Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Pasta Bar, The Feather Blade and Baba Chews
Where we dined this week...
Baba Chews' new menu is a masterclass in inclusivity: Western classics and mod dishes with Asian accents sit alongside Peranakan dishes from its old menu. You can find familiar local favourites such as Char Siew and You Tiao (fried dough fritters) reinterpreted with modern influences. Sink your teeth into the Otah You Tiao that is both a visual and gustatory delight with handmade mackerel Otah paste sandwiched between charcoal You Tiao, served with sambal sabayon. Just like how it's served at your favourite roasted meat stall, slices of fatty and succulent pork belly char siew lie atop a bed of fragrant Hainanese 'oil' rice, topped with a sunny side up and a heaping of X.O. sauce. Marrying together Peranakan and Western flavours, the Peranakan pulled pork burger will give your traditional one a run for its money with its sweet and salty pongteh (fermented bean paste) stewed Iberico pork. For an all-American favourite, go for the barbequed rack of St Louis-style pork spare ribs that have been cooked 'til fork-tender and slathered with a rich and smoky glaze. For dessert, Baba's Chendol will surprise you with its homemade pandan jello made into kway teow form, smooth red bean paste, gula melaka shaved ice ball, popcorn and served with fresh coconut milk on the side. Cap your meal with good cuppa of coffee from Common Man Coffee.
86 E Coast Rd, Tel: 6723 2025
Opening hours: (Mon-Thurs) 6.30am-11pm, (Fri-Sat) 6.30am-12am, (Sun) 6.30am-11pm
A splice of Italy has come to us — in the form of a cosy pasta bar nestled in the bustling Keong Saik road. Paying homage to the well-loved diet staple in Italy, they specialise in handmade pasta — more specifically, 11 different pasta made with 11 individual doughs. As with handmade items, expect distinctive diversity in bite, shape and consistency. We recommend starting with a selection of canapes — from the Arrosticini (grilled lamb skewers served with a rosemary infused olive oil) and the creamy yet light burrata complemented by herby pesto to the full-on truffle fettucini made with truffle flour, cooked in truffle butter and topped with shaved truffle. The tortelli was a stunner — filled with a smooth and buttery pumpkin-sage filling with a sweet-salty balance. Another dish that grew on us was the Lagane with chickpea, chili and spicy garlic. The recipe was originally from chef Alessandro's grandmother and we were told that you could rarely find this dish anymore. The eggless rendition of pasta resulted in slightly thicker and denser dough as compared to the tortelli, but we loved how it integrated well with the similarly thick but flavorful chickpea sauce that had hints of spiciness in each bite. A classic Italian dessert, the Sicilian cannolo is everything you wanted in a dessert — light and crisp fried pastry dough, filled to the brim with a smooth and sweet but not cloyingly so sheep's milk ricotta that has been further decorated with chocolate rice on both ends. Delizioso — that is what'd like to descibe our meal.
55 Keong Saik Rd, Tel: 6222 0627
Opening hours: (Tue-Sun) 6pm-11pm
The much-raved-about Flat Iron Steakhouse in London has garnered a loyal fanbase over the years — thanks to its affordable yet uncompromising flat iron cut steaks. Lucky for you carnivores, the crew from The Feather Blade is descending on Club Street, and — guess what — they will be serving complimentary steak on 2 March, the opening day of the steakhouse at Zui Hong Lou (note: they will be there for eight weekends in the months of March and April). The feather blade cut is synonymous with 'the flat iron' cut: from the shoulder blade of the cattle. First sous vide to further tenderize the meat, it is later grilled to your preferred doneness. The way to cook your steak — as recommended for optimal tenderness and flavour — is medium rare, and we like the charred and nutty flavour from The Feather Blade's grill. Sliced into bite-sized melt-in-the-mouth pieces, you can complement them with classic sauces such as bearnaise, French red wine, Asian-inspired Sichuan peppercorn, horseradish cream. Both the latter two sauces provides a spicy kick that cut through the richness of the beef. But if you ask us, we loved ours au naturale — glazed in brown butter and sprinkled lightly with salt. No steak meal is complete with sides: pick from richer options such as the creamed spinach that had an interesting addition of nutmeg, creamed corn with truffle salt and creamy mashed potatoes or a medley of Shimeji, Shiitake and button mushrooms. Tipples and steak make a good pairing; the fragrant and fruity Yoshikubo Ippin takes center-stage on the sake menu while cocktails such as the prosecco-based Death on Weekends and Bourbon-based Blood Orange Old Fashioned takes on an elegant play on the classic drinks.
90 Club St, Tel: 8181 0572
Opening hours: (Fri) 5.30pm-12am, (Sat-Sun) 5.30pm-1am, the pop-up will run for eight weekends through the months of March and April
Where we are looking to dine...
The Marmalade Pantry is back at ION Orchard, this time located in the fourth level of the complex. This grand comeback will involve exclusive food items on the menu, weekend brunches and a seating chart of 80. More dining options in the heart of the city? Yes please.
2 Orchard Turn, Tel: 6734 2700
Opening hours: (Mon-Sun) 10am-10pm
Yet another reopening to spark new beginnings; Lady M has made quite the epic transformation at their Orchard Central outlet. Apart from serving up those mille crêpes that you love so much, the space now features a larger-than-life-trellis installation. The artwork is set to change from time to time - this season you'll see iridescent paper handmade butterflies.
181 Orchard Road, Tel: 6509 3673
Opening hours: (Mon-Sun) 11am-10pm