Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Violet Oon's new outlet in Ion, Restaurant Zén and another shiok burger pop-up
Where we dined this week...
Preludio heralds a relatively foreign concept of author's cuisine in Singapore. It is a territory where the chef is free to roam, mix and play around with flavours, colours and textures and styles; well without being limited to his background or the cusine of the restaurant. Every dish served at Preludio is a result of the affinity and personal stories of various food growers and producers across the globe. Its first chapter is titled monochrome, resulting in a theatrical affair of the courses decked in black and white. It's a lot of fun. Under chef-owner Fernando Arevalo's midas touch, colours are stripped, revealing what's raw and what's pure. First, a cloud-like pool of cold yogurt foam encasing burrata, cubes of French white beetroot within. A sweet start, spiked with mildly savoury elements of the baked beet as well as the cheese. The next dish arrives; and it clearly looks like the same one we just polished. Except it was warm; and eventually a clever rouse witholding a savoury alter ego to the first course. As for the rest? We'll leave you to discover the surprise for yourself – no more spoilers here.
182 Cecil St, #03-01/02 Frasers Tower, Tel: 6904 5686
ION Orchard has a new entrant, and it's a familiar face. Violet Oon Singapore has erected front and center on level three — this time boasting a snazzy brasserie setting as well as a grand retail space stocked with whole fresh cakes and delectable Peranakan pastries. Half of the menu here will be new dishes that aren't available at the rest of the other outlets. You'll get the best out of Nyonya, Chinese, India, Malay, Eurasian, and more importantly — Singapore's British Colonial cuisine. First off: the Mulligatawny soup — a resurrected classic that you probably can't find anywhere else. It's a mild creamy curry broth, bursting with a myriad of spices along with moreish chicken bits and rice. Dishes like crispy marmite baby sotong salad also made us question why no one thought of this heavenly combination earlier. Why have we been wasting ourselves on the Caesar salad? Classics that have been gaining traction include the Hainanese pork chop — a deep fried Kurobuta pork loin crusted with a cream cracker crust, unlike the usual breadcrumbs. To top it off, it's drizzled with a housemade tomato reduction. Another British Hainanese interpretation — the oxtail stew; elevated with a brandy reduction and made hearty with a generous serving of mash. As for dessert, the winning item had to be the gula melaka tea cake, perfectly warm and moist and paired with a dollop of coconut ice cream. You'll leave the mall happier and a little heavier, that's for sure.
#03-22, #03-28/29, ION Orchard, Tel: 9834 9935
Opening hours: 12pm-10pm
We're always jumping at an excuse to visit Andaz Singapore. It's hip, pulsating with a convival energy that one can't always be ensured at other five-star hotels and don't get us started on the special blueprint. Up on the 25th floor, you'll find a wide array of food and beverage establishments, each cleverly plotted in a maze-like formation. It's all very millennial. Bar Square, in particular — is a swanky drinking hole that you can't miss. Well for starters, your view here includes sweeping sunset vistas of our beautiful city. And secondly, the cocktails are inspired by the flavours of Singapore. Their Kopi-c martini proved to be an impressive concoction with just the right mix of whiskey and coffee liqueur, followed by other choices like teh-tarik weaved into the classic recipe. There are hits, but also misses — a possible danger when experimenting with uncoventional intepretations. For instance: their ice kachang cocktail fell short of authentic flavours from the well-loved local dessert and mostly, we were grappling with chewing through the thick chunks of ice, instead of the shaved snow that we were used to. But if you're really game to take risks in your tipple choices, go big with The Musang King, a glass that blends premium Musang King durian pulp with a punchy dash of vodka.
5 Fraser St, Tel: 6408 1234
Opening hours: 12pm-12am
Where we're looking to dine
Filling the shoes of 2-Michelin Restaurant André, comes a culinary force with a renowned reputation back in Sweden. Enter Zén, the sister restaurant of 3-Michelin starred Frantzén in Stockholm. Unlike the typical fine dining establishments, the three-storey shophouse boasts of three different experiential floors for diners to tuck into canapes, small and big plates, and sweets respectively. It's furbished with casual, warm Scandinavian touches — like that dream home that you've always wanted to own.
41 Bukit Pasoh Rd, Tel: 9236 6368
After a successful launch in September, the nomadic burger squad is back at it on the grill — with its second pop-up of Shiok Shack at Mojo. Marking its last hurrah of the year, the pillowy burgers will be paired with the likes of Belgian craft beers, to start rolling out at 4pm until sell-out.
204 Telok Ayer St, Tel: 6220 0723
Opening hours: 4pm till sell-out
Read more food reviews.