Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Luke's Lobster, Kinki Restaurant and Bar, Lemak Boys, and more

Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Luke's Lobster, Kinki Restaurant and Bar, Lemak Boys, and more

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Text: Janice Sim Cheryl Lai-Lim

Where we dined this week...

Luke's Lobster

'The best lobster rolls in New York City' have at last, arrived on our shores. And it looks every bit like the rustic seafood shack held up by mulled wooden panels — a familiar sight most of us might have already seen during our travels. What isn't rustic though? The location — which at this point still remains to be a question mark — just by the entrance of Isetan Scotts. Where your line of sight are beauty counters and Copenhagen's Leckerbaer — another concept licensed by Caerus Holding that specialises in contemporary, flavour-driven småkager. Impressionable foot traffic, that's for sure. Not that it needs it though, the NYC-based restaurant group has already earned itself the lobster roll honour globally and chatter surrounding the Singapore outpost is safe to say, at a healthy high. With the same menu served up at all Luke's Lobster, you'll find three rolls to choose from: the crab, the shrimp, and the lobster. Or if you don't feel like choosing, you can have them all with the Luke's Trio, with half of each roll dished out in a single platter. All of the produce remains to be sustainably sourced and traceable — from ocean to plate. In good ol' Maine fashion, the rolls are served chilled in a buttered split top bun. Unlike other lobster rolls that have already found its way to our shores, Luke's Lobster's are reliant on the freshness of its produce. So very little is done to seasoning — a swipe of mayo, a dash of lemon butter, and a sprinkle of the brand's secret seasoning. You'll mostly get a hearty bite of the brine within the plump Maine lobster. Apart from the main star, the crab roll stood out with a sublime fill of flesh, while holding its own against the buttered roll in a single, meaty bite. Soups are also available here, although they fell short in a cloyingly salty way. The better way to have pair these rolls? Wash it down with beers from Little Creatures or one of their signature iced teas. A wine list is also in the works. If it was up to us, this isn't exactly a place to linger on. The rolls here would be better off demolished on the go or smuggled into a movie theatre, which just happens to be in the same building. —JS

Lobster roll

Luke's Lobster will officially open on 23 September at 1pm.
350 Orchard Road #01
-K4, Shaw House, Isetan Scotts, Tel: 6592 7642
Opening hours: 10am-9pm

Kinki Restaurant + Bar

Situated on the second and third floor of the quintessential Customs House, Kinki stands out as an urban restaurant and bar serving up modern twists on Japanese classics. The second floor restaurant boasts a stunning view of the Marina Bay waterfront and skyline, providing a multifaceted dining experience. We started our meal with the Spicy Buffalo Katsu, a Nagano pork cutlet marinated with a mixture of Worcestershire sauce, la-yu (chili oil) and shichimi togarashi (a classic Japanese seven-spice mix). The combination of the crunchy, fried exterior and tenderness of the pork cutlet was deeply satisfying, but it didn't live up to its burning name of buffalo wings. For non-spicy eaters, this is a safe dish to try, but for those looking for a spicy kick, be aware that this doesn't have much heat. The highlight dishes of the night were the Unagi Claypot, a previous dish only made available by special request, and the Buta Kakuni Claypot. The former was an unagi bomb, with chopped unagi fried with rice and topped with a tender slice of eel before being slathered in homemade unagi sauce. The latter claypot was no slouch either, with tender Hokkaido Kurobuta pork belly that was braised for 12 hours and a classic onsen egg laid on top of rice. Mixing it all together similar to a traditional claypot rice meal resulted in a tantalizing mix of braised pork and gooey rice softened by the egg. Up next was the Crusty Lamb Rack. To naturally tenderise the meat, the lamb was wet-aged in koji yeast brine for a day before being seared to render any excess fat off. The lamb is served coated in panko and mentaiko which intensified the umami element, whilst the dehydrated sweet ginger slices provided a candied distraction to the hint of gaminess from the lamb. Ohmi Wagyu Houba-Yaki, comprising of tender, flavoursome A4 wagyu striploin slices served with mixed mushrooms, rounded up the meaty portion of the meal. We had a go at the signature Golden Age Maki Roll, a classic sushi dish with seared salmon and homemade mentaiko sauce with an added twist of mango puree. All in all, a gratifying Japanese meal with unexpectedly affable twists. — CL

Kinki Restaurant and Bar's Unagi Claypot

70 Collyer Quay, #02-02 Customs House, Tel: 6533 3471
Opening hours: (Mon - Sat) 12pm - 3pm, 6pm - 10.30pm, (Sun) 12pm - 3pm

Wolfgang Steakhouse

The inherent link between Italian and American cuisine serves as the inspiration behind Wolfgang's Steakhouse Singapore's latest tasting menu. Aptly named The Italian, the freshly debuted menu offers cuts of the steakhouse's signature USDA Prime Black Angus beef alongside Italian wine pairings. To start, a pair of fresh Fine De Claire Oysters that live up to their luxurious delicacy. Paired with a glass of Is Argiolas Vermentino 2018, the acidity of the white wine provides a bright accent to the slightly briny oysters. This makes an uplifting start for the entrée - three cuts of USDA Prime steak accompanied by a distinct Italian wine for each cut. The sirloin cut presents with a subtle smoky flavour and slight chew, and is matched with a glass of Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2014. The robust wine, sparking of red berries aroma, provides a complex elegance when paired with the sirloin. Next, the standout pairing of the meal, the ribeye steak cut with the Il Carbonaione 2012. The rich, full-bodied wine with flavours of dark fruits and berries is a natural pairing to the full-flavoured, tender cut. The exuberant Tuscan wine helps cut through the high-marbling richness of the ribeye, resulting in a flavourful finish. The final pairing is a cut of the tenderloin steak, alongside a glass of Gianni Gagliardo Barolo 2014. The lightest wine of the three, the oaky Barolo makes for a beautiful match with the buttery texture of the tenderloin. To finish off the menu, a slice of New York Style cheesecake with a glass of Villa M Bianco NV from Piedmont. The deceivingly light yet extremely rich cheesecake is washed off with the light, sweet and slightly bubbly Moscato. — CL

Wolfgang Steakhouse The Italian Menu

1 Nanson Road, #02-01 InterContinental Singapore, Tel: 6887 5885
Opening hours: (Mon - Fri) 11.30am - 11.30pm, (Sat - Sun) 11am - 11pm

Where we're looking to dine...

Lemak Boys

Disclaimer: This isn't Peranakan Nasi Lemak, but instead it stands by being Peranakan-influenced. Established by three young chefs, Lemak Boys is the new kid on the block that hopes to ignite your love for local heritage dishes. A casual and fuss free dining concept, expect familiar comforting dishes such as the Premium Nasi Lemak, fluffy & fragrant coconut rice laden with ingredients like chicken berempah and sambal prawns, and the Premium Laksa, aromatic spicy coconut soup over laksa noodles with a variety of toppings.

Lemak Boys Premium Nasi Lemak and Laksa

Shaw Centre, #03-10, Tel: 6235 3218
Opening hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 6pm - 9pm

Shake Shack Suntec City

Hot on the heels of their third outlet along Orchard Road is Shake Shack's fourth outlet, this time located at Suntec City. The famous burger chain from New York seems determined to have their renowned grub made accessible around our island, and we're not complaining. We can't wait to get a bite of their 100% all-natural Angus beef burgers, this time downtown.

Shake Shack Suntec City

Suntec City Mall, #01-357