Three to try: Red Tail, Flagship, The Lighthouse
The Lighthouse Restaurant & Rooftop Bar
White truffle season is upon us, attracting diners to savour this luxurious commodity. The superior cousins to its black counterparts (which can be cultivated), white truffles can only be foraged by pigs or dogs in the Italian communes of Alba and Acqualagna and only at a specific time of the year — October — which makes each showering of these shaven slivers a pleasurable treat. Its perfect vehicle? A light, cheesy pasta, which is something The Lighthouse Restaurant & Rooftop Bar has executed to a tee among its seven new dishes. Their medium of choice is a risotto coated in Parmesan cheese sauce with what chef Carlo Marengoni calls "truffle caviar", formed by turning truffle juice into small pearls through the process of spherification. A single Parmesan crisp and shaven truffles top the dish, adding layers of texture in each bite.
In creating his dishes, the chef was also mindful of avoiding strong-flavoured ingredients, selecting complementary produce that share the truffles' home of Piedmont instead — such as the Piedmontese cow used in the beef tartare starter. Similarly, the polenta, which accompanied a chicken roulade, was made with Montebore cheese, also a Piedmont native. Melting easily into the polenta, it boasts a unique taste derived from a mix of cow and sheep's milk. —AI
Level 8, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, 1 Fullerton Square. Tel: 6884 6884
Pink fluorescent lights. Carlos Santana on fleek. And a bartender who'll ask if your shoulders are aching just because you've put them through a little stretch. Don't get us wrong — Jerrold Khoo isn't going to take it upon himself to knead you into shape, but he'll fix you up real good with an Old Fashioned that ticks all the right boxes. After all, the baby-faced bartender's shaken his way through Jigger & Pony and Sugarhall, so turning out stiff, well-balanced cocktails is pretty much second nature to him. The 26-year-old has also given his own twist on the classic Old Fashioned by turning out three variations on the same theme: One with apple bitters and cinnamon sugar; another made with whiskey barrel-aged bitters and black sesame syrup; and a feminine bouquet combining black tea syrup, peach bitters, and a refreshing touch of mint. These new spins on an old favourite are worth saving liver-space for.
If you're not in the mood for an Old Fashioned, why not drink your way through Flagship's 180 bottles of whisky? In a parallel world, we'll do just that without passing out on the streets. But let's toe the path of moderation and opt for a flight of whiskies from their 'Whiskies We Love' lineup, which is revised monthly to showcase lesser-known but no less worthy drams. Variety, is after all, the spice of life. During our visit, Amrut Fusion, a proudly made-in-India single malt whisky, stood amongst its Scotch and American contemporaries.
A year on, Flagship might have abandoned its broody image for a more polished, but equally relaxed vibe, but the food's still very much solid bar grub you'll want to sink your hands and teeth into. Their spicy, garlicky and salty Pok Pok fried chicken wings are best devoured with sticky fingers, while an excellent rack of fork-tender pork ribs gets our vote for its red wine and sherry vinegar marinade. —DK
20 Bukit Pasoh Road. Tel: 6750 4461 or 9772 9896
Red Tail Bar
Red Tail is the first of four new F&B concepts to open at Zouk's latest Clarke Quay home, and if you're expecting it to be anything like the lonesome cart dishing out bangers and mash after the lights have come on, you'll be sorely disappointed. You shouldn't have to mourn for long though, because the food at Red Tail is pretty darn delicious. Think familiar Asian flavours reinvented in ways that'll make your cocktails even more enjoyable. For those striving to eat clean, there's an umami-rich vine tomato salad tossed in balsamic concentrate and shio kombu. Scotch eggs make an appearance too, made with century eggs encased in a Kurobuta pork shell. A showering of pickles help to cut through the rich, pungent flavours of this dish. Coffee pork collar, a richer rendition of coffee pork ribs (a modern zhi char favourite), is given a greater layering of flavours by way of a corainder and laksa leaf pesto.
Keep in mind that all the dishes here are built for sharing, and their yun cheong (chinese liver sausage) pizza is by far the hardest one to pass around the table because you'll want to have it all by yourself. The yun cheong's robust flavours are paired with caramelised onions, set against a three-cheese base, and blanketed in more cheese. Perfect for snacking on after a few drinks. On the alcoholic front, expect to find a fully stocked bar and a lineup of 16 Asian-inspired cocktails featuring everything from soju to coconut syrup. —DK
3C River Valley Road. Tel: 6738 2988
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