Three to try: The best rice dishes this month
Rice to the occasion
Monti's location by the Singapore River makes it a natural draw for diners in search of an atmospheric meal with a view. Fittingly, the Mediterranean-style fare is equally elegant. The standout: Venere — Black Venus rice (much like the rice we use to make pulut hitam or black rice porridge) sautéed risotto-style with onions, butter and fish broth till the grains are gleaming and just that little bit chewy. Served with squid tossed in pancetta oil and lemon zest, the dish is kissed with smoky, nutty flavours that are so gratifying, you might find yourself contemplating seconds.
Available at Monti, 82 Collyer Quay, Fullerton Pavilion. Tel: 6535 0724
Bomba Mellow Rice
Aitor Jeronimo Orive, the newly minted head chef of Iggy's, has brought an exciting new direction to the stalwart fine diner. His brand of cuisine is culled from his experience working in some of the world's best restaurants including The Fat Duck, Mugaritz and Nerua Guggenheim. While much of the produce he uses is sourced from Japan, his Spanish roots still hold strong in dishes like Bomba Mellow Rice. Imbued with rich, briny flavours, the Spanish rice is served with baby squid and sweet Maine lobster, and finished with an artful brunoise of carrot and broccoli, squid ink emulsion, Japanese silverfish, fried sakura ebi and dashi foam.
Available at Iggy's, level 3, Hilton Singapore. 581 Orchard Road. Tel: 6732 2234
Risotto, Homemade Sourdough Breadcrumbs, Peppercorn, Marsala, Umbrian Truffle
The foundation of any great risotto is the rice, and this one — using aged carnaroli rice from renowned Piedmontese producer Acquerello — is no exception. To maintain the rice's purity of flavour, executive chef Simone Depalmas cooks it in salted water rather than traditional broth and enriches it with the addition of butter and Grana Padano cheese. A shower of toasty sourdough crumbs, cracked black pepper, a touch of vinegar and a drizzle of Marsala sauce provide delicious complexity to this otherwise simple, comforting classic.
Available at FOO'D by Davide Oldani, #01-01 Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall, 11 Empress Place. Tel: 6385 5588