PARTY WITH POPIAH
More restaurants are trying their hand at elevating hawker food lately. Joining Labyrinth and Seng’s Wanton Noodle Bar on the list is Po, the flagship restaurant of The Warehouse Hotel by The Lo & Behold Group. Kitchen captains Willin Low and William Lim (formerly from Violet Oon’s National Kitchen) are both familiar with putting a spin on local fare, and this comes through in the dishes here. The carabinero prawns and konbu mee, for instance, come together in a delicious reinterpretation of Hokkien mee (fried prawn noodles). Lim uses whole baby prawns instead of prawn heads for the stock, so there’s no residual bitterness from the head juices. Instead, the dish delivers just the right note of umami punctuated by sweetness. And, while this is a dish you’ll want to hoard, there’s always the DIY popiah platter made for sharing. The paper-thin skins are from family-run popiah skin maker Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Popiah & Kueh Pie Tie shop, which has been around for over 70 years, while vegetables such as grated carrots and turnips are braised for four hours. For a touch of luxe, opt to add fresh tiger prawns or flower crab meat.
320 Havelock Road. Tel: 6828-0007.
Akira Back might have trained as a Japanese chef, but the food at his namesake restaurant at the JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach reflects his South Korean heritage and American upbringing. Tacos are filled with chopped wagyu marinated in bulgogi sauce, while the tuna pizza – created by Back to go easy on palates unaccustomed to raw fish – comes with a thin crispy crust spread with ponzu mayonnaise, slices of fresh fish and black truffle. This is not where you satiate purist sushi cravings, but you can definitely count on having a fun night out. Level B1M South Tower, 30 Beach Road. Tel: 6818-1914.
TEXT MERYL KOH
01 TOP GRADE
Premium ingredients like iberico pork and fresh prawns are used to elevate hawker favourites like satay and kueh pie tee.
02, 03 COCKTAIL CHIC
The chic interior makes Po a good spot to unwind with fancy cocktails.
GRILLED CHEESE, WITH SICHUAN PEPPERS
The numbing spiciness of Sichuan cuisine has so far been kept to traditional restaurants or hotpot joints. Birds of a Feather in Amoy Street is looking to change diners’ perceptions and show the versatility of the hot peppers. The five-monthold cafe-bar is drawing crowds for its Western dishes with a Sichuan influence, such as the cheekily named Find the Chicken in the Chillies, where fried chicken cubes are topped with a mound of dried chillies and Sichuan peppers. The peppers are also used in a marinade for slices of pork belly which are sandwiched with cabbage and cheddar cheese between thick slices of bread for a comforting grilled panini. 115 Amoy Street.