Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Bar Cicheti, a 'Tiffany blue' breakfast set and an exciting burger pop-up this weekend
WHERE TO EAT
Where we dined this week...
It's a bold and confident move when a restaurant chooses to create a menu merely revolving around pasta, wine, and antipasti options. But we're not worried as it happens to be Cicheti's sister bar-restaurant. Titled Bar Cicheti, this hideout at Jiak Chuan Street is a sexier, more upscale version of the OG restaurant. Another labour of love from owner Liling Ong (who's behind Flynn's and Cicheti), Bar Cicheti prides on sticking to its guns — backed by handmade pastas and robust Italian flavours. We recommend opting for the smaller size in serving, which allows more room for more options. Their spaghetti cacio e pepe set the bar high with bold, punchy notes around humble ingredients of cheese, salt and Sarawak black pepper. While not every dish here guarantees an al-dente texture (case in point: the pappardelle with fresh spinach), those who seek out a firmer bite should definitely order the rigatoni arrabbiata, built up by underlying heroes of homemade tomato sauce, basil and deft spurts of heat from red chili slices. No funny shenanigans, no Asian wildcards, just simple moreish plates that might remind you of something you tasted in a remote town in Sicily.
With every mouthful of pasta, take a generous sip from one of the wines here. You'll get a good slew of artisanal and natural ones sourced from small-batch producers. Repeat the sequence — you will not be sorry. As important as the heavyweight pastas are, don't leave without demolishing their burratina, atop an ingenious slab of burnt onion jam and grilled sourdough. Hands down, one of the best thing we had this week — or even this year.
10 Jiak Chuan Rd, Tel: 6789 9801
Opening hours: 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm- 10pm
Whatever you knew about Japanese grub gets a touch of elevation here at Rizu. Seating is limited, lights are dimmed down – setting an intimate premise for small groups of diners to mingle over platters of fresh sashimi and copious platters of nigiri sushi. If you're feeling a cause for celebration (prices do lie on the steep side), go big on their boston lobster sashimi as well as geoduck from Korea. Textures of the ocean came through beautifully, as well as a clean, underlying flavour liven up with soya and fresh wasabi. Other dishes perfect for sharing? Without a doubt, their signature hand rolls. If we had to choose, their seared salmon roll and crunchy spicy tuna would easily hit the spot. Punchy bold bursts of flavour always gets the upperhand after all. Speaking of which, Rizu also serves up an ultimate special — a hearty rice bowl decked with sea eel, urchin, salmon roe, foie gras and caviar. That is, if you're willing to shell out fifty dollars for it.
39 Duxton Hill, Tel: 6904 8880
Opening hours: 6pm-11pm
Maggie Joan's might have been lovingly named after two grandmothers (that of Daniel Ballis), but it's far from being a stickler for tradition. Now three years in, the elusive restaurant is taking a step backwards from Mediterranean flavours and leaning towards a modern approach in European cuisine. Under the talented leadership of newly minted group executive chef, Seumas Smith, plates here reprise of inventive textures backed by some of the finest seasonal ingredients from artisanal producers. Everything on the plate (whether a puree or garnish), go through intricate methods of curing, frying, seasoning, etc. For instance: a simple starter of shiso leaf tempura, carrying dollops of mentaiko, sourdough bread, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Another standout that left us wanting more was a zesty green tomato gazpacho, aligned with deep-fried artichokes and fresh goat's curd. For a toothsome main, go for the pan-seared barramundi steeped in a piquant broth of roasted fish stock, vegetable stock, thyme, white wine and cream. Sauteed mussels (specially sourced from Scotland) are also thrown in to dutifully soak up every bit of the tantalising sauce.
110 Amoy St, #01-01, Tel: 6221 5564
Opening hours: (Mon - Fri) 12pm - 2.30pm, 6pm-11pm, (Sat) 6pm - 11pm
Where we're looking to dine this week...
This shack is shiok for good reason. The exciting one-day only burger pop-up is happening September 29, at the swanky Jekyll and Hyde. Brought to you by a group of friends (who have paid their dues at Ding Dong, Luke's Oyster Bar & Chophouse and Open Farm Community), expect to get your fix of quality meats, fresh accompaniments sandwiched between toasted warm buns. Service starts from 4pm till sell-out, so we advise popping in earlier before the burgers get snagged up.
49 Tras St
Opening hours: From 4pm onwards
Riding on the recent Tiffany & Co. pop-up success, Tiong Bahru Bakery has since been inspired to create their own breakfast of blues. Quite literally. This Blue Bell Breakfast set comprises of a blue pea flower latte (entirely caffeine-free), small batch granola tossed with Greek yoghurt and blueberries, and a warm lemon curd muffin crowned with blueberry crumble. The special menu is here to stay till the end of this year.
56 Eng Hoon St, #01-70, Tel: 6220 3430
Opening hours: 8am-8pm
Celebrity British chef Marco-Pierre White finally presents his grand restaurant debut in Singapore. The English House stands as a labour of love (spanning three years) of White's efforts in converting two adjoining shophouses on Mohammed Sultan Road. On the menu, you'll find modern British grub in place of food gastronomy. We're talking honest classics like lamb shepherd's pie and oxtail en croute. We're always down for comfort food — all day, all night.
28 Mohammed Sultan Rd, Tel: 6545 4055
Opening hours: (Mon-Sat) 6pm-12am