It’s the birthday month of Singapore. A few years back, the country probably saw just a handful of new restaurant openings every month.
Now, there are NEW restaurants and cafés almost EVERY SINGLE DAY. A sign of progress, fickle-changing-minds of consumers, or this is how food will go in time to come.
After returning from a holiday early last month in Sydney, I saw a mini-flood of Japanese restaurants opening – there could be at least be 10. I have visited 6 of them and included them here.
The good thing is, we are starting to see more specialty shops with some character, rather than those which sell everything-under-the-sky.
10 NEW & Hot Restaurants Singapore August 2017 (Cafes entry here > 10 NEW Cafés In Singapore August 2017 )
Bugis Junction #02-50, 200 Victoria St, Singapore 188021
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Last orders 9.30pm (Sun – Thurs), 11am – 11pm Last orders 10.30pm (Fri – Sat)
Customisable Crispy Tendon Bowls, Layered Matcha Latte At Bugis Junction
This should be the only Tendon shop in Singapore that allows diners to customise their own tendon bowl, from the key ingredients (chicken, prawn, vegetable or mixed), to base (rice, soba, udon), sauces (choice of four), and add-ons of chawanmushi and miso soup.
You would find that the tempura looked more yellowish-golden, and upon eating would have a moderate *crunch*, crispier than the average brand – which might have turned soggy sometimes due to the drizzling of the sauces (or otherwise). Kogane Yama (Bugis Junction)
3 Temasek Boulevard, #03-331 Eat At Seven, Suntec City Mall Singapore 038983
Tel: +65 63334386
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3.30pm, 5:00pm – 9.30pm (Mon – Sun)
Popular Tendon Kohaku Sells Katsudon Next Door
Katsudon Hanakatsu looks like it is off to a positive start. The restaurant serves only Katsudon filled with deep-fried chicken and pork in 2 different versions – regular and spicy.
Price is considered reasonable, at $13.50 per bowl with a sizable portion.
The bowl came piled up with medium-thick crispy pork and chicken slices, looking as though it was trying to emulate the shape of a blossom. Were there like six slices of them?
The first bite already sent some ”wow” down my spine – thinly breaded, crisp and hot throughout, tender meats, and higher than normal spiciness with a tinge of sweetness. Katsudon Hanakatsu (Suntec City)
1 Maritime Square, #01-99 HarbourFront Centre Singapore 099253 (HarbourFront MRT Station)
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm (Mon – Fri), 11:00am – 10:00pm (Sat – Sun)
Creamy Tonkotsu, Thin Noodles At Harbourfront Centre
A ramen joint specialising in Tonkotsu ramen, with 3 version of original, garlic or spicy.
The ramen items were considered inexpensive in Singapore’s context, with a basic Tonkotsu bowl at $10.90, $12.90 with addition of ajitama egg, and $14.90 with an “all toppings” choice include seaweed and chashu.
When I took the first sip of the thick, creamy tonkotsu broth supposedly cooked for 8 hours, the taste reminded me of Keisuke Tonkotsu King when it first started out. Ramen Hitoyoshi (Harbourfront Centre)
48 Lorong Mambong Singapore 277699 (Holland Village MRT)
Tel: +65 6734 4436
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm (Mon – Sun)
Fun Japanese Concept By Chikuwa Tei At Holland Village
Chikuwatei Nishi at 48 Lorong Mambong is a new izakaya-style concept by the group behind Chikuwatei, but has younger, more casual vibes.
Level 1 is a “Momo Bar” dining and retail concept, offering quick fuss-free Japanese street food and bowls.
Food is ordered via a vending machine, with most items below $10. There is Barachirashi ($9.80), Curry Tempura Don ($7.80), Unagi Tamago Don ($9.80), Sashimi Soba ($8.80), and Salmon Ontama Don ($8.80).
The upper level is a sit-down dining concept with a sake bar, with Japanese fare including Chirashi Kou ($35), Truffle Salmon Aburi ($18), Sashimi Soba ($16), Mixed Nigiri Set ($18), Kurobuta Nishi Bowl ($16) and Nishi Tendon ($12).
Except the Ramen Hitoyoshi had an even thicker quality, and used different type of noodles. Chikuwatei Nishi (Holland Village)
33 Arab St, Singapore 189197/ 4 Haji Lane. (There are two entrances)
Tel: +65 6291 3323
Opening Hours: 12.00pm – 3:00pm Lunch (Tues – Sun), 6:00pm – 12:00am Dinner (Tues – Sat), Closed Mon
Japanese Kushikatsu Restaurant and Bar
The inspiration for Panko is the neon glow of Dotonburi and the back streets of Osaka. This Kushikatsu Restaurant and Bar concept is led by the team behind Bincho at Tiong Bahru.
Some of the specialities include Scallop with Uni ($8), Mochi Bacon with Mentai ($5), Shiitake with chicken miso and shaved truffle ($8), Pork Belly with whole grain mustard ($3), Shishamo ($2), Zucchini with tomato sauce ($2).
Each kushikatsu is coated in a secret panko batter recipe from Japan that is light and crispy – accentuating the flavour of the food.
Sumo Bar Happy
261 Waterloo Street, #01-24 Waterloo Centre Singapore 180261
Opening Hours: 5:00pm – 12:00am, Kitchen closes at 10:00pm (Mon – Sat), 5:00pm – 10:00pm (Sun)
Modern Ramen and Tachinomi Sake Bar
Opened by the people behind Standing Sushi Bar and Tanuki Raw, Sumo Bar Happy is a hidden-from-plain-sight eatery within the Bras Basah Arts district.
Other than the Char Siew Ramen ($17), you don’t get the usual varieties here – Oxtail Ramen ($21), Beef Ramen ($19) and a whooping Bone-In Rib Ramen ($42). Didn’t type that price wrongly.
I ordered a Sumo Ramen ($23) which was value-for-money for having slow-roasted oxtail, braised beef tendon, sautéed US beef, boneless short rib all in one bowl, complete with collagen-rich tonkotsu broth and thin springy noodles.
Bakalaki Greek Taverna
3 Seng Poh Rd Singapore 168891
Opening Hours: 6:00pm – 12:00am (Mon – Thurs), 6:00pm – 1:00am (Fri – Sun)
Where Authentic Mediterranean Food Is Right At Your Tiong Bahru Doorstop
Bakalaki makes you feel like in the land of the Mediterranean once you step in (if you ignore the noises of nearby traffic).
The interior is warm and welcoming, reminiscent of a traditional Greek home designed by award-winning Greek designer Dimitris Economou.
Some of the recommended include Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt, $14.90), Spanakopita (Greek Filo Pastry $15.90), Moussaka (Minced Beef Casserole $25.90), Beef Souvlaki (Beef Skewers, $18.90) , Paidakia (Grilled Lamb Chops, $32.90), Htapodi (Grilled Octopus, $32.90), Mixed Grill Fish & Seafood Platters ($118.90), ending with desserts of Baklava (Filo Pastry, $14.90), and Loukoumades (Greek Doughnuts, $14.90). Bakalaki Greek Taverna (Tiong Bahru)
The Bird Southern Table And Bar
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, B1-07, Galleria Level Singapore 018956
Tel: +65 6688 9959
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:0am – 4:00pm, Dinner 4:00pm – 2:00am (Mon – Sun)
Weekend Brunch: 10:00am – 4:00pm (Sat – Sun)
Crispy Fried Chicken Restaurant “Yardbird” Opens At MBS
The Bird Southern Table And Bar by Restaurateur John Kunkel, is dedicated to classic Southern cooking and farm-fresh ingredient. It operates two outlets in Miami and Las Vegas.
The Singapore outpost is located near the Bread Street Kitchen side at Marina Bay Sands, with 2 levels of 190 seating capacity in total.
Southern style Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken is the highlight, cooked with a 100-year old recipe. The chicken would be brined for 27 hours before mixed in a medley of spices such as paprika, cayenne pepper and garlic powder.
Not bad, not bad, quite juicy and tender. There was a tiny level of disappointment though. ”Is this it?” The Bird Southern Table And Bar (Marina Bay Sands)
Blue Lotus Chinese Noodle Bar
2 Science Park Drive, #01-26 Ascent Singapore 118222
Tel: +65 6910 0880
Opening Hours: 11:30pm – 3:00pm Last Order 2:30pm, 5:00pm – 10:00pm Last order 9:30pm (Mon – Fri)
Truffle La Mian And Chilli Crab Xiao Long Bao At Science Park
Chinese Noodle Bar by Blue Lotus focuses on Northern Chinese flavours and dishes, and signature dishes include the Grilled Giant King Prawn “Lau Gan Ma” Noodles ($16.00), the Signature Crispy Pork Lard Truffle La Mian ($12.00), a vegetarian Truffle Mushroom & Beansprout La Mian ($12.00), Grilled Soya Chicken Drumstick Noodles ($13.00) and Braised Minced Pork Lu Rou Fan ($12.00).
I also ordered the Truffle Mushroom & Beansprout La Mian ($12.00), hoping it could bring some excitement as truffle (or at least the oil) is seldom used in casual Chinese restaurants.
While the noodles in terms of bite was decent, the entire combination lacked some form of oomph and I felt the need to add some other sauces in – which I don’t normally do.
7 Dempsey Road Singapore 249671
Tel: +65 6250 7090
Opening Hours: 4:00pm – 1:00am (Tues – Thurs), 4:00pm – 2:00am (Fri – Sat), 10:30am – 3:00pm (Sun), Closed Mon
Singapore’s First Skewers & Claypot Rice Cocktail Bar
Good to find some hearty local food at Dempsey, which is known for many of its bars and restaurants, but few of such nature.
Provisions focuses in claypot rice, and its highlight include Seafood Rice ($16.00), Mixed Pork ($14.00) and Oyster Omelette Rice ($18). While portion is meant for one, it was still comforting with generous ingredients, with fragrant charred bits at the bottom.
Not to be missed is the KFC ($10), actually Korean Fried Cauliflower which is made to taste like Fried Chicken. Who would have known cauliflower could be this addictive?
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