Three to try: Monti, Otto's Deli Fresh, Kam's Roast
Superfoods and salads aren't the first things that come to mind when you think of Italian cuisine. But Monti — the tenant that replaces Catalunya's four-year Spanish reign at Fullerton Pavilion — challenges that notion with health-conscious decisions that are just as indulgent. If you choose to ignore the cheese and meat platter (save that for your cheat days), opt for the superfood salad, which delivers layers upon layers of texture in each moreish bite of sunflower, sesame, chia and pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, green peas, corn, lentils, tomatoes, cucumber, Borlotti beans, and chives. Topped with fresh mint and dressed in a lemon vinaigrette, it's a dish that's created out of a suggestion by chef Luigi Calcagno's wife. Hailing from Rome but fresh off the Balinese boat, Calcagno also helms Zibiru and Bottega Italiana in Seminyak and Canggu respectively.
Another dish that's surprisingly light and seemingly guilt-free is the veal and bone marrow ravioli, where the circle-shaped bite-sized parcels are filled with veal ossobuco and steeped in a buttery, bone marrow cream and topped with a zesty parsley garnish. Significant interior changes differentiate Monti from its predecessor by moving the latter's central bar to the side, offering an unobstructed view of Marina Bay wherever you sit. Monti — also the name of Rome's old red-light district — also went for a significantly dimmer lighting, enveloping diners in an aura of mystique that hints at its namesake's sordid past. —AI
82 Collyer Quay, Fullerton Pavilion. 6535 0724
Otto's Deli Fresh
With over 40 years of culinary experience under his belt, there's pretty much nothing chef Otto Weibel hasn't done. The godfather of Singapore's dining scene has helmed kitchens at top hotels, groomed Singapore's top chefs, and recently returned from Germany with the Singapore team that swept two gold medals in the Culinary Olympics. The opening of Otto's Deli Fresh, however, marks the very first time he's rolling out an eatery branded with his name. As this venture sees him partnering gourmet produce supplier Far Ocean, you can expect to tuck into quality produce at prices that don't break the bank.
The 46-seater all-day-diner at Holland Village's latest mall serves up such modern European comfort food as a robust button mushroom soup served with a slice of perfectly toasted brioche. A generously-portioned burrata salad sees a bed of rocket seasoned with balsamic dressing, topped with strips of Ibérico ham, and tomato chutney that brings a hit of sweetness and acidity. Carnivores are in for a treat, too. Whether you're hankering for a good old slab of Kurobuta pork chop or other juicy cuts of steak, you'll find them here, simply seasoned and perfectly cooked. They also make an excellent hot chocolate that doesn't cut any corners. Think 60% Valrhona chocolate, fresh milk and cream, and to finish — a crown of hazelnut espuma and pinch of sea salt. —DK
#02-01 Raffles @ Holland Village. 118 Holland Avenue. Tel: 6694 3291
This month sees the sleepy Pacific Plaza mall jolted to life thanks to two new tenants that summon hungry diners like moths to a flame. Following the opening of Michelin-starred ramen joint Tsuta, Kam's Roast — a sister establishment of one-Michelin-starred Kam's Roast Goose in Hong Kong — is poised to bring its famed stable of roast meats to Singapore when it welcomes diners from 19 November. For starters, Hardy Kam — the man behind Kam's Roast — is the grandson of the late Kam Shui Fai, founder of popular Hong Kong roast goose restaurant Yung Kee.
As far as legacies go, the family recipes used in the restaurant frames over 70 years of know-how in the art of the roast. Due to restrictions by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore, Kam is unable to bring in the same goose used in the restaurant's Hong Kong flagship. Instead, he's working with a trusted supplier from Malaysia to bring in chilled duck, which is then prepared in the same manner as the goose. As a duck is smaller and leaner than a goose, the head chefs have tweaked the original recipe to ensure the bird still turns out with the same winning outcome — crisp skin and tender, flavourful meat. A tangy, housemade plum sauce helps to balance the rich flavours of the duck.
'Toro' char siew, another signature item on the menu, utilises premium cuts of pork belly steeped in the family's award-winning marinade. Unlike other char siew marinades, Kam's isn't as sweet and boasts a strong hit of Chinese wine — all perfect for balancing the fatty cut of meat. Also worth ordering are their plates of springy wonton noodles.
#01-04/05/06/07 Pacific Plaza. 9 Scotts Road. Tel: 6836 7788