Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: V Dining, Noka by Spa Esprit, Chico Loco and more

Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: V Dining, Noka by Spa Esprit, Chico Loco and more

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Text: Crystal Lee Janice Sim

Where we dined this week...


The staples at Jaan has always been a highlight to why people return to the 1-Michelin restaurant: Delectable snacks, a hearty potato truffle soup, not forgetting the sweeping view up on the 70th floor of Swissotel Singapore. But the fan base remains to be established on the travail of chef Kirk's vision of British fare — 'Reinventing British' — where jargons like bangers & mash cease to exist. The spring time menu (like his previous seasonal menus), serves up the best of produce procured from his hometown, Devon. The meal started on a sweet note: a pretty slab of beetroot meringue (derived from organic beets of Yorkshire) dissolved like butter on our tongues, with a little savoury kick from a rich horseradish and smoked eel cream and eel fillets decked on top. After we were done demolishing the cheddar cheese buckwheat pancakes, it was time for one of the new snacks, the duck sausage roll. Yet another elevated rendition of a local favourite in Britain — chef Kirk churns out a delicate surface made from high-grade duck breast and pancetta from English pork belly; which is topped with onion ketchup and plated in a spiral tube made from pretzel dough. Other refreshing standouts included the fresh catch of Kimmedai — a lightly seasoned aiding a perfectly cooked fillet, served with fresh spring vegetables like spring peas, broad beans, cucumber flowers and sugar snaps. Paired with that, were juicy prawns drizzled with a piquant mussel broth and a smooth dashi pea puree. A special shoutout to the white asparagus carpaccio — plated unrecognisable — where the typical nutty spear took on the shape of thinly sliced discs. Add to that, a heady dressing of pike and trout caviar, crème fraiche, cream cheese and a medley of fennel and chives. If all salads looked like that? We might just be able to abstain from meat, for a while. —JSJaan White Asparagus

Hero dish: White asparagus carpaccio
Estimate calorie count: 112.6

2 Stamford Road, Level 70, Equinox Complex, Tel: 6837 3322
Opening hours: 12pm-2.30pm, 7pm-10.30pm

V Dining

A great way to sell kitchenware? Cooking demos. Swiss luxury household appliances brand V-Zug has taken this approach to a whole new level with a full-fledged restaurant and a private dining room within its premises. To be clear, the folks at V-Zug are just as serious about their state-of-the-art appliances as the food served at the restaurant. The kitchen — outfitted with V-Zug, obviously — is run by head Chef Lee Jing Peng, together with Ryan Clift, chef-owner of Tippling Club, the global ambassador and culinary director of V-Dining. The seasonal prix fixe menu leans towards modern Asian-European tastes, with pretty plates like box-fresh and slightly tart hamachi tartare, a fork-tender and riotously sweet-spicy beef cheek with gochujang risotto, and the smooth handmade scallop noodles in an oh-so-comforting tonkatsu broth that rival those at top ramen places. Dishes are different for lunch and dinner, and diners can choose the number of courses — two-course lunch ($48++) and four-course dinner ($138++) — with the option of wine pairing. If you're looking for a private dining option, V-Zug's showsuite has a capacity of up to 18 people, and you can book your own chef or choose from their portfolio of great hands including chef Louis Tay (two-time gold medallist in the Culinary Olympics) for a bespoke dining experience. —CL
V Dining
Hero dish: Scallop noodles in tonkotsu broth
Estimate calorie count: 358

#03-13 Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road, Tel: 6950 4868
Opening hours: (Tue-Sun) 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm

Chico Loco

Fronting a fast-casual service approach — The Loco Group's third concept, Chico Loco prides on being speedy enough to feed the lunchtime folks at Amoy Street — where diners order their food at the counter and wait to be served. Any main roasts will take an average of three to four minutes. You can tout it as fast food — just that it's done healthier and so much better. The kind that won't induce you to a food coma, or gets you questioning if the meal will go straight to your thighs. Moving past the 'clean eating' movement, Chico Loco sports a new marketing catchphrase (gasps!): Dirty health. Dirty in a way that you're getting slightly charred roasted chickens and lamb straight from a spit; add to that, a hoard of spices and rubs enveloped within the meat juices. Healthy in a way that all the birds are antibiotic-free, hormone-free, cage-free and organic-fed. On top of that, sans the MSG. All sauces and dressings that accompany the grub here are made with avocado oil, rich in antioxidants and healthy fat.while they do a mean spit-roasted chicken, make sure to call for their dry rubbed lamb shoulder. It's smokey, comes with an easy bite, without the gaminess to throw off your taste buds. Sides are a must-have — to that we say go big on Chicoslaw, a Thai-inspired salad of mango and green papaya strips, rosemary salt fries and their signature rotisserie fat rice. An uncanny resemblance to the Asian chicken rice, just that it's spiked with cubes of green tomato — a splash of tart coursing through every time you bite into one of them. A subtle, simple treat we can have for days. —JS

Chico Loco

Hero dish: Roasted chicken
Estimate calorie count: 170

102 Amoy St, Tel: 9738 7828
Opening hours: (Mon-Thurs) 8am-10pm, (Fri) 8am-12am, (Sat) 5pm-12am

Where we're looking to dine...


We've witnessed many spectacular openings from Spa Esprit, but this one is looking pretty special. Founder Cynthia Chua is about to launch a first-of-its-kind urban farm and restaurant on the rooftop of the newly-launched Funan mall. What's more exciting? It will be helmed by a Japanese chef, rolling out farm-to-table Japanese cuisine.

Noka Spa Esprit

Burger & Lobster

No need to hop on the next flight out to London or to hike up the misty path to Genting for a taste of this famed lobster roll. Located on Jewel's highest floor called Canopy Park, the outlet is probably the envy of other F&B outlets with its breathtaking views of the world's tallest indoor waterfall. Now, we'll be able to get a taste of the famed lobster specially flown in from Nova Scotia, Canada.

Burger & Lobster

#05-203, Jewel Changi Airport
Opening hours: 9am-3am

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