Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Bar Milano, Kirk Westaway's pop-up at Anti:dote, Super Loco, and more
Where we dined this week...
It might just seem like another bougie hideout along the Keong Saik enclave, but Bar Milano manifests a different enigma. The kind that teleports diners to a quaint, cosy resto that you can easily find in Naples, Italy. Perhaps it had something to do with having a movie set designer dream up the space — replete with vintage lighting, restored furniture, and hand-crafted tiles. Where anyone can walk in and experience Italy's casual spritz culture backed up by authentic grub. Unlike the typical Italian establishments peppered around our city (there's a healthy list), you'll find teasers like fried olives, steak tartare complete with sourdough, and a gleaning burrata making merry with honey roasted peaches. One of the unlikely starters turned out to be Bar Milano's Bloody Mary. A savoury concoction stemmed from French-pressed San Marzano tomatoes, olive brine, smoked paprika, and a splash of Reyka vodka. For a second tipple to accompany the rest of your meal, the Amaro Nomino spritz will do you a solid. Within, there's the sweet medley of St. George spiced pear liqueur, white grapes, and Burma tonic. While the chicken Milanese might be a classic order, we found the cutlet a tad too dry and underwhelming when faced with other specialties of the menu. Which brings us to the main event, and possibly our current favourite rendition of a pizza. The pizza fritta is a well-loved classic in Naples and this is the first time a restaurant in Singapore is dishing it out. Unlike the usual oven treatment, the dough is fried before it's presented in a few ways — either joined with truffle smoked ricotta and wild mushrooms, mortadella and stracciatella, broccolini and anchovy, and the all-time fave, tomato mozzarella and basil. It holds a chewy, fragrant bite and for the first time in a long time, we didn't have to deliberate if the crust was worth the extra calories. What we'll return for? The Italian paella with Pugliese baked rice, mussels, prawns, and potato, and definitely that lamb lasagna. —JS
55 Keong Saik Rd, #01-02
Opening hours: 10am-12am
A Casual British Summer by Kirk Westaway at Anti:dote
Following Jaan's indefinite hiatus in Singapore, chef-owner Kirk Westaway's temporal stint takes him to Anti:dote at Swissotel — in a pop-up titled A Casual British Summer. It's always invigorating watching a chef who's touted for refined creations veer out of the fine dining sphere, pared back to classic bar bites that aren't confined to a certain silverware sequence. Not to mention, a chance to watch the British chef put his personal touches to precipitous dishes like curry salted fries and Fish & Chips, while getting a taste of Westaway's culinary endeavours at a lower price point (One of his apple pies will only set you back $14.) Diners have the option to choose from the a la carte menu or course set. The latter would definitely score you a sweeter deal — starting with toasty rye sourdough complete with the signature Devonshire butter. Other starters to ensue: marinated heirloom tomatoes with a basil sorbet to lighten up your palate before grilled scallops laid upon roasted cabbage — in a smokey union. Of course, you'll find that the produce here would pale in comparison to any prized catch you've savoured at Jaan — that should be a disclaimer for anyone with preconceived memories from their last gastronomic visit to the Michelin-starred restaurant. The standout dish, Kirk's Fish and Chips, however, is a stellar updo of the typical dory fillet as he replaces that with a prime cod fillet — drenched in a London Pride ale batter and paired with chips cut from Marks & Spencer Maris Piper potatoes in a fitting collab. Each chip is brined and dried for 10 hours before it goes into the fryer, which is probably why every one of these bad boys come with crispy edges and a soft fluffy center. In good Anti:dote spirit, don't cap the meal off without a drink. Westaway presents Pimms (a favoured liqueur as seen in Jaan) in a cocktail swaddled with prosecco, mint, dill, and a refreshing cucumber sorbet. Give it ten minutes to wait till the sorbet dissolves and the flavours will come through more pronounced. —JS
Kirk Westaway's Casual British Summer pop-up is available from 13 July over a period of two months. Choose from the a la carte bites or a course set, that's available for both lunch and dinner. Click here to make a reservation.
Level 1, Fairmont Singapore, Tel: 6431 6156
For a place that's as busy as Robertson Quay, Super Loco's a perfect fit for families and friends to unwind in a fun, festive spot. Chef Jason Jones, who was nominated as "Restaurateur of the Year" for the 2018 World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence, shares his vision of bringing a taste of authentic Mexican street food to Singapore, while reinforcing the many nutritional values from superfood ingredients that previously had a stronghold in all his dishes. We started our heavy brunch with the Super Cheesy Corn Fritters, a vegan option on their menu that was especially savoury, bringing out its authentic Mexican flavour with lime juice squeezed generously over it. House cured salmon was also an available add-on for the fritters, which piled on the umami factor. The Blue Corn Waffles was up next — a gluten-free rendition that came with crispy bacon, their signature fried chicken, sour cream, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Though this was a departure from the OG chicken and waffles when it came to taste and richness, its healthy ingredients did eschew any guilt about chowing it down. This led us to the Feel Good Burrito, which was made with healthy scrambled tofu, dairy-free cheese, and multigrain rice, offset by the spicy chipotle salsa that gave it a cheeky little kick. A combination of cheese, avocado and tomatillo salsa verde rested atop the Mexican 'Migas' Omelet, with the option of loading smoked bacon to their 3-egg open omelet (which we humbly declined, thanks to the waffles). The final stop on our health-conscious brunch journey was their brownie, made with cacao, sweet potato, agave, pecans, and topped with coconut sorbet. Certainly a well-deserved reward and a fitting end to our unconventional Mexican brunch. —AA
The Quayside, #01-13 on 60 Robertson Quay, Tel: 6235 8900
Opening hours: (Mon-Fri) 11:30am - 10:30pm, (Sat-Sun) 9am - 10:30pm
The Butcher's Wife
Helmed by Brazil-born, Paris-trained chef Mariana Campos D'Almeida, this trendy backstreet bistro located in the cosy confines of Tiong Bahru is responsible for a modern-day renaissance in gluten-free dining. Flavour bombs will be expected with snacks like Mini Corn on Fire and the Dadinhos de Sago and deep-fried tapioca granules with salted cheese. Catered for the brunch folk, diners can get a taste of blue pea flower naan sandwich and full breakfast, which melds Middle Eastern influences from the chef's hometown and beyond.
19 Yong Siak St, Tel: 6221 9307
Opening hours: 11am - 2:30pm, 6pm - 8:45pm
Sky High Hawker at CÉ LA VI
In collaboration with the island's most renowned chefs to celebrate the resilience of Singapore and its F&B industry, CÉ LA VI Singapore announces its reopening and its launch of Sky High Hawker. This weekend will see an ensemble of Singaporean chefs and hawkers. For starters, a buah keluak burger by Malcolm Lee of Candlenut and har cheong kai chicken wings by LG Han of Labyrinth.
1 Bayfront Ave Marina Bay Sands Hotel Tower 3, Tel: 6508 2188
Opening hours: (Sun, Mon-Fri) 5pm - 10:30pm, (Sat) 12pm - 8:30pm