Menu makeover: 10 restaurants in Singapore with new dishes to try, from fancy brunches to Mexican and Thai cuisines

Photos: Tablescape, Jam at Siri House & Blue Jasmine
Photos: Tablescape, Jam at Siri House & Blue Jasmine

Every once in a while, eateries in Singapore switch things up to keep the fires of creativity burning and get new diners in the door. This month, we’ve got fresh offerings from a cozy Mexican eatery, a sky high microbrewery, a restaurant hidden behind a coffee shop fridge, and more.

Read on for the lowdown on what to expect at these places.


 

Atlas

Cherry dessert, steak frites, and mini lobster roll with caviar. Photos: Atlas
Cherry dessert, steak frites, and mini lobster roll with caviar. Photos: Atlas

With new Aussie executive chef Lachlan “Loki” Lynch at the helm, the grand Art Deco restaurant/bar offers a revamped menu divided into five sections, each spotlighting ingredients from the region. Under the cold category, taramasalata ($20, smoked cod roe mezze) with radish, zaatar, and green olive oil makes for a smooth, creamy dip to go with the bagel chips. But if you’re after a hot snack, try the arancini with sunchoke ($16) or the lamb kofta ($18, meatballs) with beetroot yogurt instead.

As far as mains go, you’ll know what to expect with the classic dish of steak frites ($40), served here with bone marrow butter and thin fries. But you can also opt for mini brioche rolls stuffed with cold lobster salad ($26) or a plate of smoked beef short rib with kohlrabi mash ($38). For dessert, the options are sweet and creamy, with the likes of banana and caramel cream pie ($16) or buttermilk panna cotta ($24).

Available Mon-Fri noon-2:30pm & Mon-Sat 6pm-10pm at Atlas, 600 North Bridge Rd. 

 

Baan Ying

Photo: Baan Ying
Photo: Baan Ying

Taking you on a culinary tour around Thailand, Baan Ying’s new set menu for two, four, or eight diners features dishes from various parts of the country. It’s quite a homely feast, akin to settling down at a friend’s place for some hearty comfort food done Thai-style.

From the north, you get pork belly curry and grilled omelette, while the north-east serves a lovely spicy eggplant dip and green papaya salad. In the south, a crisp dried shrimp chilli dip will keep you going back for more (or you can save it to sprinkle over your rice), and the chicken in turmeric broth is like a warm hug on a rainy day.

For a mix of sweet, spicy, sour, and salty, the country’s central parts offer fried sea bass that swims in tamarind soup, served alongside a salted fish and morning glory dish made creamy with coconut milk. Expect to sweat a little when the heat levels are turned up, but it could be worth it, ’cause the restaurant is offering diners a chance to win a three-day, two-night trip to Bangkok.

Available until Sept 30; lunch and dinner at Baan Ying, #02-07 Royal Square @ Novena, 103 Irrawaddy Rd. $58.80/two, $128.80/four, $298.80/eight.

 

Blue Jasmine

Red curry chicken. Photo: Blue Jasmine
Red curry chicken. Photo: Blue Jasmine

Tucked quietly in Park Hotel Farrer Park, this casual Thai eatery may be new to you, even though it’s been around for over two years. But now that it’s launched an outdoor bar area near the rooftop pool, perhaps that’s reason enough to hang out there during Happy Hour (daily 5pm-7pm) for martinis and margaritas.

In the restaurant, sesame beef is a must-try. Slices of beef loin are deep fried and sprinkled with coriander roots and seeds, white sesame, and white pepper, for a crisp, slightly spicy bite that we’d imagine would go great with your pre-dinner drinks. If you’re here for a sit-down meal, the red curry (with chicken or beef) sweetens the coconut milk dish with grapes, pineapples, and lychees, which helps to temper the heat. Alternatively, the kitchen’s phad kee mao has a bit of that wok char, as the kway teow noodles are tossed with prawns, squid, egg, and veggies.

Lunch sets (from $13) are available as well, with options such as chicken pad kaprao (Thai basil chicken with butterfly pea flower jasmine rice) and seafood tom yum with glass noodles. Each order comes with a fish cake starter and a mango sticky rice dessert.

Available Mon-Sun 11:30am-10pm at Blue Jasmine, L5 Park Hotel Farrer Park, 10 Farrer Park Station Rd. Dishes from $10-$28, bar drinks from $5-$18.

 

El Mero Mero

Gordita. Photo: El Mero Mero
Gordita. Photo: El Mero Mero

Five years since its debut, El Mero Mero at Chijmes has undergone a makeover in its look and food, elevating classic Mexican plates to blend traditional flavors with modern culinary trends.

To start, you can’t go wrong with its guacamole ($12/$18) and charred tostadas. But what really stands out is the corn sampler ($15), a dish of char-grilled organic baby corns (you catch a whiff of that smoky scent once the lid comes off) paired with crisp huitlacoche (corn fungus) donuts that taste a lot better than they sound, especially when they’re dipped in chilli mayo.

The restaurant’s ceviche ($21) is served a little differently here, with hamachi cubes in hibiscus flower milk and avocado purée plated beautifully in a green coconut. For more sashimi-grade goodness, try the tostadas de atun ($17), topped with yellowfin tuna and chipotle mayo.

Each dish brims with flavor, from the baja fish tacos ($14) and thick, belly-warming tortilla soup ($14) to the oyster blade fajitas in a creamy sauce ($38) and the Mexican corn gordita ($28), a fresh mix of beans, salsa roja, and sautéed veggies. Even if you’ve got no space left for dessert, press on and order the pecan pie with cinnamon ice cream ($14), or the crisp yet fluffy red velvet churros ($14).

Available Sun-Thurs 5pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11:30pm at El Mero Mero, #01-20 Chijmes, 30 Victoria St. 

 

Jam at Siri House

Fried egg. Photo: Siri House
Fried egg. Photo: Siri House

The new Sunday brunch by Jam at Siri House favors an a la carte style, with sweet, savory, and spicy fare in its quiet Dempsey spot. You know those eggs, pancakes, and French toasts you love to scarf down at cafes? Yeah, they get an Asian-style remake here.

Take, for example, the simple fried egg. At the restaurant, it’s plated up as a Thai omelette topped with roast pork and jaew (Thai dried chilli dipping sauce). Something as common as chicken and waffles gets kicked up a notch with the chicken marinated overnight in Asian herbs before it’s baked and grilled, then paired with butter pancakes, salted gula melaka caramel, pickles, toasted coconut, and dehydrated lemongrass.

Oh, and the bikini sandwich becomes the Bakini, made with honey glazed “bak kwa” sandwiched between cheese and milk bread, then slathered in butter and pan fried.

Familiar flavors also permeate the sweet selection, from Ovaltine pancakes with a Milo and Nutella ganache to French toast with kaya and toasted milk ice cream to coconut tau huay, a coconut and mango twist on the local dessert.

Available on Sun 11:30am-2:30pm at Jam at Siri House, Blk 8D, #01-02 Dempsey Hill, Dempsey Rd.

 

Kilo Kitchen

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

For those of you who prefer your brunch with a hipster touch, then Duxton Hill’s Kilo Kitchen might suit the bill. The restaurant recently launched a weekend brunch menu that’s essentially a greatest hits compilation of brunch dishes with proven popularity among millennials across the globe: There’s shakshouka, there’s chicken and waffles. Grilled cheese toasties. Smoked salmon and avocado paired with creme fraiche. All the hallmarks of brunch food that People Who Brunch like to brunch on.

That’s not to say that the offerings are mundane — Kilo’s executive chef Manel Valero takes creative liberties in his renditions of these classics, and to great effect. For starters, Valero and his team make many of their ingredients in-house, on their own. That Grilled Cheese Toastie ($18) paired with spicy tomato jam? It uses sourdough bread that’s made on-site, from scratch. Same for the Smoked Salmon Open Face ($22), which uses Scottish salmon, a spicy avocado spread and homemade creme fraiche. The aforementioned Fried Chicken and Waffles ($28) come with a quirky regional twist: Here, the crispy, thickly breaded fried chicken is complemented by the light, airy and fragrant Hong Kong-style egg waffle.

Other than the Shakshouka ($24), highlights include the Catalan Breakfast ($26), a plate of homemade butifarra sausages paired with Spanish-style tomato bread, cannellini beans and allioli, and The Big Vegan ($26) featuring quinoa fritters and grilled zucchini with tempeh and mushroom fricassee. For the day drinkers, there are also free-flow booze add-ons ranging from $70-$120.

Available Sat 10am-2:30pm & Sun 10am-3pm at Kilo Kitchen, 97 Duxton Rd.

 

Level33

Squid noodle. Photo: Level33
Squid noodle. Photo: Level33

After taking a break to revamp its space, the rooftop microbrewery now houses a casual social area, a fancy dining room, and an alfresco terrace overlooking the city.

Naturally, beer plays a big part on the menu, even in the food. At the refined dining section, which is ideal for business lunches, you can get dishes such as fresh ricotta, made on-site by the kitchen team, squid noodles in a clear consommé with lager-pickled enoki, and aged duck breast with IPA and orange glaze.

Meanwhile, at the social corner and outdoor tables, there’s more of a communal, boisterous vibe, where plates are meant to be shared. Pick from a menu of grilled pork jowl marinated in stout, lemongrass, and ginger flower, or spent grain chocolate tart with stout-infused ganache.

Available Mon-Thurs 11:30am-midnight, Fri 11:30am-2am, Sat noon-2am, Sun noon-midnight at Level33, #33-01 Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1, 8 Marina Blvd.

 

Tablescape

Carnaroli risotto. Photo: Tablescape
Carnaroli risotto. Photo: Tablescape

At Tablescape, dining is an elegant experience with impeccable service, as waiters bring to your side trolleys stacked with aromatic breads and in-house churned butter, dainty desserts, and bottles of alcohol ready to be mixed into your preferred concoctions.

Led by new executive chef Armando Aristarco, the kitchen finds its roots in European flavors, putting out dishes like Black Angus striploin tataki with cubed and puréed pumpkin ($20), the Josper-grilled Iberico pork chop ($42), and plates of carnaroli risotto ($38) made richer, creamier, and more decadent with pan-fried foie gras hunks and slices of Chinese-style smoked duck.

For dessert, you can pick from an array of sweets beckoning to you from their place on the trolley. If you’d rather not be weighed down by a post-meal sugar crash, go for something light, like the champagne jelly served with mascarpone cheese, berry bits, and orange peel.

Available Mon-Sun noon-2:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm at Tablescape, L3 Grand Park City Hall, 10 Coleman St. 

 

The Dragon Chamber

Foie slabs and lobster pomelo salad. Photos: The Dragon Chamber
Foie slabs and lobster pomelo salad. Photos: The Dragon Chamber

The secret society-influenced resto, hidden behind the fridge door of a coffee shop along Circular Road, has just debuted a new line-up of communal-style dishes. Think lobster pomelo salad ($60) with sesame dressing, foie gras on pan-seared glutinous rice cakes ($26), and crab omelette ($30), inspired by the one Michelin-starred dish by Bangkok street hawker Raan Jay Fai.

Plus, lunch now comes in bento boxes, and the bar’s new drinks include the zesty, rum-based Dragon Punch ($24) with pineapple shrub and strawberry purée, and Sorrel Soda ($18), made of elderflower liqueur and gin infused with hibiscus and rosehip.

Available daily noon-2:30pm & 5pm-midnight at The Dragon Chamber, 2 Circular Rd.

 

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

This upscale steakhouse inside the Intercontinental Hotel at Robertson Quay may have, up until recently, had a reputation for strictly being a special occasion restaurant, but thanks to the launch of its new weekend brunch menu, we’re one step closer to trying the NYC chain’s famed dry-aged steaks without having to aggressively save up for some elaborate date or birthday dinner.

The brunch menu is straightforward and compact: There are nine options, ranging from $18-45 each. The one with the highest price tag? It’s the Steak and Eggs ($45), which sees the chophouse’s dry-aged New York Striploin paired with eggs that can be prepared either sunny side-up or scrambled. The only other brunch special that includes steak is the Eggs Benedict with Petit Filet Mignon ($30), two USDA Prime petit filet mignon served with an open-faced English muffin alongside poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.

Other than an Angel Hair Pasta ($28) with scallops, salmon roe and caviar, the rest of the brunch menu leans towards very traditional breakfast fare: Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon ($24), Buttermilk Waffle or Pancakes ($18 each) served with maple syrup, fresh cream and fruit, or a Bagel with Smoked Salmon ($22) that comes with cream cheese, capers and shallots. Brunch cocktails include the Bellini ($18) in either peach or mango, Aperol Spritz ($18) and red or white Sangria ($22).

Available Sat & Sun 11am-4:30pm at 1 Nanson Rd, #02-01 InterContinental Singapore, Robertson Quay.


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