasted sourdough bread as a crusty base and dressed with homemade aioli, the sweet ending lies at the height of the dish — a poached egg with an inviting yolk that just waits to be devoured.
CAVIAR GOES PERANAKAN | Orchard Cafe | Orchard Cafe's mouthwatering kueh pie tee (thin, deep-fried pastry tart shell filled with a spicy, sweet mixture of thinly sliced vegetables and prawns) is part of the Straits Cuisine lunch ($56.16 per person) and dinner ($79.56 per person) buffets, and it is crunchy yet succulent. Bite into plump langoustines, topped with salmon roe and a dollop of "Nyonya Caviar" — the bitter and buttery Peranakan staple, buah keluak.
Celebrate Singapore's 49th birthday with special deals, where $49++ set meals and desserts may be had for $4.90. We have them listed on our "4-9" Deals promotion page.
SLIPPERY SLICE | Picotin Express | We enjoy the delicious mess of a bowl of laksa — the object behind many hawker tussles. A pizza version may be just as messy as well. Picotin's seafood laksa pizza (12-inch at $22) is lathered with a spicy laksa paste and topped with squid, prawns, crabmeat, taupok, chilli and mozzarella cheese. Italian herbs take a hike this time, with deep-fried laksa leaves making a crisp entrance to the palate.
BOOK A TABLE | A BALL OF A TIME | Street 50 Restaurant & Bar | If you’re a fan of the chicken rice balls found in Malacca, this might come as a close second. Part of the National Day buffet dinner ($49 per adult), Street 50's poached chicken is served with breaded rice balls which have been layered with Japanese bread crumbs, and deep fried to golden perfection — it’s an arancini of sorts. Replacing the garlic chilli is a chilli and tomato chutney which delivers a spicy and sour kick.
BOOK A TABLE | MAY THE FROTH BE WITH YOU | Tippling Club | One of the Tippling Club's staples, Singapore Curry, is packed with a curry mousse, puffed white rice, deep-fried curry leaves and coriander. The mousse, made using pressurised air and a siphon, retains the signature familiar curry scent, but without the heavy gravy. It’s an amuse bouche that will leave you satiated in mere seconds. it's part of the six- ($160++) and 11-course ($265++) meal.
BOOK A TABLE | FOR LAKSA LOVERS | Ujong | Ujong's fish curry laksa ($23.90) lacks a broth but manages to stay rich and tangy. The distinctive assam notes can be tasted in the dry sauce, which coats the laksa noodles, poached fish, cucumber and tomatoes.
TOAST MASTERS | Pacific Marketplace | An otak-otak is addictive – one piece hardly ever suffices. Which is why these small toasties with spicy fish paste are simply irresistible. Topping the thin slices of freshly-baked white bread is a thick slice of homemade otak, comprising of fresh mackerel fish paste grounded with garlic, turmeric, lemon grass, chilli powder and coconut milk. The finishing touches of chilli, Japanese cucumber and a boiled quail egg lend both a spicy crisp and creamy fullness to this small but worldly-textured dish. It’s part of Pacific Marketplace's new Peranakan afternoon tea ($58 for two adults), which is traditionally served in a four-tiered tiffin carrier.
A SHOT TO THE STARS | COOK & BREW | Your favourite local drinks just got naughtier. Cook & Brew presents three shots ($4.90 each) infused with teh tarik (pulled tea), bandung (rose syrup with milk,pictured above) and Milo for a taste that is both familiar and foreign. The Milo Dinosaur shot is an after-hours version of the coffee-shop favourite, with Mozart Black dark chocolate liqueur, a generous serving of Milo powder, and milk biscuit balls.
STRAIT UP GRATIFICATION | Oriole Coffee Roasters | It might sound ambitious to include seven ingredients in one cuppa, but with Oriole Coffee Roasters' track record, it doesn’t disappoint. Straits 7 Coffee ($6) is running a competition on what is in its seven-ingredient coffee, which is specially served in an old-school porcelain cup and saucer. So far, the crew is hinting at the flavours of espresso and Horlicks, so try your luck at guessing after you've nursed a cup and you might be one of the first 49 people to win a $49 dinner voucher at Oriole.
BOOK A TABLE | FLOWER POWER | Sense Ristorante & Bar | The Red Orchid ($16) is an August-only special. Senso’s vodka-based cocktail mixed with violet and cranberry juice is finished with a trio of raspberries, paying tribute to our national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim.
IF YOU LIKE COLADAS | Catalunya | Catalunya's Mumbai Colada ($25), as its name suggests, infuses a cocktail with some of the spices you find at an Indian sundry shop. Joining the base of mustard macerated in Johnnie Walker Black Label is a host of ingredients such as Indian bitters, garam masala, coriander, Mozart Black, lemon juice, black cardamom syrup and kaya mix. It’s only for the brave — but it also comes in a set ($49) along with another specialty cocktail, Calamansi Mojito ($20 on its own), a serving of patatas bravas (fried potato cubes) and a killer view of the fireworks over Marina Bay.
THE NUTCRACKER | Jamie's Italian | A twist to the local dessert of ice kacang, Jamie Italian’s Cracking Kachang ($16) is made from the Saliza Amaretto, a golden liqueur from Italy made with crushed almonds, resulting in intense marzipan flavours. The amaretto’s sweetness is lifted by muddling raspberries and strawberries, and topped with a homemade sour cherry gomme syrup and fresh milk, for a red-and-white visual structure.