Sneaking into the local café scene is 6-month old Common Chefs – an unassuming café located right below Victory 8 Condominium along 8 Jalan Lengundi. This hidden gem offers a delectable selection of Western classics ranging from grilled beef burgers to chicken and waffles to make up for that 15-minute walk from Sembawang MRT.
Although the layout and decor of the space is modest, Instagrammers and fellow foodies would be enthralled by the seats near the glass windows for that Instagram-worthy shot amidst the natural lighting. Those simply seeking a cuppa to relax and let loose on the other hand, would prefer to sit beneath the warm downlights to enjoy the cozy atmosphere. We came here twice in a span of two months and got to sample a number of items on their rather concise menu.
The café’s signature Truffle Tater Tots $12 was certainly a dish to rave about. Crispy potato nuggets deep fried till golden brown before being tossed in fragrant truffle oil and served with generous shavings of aged Parmesan. Despite its slightly greasy appearance, we were centrally charmed by the warm potato puffs encased within its crispy outer shell.
For something thicker, meatier and juicer, the café has got you covered with an explosive range of flame-grilled burgers! The Boss ($19 for Beef/$18 for Chicken) was literally the big daddy of all their other burgers which showcased a jam-packed layer of flavoursome ingredients – sautéed mushrooms, grilled beef patty, sharp cheddar, fried egg, pickles, bacon and caramelized onions – to create an umami explosion in every bite. The best part was of course the succulent double-layer beef patty packed so snugly between two well-toasted brioche buns.
Following the heels of the opening of Tsuta aka the first Japanese ramen eatery to earn a Michelin Star, at Pacific Plaza, another Michelin-Starred restaurant has also taken residence at the same location, just a few units down.
Kam’s Roast from Hong Kong, which has earned accolades for attaining its Michelin Star within 6 months of opening in 2015, and thereafter in 2016 and 2017, has become a household name for roast goose and meats in general, and they have OPENED IN SINGAPORE. While there will not be any goose on the menu at this FIRST outlet outside Hong Kong, their other signature roasts such as the Roast Duck, Suckling Pig, ‘Toro’ Char Siu and of course the legendary Wonton Noodles are all still available.
Rest assured as well that the owners of Kam’s Roast have guranteed that the standard and quality of their roasts will be the same as that of Hong Kong. They have after all, flown in their Head Chef from Hong Kong, Chef Wong Kwan-sang to train the staff at this outlet and also work alongside the Singapore Head Chef until operations are smooth. The Singapore Head Chef, Chef Lam was also previously from Yung Kee, where the Kam’s Roast story first began.
Opened by the same talented and creative mind behind the “no-menu” bespoke bar along Kandahar Street- Maison Ikkoku, FORT by Maison Ikkoku offers a refreshing new concept with culinary delights paired with unique cocktails that are individually concocted and tailored to your preference.
Located at the Singapore Pinacothèque De Paris within Fort Canning Park, this unassuming modest corner restaurant is hardly eye-catching from its exterior and its dimly-lit surroundings sets the tone as an ideal watering hole. The bar counter where all the magic and ingenuity happens, takes centre stage while diners sit all around it. Each seating takes up to 30 pax and FORT has two seatings every night- 6.30pm and 8.30pm.
We came by to try their highly acclaimed 12-course Omakase which costs an affordable $68++. I enjoyed my experience so much that I made a reservation for my best friend’s birthday two weeks later and returned for another meal.
Cold Braised Radish with Cuttlefish
Our first item of the twelve, was a cold dish that was light, refreshing to the palate with a clean finish. The touch of cuttlefish essence added a nice dimension to this otherwise simple starter.
The TEPPEI group is no stranger to our Singapore food scene and has made waves for the affordable Omakase sets they offer in their hole-in-the-wall space in Orchid Hotel, which by the way has a three month long waiting list. Apart from that, they are also known for their Chirashi Dons that are brimming with thick slices of fresh raw fish at Hanare, a few doors down.
Fast forward a few years later, Chef Teppei Yamashita will be creating long queues again with his new venture- an Unagi speciality restaurant that will be opening its doors today, 12 Oct 16, along Keong Saik Road, walking distance from the original Teppei Japanese Restaurant in Tanjong Pagar.
The eel served here is imported directly from Japan, from the Mikawa Isshiki region. They are so fresh that they are still swimming in the makeshift tanks at the corner of the restaurant before being slaughtered live in front of diners who choose to sit at the open concept kitchen. Not for the faint-hearted because it gets bloody, real bloody but no worries about any oil or splatter because there is a glass screen between you and the Chefs. However, I would personally not recommend that you sit there unless you really need to catch some live action and watching your dinner prepared in its rawest form.
By the same people behind one of Singapore’s well-loved cafes- Symmetry, comes an interesting concept that is both cheeky and playful. Serving “Naughty Modern Asian Cuisine” which is essentially local tze char done with a modernized twist, Xiao Ya Tou (小丫头), which means “little girl” in Mandarin, is the newest entry to the many eateries along Duxton Hill.
With its row of hanging red Chinese round lanterns framing the entrance, this quirky Asian restaurant and bar stands out from the recent trend of minimalist decor by re-creating the 1960s vibe which is synonymous with being flashy and gaudy. Similarly, XYT is unapologetically garish and showy with their multi-coloured colour theme throughout and neon sign featuring an outline of a risqué “hostess girl”.
We came by for their newly launched Weekend Brunch which was intriguingly one-of-a-kind Asian inspired, featuring dishes such as Chai Tow Kway, Spicy Otak-Otak Aglio Olio and Oyster Congee. Prices ranges from $12-$23 per item.
Our first pick was the Unagi Benedict $23– poached eggs served atop deep fried mantou smothered in Yuzukosho Hollandaise and topped with two fillets of grilled eel. An interesting mish-mash of textures and flavours, the zest and spice from the citrus creamy sauce was also delightfully unexpected. We loved the touch of shredded nori to complete the Japanese feel.