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Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Miznon, Gemma, Neon Pigeon's new hideout, and more

Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Miznon, Gemma, Neon Pigeon's new hideout, and more

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Text: Cheryl Lai-Lim Janice Sim


Where we dined this week...

Miznon

In uncertain times like this, we're thrilled to spot a famed joint like Miznon on our shores. The first in Asia and planted on the bustling Stanley Street, no less. The Israeli street eatery is touted for a cult-worthy following in pursuit of its mouth-watering pitas and also where the roasted cauliflower was first born. From the enchanting city of Tel Aviv, our city now holds an upbeat, no-frills equivalent — lively and buzzy tunes filling the room, along with customers who have seemingly started the party early at 11.30am, on a weekday, might we mention. Don't expect cutlery as you're here to get your hands dirty with the likes of Miznon's signature pitas — where the loaves hail from a bakery in Israel. Each of them hold a mix of different flours and lay on a fragrant nutty taste while sealed in with a chewy, pillowy soft texture. With 11 renditions to choose from, some of them are inspired by the cities that the eatery has expounded to. Paris, Melbourne, New York, are just a few of the names. The steak and eggs would sate any breakfast craving — tender slabs of red meat met with a fried egg with a runny center. The Abu Kebab is another fiery sensation, think smokey chunks of lamb and beef meatballs dressed with homemade salsa, tangy pickles, generous drizzles of tahini, green chili, onions, and parsley. For the vegetarians, the Ratatouille (no prizes for which city it was inspired by), is filled with a stew of eggplant, zucchini, tomato, carrot, which was baked to seal in the flavours before topped with a green chili dressing for that heat and tang to settle. And while a pita at Miznon would technically fill you up — body and soul — your trip here isn't complete without the cauliflower. Roasted to the point where you could break apart the whole floret with your hands (as strongly recommended by the chef), the vegetable is soft, silky, nutty — a result of a good amount of olive oil and precise heat in the oven. We too, lapped up the Hraime. A close comfort featuring Moroccan-style stew with a medley of spices, fermented red chili and a barramundi fillet. There's also a side of pita to soak up the juices too, in case you were wondering. —JS

Miznon pita

Gemma

A new gem has emerged at National Gallery, in place of Art, which has now moved above to replace Aura. The swap might seem confusing at first but the adjustment comes at a good time, post-circuit-breaker for the restaurant scene. Its name is Gemma, which marks another one of Beppe de Vito's openings since the pandemic hit. The first, being delivery and grocer online platform, and now Gemma stands as a modern Italian steakhouse. A void to which the restaurant has unconsciously filled in the storied, lofty edifice. Under the deft leadership of group executive chef Daniele Sperindio who has made his bones in places like Tippling Club, Fat Duck, and Alinea, the menu at Gemma turns the classic steak diner into one that also thinks of anyone who isn't into red meat. With a josper oven working tirelessly to sear the many grades of meat (from 30-day aged Porterhouse to the 45-day aged bone-in ribeye Costata), every cut is exclusive. Including the T-Bone Florentine that we savoured — medium rare, soft to the point of a cream-like finish. And well you honestly can't expect to find a fault with the meats when you're in a bougie steakhouse, the starters and cured meats take up their own place in the spotlight. You start off with savoury bruschetta topped with charred spring onion and a generous dollop of Royal Oscietra caviar, as well as a pulled snow crab — fresh and seasoned minimally to be met with green apple strips and mustard seeds. On the cure scale, the Challans Duck Proscuitto is a silky, salty flavour tease, as its cleverly joined with cassis jam and an olive soil to complete a few bites here. It too, wouldn't be a iLido Group venture without the pasta. As for as steakhouses go in Singapore, here's where you can score the best noodles here. Of course, there's the natural choice – cacio e pepe, but the homemade tagliolini with cured sardines had to be a sure winner. Together with Amalfi lemon and the fragrant delicacy that is bottarga — a cured fish roe, the dish didn't need a fancy main or flamboyant plating. It was more than enough just as it is. —JS

Gemma Florentine steak

Atlas

The grandious Atlas bar returns with a new line-up of cocktails that'll turn back the hands of time and whisk us away on a trip to Paris in 1925. Embark on a narrative of discovery and decadence through a multi-sensory storytelling experience that unfurls over several chapters of tipples. The night started with a refreshing offering from the first chapter — a glass of Vendome Spritz, a low-ABV cocktail that's fresh and bright. A very light and smooth start to the night, the drink bears a certain resemblance to an elevated G&T. Pearl Revival from the second chapter is a surprise standout of the night. A cocktail with a gripping blend of English gin and rose aperitif, the drink is surprisingly springy with a sharp character due to the inclusion of spiced pear and thyme. Non-alcoholic alternatives are available in each chapter, and our booze-free tipple of the night is Key in Hand from the fourth chapter. Atlas proves to leave no stone unturned even when it comes to their alcohol-free spirits, and the non-alcoholic drink tastes every bit like an ordinary cocktail — sans the alcohol. Sour plum takes centrestage in the drink, which is light and easy to down. Gin might be the pride of the 'Gotham City' bar, but the A.M. alliance cocktail from the third chapter takes a little encouraging detour. The tomato-infused mezcal is spirit-forward and smoky, with chili tincture providing a spicy kick. Appropriately poised for the upcoming festive season, the last glass rounding off the night is a personal favourite. The Musician – a creamy concoction that's refreshingly minty, and serves as a treat reminiscent to a mint chocolate delight. —CL

Atlas gin bar

600 North Bridge Rd, Tel: 6396 4466
Opening hours: (Mon - Fri) 10am - 10.30pm, (Sat) 12pm-10.30pm

Where we're looking to dine...

The Balvenie x Michelin Guide

Single malt whisky and modern Chinese grub. Sounds like an ideal indulgence to sum up the year. The Balevnie pairs up with Michelin Guide — namely Madame Fan, where its 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask and 21 Year Old PortWood meet their match with dishes like whisky xiao long bao and an Alaskan king crab soup, with the fresh catch poached in — you guessed it, whisky.

Xiao Long Bao

Available from now until 30 Nov 2020 at Madame Fan, 32 Beach Road, NCO Club.
Dishes have to be pre-ordered three days in advance. Reserve here.

Neon Pigeon

The notable modern urban izakaya, Neon Pigeon 2.0 makes a comeback at Carpenter Street. Helmed by Singaporean Head Chef, Paul Lim, there will be a new raw bar, as well as a glorious cocktail bar to boot. Anticipate a range of exquisite seasonal Japanese ingredients in their latest offering from Kumamoto oysters, bone marrow to uni for starters and the cult classics like Tokyo Hummus and sake glazed iberico pork ribs served in the same format of small or large. Have your fill of sake or if you're into it, try out their new Tokyo-inspired tipples.

Neon Pigeon

36 Carpenter Street, #01-01