Kicking off the new year with good vibes and the new arrivals to the restaurant scene are already putting smiles on our faces.
For those still longing for Japan , we bring you a taste of it in an intriguing tonkatsu, sumptuous omakase and even a dedicated sake bar with Japanese-style tapas.
Strong flavours are also abound in a new prawn noodle bar in Duxton , our first full-service Sri Lankan restaurant and juicy steaks .
1. Sushi Masaaki
There’s a new omakase place in town and this one’s quite the artfully decorated setup with pink dancing Gucci cranes, room dividers mimicking undulating mountains, and suspended washi sheets.
A seat along the 250-year-old Hinoki wood counter presents an unobstructed view of chef-owner Masaaki Sakashita preparing delicate servings of sashimi and uni & caviar sushi.
Prices start from $120++ per person for a seven-course Shin lunch and eight-course Miyabi ($280++) for dinner.
Sushi Masaaki is located at 26 Beach Road, #B1-17 South beach Avenue, Singapore 189768, p. +65 6388 1555. Open Tues-Sun 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm.
Enjoy the culinary delights of Sri Lanka at Singapore’s first full-service Sri Lankan restaurant by Chef Rishi Naleendra (also the mind behind Cloudstreet and Cheek Bistro).
Named after the Sri Lankan capital’s central business district, look forward to signatures like the Chicken Kottu ($22), where chopped godamba roti is served with chicken, vegetables, and gravy, Crab Cutlet ($16) made with spiced crab meat brandade, and panko-crumbed spice Mutton Rolls ($14).
Kotuwa is located at 2 Dickson Road, Singapore 209494, p. +65 6970 7838. Open Wed-Fri 6pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm, 6pm-10pm.
3. Peppermint Restaurant
Surrounded by lush greenery and an urban garden full of herbs, edible flowers and vegetables, Peppermint brings a new all-day a la carte buffet to Marina Bay.
Formerly known as AquaMarine, the interior has seen a stylish overhaul since then and boasts a wholesome farm-to-table concept of Asian and international cuisine that includes plant-based options and sustainably-sourced ingredients.
Take heart in a deliciously healthy and colourful Burrito Bowl ($22) or local favourites with a twist such as the Singapore Lobster Laksa ($36) .
Peppermint Restaurant is located at 6 Raffles Boulevard, Level 4, Marina Square, Singapore 039594, p. +65 6845 1111. Open Mon-Fri 7am-11am, 12pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 7am-11am, 12pm-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm.
Grilling up delicious and affordable steaks is a new Halal-certified establishment specialising in the juicy Picanha cut. Sink your teeth into tender slices of steak bursting with browned charcoal butter and loads of flavour in the Queen of Steaks ($21).
Can’t live without rice? Opt for the colourful Picanha Don ($16). Jazz up your meal with their delicious mocktails – you can’t go wrong with a refreshing Kyoho Sangria (S$12) and its fruity notes of lychee and chrysanthemum.
Picanhas’ is located at 90 Club Street, Singapore 069458, p. +65 9122 4326. Open Tues-Sun 12pm-4pm, 6pm-10pm.
5. Prawn Noodle Bar
This one’s for the prawn lovers, no doubt. At Prawn Noodle Bar, think of the familiar prawn mee that you know and love elevated with premium ingredients, and loads of other dishes with prawns as the star.
The Prawn Noodle Soup ($21) sees plump grilled king prawns and rolled pork belly in their signature prawn broth, along with pork lard and fried shallots.
There’s also a Prawn Laksa Risotto ($20) and an Ebi Burger ($21) consisting of a handmade prawn patty, cheddar, and mayo-based sauce between lightly toasted brioche buns.
Prawn Noodle Bar is located at 9 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089593, p. +65 8028 0802. Open Tues-Sun 11am-10.30pm.
We already love tonkatsu on its own, but this mille-feuille concept have us head over heels. Japan is shaking up Singapore’s foodie scene once again with the arrival of Kimukatsu and their 25 layers of thinly-sliced pork with a diverse choice of fillings – like garlic, yuzu kosho and ume shiso – sandwiched between.
The one that has us hooked is the Cheese Kimukatsu Set ($15.90) and spicy Katsu Kare ($16.90), each served with fluffy Koshihikari rice, miso soup, fresh cabbage and pickles.
Kimukatsu is located at #B2 Food Hall Takashimaya, 391A Orchard Road, Singapore 238873, p. +65 9773 7890. Open daily from 10am-9.30pm.
1. Sake Labo
Dive headfirst into the eclectic world of sake at Sake Labo , a culmination of sake drinking, tapas dining and retail set in a tasteful modern bar.
Among the craft sake directly imported from 26 breweries in Japan, explore a realm of flavours like the explosively bold Junmai Daiginjo Yumesasara ($160) from Kanto and their own special house blend of the fruity Nifudasake Junmai Daiginjo, Nifudazake, Kisuisen ($90).
Sake Labo is located at 29 Stanley Street, Singapore 068738, p. +65 8764 6758. Open Mon-Sat 5pm-10.30pm.
Tucked away in the revamped Lau Pat Sat is a new artisanal coffee roastery run by the good folks of Glyph Supply Co. and NOA Singapore. The streamlined menu consists of espresso-based drinks that includes the usual of Black ($3.50) and White ($4), using single origin beans from Myanmar.
They also have beverages for those who don’t take caffeine, such as Tea ($4.50), Matcha ($5), Chocolate ($5) and Yuzu Soda ($7). A new spot for a pick-me-up in the CBD with Scandinavian-styled interiors.
Runes is located at 18 Raffles Quay, #01-04, Singapore 048582. Open daily from 9am-5pm.
This article was first published in City Nomads.