Taking over the now defunct Lollapalooza at the Working Capitol is Loloku, a fun, modern space dishing out elegant poke bowls. With bright pink flamingoes at the door, you won't be able to miss this beautiful spot. Loloku's gorgeous interior, intimate seating arrangement and hearty poke bowls make it a great spot to catch up with your girlfriends over lunch. Of all the pre-selected bowls we tried, the unique Ono Hamachi (from $16) stood out — fresh cubes of hamachi get a toss in ponzu and wasabi, and sit on a warm bed of kumbu rice with edamame, seaweed, pickled ginger and tobiko. It's a wickedly clever blend of Hawaiian meets Japanese, and its use of hamachi and ginger sets it apart from its poke competitors. There is also the option to build your own bowls (from $12). Pro tip: As tempting as braised wagyu beef sounds, skip the Koa Wagyu Bowl (from $16) and stick to their fish options.
Avg Price: $20 per person
Photo by Burppler Jonathan Teo
This sister outlet to Sushiro has taken over Sushiro's old space since their move to a space nearer the entrance of Thomson Plaza. Takumi by Sushiro strictly serves hot Japanese rice bowls in this modest space (with a few extended tables at the adjacent stall), with only seven offerings on the menu. Go for the latest addition, Tokyo Gyuniku Don ($12), a beef bowl rather similar to Yoshinoya's Gyu Don. Thinly shaved stewed beef with tender onion strips are stacked to form a little hill atop of a bed of rice, with a crater on top that cradles a wobbly onsen egg — the apple of any meat lover's eye. For the ravenous, attempt the Mount Gyuniku Don ($22) that comes with twice the amount of rice and beef! Aside from beef bowls, Takumi also serves Shizuoka Unajyu Don ($18) with a thick slab of well-grilled unagi on rice, as well as the tasty Chicken Katsu Curry Udon ($13). Pro tip: Get the best of both worlds and takeaway Sushiro's famed Bara Chirashi Don ($12.80) to eat at Takumi — provided you order one of their bowls!
Avg Price: $15 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Ice Blossom
This unassuming ground level joint opposite Bugis Junction is designed for quick meals. At lunch hour, be sure to swing by early to snag a seat, or be prepared to wait. Surprisingly, its name has nothing to do with the famous Blanco Court Food Centre. Instead, the owner explains having "Blanco" in the shopname is meant to capture what North Bridge Road used to be — a place with excellent local dishes. Have the Beef Noodles (from $5) either in soup or dry, of which we're partial towards the aromatic gravy in the dry version that coats every strand of noodle. This also goes very well with a side of Fried Enokitake Mushroom ($5.50) that you must dunk into the gravy. Aside from the beef noodles, try the Mixed Beef Porridge ($5) that is cooked with strips of beancurd skin, or the comforting Curry Chicken ($5) that boasts a massive chicken leg. Get a side of French loaf ($1.50) to mop up the curry! Burppler Amelia PW says the chicken was "so tender that it was practically falling off the bones as I picked at it gently with my chopsticks". Pro tip: There's no MSG, pork or lard used. Also, don't neglect their homemade chili sauce that provides a solid spicy kick!
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burppler Dex Neo
When night falls, head to this two-storey space in Tanjong Pagar for excellent sumiyaki (charcoal-grilled) Japanese bar bites and whiskeys. Its bare brick walls and mellow lighting create an inviting environment that's great for unwinding after work with your colleagues. Share the addictive Fugu Mirin Bisho with Spicy Mayo ($25, chewy strips of grilled dehydrated puffer fish) to start, alongside a classic Old Fashioned ($25). For the best deal, choose one of the Whisky Flight and Food options — a flight gets you four whiskeys from around the world, and a set of four skewers at just $12 (one skewer usually goes for $6). The East Meet West ($37) flight is a great introduction to the world of whisky. To supplement, order the outstanding Piman Niku ($6) — Japanese capsicum stuffed with minced chicken, cartilage and yuzu peel — and the delectable Hotate Bacon ($9). The latter is a combination of juicy Hokkaido scallop and beautifully grilled bacon, which Burppler Hwans Lim describes as a "match-made in gastronomy heaven". For the adventurous, also try their interesting Almond Beancurd Cocktail ($23).
Avg Price: $60 per person
Photo by Burppler Hwans Lim
Neighbours to Lai Huat Seafood and just steps away from Non Entree Dessert Cafe, this chic space comes decorated with metal tables, neon lighting and graffiti walls — a great spot to visit the next time you and your friends are craving good Vietnamese food. Unlike Mrs Pho (its sister outlet on Beach Road that specialises in noodles), this eatery focuses on dishes meant for sharing. Excite your tastebuds with the No Star Where Salat ($7.90), a less commonly seen salad made with starfruit and tender slices of beef tossed in a sweet, spicy and tangy sauce. Also share the Mrs Pho Cockles ($10.90), a simple but delicious claypot of cockles stir-fried in garlic and pork lard, as well as the Con Heo Chop ($9.90), two perfectly grilled slabs of tender pork chops. Have it with the excellent homemade chili that takes everything to another level! Wash it all down with a cup of Viet Coffee with Condensed Milk ($4.50) at the end of your meal. Pro tip: Reserve one of the two round tables available if you're coming in a group of six to eight — it's partitioned off by beaded curtains, making it more intimate.
Avg Price: $20 per person
Photo by Burppler Hilary See
One of Taiwan's fast food chains specialising in fried chicken has made its way over to Singapore. Located within NEX in Serangoon, Fried Chicken Master dishes out beautifully fried, golden brown chicken — a sure winner amongst fried food lovers. It also helps that a full meal with sides and drinks is affordably priced under $8. There are four options available. Flying Jimbo ($3.80) comes with two chicken wings, Running Jimbo ($4.80) with a massive chicken thigh, Lovely Jimbo ($5) with a chicken breast cut and shaped like a heart and Cutey Jimbo ($4.80) with 200g of fried chicken cubes. Our Burpple community loves the very addictive Cutey Jimbo chicken cubes for the juicy, tender meat and incredibly golden-crisp batter. Be sure to complete your meal with either some Onion Rings ($2.50) or thick-cut Crispy French Fries ($2) — the fries batter reminds Burpple Tastemaker Cassie Ong of McDonald's twister fries.
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burppler Raine Liu
This coffee roastery cum bistro near UBI Techpark is an excellent coffee pitstop for those working in the vicinity. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about java. They use single-origin beans from Colombia in their Flat White ($6.50), resulting in a brew that is "nutty, earthy and creamy", according to Burpple Tastemaker Xing Wei Chua. Have it to go, or sit down and order the Gruyere Gougeres ($4.50 for six) to munch on. These French cheese puffs are baked upon order, so exercise patience while you wait. Xing Wei describes them to be "delightfully fluffy, pillowy with a light hint of cheesiness within, while the exterior remains lightly crusted". For something more substantial, go for the Maine Lobster Roll ($27). Although slightly pricey, it comes loaded with succulent, thick chunks of lobster meat that go well with their house-made mayonnaise. If a sweet bite is what you're after, hopefully their Cookie Cup ($5.50) is available.
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Xing Wei Chua
Born and raised in Hawaii, Lon runs this corner store at Everton Park dishing out poké bowls that are good for both solo diners and big groups. Unlike most places that pre-marinate their proteins, Alakai only coats the cubed fish in your selected sauce a la order. In a group of four, share the Large ($39.95), which sees the protein of your choice (tuna, salmon, boiled prawns or tofu) laced with your desired marinade — we love the Koiu Shoyu, a soy-based sauce that perfectly balances savoury and sweet. Side dishes like the Ka'ukama Cucumber Kimchi ($2.95) and Hala Kahiki Pineapple Pacri (Malay-inspired pineapples) boast robust Asian flavours that complement the fish. If you're popping by for a solo meal, choose from five pre-made pokés like the Alakai Big Poké Plate ($24.95) that comes with both salmon and tuna, or our favourite of the lot — Nisei Poké Plate ($14.95). The latter sees ahi tuna tossed in Koiu Shoyu, and Potato-Mac salad, tangy tomato namasu (tomatoes in a Japanese vinegar dressing) and white rice on the side.
Avg Price: $20 per person
Photo by Burppler Shaowei Ho
This Muslim-owned restaurant at Esplanade Mall serves an east meets west inspired menu. Its cosy, homely setting along with its mocktail offerings makes this an ideal location for special occasion dinners with family or friends. To start, share the Curly Fries with Bacon and Cheese ($12.90). For mains, spice lovers will love the fiery, tongue-numbing Smoked Duck Lemak Chili Padi Pasta ($18.90). The spaghetti is tossed in a coconut-based gravy — a twist on the traditional Malay lemak chili curry — and served with slices of smoked duck, fresh arugula and cherry tomatoes. Finish with a slice of their In-House Specialty Cake ($10.90) that comes with a scoop of ice-cream. The cake changes daily, so check with the friendly staff on what's available. If possible, go for the crowd-favourite Ondeh Ondeh Cake. The fluffy pandan-infused sponge cake is layered with a generous spread of gula Melaka and topped with coconut flakes. Pro tip: Be warned that a glass of water here is $1, and any additional refills cost $1.
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Nobelle Liew
Located across from Starbucks in Millenia Walk, this green-tiled eatery by Teppei Group of Restaurants sees your entire salad being chopped into bite-sized pieces by a mezzaluna, a curved blade with two handles at each side. This makes it possible to eat your salad with just a spoon, great for those on the go or too busy to look down as they work through lunch. There are limited seats, so it's best to takeaway your order. Choose from eight pre-selected salad combinations (from $11.50) or customise your own (from $12.50). We like the Mentai Teriyaki Chicken Salad ($13.80) — a toss of egg, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, corn and lettuce drizzled with mentai Caesar dressing. If customising, skip the basic base of romaine lettuce and opt for Baby Spinach (additional $1) instead. For proteins, the teriyaki chicken and wagyu beef tataki (additional $1.50) are reliable options. From the basic toppings, we recommend the croutons, red apples and cherry tomatoes. As for the dressing, go for either the mentai caesar or the seaweed sesame — both lusciously rich and creamy!
Avg Price: $15 per person
Photo by Burppler Jocelyn Wong
Run by the same folks behind Maguro-Donya Miura-Misaki-Kou Sushi and Dining in Suntec City, Kuro Maguro is a casual-chic 32-seater Japanese restaurant located within the newly opened Tanjong Pagar Centre. Misaki Megumi Suisan, a renowned tuna wholesaler in Japan, supplies and ships the bluefin tuna from the trawlers directly to Singapore via ANA air freight, so prices are kept as low as possible for diners. For lunch, only donburis are served and of the 18 available, go for the must-try Otoro Meshi ($32.80) — six slices of perfectly marbled, melt-in-your-mouth tuna belly set atop a bed of Japanese rice. Come dinner, Kuro Maguro serves a wide selection of sashimi and bar snacks including the Kama Yaki (from $34), a massive portion of grilled tuna collar that easily feeds two.
Avg Price: $35 per person
Photo by Burppler Jayson Yeo
Amidst the party bars on Amoy Street comes this surprising find — a cocktail bar on the second floor of a shophouse helmed by Vijay Mudaliar. Formerly from Operation Dagger, this award-winning, very friendly bartender (he won the 2015 Singapore leg of the Diplomatico World Tournament) whips up cocktails featuring locally foraged ingredients and spirits sourced from the region. While most people get bugged out by the mention of ants in their drinks, be not afraid of the stellar Antz ($23, prices are nett). A concoction of Thai rum, aged sugarcane, coconut yoghurt, salt baked tapioca (this gives the drink an incredibly unique texture), soursop and weaver ants, this drink is a far cry from being gimmicky despite the fact that yes, you can see the Thai-imported ants on the leaf you're meant to eat before sipping on the drink. Also try the Invisible Man ($21) — served warm, it's an whisky-centric drink inspired by things you might find in a bin, featuring flavours of banana peel, ghee, vanilla tobacco and ginger. This is the perfect place for a fun week night out with friends — but only if they are adventurous drinkers like you are.
Avg Price: $45 per person
Photo by Burppler Jayne Tan