New plates and tipples in Singapore: September

Here’s our round-up of Singapore’s hottest new restaurants and bars for you to try, from a new Japanese concept from Lo & Behold Group to Telok Ayer’s hippest address.

The interiors of ESORA evokes a sense of Zen.

ESORA

While there are many top-notch F&B spots in Singapore to dine at, ESORA stands out for its “one-degree” approach to kappo-style dining. The first Japanese concept from restaurant empire, The Lo & Behold Group, will be led by chef-owner Shigeru Koizumi (formerly from three Michelin-starred Nihonryori RyuGin and two Michelin-starred Odette).

Koizumi, who grew up in the mountainous countryside of Nasu, is deeply inspired by nature. Hence, he presents only the season’s best in a delectable multi-course meal peppered with his forward-thinking culinary style. Within his seven- ($188) and nine-course ($248) menus are Omi Wagyu (from Okaki farm, Shiga Prefecture) with amanaga pepper and aged akazu (red vinegar) as well as his take on monaka with Mitteault foie gras. There’s also a tea pairing menu ($38/$48) featuring blends personally blended by Koizumi. The first brew, Sparkling Oriental Beauty, is served within a champagne flute to showcase its effervescence, while Iribancha is a smoky hojicha with cinnamon.

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15 Mohamed Sultan Road. Tel: 6365 1266

​Hej Kitchen & Bar

Taking over Odd One Out is Hej Kitchen & Bar, a casual, al fresco dining spot reminiscent of a Danish flower garden. The kitchen serves out a slew of Asian and western dishes, such as an indulgent plate of Crispy Chicken Crackling ($15) drenched in a fragrant ginger sauce and a Nasi Goreng Istimewa ($18). Dessert fiends will enjoy the Belgium Waffles ($12) that’s topped with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and berries coulis.

Drinks wise, they’ve got a range of mojito concoctions. There’s ginger and mint in the Ginge Tinge ($18) and Grapefruit Splash ($18) to name a few. Or, go for their signature cocktail, the boozy Ananans on Holiday ($22) to round off the meal..

180 Orchard Road, Peranakan Place. Tel: 6738 8828

Loch Fyne Salmon from SKAI

SKAI

Awesome views? Check. Prime beef cuts and succulent seafood? Double check. Swissôtel The Stamford has replaced Equinox with SKAI, and we are loving the chic and contemporary grill restaurant. (The view of Singapore’s charming city scape helps too.) Executive chef Paul Hallett helms the kitchen and offers sharing dishes and ishiyaki with an decidedly Japanese influence. Think Loch Fyne’s prized smoked salmon fillet paired with the sweet flesh of king crab and shellfish broth. Hallett’s years working in the butchery shows in the selection of artisanal beef (and grilled to perfection in a Josper Charcoal Oven). Another highlight comes from the dessert menu. Chef Koo Jee (winner of Singapore Pastry Cup 2017) presents a unique Caramelised Soy Bean Cheesecake topped with miso fudge.

Level 70, Swissôtel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Road. Tel: 6338 8585

Wagyu A4 Striploin Steak from RIZU

RIZU

Diners do a double take when they see the vibrant signature rolls from RIZU. The quaint restaurant, nestled amid the bustling enclave of Duxton Hill, is home to five mouth-watering rolls, such as the Crunchy Spicy Tuna Roll ($24) and the Mango Lobster Roll ($26). The rest of the menu is just as impressive. A standout is the extravagant rice bowl teeming with sea eel, urchin, salmon roe, foie gras and caviar ($50) that’s best enjoyed with their extensive range of sakes. Or, while the night away with a pint and their range of appetisers, which includes an appetising Sansho Pepper flavoured Pork Pâté with Miso Sauce ($8).

39 Duxton Hill. Tel: 6904 8880

Telok Ayer Arts Club

Shaping up as Singapore’s newest address for all things cool is Telok Ayer Arts Club. A re-imagination of the neighborhood community centre, it offers regular exhibitions by local and regional artists, including Ruben Pang (who we interviewed in our August issue), as well as French-Mediterranean cuisine from head chef Betram Leong and Din Hassan’s Southeast Asian tipples. Also, look forward to music director Hasnor Sidik’s idiosyncratic take on the usual CBD club nights. Expect hilariously-named concepts like “Office Hours” or “Kelab Malam” on 16 November.

2 McCallum Street. Tel: 6221 0712