Three to try: Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill, Pim Pam by FOC, Ginett
Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill
Diners over at National Kitchen by Violet Oon Singapore often call for the satay, a dish that has become so popular that Yiming Tay, Violet Oon's son and business partner, decided it was time to open a third restaurant in Singapore — this time dedicated to satay and produce that transform beautifully on the grill. Located in Clarke Quay, once upon a time the home ground of the Clarke Quay Satay Club, this handsome restaurant turns out skewered goodness with chicken, pork tenderloin, and Angus beef. There's tripe satay, too, a dish that's not easily found in Singapore these days. Here, honeycomb tripe is marinated with a coconut rempah before it's grilled until it turns slightly chewy. Other highlights from the grill include Garam Assam Barramundi topped with aromatic slices of ginger flower and Kunyit Lemak Sotong, grilled squid paired with a coconut and turmeric sauce. For a study in sauces and sambals across the Malay archipelago, look no further. Most of the dishes here are accompanied by one or the other, all painstakingly created inhouse to pair perfectly with the flavours of each dish. For dessert, call for the homemade Chendol with Durain Pengat Sauce. The shaved ice, made with a gula melaka solution, ensures that the flavours of the chendol aren't diluted as the ice melts. Brilliant.
#01-18, 3B River Valley Road, Clark Quay. Tel: 9834 9935
Pim Pam by FOC
Finally. A tapas joint on Orchard Road that we'll return to time and again. Oiled by the friendliest waitstaff in town, this new offshoot from the FOC Group serves up hearty Spanish fare from morning until late. Gather the troops before you head down. It's the best way to sample the best of what Pim Pam by FOC has to offer. Trust us, you'll want plenty of allies to share the load. Start off with the Crab Croquetas, creamy parcels fried to perfection, before moving on to the Pim Pam 'Trinxat', a winning combination of mashed potatoes, pork belly and fried egg. There's roasted leek too, lavished with butter soy cream and a salty punch of anchovies — reason enough to eat your vegetables. While most diners seem to go straight for the paella (we like the version with pork and scallop), we'll save space for the tender Iberico Pork Presa which does justice to this oft-forgotten porcine cut. For dessert, skip the churros and call for the Spanish Torrija, Spain's answer to the French toast. Since the tapas experience just isn't complete without some wine, you'll find over 130 labels to choose from and (very) affordable wines by the glass.
442 Orchard Road, #01-29 Claymore Connect. Tel: 6100 4242
The first thing you'll notice about Ginett is the open bar framed with cascading tiers of wine glasses. A playful, decorative feature no doubt, but also a sign that wine informs a large part of the experience here. With wines by the glass going at $6 and entire bottles tipped at $35, diners have good reason to start drinking early. For Sylvian Royer, the Group General Manager and Chef de Cuisine of Ginett, his connections with wine producers in France mean that the restaurant can craft a proudly French wine list spanning over 70 labels. Here, more is more. The one-metre-long charcuterie board heaves with cold cuts and cheeses that easily feeds seven. French bistro favourites pad the menu, with freshly shucked fine de Claire oysters sitting alongside roasted chicken and the likes of Angus beef, Kurobuta pork, and organic lamp chops coming off the grill.
200 Middle Road. Tel: 6809 7989