Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Singapore, a melting pot of culture, serves up a wide selection of cuisines to satisfy our taste buds. Never go hungry again.
Julius Lim
Julius Lim

If only I have a bigger appetite and will not gain weight while eating so much, I could have ordered both for myself. Nonetheless, both noodle dishes are equally delish.
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🍴 Long Phung
📍 159 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427436

This development showcases a new chapter of contemporary Italian cuisine interpreted through the South Italian lens of Executive Chef Andrea De Paola. Diners can look forward to the ala carte menu of South Italian classics, go for the 4-course Experience Menu ($148), 3-course Weekday Set Lunch ($68) or light snacks (from $10) at the alfresco Terrace Lounge.

The 4-course Experience Menu journeys with a starter before embarking on a pasta dish, main course and finally a dessert. I chose for the wild red bream crudo with tomato, basil and frisella bread as my starter and it came with twirls of red bream crudo with a tomato emulsion and refreshened with finger lime, basil oil and edible flowers. Reminiscing my past visit to Zafferano, I vividly remember how I thoroughly enjoyed their pasta dishes, and this time round, I got the Southern Italy-inspired house-made tagliolini served with langoustine carpaccio, Amalfi lemon garum and topped with sea grape. It ended up being my favourite dish of the night as the tagliolini has the perfect al dente texture paired with the freshness of the langoustine, which has a nice bite to it, while the scampi bisque adds to the umami-ness and creaminess.

The lineup of mains showcases quality produce from land and sea, which I got the tender Chilean sea bass that is sandwiching a peperone crusco puree, served with a yellow capsicum cream and mini red capsicum that is filled with creamy cod and potato. This dish is paired with a mussels velouté to make it an all-round seafood dish. For desserts, the Amalfi lemon sponge cake with Amalfi lemon curd will awaken your senses with the tanginess while the peppercorn-infused cream is a unique touch to the dessert. To complement the cake, limoncello granita is served on the side for a little boozy treat.
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🍴 Altro Zafferano
📍 10 Collyer Quay, Ocean Financial Centre, Level 43, Singapore 049315

From 15 December to 31 December, Rempapa will be showcasing Chef Damian’s renditions of classic British dishes featuring Singapore heritage flavours that will be available for dine-in and takeaway. There will also be whole kuehs and cakes that are made available exclusively for takeaway orders, which are perfect gifts for your loved ones.

For takeaways, indulge in four festive dishes starting with the Roast GG French Poulet with Rempapa Spices ($90, 1.3kg) that is first brined in a house-blend of spices for 24 hours then stuffed with herbs and aromatics such as pandan leaves, fresh bay leaves and lemongrass before the chicken goes into the roaster. To complement the chicken, there is the Spiced Meatloaf with Sambal Mashed Potatoes ($90, 1.2kg) made with pork and cooked with nutmeg and curry powder. The mash is made from Australian potatoes mixed in with a sambal before it is piped over the meat and baked to finish.

Both mains are best accompanied with the moreish Bubble & Squeak, Rempapa’s version with roasted pork, brussels sprouts and Bombay onions, all cooked in a sauce of black bean, matured black vinegar, light soy sauce, pepper and shallot oil that result in a myriad of flavours and smells that is simply irresistible. To end the meal, there is the Spotted Dick with Gula Melaka Custard ($35, 500g), a traditional steamed pudding that contains beef tallow, brandy-soaked currants, orange and lemon zest, served with crème anglaise sweetened with gula melaka.

These four festive dishes are also available as a Festive Platter ($120) for dine-in guests, which will portioned for four pax. Orders must be placed 3 days in advance.
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🍴 Rempapa
📍 2 Paya Lebar Road, #01-01/02/03, Park Place Residences at PLQ, Singapore 409053

Each participating restaurant will showcase a lineup of dishes that has been paired or infused with Martell’s icon and complex XO cognac, the Martell Cordon Bleu. Over at Mimi Restaurant, known for their modern interpretation of Chinese cuisine, diners can enjoy the 5-course Martell menu ($200++ per pax, minimum order of 2 pax).

The first course is the Treasure of the Sea with Shredded Sea Cucumber that has been infused with Martell VSOP as a palate opener which is further accentuated with the equally refreshing Sichuan Ma-la Beef Short-Ribs with Watermelon, infused with Martell Cordon Bleu. The beef short-ribs has the familiar spicy numbing sensation while the cognac gave it a nice after-sweetness.

Another gem of the ocean is the Braised Abalone with Kurobuta Pork Belly served with a crispy mantou and this infused with Martell XO. The final savoury course was a crowd pleaser, the Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus with Honey Glazed Cod, paired with Martell Chanteloup XXO. To round off the Martell menu, the restaurant will serve a Hot Dried Rose and Chinese Almond Paste with Martell Noblige-infused Jelly, a wonderful, sweetened end to the meal.
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🍴 Mimi Restaurant
📍 3A River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, #01-02, Singapore 179020

Over at L'Angélus, the restaurant is offering a 3-course menu from $98++ per guest and it will be available from 1-31 December. There are 3 options for each course and for the entrée, I got the hand-cut black Angus beef tartare topped with N25 caviar ($8 supplement) which goes perfect with warm bread or eaten on its own. The creamy flavour of the beef tartare is complemented with the brininess of the caviar, proving a perfect match.

For the main, I chose the miso glazed deep sea Australian toothfish that is served in a murasaki uni butter sauce. The fish is flaky and retains a nice bite, similar to a texture of a codfish while the uni butter sauce elevated the dish with a creamy mouthfeel and savoury flavour. The final course of dessert is served tableside as the baked Alaska ($6 supplement) is flambéed when served, providing a dramatic spectacle of an ending.
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🍴 L'Angélus
📍 85 Club St, Singapore 069453

At $6.90, the price is pretty reasonable for the portion that we are getting, and this is the type of salad that I do not mind eating more often as the steamed vegetables, hard boiled egg and rice cake were topped with a peanut sauce and belinjo crackers. The star of the show was their fried chicken, and most people will usually order the Ayam Penyet ($7.50) that comes with their signature chilli paste. This time round, I went for the Ayam Cabe Ijo ($7.50) which was the fried chicken topped with green chilli mixed with anchovy. If you cannot handle your spice well, do consider getting a cold beverage by the side as the chilli packs a punch. I have not eaten many ayam penyet to determine the best version but the ones at Ayam Penyet President is a convenient and fuss free option for me.
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🍴 Ayam Penyet President
📍 2 Tampines Central 5, Century Square #B1-20, Singapore 529509

This all-day dining menu now has inventive dishes such as the Deep Fried Yam Puff with Abalone ($8.80) that contains a minced pork filling, Hong Kong Curry Cheong Fun ($6.80) of rice rolls in a curry sauce with pig’s skin and a comforting bowl of Dumpling in Conpoy Soup ($10.80). Continuing on the curry trend, there are snacks such as Fish Ball & Scallop Skewer in HK-style Curry ($9.80) that pays homage to the street side snack.

One of the new roasts is the Roasted Duck with Crispy Rice in Chef’s Special Sauce ($21.80) that is savoury, sweet and a tinge of spice. Wok fried dishes are a common order at Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen and the Sautéed Fresh Abalone with Assorted Colourful Capsicum and Asparagus ($26.80) is a savoury stir fry that pairs well with rice. To feed hungry tummies, there are the Scallop and Kelp Congee ($12.80) and Shrimp Roe and Prawn Paste Noodle ($13.80) that are new into the menu.

For desserts, we had the Cheng Tng with Grass Jelly ($5.80) and Red Bean Soup with 30 Years Orange Peel and Mini Glutinous Rice Ball ($4.80). Unfortunately, the desserts were let down by the former being too sweet while the latter was bland and didn’t have the orange peel flavour and aroma.
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🍴 Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen
📍 4 Tampines Central 5, #B1-11, Tampines Mall, Singapore 529510

Often a neglected and underused cut, Gyutan-Tan’s goal is to present the ox tongue dishes in traditional and modern ways.

There are two menus for lunch and dinner, and in the day, do not miss out on the Sumiyaki Gyutan Combo Set ($25) which is perhaps my favourite dish of the evening in which the chef charcoal-grilled the mixed cut gyutan with mugimeshi to get the nice char and aroma while you savour these cuts with sauces such as original, ponzu oroshi, Korean, negi shio and lemon pepper. The set comes with pickles, oxtail soup, salad and tororo (grated Japanese mountain yam that you mix into the rice for additional nutritional benefits). Available for both lunch and dinner, there are the Gyutan Demi-Glace Stew ($20) and Pork Kakuni ($18), the former is a classic French-braised stew and made with gyutan chunks while the latter showcases the chef’s repertoire of dishes with the 4-hour braised pork belly stew.

For dinner, the menu has the appetiser of the Cold Roasted Gyutan Carpaccio ($15) that is glaze with a balsamic sauce and the Premium Gyutan Shabu-Shabu ($28) that comes with a vegetable platter to ensure balanced diet with the premium gyutan slices. You will be glad to know that Gyutan-Tan also serves desserts with the Matcha Affogato ($10.50) being the highlight whereby matcha powder is whisked tableside and poured into the plated dessert with rice puffs, vanilla ice cream, warabimochi, white chocolate and finished with kuromitsu drizzle. For something sweeter, there is the Homemade Egg Pudding ($4) and Japanese Tiramisu Parfait ($11.50), the latter containing coffee jelly.
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🍴 Gyutan-Tan
📍 41 Tras Street, Singapore 078980

It was unfortunate that they do not have the Nancy’s Chopped Salad that day, and we got the Cobb Salad ($28) instead, which has iceberg lettuce tossed with bacon, gorgonzola dolce and sherry vinaigrette, a refreshing starter to whet our appetite for what’s to come next.

The main attractions arrived thereafter, starting with the signature Meat Lover ($45), a recommended pizza from the wait staff. Many times, when people eat pizza, they will usually eat the fillings portion and leave the crust behind, but this time round, the pizza crust was so good that it is almost a crime to not finish it. As the name suggests, the Meat Lover will appeal to the carnivores with the bacon, salame, fennel sausage and pancetta on the pie with the tomato giving the sweetness and mozzarella rounding up this excellent pizza. We also shared the Pizza Alla Benno ($38) which is an upgraded version of a Hawaiian pizza with speck, pineapple, jalapenos, tomato and mozzarella on it.

Moving onto the homemade pastas, the Maltagliati ($34) is a tomato base with duck ragu and the Chitarra all’aglione ($30) with the simplest of ingredients of heirloom tomato and garlic but as what many chefs would say, the simpler it looks, the more difficult is the execution and balancing of flavours. With the freshest and quality of ingredients, even a seemingly simple dish like this works wonders for the tummy.

We rounded up the meal with the Rosemary Olive Oil Cake ($20), a traditional dessert served with olive oil gelato and fried rosemary herbs. It might sound strange, but the sweet-savoury flavour of this dessert appeals to me greatly. For fans of gelato, the vanilla ($16) is creamy and not cloyingly sweet.
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🍴 Osteria Mozza
📍 333 Orchard Road, Hilton Singapore Orchard, Level 5, Singapore 238867

With a choice of 4 different entrees, I got the Mousse De Foie de Poulet Maison A La Confiture De Figures, a dish name that might seem long but it is essentially homemade chicken liver pate with fig jam. There is zero gaminess, and the creaminess of the pate is balanced with the tartness and sweetness of the fig jam, which is a perfect spread on some toasted bread.

For the main, there is the Grilled Beef Wagyu Oyster Blade MB6/7 which comes with a 300g portion at a $10 supplement. Though you need to top-up for this main, it is totally worth it as it comes at a hearty portion. Cooked medium rare, the oyster blade cuts like butter with one of the most tender bites you can get from a steak. What is a Les Bouchons experience without their free-flow fries, which you will get a portion from each main. For diners who do not have a sweet tooth, you can end the meal with the homemade truffle brie made with mascarpone and truffle pate, served with some greens, nuts and dried fruits.
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🍴 Les Bouchons
📍 10 Rochester Park, Rochester Commons, Singapore 139221

This all-day dining menu now has inventive dishes such as the Deep Fried Yam Puff with Abalone ($8.80) that contains a minced pork filling, Hong Kong Curry Cheong Fun ($6.80) of rice rolls in a curry sauce with pig’s skin and a comforting bowl of Dumpling in Conpoy Soup ($10.80). Continuing on the curry trend, there are snacks such as Fish Ball & Scallop Skewer in HK-style Curry ($9.80) that pays homage to the street side snack.

One of the new roasts is the Roasted Duck with Crispy Rice in Chef’s Special Sauce ($21.80) that is savoury, sweet and a tinge of spice. Wok fried dishes are a common order at Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen and the Sautéed Fresh Abalone with Assorted Colourful Capsicum and Asparagus ($26.80) is a savoury stir fry that pairs well with rice. To feed hungry tummies, there are the Scallop and Kelp Congee ($12.80) and Shrimp Roe and Prawn Paste Noodle ($13.80) that are new into the menu.

For desserts, we had the Cheng Tng with Grass Jelly ($5.80) and Red Bean Soup with 30 Years Orange Peel and Mini Glutinous Rice Ball ($4.80). Unfortunately, the desserts were let down by the former being too sweet while the latter was bland and didn’t have the orange peel flavour and aroma.
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🍴 Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen
📍 4 Tampines Central 5, #B1-11, Tampines Mall, Singapore 529510

For ardent fans of Saboten, you will be delighted to know that the dishes are paired with 100% Uonuma Koshihikari rice, known for the subtle nutty fragrance and superior quality, that is imported from Japan, Niigata Prefecture and freshly milled in Singapore.

The Katsu Ni Sets come in Tenderloin Oroshi ($30.50), Loin Oroshi ($26.50) or Chicken Oroshi ($22.50) and with all their cutlets, the meat is coated with breadcrumbs made from whole bread and each order is paired with fresh cabbage, miso soup, chawanmushi, pickles and ice cream. What’s special about the Katsu Ni Sets is that the cutlets come served with a blanket of grated radish and soaked in a special sauce. The Nigiwai Katsu Sets are available as Loin & Cheese Tenderloin ($28), Nigiwai Loin ($27.50) and Nigiwai Tenderloin ($30.50).

Not to be missed out on are the Oysters Katsu that are available for a limited time of one month only. These plump and sweet Hiroshima oysters are deep fried into golden nuggets and served with a dipping sauce on the side.
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🍴 Saboten
📍 1 HarbourFront Walk, Vivo City, #02-49, Singapore 098585

"The best souvenir from travelling is to bring home a memorable food experience" #aworldtoeat

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