Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Carne burgers, Kin's new heritage menu, Rails on Tanjong Pagar, and more
Where we dined this week...
Another famed burger joint has landed on our shores, and this time, it's none other than Carne, by Argentinean chef Maura Colagreco, who helms Mirazur, No.1 on World's 50 Best Restaurants. Its entrance to our shores is in partnership with the ilLido Group, where chef Beppe de Vito and his team is set to expand the brand in the near future in Singapore, as well as Southeast Asia. Lauded to be a chain that believes in sustainable gastronomy, the Carne brand alienates the mass food production M.O. by grounding its philosophy on doing better environmentally. Think grass-fed patties, local and organic greens, cage-free eggs, and even organic tomato sauces and mustard that are both made in-house. And while the gourmet burger landscape in Singapore might be a tad saturated, Carne's intentions prove to be pretty novel and even ambitious, in our opinion, for a fast-casual spot. The burgers definitely come in slightly more moreish here, especially if you're going in big for the meats. The patties are sizably, a cut above the rest — thicker than the typical gain in most burgers and exceptionally juicy with good time on the grill. Our only gripe came to be the buttered buns, which rendered a little soggy when cushioning the rest of the condiments. In the Classic, you'll find natural Argentinian grass-fed beef, local oak lettuce, organic red onion and tomato plied within the buns. As its name suggests, it's a simple combination, but heightened with the layer of housemade mayo (created with mayo, the Carne ketchup, Djion mustard, and rosemary oil). In celebration of its first international outlet, a special burger, the Beef and Chimichurri deftly brings together signature chimichurri, artisanal cheese, organic red onion, local arugula, and most importantly, pickled jalapeno to elevate the entire profile of a heavy bite. A good burst of tartness that was potentially missing in the Classic. And while the grass-fed meats are highly lauded here, their Veggie Burger ropes in a grilled portobello, a charred slice of halloumi, tomato tapenade, all sandwiched between two tumeric buns. Forget the Impossible burger, this is the perfect recipe to discourage anyone of a meat diet. —JS
88 Amoy St
Opening hours: 8am-11pm
At Kin is where you'll really discover the extent of Singapore's culinary heritage. In a melting pot of diverse cultures, there's no one cuisine that defines what Singaporean food is, which only goes to show how much we lucked out in the food department. Here to bestow more delicacies from his treasure trove of childhood memories, chef Damian D'Silva rolls out an all-new heritage menu, which spans across the realms of Malay, Chinese, Eurasian, Indian, and Peranakan. There are the arduous hours, backstories, and a whole lot of heart that go into every dish, which is why every meal at Kin leaves you with a sense of gratitude and contentment. Take the King Prawn and Dry Sambal for instance, the Malay dish of Indonesian heritage commands a smooth blend of dried chilis — grinded unyieldingly. A familiar experience in chef Damian's childhood while aiding his grandad in this epic dish, using a stone grinder by hand. Add huge prawns to the mix of fragrant dried chili paste, coupled with assam, sugar, and salt, and it's quite the star. There was also Daging Sambal Hijau — thinly-sliced striploin beef tossed and coated with cumin, coriander, fennel before it joins an aromatic green chili sambal. It reminded us of green curry, just eschewing the cloying sweetness. We were also chuffed to find out that the Christmas pork knuckle debal is now a mainstay at Kin. This is the stuff of dreams: think a rempah thick and rich from the ingredients of Bombay onions, ginger, chillies, shallots, as chef Damian recreates his grandad's specialty with
31 Bukit Pasoh Rd, Tel: 6320 9180
Opening hours: (Mon-Sat) 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm
From the lovely folk at A Phat Cat Collective who brought us Nineteen80 and Pinball Wizard, Rails doesn't fall too far from the thematic tree. Inspired by the iconic Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, this new hideout is designed to look like a train platform combined with a steampunk twist. With its concave exposed brick walls, raw wood panelling and exposed brass pipes, as well as the deconstructed gears and cogwheels, it's almost like we've been transported to a vintage underground railway station resembling the likes of Harry Potter's Platform 9 and Three-Quarters — just well stocked with booze. The refreshing Jinrikisha Spritzer, a blend of gin, house-made honey, fermented lemon, and preserved lemon peel, is a refresher to start the night off well. We then followed with a unique and stronger concoction, the Apothecary: a blend of Cognac, Amaro and Pei Pa Koa, which left a soothing lingering aftertaste of menthol at the back of your throat. Bodes well if you're a fan of pei pa koa. If you can mix this household medicine with bubble tea, why not make it into a cocktail? There's also savoury bar grub to match, in aliance with Chix Hot Chicken from Jalan Pisang. Their signature Chix Hot Chicken's Soul Sider, serves up a generous portion of juicy fried chicken wedges together with two bun halves and smoky 'Pink' sauce, a mixture of paprika, mayo and jalapenos, while all of that is layered with cumin and coriander slaw. Be forewarned, it is a mouthful. Exclusive to this Tanjong Pagar branch, the Wakie Breakie Wrap — a breakfast burrito stuffed with scrambled eggs, tater tots and a nice thick strip of juicy fried chicken tenders. The very definition of breakfast for dinner. Of course, you and your table can never go wrong with their Dirty Taters — tater tots, fried chicken chunks, cheddar cheese and gouda sauce — what's not to like? —JT
21 Tanjong Pagar Road #01-02 Singapore 088444 Tel: 8725 6789
Opening hours: (Mon-Sat) 5pm-10:30pm (Sun) 3:30pm-10:30pm
Where we're looking to dine...
Waku Ghin by Tetsuya Wakuda
The renowned 2-Michelin Waku Ghin, has finally reopened at Marina Bay Sands after extensive renovations, with a new elegant and stylish space designed by award-winning Japanese designer Yohei Akao. Expect an all-new dining experience and with fresh and premium produce as part of the new, enhanced omakase menu. The restaurant will also feature an extended bar serving a timeless cuisine of pasta, donburis and bar bites.
Level 2 Dining, L2-03 The Shoppes at 2 Bayfront Ave, Marina Bay Sands, Tel: 6688 8507
Opening hours: (Mon-Sun) 5:30pm-10:30pm (Fri) 12pm-2pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm
Another gem back from a hiatus, Kappo Shunsui emerges with a brand new look and address. This obscure restaurant has moved away from its previous home at Cuppage Plaza and relocated into the heart of the CBD (hint: its street is named after a country in Southeast Asia). Expect no less from the new head chef, chef Shim, who rumour has it, has a way with a knife and the art of sushi with fresh produce imported from Japan five times a week.