Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Christmas at Folklore, Thevar and MO bar at Mandarin Oriental
WHERE TO EAT
Where we dined this week..
The month of November only means it's time to make Christmas plans. By that we mean, the agenda for feasting — which can vary between households. As for chef Damian D'Silva? Festive dishes means reinterpretating his grandfather's age-old recipes. This year at Folklore, Eurasian staples like Christmas pie (meatballs and sausages concealed in a puffed pastry) and feng (a spiced assortment of pig's offal) are back by popular demand alongside a few new-old classics. For starters, his mutton curry is laden with both wet and dry spices (including dried chili, candlenut, cumin, fennel and plenty more); forming a thick, sticky mix onto the fork-tender meat. No gaminess, no intense heat, but we just wished Folklore served prata on the side to complete the experience. His vindaloo of pork chops was a loud dose of flavour; in our opinion, almost too intense to savour on its own. But before you double up on rice, save room for the white Debal (famously known as Devil's Curry). Instead of the usual red meat, chef Damian went with chicken, doused in an amalgamation of housemade achar, garlic, whole shallot and chilies. A slow but satisfying burn, nevertheless. For sweets, expect a reprise of last year's sugee cake and this year's bolu cocu — a traditional piquant coconut cake, sans oil or butter. Just pure, glorious coconut oil. — JS
Level 2 Destination Singapore, Tel: 6679 2900
Opening hours: 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm
Thevar, newly launched last week, has taken up the former Meta location after the one-Michelin-star restaurant relocated to a bigger space at Keong Saik. This new contemporary Indian grill restaurant is co-owned by chef Mano Thevar and Meta's chef Sun Kim. The bar counter-open kitchen layout remains — so as you munch on your tapas-style dishes, you can watch the chefs fire up the ingredients in a custom-made grill and tandoor oven. Mano, who has been trained in modern European techniques and formerly at Guy Savoy, Waku Ghin, Meatsmith India, terms the grub here as "approachable, casual, comfort Indian food — but with fine dining quality." Their chicken liver rosti might not be a typical Indian dish, but oh my, it's delicious. The miniature potato rosti whose crispy texture is counterbalanced and smeared with rich chicken liver then topped with raisin chutney and the midas touch of chives. Another standout dish was the Spanish mackerel donut — flaked mackerel meat mixed in with curry leaves and coriander before rolled into circular shapes and dropped in the fryer. The result is a puffy golden brown ball, offset with a mound of crunchy shredded apple, onion, cabbage and aioli. Of course, don't leave this Indian grill without trying the tandoor lamb. Think tender meat enveloped with chickpea curry, green chutney, gleaming pomegranate seeds and the finishing touches of sorrel leaves. — AV
9 Keong Saik Road, Tel: 6904 0838
Opening hours: (Mon-Sat) 5pm-12am
While Summerhill's opening isn't exactly news to foodies and the dining scene in Singapore, the former head chef of Cocotte, Anthony Yeoh has finally put the finishing touches to his humble address at Sunset Way. More importantly, thoughtfully executed plates are in order here. Fresh deep sea prawns, grilled then elevated with lobster crème — like a bisque but sweeter. Then came along, a simple set of duck rilette brie cheese toasties, dabbled with port wine and cherry compote atop as well as a dollop of wholegrain mustard on the side. We've had plenty of duck rillettes but this particular one definitely stood out in the most sublime way. If you're looking for a moreish dish to devour, their signature milk-fed veal crusted chop should easily fit the bill. The batter was light and crisp; encasing the creamy and tender veal within. Pair it with the Weingut Bernhard Huber Pinot Noir 2011, and you'll be all set. What's charming about The Summerhill is that as elegant as the plates here seem to be, there's nothing pretentious or forebearing about the French joint. Come dishevelled in your shorts and sliders, and tuck into a nice slab of steak with a bottle of red on the side. Take it from us, no one's going to mind. — JS
106 Clementi Street 12, #01-62, Tel: 6251 5337
Opening hours: (Mon, Wed, Thurs) 5pm-1opm, (Tues, Fri) 11.30am-3pm, 5pm-10pm, (Sat-Sun) 11.30am-4pm, 5pm-10pm
Where we're looking to dine this week...
Eat Three Bowls
This homely bistro was a surprise find, right on the fringe of Crawford Street where you'll find the 1-Michelin Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle just around the corner. Eat Three Bowls stands as a heartening success story, with humble beginnings as a pop-up, then a hawker stall, and now a cute little spot serving a steady stream of hungry customers. They make a mean bowl of lu rou fan, braised cabbage and yes hallelujah, bubble tea proudly sporting metal straws.
462 Crawford Lane, Tel: 9154 8191
Opening hours: (Tues-Sun) 10am-9pm
It's finally Singapore's turn to debut MO Bar at Mandarin Oriental, in good hands of a collaboration with Proof & Co. as well as an opulent blueprint. But onto more serious things: the tipples here comprise of unique concoctions with the likes of red dragon fruit (that's called the Mother of Dragons) and coconut cream. If you're feeling peckish, head for their bar bites (inspired locally, of course). We're eyeing on that plate of avocado mousse and gula melaka ice cream.
5 Raffles Ave, Tel: 6885 3500
Opening hours: (Sun-Thurs) 11am-1am, (Fri-Sat) 11am-2am
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