Half of 2016 has passed us by in a flash. We noticed that there are significantly less new restaurants opening this year compared with 2015, signs of the slow economy?
We set out to compile a list of some of the best new restaurants and new menu in the first half of 2016 with only two main criteria, (1) quality of food and (2) value for money. We profess that we are not a big fan of food fads, so you will not spot many (if any at all) of such in our coverage of food hunts in Singapore.
Make sure you check these out if you have not yet been to these new restaurants or old(er) restaurants with new menu launches!
Ash & Elm
If you are looking for a new champagne brunch to try, Ash & Elm at InterContinental Singapore launched its new Sunday brunch buffet this year. We prefer a quieter and cosier space to dine-in on weekends, where the chic interior of Ash & Elm fits the bill. It’s quality over quantity for my anytime when I view buffets. One of the highlights for this is the unlimited servings of small plates prepared a la minute, including highlights such as Chargrilled Iberico Pork Loin and Boston Lobster Risotto with diced asparagus. Read our review here.
Make your reservation instantly at Ash & Elm here.
Where: Level 1, InterContinental Singapore, 80 Middle Road, Singapore 188966
Tel: +65 68251008
We sense that the café scene this year has not been as vibrant as the previous years as I guess we are all tired from the rampant openings the past few years. That said, one new café which stand out this year is Atlas Coffeehouse along Bukit Timah Road. The café is not the most instagrammable or prettiest one around, but it scored a ranking here with its solid offerings like the Creamy Mushroom on Sourdough and the ATLAS Butterscotch Banana Pancake. Read our review here.
Where: 6 Duke’s Road, Singapore 268886
Tel: +65 6314 2674
While some may dispute that the egg tarts at Honolulu Café Singapore are not as good as the version from Hong Kong, we are still excited that this famous Hong Kong teahouse brand has finally landed on our shores in Centrepoint mall. The prices are reasonable, with the usual ‘Cha Caan Teng’ offerings like butter buns, curry chicken and pork buns. My only gripe is the service, which reminded me of Hong Kong as well. Read our review here.
Where: The CentrePoint, 176 Orchard Road, #01-33F/, Singapore 238843
Tel: +65 6734 6609
My favourite Chinese restaurant this year so far is Jiang-Nan Chun at Four Seasons Singapore. It is technically not a new restaurant, but the whole restaurant had been refurbished and only re-opened its doors again early this year. The food is excellent, especially the Peking Duck which is prepared over the rare Mesquite wood-fired oven and served with caviar, the service is on-point for a fine Cantonese restaurant even though you may need to wait for a considerable time for your food (I’m willing to overlook this point), and the whole ambience and design of the restaurant is simply lovely. I’ve already visited Jiang-Nan Chun twice this year. Read our review here.
Tel: +65 6831 7220
With weekend brunches all the rage, few places make an impression on me with most cafes or restaurants dishing out all-too-similar brunch dishes. I am thankful that Lolla manages to break away from the norm, as the Ann Siang Road restaurant launches its first ever Sunday Brunch menu few weeks ago. From its homemade bread and butter to small plates such as crab lasagne and blue cheese omelette, this is one of my favourite brunch menu this year so far. Prices are above average, but come with a few friends to share the cost (and calories), you will walk out happier instead of wasting time and money on some trashy cafes. Read our review here.
Make your reservation instantly at Lolla here.
Where: 22 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069702
Tel: +65 6423 1228
Mad About Sucre
Having opened for 15 months, Mad About Sucre is one patisserie/bistro restaurant which surprises us on every visit. The team here started with making delicate cakes using the freshest ingredients sourced from all over the world, with a strong commitment to serving a whole new range of desserts every season, the latest offerings being the Summer 2016 menu. Other than desserts, the savoury dishes here are not to be overlooked as well. It is home cooked style over fine-dining, which made the overall experience of savouring the dishes much more comforting. Some of the highlights this season include the Linguine Aglio Olio with French foie gras, French baked mussels with caviar and the Rib eye stew with French Pinot Noir. Read our review here.
Make your reservation instantly at Mad About Sucre here.
Where: 27 Teo Hong Road, Singapore 088334
Tel: +65 9780 3906
Mention buffets in Singapore and one of the best to come to my mind is Melt Café. The resident restaurant at Mandarin Oriental Singapore spots a new look this year with a revamp on its buffet line as well. I was impressed by the Indian cuisine here, one of the forte of Melt Café. Otherwise, there is the crowd pleaser items such as the fresh seafood, a live station which dishes out lobster Laksa, and do save some space for the oh-so-good crepes prepared a la minute at the dessert station. Read our review here.
Make your reservation instantly at Melt Cafe here.
Where: Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797
Tel: +65 6885 3500
Healthy food in town seems to be a winning formula. I was thrilled by the opening of Ninja Bowl, a Japanese rice bowl concept which opened at Duxton Road few months back. There are healthy options such as the Yasai, a generous chunks of Salmon poke, or you can go for the beef cheeks. Prices are net, well below S$20 for all dishes and best still, there is no service charge. Read our review here.
Make your reservation instantly at Ninja Bowl here.
Where: 15 Duxton Rd, Singapore 089481
Tel: +65 6222 8055
There are many gimmicky hotpot restaurants which opened this year, like a multi-tier concept or one which uses steam, but sometimes you just need to stick to the classic fashion to stand out. Sakurazaka now ranks as one of my go-to spots for a good hotpot, which imports fresh ingredients from Japan and you can expect to savour a good selection of pork and beef cuts, wagyu included. The cosy ambience and slightly offbeat location in Greenwood Avenue will appeal to those who are looking for a more private and intimate hotpot experience. Read our review here.
Where: 24 Greenwood Avenue, Singapore 289221
Tel: +65 6463 0333
There are so many Korean restaurants, especially those which ride on the Bingsu wave. The only one which caught my attention this year is Seorae, a Korean brand which debuted in Singapore this year at Plaza Singapura. One main highlight which Seorae prides itself is its signature Korean galmaegisal, which is also known as pork skirt meat, supposedly the first restaurant in Singapore to serve this unique part of the pig. We like the quality of the meats here, the clean and modern setting as well as the convenient location. Read our review here.
Where: Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, #02-01, Singapore 238839
Tel: +65 6238 8429
A Japanese sushi bar in Thomson Plaza? Sushiro is probably one of the best fared hidden gem this year as pictures of its Bara-Chirashi don goes viral on Instagram. At S$12.80, the humble bowl has a generous serving of sashimi. Be expected to queue as the space is really small. It is not the best chirashi don in this world, but we can’t really complain at this price. Read our review here.
Where: 301 Upper Thomson Road, Thomson Plaza #01-113F, Singapore 574408
Tel: +65 9450 1020
Ranted by The Ranter