Four luxe restaurants that will make you feel like you’re a Crazy Rich Asian for a day… or a meal, at least.
If you’ve never tasted fugu (pufferﬁsh) before, Guenpin is a good place to have your ﬁrst bite of this Japanese delicacy. For those not in the know, fugu is extremely poisonous, and regulations in Japan dictate that it can only be prepared by licensed chefs who have gone through years of training. It’s the largest torafugu chain in Japan with over 96 outlets, and this Singapore branch is their ﬁrst one overseas. Torafugu, or Tiger Pufferﬁsh, is considered to be the highest grade in the fugu family. For the full fugu experience, go for the Zeitaku Course, $168, which comes with torafugu and snow crab prepared in various ways: sashimi, deep-fried, grilled and in a hotpot. For a cheaper alternative, go for the Tiger Pufferﬁsh lunch set, $32.90, which includes a serving of sashimi-style and deep-fried torafugu.
Guenpin is at 32 Maxwell Road, #01-06 Maxwell Chambers.
VENUE by Sebastian
Here’s something that will sit well with the CBD crowd: VENUE By Sebastian, which pairs Chef-Owner Sebastian Ng (formerly of Restaurant Ember) with Chef de Cuisine Jonathan Lee (formerly of Artichoke). Expect contemporary European dishes laced with a hint of Asian inﬂuence, like Chilean seabass served with mushroom and bacon ragout, dressed in trufﬂe Yuzu butter sauce; and grilled Spanish gem lettuce with burrata and a mentaiko vinaigrette. This restaurant runs on a sharing-plate concept, so you’ll have quantity options to choose from to suit the size of your group. Don’t have time for a full dinner? Bodega Hour happens from 5:30pm to 6:30pm, where beer and wine is served at special prices together with bar snacks.
VENUE by Sebastian is at #01-02 Downtown Gallery.
Muse Amuse by The Carbon Collective
Situated in the Ann Siang Hill/Club Street area, this shophouse has three concepts under its roof: Muse, which serves mod-Asian sharing plates; Amuse, a cocktail bar shaking up Asian-inspired ﬂavours; and The Carbon Collective, a retail space that carries artisanal luxury watch brands like Louis Moinet, Grieb & Benzinger and Bernard Favre. Highlights from the menu include the 6-day Baby Back Pork Ribs, $16, which fall cleanly off the bone; and the Uni Pie Tee, $15 for two pieces, Muse’s luxurious spin on the traditional kueh pie tee. For the adventurous, do not pass up the chance to try the sweet-and-briny combo that is the Gula Melaka Panna Cotta with Umami Sea Urchin, $12. Food aside, we’re also in love with the homely bar space at the back of the restaurant. And with cocktails like the Bandung Blush, $25, and Mango Sticky Rice, $25, you’ll deﬁnitely be having more than just one round of drinks!
The Carbon Collective is at 289 South Bridge Road.
CÉ LA VI
Along with a newly-redesigned interior by Brendon Lim from Imajin Design, which pays homage to various Asian cultural landmarks, CÉ LA VI has also unveiled a Modern Asian menu by new Executive Chef Joseph Sergentakis that is bound to wow your taste buds. Start with the refreshing Yellowﬁn Tuna Tartare Jicama Rolls, $20 – minced Japanese tuna with mango coulis and yuzu dressing wrapped in thin slices of Mexican turnip. If you love your beef, don’t miss the Cast-Iron Roasted Rangers Valley “Black Market” Ribeye, $55, which features the hard-to-get “Black Market” beef sourced from Rangers Valley (google it!) paired with sweet potato noodles and kimchi. Love seafood? Then the Hokkaido Scallop & Oyster Ceviche, $34 – tossed in the juices of calamansi, blood orange, pomelo and starfruit – would make you one happy camper. Food aside, this restaurant and bar is also known for its panoramic view of the city. It is highly recommended that you soak it all in with a couple of cocktails!
CÉ LA VI is at Marina Bay Sands SkyPark.
Old School Cool
There's a reason why the traditional butter cake remains a perennial favourite at cake shops. When it comes to a teatime snack, it's hard to beat the feeling of sinking your teeth into a piece of fragrant, buttery goodness. You can get your fix over at Old Seng Choong, which not only has the classic version, but also five other variants with a playful spin. Think wolfberries and rose wine, and yuzu and winter melon. But our fava has got to be the Teh Cho-Co-Lat, which is a matcha and while chocolate butter cake. Who knew that the slight earthiness from the matcha would go so well with the richness of butter cake that's ever-so-slightly sweetened with white chocolate?
The cakes retail from $22 to $26 at www.oldsengchoong.com.
Not Just Desserts
Nestled in the vast basement of Plaza Singapura is Patbingsoo Korean Dining House. Don’t be fooled by its name – they certainly serve more than just ice desserts. Be sure to order their signature dish, Rolling Cheese Pork Ribs, $38.90. You’ll want to whip out your phones to post Boomerangs of the unique “slapping” technique your server will use to melt the mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Other Instagram-worthy dishes include the Dynamic Spam, $11.90, where your server will lightly torch the special sauce– a mix of gochujang and mayonnaise;and the Bibim Patbingsoo, $11.90, which is a bingsoo dessert that looks like a bibimbab. The vanilla ice cream and peach “sunny side-up” andfruit and jelly “vegetables” will fool everyone!
Patbingsoo Korean Dining House is at #B2-47Plaza Singapura.
Text: Sophie Hong Additional / Text: Cheryl Lim.