Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Five Guys at Plaza Singapura, Rumours Beach Club from Bali, and Belimbing Superstar
Where we dined this week...
From the guys who made nasi lemak cool at The Coconut Club, Belimbing Superstar, which happens to be on the same Ann Siang Hill enclave, is what we would call a bougie way to indulge in Peranakan food. The concept is done just like family style — best to grab a group of four to five hungry people and order a myriad of dishes slathered over bowls of white rice. However, the portions aren't exactly fitted out to feed the whole squad. Some dishes were smaller than others — like the chap chye that might have been delicious but too little to go around. Their ayam buah keluak, had more chicken than the actual buah keluak, which formed more of a paste than the actual nut itself. After all, it's a dish that is hard to perfect with varying preferences especially when you're trying to please those who abide by the traditional way. Their signature dish, Belimbing pork (naturally, from the restaurant's name), essentially fatty chunks of meat tossed in a moreish wave of sour and salty gravy, did fall short of expectations. Perhaps we anticipated a greater burst of flavour. Another recommended dish, the curry chicken also missed the mark — bearing way too much sweet over the spice. What we did enjoy: The sotong hitam, albeit ugly-delicious, but squid cooked perfect and tossed in its own ink then amplified with selected spices and herbs. Finally, end the meal with the stalwarts of sweets — kueh ko sui and kueh salat — that will hit the spots that have yet to be accomplished in your meal here. —JS
8 Ann Siang Hill, Tel: 6974 0998
Opening hours: (Tues-Sat) 11am-2.45pm, 6pm-9.45pm
Hand in Hand Beijing
Din Tai Fung might be a reasonably good spot to procure decent soup dumplings but with its nauseating mall locations and snaking long queues, we found sometimes, the grub doesn't quite make up for all that trouble. But in Hand in Hand Beijing, a traditional restaurant that prides on serving the best delicacies from Beijing, China, you would find yourself shelling out the same amount for much more — we're talking about quality and quantity. The selection is mind-boggling, which can sometimes be a bad thing. But in Hand in Hand's case, most dunplings made a fond impression. Whether it be the plain steamed ones, the xiao long baos, or the pan-fried pot stickers. It's hard to pick a favourite. Beyond dumplings, order their side dishes like fried tofu as well as a simple stir-fry that's dripping in good flavour. Speaking of which, with a party of four or more, call for the Sichuan boiled fish, essentially poached fish slices bathed in a bowl of sour-spicy broth. Eschewing any fishiness, the slices are silky and pervious with an essence that will awaken all your senses. Perfect for a rainy day, but also perfect regardless — after all you're in safely cooped in A.C. In a place like this, skip out on carb dishes and pace yourselves with a sea of small plates instead. The food rides on authenticity, that could almost resemble a restaurant right out of China. Best part? If you're in a big group (for a party more than ten), ask to be seated upstairs where you're get your very own private room, minus the hefty surcharge. —JS
143 Jln Besar, Tel: 6297 1398
Opening hours: 10am-3pm, 4.30pm-10pm
Five Guys Singapore
There's yet another cult-favourite franchise that has officially landed in Singapore. And it happens to be US burger joint, Five Guys, to extend the charge of internationally-acclaimed buns here on our shores. Thanks to the folks from Zouk Group, who are responsible for heralding the franchise in. You won't find any freezers or microwaves in the open kitchen here. Which means that the guys behind the counters are constantly working (and cleaning their respective work stations) to serve up the orders. As for the burgers. They are all made-to-order — comprising hand-formed burger patties that are all cooked consistently to well done. Buns are baked fresh daily before they're popped on the grill for a quick toast. What's unique to Five Guys is the liberty to add as many toppings as you want in your burger. The usual burger would sandwich two patties, while the 'little' ones will have a single patty. What's great about it is one can find 100 ways to build the burger of your dreams. But it's also another pickle to nail the perfect formula of your own. We found our buns to be a tad too soggy, perhaps from the overwhelming amount of mushrooms and onions within. Alas, the shakes. Which definitely live up to their name. Starting from a creamy vanilla base, add your preferred mix-ins like actual bananas, fresh strawberries, crispy bacon bits, and even cold brew coffee in case you needed a little boost after the avalanche of burgers and fries you've just inhaled. —JS
68 Orchard Road, Plaza Singapura, #01-32, Tel: 697
Opening hours: 11am-10pm
Where we're looking to dine...
BTM Mussels & Bar
Duxton Hill, is getting another lively addition with BTM (Back to Mussels) Mussels & Bar – conceptualised by long-time restaurateur, chef and founder of Deliciae Hospitality Management (DHM) in Singapore — Oliver Bendel. Slurp through the finest Bouchot mussels, air-flown from Parcs Saint-Kerber in France, showcased through seven distinct recipes that cater to each palate. Apart from their iconic moules-frites, indulge in creations like the Thailandaises, a Thai-inspired coconut milk-rich recipe and Au Roquefort — that encompasses the sharp flavour of blue cheese. Kick back with your friends as you sip on their extensive selection of summer loving tipples.
5 Duxton Hill, Tel: 6690 7562
Opening Hours: (Mon-Thurs)12pm-11pm, (Fri & Sat)12pm-12am, (Sun)12pm-10pm
Rumours Beach Club
It's no longer a rumour. Singapore is about to get a whole lot wilder as Sentosa welcomes Bali's hottest beach club —Rumours Beach Club. Escape to Bali — minus the flight — as you tuck into Balinese Jimbaran-style grub and take swigs of bespoke cocktails while grooving to tunes dished out by renowned DJs. Being the only beach club in Singapore that offers a VIP area complete with a private pool, you are in for an exclusive experience like no other.
40 Siloso Beach Walk