Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: 1-Atico at ION Sky, Bedrock Bar & Grill, and more
Where we dined this week...
Same destination. Two varying restaurants. Taking over what most would know as ION Sky, is 1-Atico, a spot to set ablaze the predictable stockist of dining in ION Orchard, while perched 218 metres high. One thing that unifies the two dining concepts — FLNT and FIRE, is the prospect of dining in the presence of an exceptional view, in the heart of our city. Birthdays, company farewells, anniversaries, and any special occasion would fit right in the palm here. But also, a meal that won't disappoint.
Japanese-Peruvian, also known as Nikkei cuisine isn't just a novel gimmick conceived for the madcap gourmands, it was in fact, a means of cooking when Peru saw an influx of Japanese immigrants in the late 19th century. Hence, Nikkei cuisine was coined and birthed — with Peruvian ingredients front and center alongside Japanese recipes and techniques. FLNT is Nikkei-influenced with a progressive line-up of sharing plates ignited over the binchotan. Unlike some fusion blends, there's hardly any resistance with the union of the two cultures — at least not at FLNT. In fact, the blend is harmonious — each complementing one another. In the Ceviche Nikkei, diced market fish sees a new lease of life with the condiments of lime juice, yuzu, avocado, white corn, and roasted hazelnuts. While in the foie gras taco, the molten slab is culminated in a fun iteration — bite-sized and plated atop of a mini taco-like fold. A hint of heat is tucked within, but you'll hardly notice it with the use of rocoto yogurt. While the spices and ingredients of Peru are bold and pronounced, the marriage is held together in restraint — something that Japanese are well attuned to. The Gindara Misoyaki sums it up perfectly, with a grilled miso cod served with aji verde, for that herbaceous rub of flavour to come through. For a moreish dig-in, the flame seared salmon number definitely tops the chart, decked with ikura (oh that magic burst), seaweed, yellow pepper atop of fragrant sushi rice. If you're feeling like floral and fruity tipples leaning on the sweeter end, you'll have a good selection here. But if not, there's also a decent list of sakes and pours — and of course, Asahi on tap. —JS
Just a staircase up from FLNT, is FIRE, which plays out a sleekier, sexier front, if you're one of those who's deft at reading a room. Think carpeted floors and a higher vantage point of clinquant views all around. The Argentinean restaurant came to life with a full task force — made up of pedigreed Argentinian chef-advisors — each sporting their own accolades. Lending its fair share of expertise throughout the menu development process is also the Embassy of Argentina, plotting a stamp of approval in cultural and taste authenticity. As with its name, the star behind the restaurant is the signature open fire pit and a wood hearth parilla — a rite of passage for all the plates dished out here. While it might be your priority to demolish the proteins, don't start without the wood-fired sourdough, glistened with wagyu fat; while that might be good enough on its own, pair your toast with a smoked sea urchin butter for an extra touch of umami. Moving on to fresh catches, the Patagonian (the region, not the clothing brand) red prawns, already sweet within but given a flavour ramp from the pepper herby sauce drizzled over. For the main event, an order of the 'Devesa' Argentinian Grain-Fed OP Rib could feed a hungry table of five. We found ours, cooked medium, to be quite a bit of a chew, as the slab headed a smokey profile and complemented with a myriad of sides. All of which, have been through the fire of course. Crisp potatoes, pickled heirloom carrots, charred white corn, just to name a few. We're quite sure one could be sated just on the meat course alone. Seguing into dessert, a few places do flan justice, and one of them happens to be FIRE. A family recipe from the Ambassador of Argentina truly stood up to its namesake — a light airy caramel mouthfeel, sans the excessive sweetness after just ingesting a huge chunk of red meat. There's a real merit in the post-savouries here, which we even found to be outshining the other supposed chargrilled signatures yielded by the fire. —JS
2 Orchard Turn, Level 55 and 56, Tel: 6970 2039
Opening hours: 12pm-2pm, 6pm-10.30pm
Bedrock Bar & Grill's World Meat Series
In the disarray that is the heavy human traffic at [email protected]'s side entrance, is the safe sanctuary Bedrock Bar & Grill. One of those unassuming hideouts that one might gloss over in the grand chaos of newfangled shops at the shopping mall. Shame, because this is where you'll find red meats of every desire; also for the added flex, it was very recently awarded 'Best Steakhouse in Asia' in Haute Grandeur Global Excellence Awards 2020. Its widely successful initiative, Word Meat Series, has returned for yet another impressive run from now till 31 March — where diners get to tuck into premium meats from different parts of the world. Previous editions have seen the best cuts from New Zealand and Ireland, and this year, we're savouring the best of Yamaguchi Japan, a place renowned for their aged wagyu beef. Particularly from Jukuho Farm, who defines aged beef as refattening a cow after it has calved, resulting in meat flaunting a more umami profile. Three special dishes have been conceived from the aforementioned, by executive chef Issac Tan. The bone marrow tartare makes for an excellent starter — with a decadent culmination of hand-chopped ribeye cap plated over roasted bone marrow. To dress things up, a shower of mountain caviar and a side of parsley salad just to cut through the richness. The other iteration of the beef followed in an Applewood cold smoked wagyu tataki — bringing forth a different texture play, while liberating the fragrance of wood in a single bite. The other condiments played their own part in elevating the dish, again to freshen up the heavy platter with pickled daikon and cucumber. On hindsight, the dish did seem forgettable when the aged wagyu striploin landed on our table. The meat is first sizzled over the applewood fire grill (a resident feature of the restaurant), then dished out with housemade sansho pepper sauce, for that peak of heat. Leaning towards the Sichuan flavours, the special emulsion is made out of beef jus and cream then infused with sansho peppers. The other sides to match? Beef fat potatoes that could inhibit the room you initially had for dessert. Oh, and don't ever forget about their Mac n' Cheese. Worth every extra burpee, in our books. —JS
96 Somerset Road, #01-05 Pan Pacific Serviced Suites, Tel: 6238 0054
Opening hours: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-9pm
Where we're looking to dine...
Those who frequent enough cafes would know The Bravery, which used to occupy a space in Lavender, touted for its lavender lattes. Now, the Muslim-owned cafe has relocated to Amoy Street in a brand new outfit. Expect an expanded menu selection that includes brunch bites like nova cheese toast and seafood alfredo amid crafted brews like its singature Lavender drink and hojicha milk with high quality coffee beans from Melbourne. The cafe will also feature an in-house bakery for savoury fresh bakes as you're on the go.
50 Amoy St, Singapore 069876, Tel: 9388 297
Opening hours: (Tues-Thurs) 8am-6pm, (Fri-Sun) 8am-9pm
The eponymously-named Hashida has returned with a new alluring space, marking one of the most exciting restaurant openings of 2021. Food aside, the new home is equal parts conceptual and immersive, from Japan's trademark torri shrine gate to the exquisite honden, the most sacred feature at a Shinto shrine. Expect no less from the legend himself, with an omakase experience showcasing premium produce freshly harvested from Japan.
77 Amoy St, #01-01, Tel: 8129 5336
Opening hours: (Tues) 7-10.30pm, (Wed-Sun) 12-3pm, 7-10.30pm