Celebrate Singapore on a plate with some of the best places to feast this August!
It’s undeniable that Singaporeans’ favourite pastime is to eat. And, with the wide range of cuisines from a multitude of restaurants, coffee shops and cafes available for our taking everywhere we go, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a meal spot.
But, this National Day, local food will undoubtedly take the spotlight and, really, why shouldn’t it? Singaporean food is a melting pot of influences, and most “ethnic” or heritage foods are a marriage between cultures, or have elements borrowed from somewhere else, thanks to its multicultural society.
We ain’t complaining, because the food that has emerged as iconically Singapore is complex and multi-faceted, bursting with flavours and something we are truly proud of and love. Below are some places you can go to celebrate Singapore!
If you like your local food slightly elevated and eaten in comfortable surroundings, consider Komyuniti, a contemporary restaurant-bar cum co-working space located on the 10th storey of Yotel Singapore. Its new National Day menu, prepared by new head chef Benny Lim, comprises local favourites such as Singapore Satay ($22) a platter of chicken and beef satay skewers, complemented with refreshing cucumber and onion slices, ketupat (rice cakes) and spicy peanut sauce. There’s also the interesting Chendol Panna Cotta ($9.80) which is a deliciously luscious salted gula melaka cooked cream topped with pandan chendol, candied palm seeds, grass jelly and red bean adzuki. Psst, if you’re the first 54 patrons that day, you’d get this sweet treat at just $5.40 each. Wash it down with some locally-inspired beverages, such as the Nonya Breakfast ($16+), a Scotch whiskey-based cocktail featuring coconut liqueur and home-made Nonya kaya cordial. Topped with a delicate ondeh-ondeh blossom, this cocktail brings to mind the colourful traditional Nonya kuehs we all love. Bonus: It’s served with a complementary mini Singapore Sling Jelly.
Available from Aug 5 to 11 at level 10, 366 Orchard Road, Yotel Singapore, 238904. Call 6866 8067 for reservations.
Photo: Baba Chews
For a heavyweight meal that’s sure to impress, consider this special one-night-only gastronomic experience. Baba Chews’ Chef Alvin Leong has teamed up with three other chefs from the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG®) to present an “8-hands” mod-Sin menu that will thrill anyone who loves Singapore cuisine. First, dig into a piquant appetiser named Mama Rojak, that’s prepared by Chef Bettina Arguelles, of InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay. Crispy baby calamari, fennel, baby radish, smoked citrus, zucchini, and cashew brittle make for an eclectic mix and a deliciously textured mouthfeel. Next is Chef Alvin Leong’s Teochew Fish Noodle soup that uses Barramundi fillet paired with homemade noodles, charcoal yam stick and candied ginger in a rich, umami-filled fish broth. Then it’s time to indulge in a fascinating main, titled My Childhood Memories – Reinvented, of seafood paella paired unexpectedly with chicken curry. It’s the brainchild of Chef Eric Neo from InterContinental Singapore and a tribute to his grandmother’s chicken curry. Finally, end the meal on a sweet note with a pandan cream brulee from Chef Ben Goh from InterContinental Singapore, which has a light coconut kaffir lime foam, tapioca pearl infused with Gula Melaka, fresh mango, and soursop sherbet.
presented in a classic French style.
Available on Aug 8 only, 6pm to 10pm, at 86 East Coast Road, #01-01 Katong Square, 428788. Priced at $88++ per head with a beverage pairing option available. Call 6723 2025 or visit http://babachews.com.sg/happenings/national-day-mod-sin-menu for reservations.
Photo: Carlton Hotel Singapore
Enjoy the best of both worlds with a buffet spread of hearty meats and fresh seafood at Café Mosaic’s Meat and Sea dinner buffet. Besides chilled crab legs, freshly shucked oysters and queen scallops on ice, there’s also plenty of seafood options that have a local twist (it’s National Day, after all). Indulge in yummy dishes such as the Singapore Chili Crab with Mantou, Fish Head Assam Curry, Black Pepper Crab, Salted Egg Crab and X.O Chili with Scallop, just to name a few. For meat lovers, you’d like the Slow Roasted O.P Beef, Roasted Leg of Lamb and succulent meat cuts such as pork belly, beef, lamb and chicken, all grilled to perfection at its live carving station. No meal is complete with dessert and there are plenty here, from assorted French
pastries to cheese cake, chocolate mousse and Swiss rolls, all freshly made in-house daily.
Available from Aug 8 to 10, 6pm to 10pm, at Level 1, Carlton Hotel Singapore, 76 Bras Basah Rd, 189558. Priced at $98++ (adults) and $49++ (children aged six to 12 years old). Call 6311 8195 or email café.email@example.com for reservations.
Photo: Hilton Singapore
It’s a celebration of all things local at D9 Cakery’s Saturday High Tea Buffet. Jump right into a hot favourite: The hawker-style roasted meat station with crispy roasted duck, five-spice crispy pork belly and roasted chicken rice. There’s also fresh, cooked-to-order live stations of homemade nasi lemak with ikan bilis, fried egg, sambal udang and fried chicken wing, pan-fried carrot cake and wok-fried Hokkien mee with prawns. Creative sorts can make your own rojak (traditional fruit and vegetable salad) and power salad stations or go for unlimited rounds of dim sum and seafood at the ocean-fresh seafood bar brimming with tiger prawns, Japanese clams and black mussels. Other mod-Sin delights include fusilli with traditional chili crab sauce and grated pecorino, stone-hearth oven baked pizza with flavours of fish otak-otak and paneer tikka with raita. Singapore-inspired desserts include the Insta-worthy Singapore Sling gâteaux, soya bean curd tart, salted egg yolk and red bean coconut macarons, as well as homemade classic loafs and capsule pralines in camouflage print, with the latter boasting local flavours of gula melaka pandan, Horlicks jackfruit and mung beans.
Available from August to October, every Saturday from 12pm to 3pm, at Lobby Level of Hilton Singapore, 581 Orchard Road, 238883. Priced at $48++ for adults, inclusive of free flow coffee and over 10 selections of TWG teas (top up $35 to enjoy free flow of selected wines and beer). Children aged between five and 12 years old get 50 per cent off. Call 6730 3392 or email D9Cakery@hilton.com for reservations.
Local restaurant chain Paradise Group is celebrating the nation’s birthday with specially created Singapore-inspired dishes across all its dining concepts, and you’d get to enjoy these dishes at 54 per cent off during the promotional period if you’re a Citibank Credit or Debit cardmember or a Paradise Gourmet Rewards member. Dishes include the Stir-fried Pork Collar with Satay Sauce (U.P.: $28) at Taste Paradise that comprises tender chunks of stir-fried pork that’s drenched with a rich, moreish satay sauce; the Steamed Diced Chicken in Chilli Crab Sauce Wrapped in Egg White Crêpe (U.P.: $28) at Paradise Teochew that sees juicy chunks of chicken doused in a luscious, spicy sauce, then wrapped in a thin egg white crêpe and drizzled with chilli crab sauce with freshly-peeled crab meat; and Crisp-fried Yam Ring with Diced Chicken (U.P.: $20.80) at Paradise Classic, a crowd favourite of diced chicken is tossed with chunks of mushrooms, capsicum and cashew nuts, then laid in the crispy basket made of soft, mashed yam.
Available daily until Aug 31 at all Paradise Group of restaurants except Canton Paradise (Marina Bay Sands), Canton Paradise Noodle & Congee, Le Shrimp Ramen, LeNu and Paradise Classic (Resorts World Sentosa) outlets. The discount is valid during dinner from Mondays to Fridays and all-day on weekends at Canton Paradise (Alexandra Retail Centre) and Paradise Classic (Marina Bay Link Mall) outlets. For other outlets, it’s valid all-day from Mondays to Fridays. For more info, visit www.paradisegp.com.
Lawry’s is known for its juicy, crowd-pleasing Signature Roasted USDA Prime Rib of Beef, but if you want to really show your patriotism for National Day, pick the Singapore-inspired dishes such as the Chilli Crabmeat Linguine Pasta (an option for your main) and a playful dessert creation of Sago Pudding with Gula Melaka and Häagen-Dazs Ice-Cream from its four-course set menu. On top of that, there’s the decadent Foie Gras and Black Angus Meatball appetiser which is a sumptuous dish of pan seared goose foie gras with homemade red wine grape sauce and mozzarella-stuffed cheesy black Angus meatball. Other mains you can choose from include the Seafood Platter of New Zealand king salmon served with grilled scallop, mussel, clams and crusted prawn. Bringing the party back home? Get yourself a bottle of Miguel Torres San Medín Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc, which are specially available for $54 each for takeaway.
Available from Aug 1 to 31, at #04-01/31, Mandarin Gallery, Mandarin Orchard, 333A Orchard Road, 238897. Priced at $119 per adult (or $199 for two adults). The kid’s menu is $39 per child (below 12 years old, comes with a collectable toy mascot). Call 6836 3333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
Photo: Swissôtel Merchant Court
Singapore’s eclectic culinary offerings are on full display at this buffet spread, with fruit rojak at the salad station, Teochew Style Bak Kut Teh (pork rib soup) with succulent pork ribs in delicious, peppery broth, traditional Hainanese and Roast Chicken Rice, Roast Pork Belly and Char Siew (barbecued pork) at the carving station, Nyonya Laksa comprising thick rice vermicelli meticulously cooked in a lemak coconut gravy and topped with generous servings of prawns, fish cake and tofu puffs, and more on offer. Still not convinced? There’s Fried Carrot Cake, Stir-fried Hokkien Mee, Satay Bee Hoon, Singapore Style Chilli Lala (clams) and more. Also available are Peranakan classics including Kueh Pie Tee (crispy pastry shell filled with cooked shredded turnip, prawn and egg), Black Fungus Kerabu Salad (spicy and tangy salad with black fungus), Nyonya Achar (Straits Chinese spicy mixed vegetables), Ayam Buah Keluak (chicken braised in a thick, spicy tamarind gravy with Indonesian black nuts), Babi Pongteh (Nyonya style braised pork with fermented soy bean sauce), Nyonya Chap Chye (mixed vegetable stew) and Itek Sio (braised tamarind and coriander duck), to cover every craving you might be having. Complete the meal by making your own Ice Kacang or digging into the array of Singapore-inspired desserts, such as the Chendol Mousse Cake, Apom Balik (gula melaka pancakes with banana caramel sauce), Bubur Cha Cha (coconut based dessert with colourful tapioca cubes), Tau Suan with Yu Char
Kueh (mung bean dessert with crispy dough fritters) and our personal favourite, the Durian Pengat (creamy durian purée).
Available from Aug 1 to 31, at level one, Swissôtel Merchant Court, 20 Merchant Rd, 058281. Priced at $52++ for lunch and $68++ for dinner. Children aged 6 to 12 years old enjoy 50 per cent off. Call 6239 1847/1848 or email email@example.com for reservations.
Photo: Hotel Fort Canning
For something that’s comforting and yet not too predictable, try The Salon’s reinterpretation of Singapore’s national dish — the Hainanese chicken rice. The Singapura Chick’n Rice Set ($18++) features a plump and succulent chicken drumstick that’s coated with its chef’s specially-concocted rempah, comprising a heady mix of aromatics such as turmeric, lemon grass, ginger, chilli and coriander seeds – all of which can be found in the Spice Garden at Fort Canning Park. The chicken is first slow-baked, then deep-fried to a deliciously golden crisp. Peel off the skin to revel in the meat’s glistening and juicy texture. Accompanying it is a homemade chilli dip and a serving of premium jasmine rice cooked in chicken stock, ginger, garlic and pandan leaves. A palate cleanser of smooth and light tofu with minced chicken is served, alongside seasonal greens and chicken soup.
Available from Aug 1 to 31 for lunch and dinner, at Hotel Fort Canning, 11 Canning Walk, 178881. You get to enjoy 54 per cent off your second order of the Singapura Chick’n Rice Set with selected credit cards and partners. Call 6799 8809 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
Photo: The Halia
At this idyllic restaurant nestled within lush foliage at Singapore Botanic Gardens, you get to dig into dishes that come with a unique local spin, such as the Chilli Crab Cottage Pie ($24++) that is a twist on a classic cottage pie, with a sweet and spicy chilli crab filling that delivers a satisfying kick served with a side of peas; and the Fish and Chips ($28++) topped with curried pea purée with a side of seaweed fries and gingerflower sambal aioli. For the sweet-toothed, there is also the refreshing Tropical Trifle ($10++) dessert to end off your meal — it’s a mixture of coconut custard, guava jelly and cardamom chantilly that goes down nicely and smoothly.
Photo: Royal Plaza on Scotts
Local delights take centrestage (as they should) at this popular buffet restaurant to celebrate the nation’s special day, with different crowd favourites getting the spotlight at various times of the day. For instance during breakfast, expect to see offerings such as Traditional Kaya and Butter Toast, Soft-boiled Eggs and a Kopi C and Teh Tarik Live Station as well as Pan-fried Carrot Cake with Chicken Floss and Deep-fried Chilli Crab Pau. During high tea, there’s the Singapore Rojak, Oyster Omelette Live Station and Singapore Laksa, and during lunch and dinner there’s the Singapore Chilli Crab with Golden Mantous and Grilled Barbecue Stingray with Sambal. The cherry on top is the mouthwatering display of desserts, including the gorgeous Chendol Gâteau – a fluffy gula melaka sponge layered with chendol mousse and coconut chocolate mousse, topped with white chocolate coconut glaze and savoury popcorn to balance out the sweetness; a Gula Melaka Crème Brulee – which boasts a hint of deep nutty caramel to cut through the creaminess; and local-inspired ice-cream flavours – Kaya Toast, Chendol and Milk Tea.
Available for breakfast (6.30am to 10am, Aug 7 to 11, for $32++ per adult and $20++ per child, four to 11 years old), lunch (12pm to 2pm, Aug 7 to 8 for $58++ per adult and $36++ per child and Aug 9 to 11 for $68++ per adult and $43++ per child), high tea (3.30pm to 5.30pm, Aug 7 to 8 for $42++ per adult and $27++ per child and Aug 9 to 11 for $48++ per adult and $32++ per child) and dinner (6.30pm to 9.30pm, Aug 7 and 11 for $80++ per adult and $46++ per child and Aug 8 to 10 for $88++ per adult and 49++ per child). Call 6219 3780 or email email@example.com for reservations.
Photo: Wolfgang’s Steakhouse
You’d never have thought to tuck into a quintessential Singapore dish in a fine dining restaurant like Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, but the elegant steakhouse has created its own version of beef rendang just for National Day. The rich and toothsome dish is created using the USDA Prime Black Angus beef that Wolfgang’s Steakhouse has become globally recognised for, which is combined with a mixture of heady spices and simmered until the meat is soft and tender. Served over a bed of white rice alongside homemade cucumber acar and papadum for added texture and taste, the meal is made even more enticing as you get to sip a glass of Prunotto Moscato d’asti as you eat. Not your usual rendang meal for sure.
Available from Aug 5 to Aug 11 at 1 Nanson Road, #02-01, InterContinental Singapore, Robertson Quay, 238909. Priced at $38++ per set. Call 6887 5885 or visit wolfgangssteakhouse.sg/reservation for reservations.
Photo: Hans im Glück
The aptly named “Die Die Must Try” Singapore-only menu from German burger bar, specially created to celebrate Singapore’s 54th birthday, consists of — you guessed — burgers that have Singapore-inspired flavours. The Krabbe Burger ($16++), is a crispy soft shell crab drizzled with a fragrant spicy chilli sauce and nestled in a warm bun, while the Beef Rendang Burger ($16++) features a thick and juicy grass-fed beef patty, sliced tomatoes and crunchy lettuces, topped with sweet caramelised onions and the eatery’s signature, aromatic Rendang sauce. Wash it down with a glass of Singapore Rose ($8++), a play on the beloved Bandung. Its version is a refreshing tropical mocktail that consists of coconut milk, mango, Gula Melaka and rose syrup, with coconut shavings and edible flower garnish. We don’t need to say how photogenic it looks. The dishes can be purchased individually or as a set with four special burgers and an additional pound of Fritten (Steak Fries) for $54++.
Photo: Park Hotel Clarke Quay
The a three-course Uniquely Singapore Menu devised by local executive chef Alex Phan is a medley of flavourful and sophisticated dishes that pay homage to Singapore’s culinary favourites while infusing them with a modern European influence. Start the meal with an appetiser of your choice: Choose either the Truffle Rojak Salad, which features the rich heady aroma of truffle with sprinkles of peanut crumbles over fresh jicama tossed in a tangy tamarind shrimp paste. Or opt for Chef ’s interpretation of the popular Peking Duck, served salad-style. Here, the duck breast is sous-vide to a tender bite before being home-smoked. The flavour is enhanced with the addition of herbs, spices and sauces such as 5-spice caramel, Sichuan peppercorn and fish sauce. For mains, there’s the Black Pepper Crab Linguine that is tossed with sweet, firm and succulent meat of the blue crab from the Atlantic Ocean. Or go for Pork Belly: the meat is sous-vide to retain moisture and tenderness, while its skin is fried to a crispy crackling texture. It’s then generously doused in creamy salted egg yolk sauce infused with chilies and curry leaves. There’s also the hearty Rib Eye Steak served with quinoa and Japanese cucumbers and doused with Char Siew sauce (additional $12). Dessert is a fun Bandung Parfait, or a re-interpretation of Milo Dinosaur, with a Milo sponge cake and milo crumbles, served in house-made caramel condensed milk.
Available on Aug 8 and 9, 11am to 3pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm, at 1 Unity Street, Level 1, Park Hotel Clarke Quay, 237983. Priced at $58++ per adult and $28++ per child (5 to 11 years old). Children below five enjoy a complimentary Kids’ Dish of the Day. Call 6593 8855 or visit www.parkhotelgroup.com/en/clarkequay/promotions/national-day for reservations.
Photo: il Lido
Gastronomic modern Italian fare awaits foodies if you head to Braci for its five course dinner. First feast on a plate of refreshing datterini tomatoes, almonds and eggplant before moving onto a decadent dish of abalone with chard and shallots. Then indulge in a hearty tagliolini with scampi and saffron and a main of Myazaki pork with rhubarb and grapes. The meal ends with a light but palate-cleansing dessert of coconut, adzuki beans and lime. Bonus: You’d get front row seats to a spectacular fireworks display at the river from the restaurant and its rooftop bar.
Available on Aug 9, 6pm to 10.30pm, at 52 Boat Quay, Level 5/6, 049841. Priced at $154++ per pax for a 5-course dinner. Call 6866 1933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
By Joy Fang, July 2019
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