Asian fare gets a contemporary twist in this week-old East-meets-West cafe in Desker Road. The cafe is helmed by avid home cooks Dennis Chong, 35, a photographer, and Chong Kok Keong, 47, who was from the information technology industry.
The 55-seat restaurant has an extensive menu of about 50 soups, salads, main courses, sharing platters and desserts. Innovative dishes include pumpkin soup ($12) infused with fish oil and lime juice, served with you tiao (fried dough fritters); and roasted Miso Cod Fish ($30) with riceballs made of nasi ulam (Malay herb rice) and a cucumber salad in plum sauce and calamansi dressing.
The Italian Yong Tau Foo ($10) is given an upmarket touch with grilled chillies, eggplant and ladies' fingers loaded with feta cheese and drizzed with balsamic vinegar.
For brunch on weekends (9.30am to 3.30pm), the cafe serves fusion dishes such as Chap Chye Fusilli ($18), where pasta is tossed with sauteed cabbage and black fungus; Crabmeat Croissant ($26), which has crabmeat, mesclun salad, poached egg and Gruyere cheese sandwiched between the pastry.
Desserts are equally interesting, with orh nee cake ($9), which has yam paste, nuts and coconut cream sandwiched between genoise sponge cake, and espresso chocolate cake ($15), which is served with coconut ice cream, salted caramel sauce and sea salt.
Where: 120 Desker Road
Open: 10.30am to 10.30pm, Monday to Thursday; 10.30am to 11.30pm, Friday; 9.30am to 11.30pm, Saturday; 9.30am to 10.30pm, Sunday. Closed on Tuesday
Info: Call 6291-6996 or go to creatures.com.sg
The Daily Roundup
Rounding up the food and beverage offerings at co-working space The Working Capitol is creperie The Daily Roundup by The Lo & Behold Group. Savoury crepes - made with buckwheat flour - include the Scottish smoked salmon ($14); Complete ($12) with ham, egg and cheese; and Fourme D'Ambert, a crepe named after a traditional French cheese.
Dessert crepes are also available, with options such as Yuzu Butter Crepe ($10) and Berries ($12, add $4 for ice cream). Cocktails, wines and cold press juices are also available. Other restaurants under the group include The Black Swan in Cecil Street, and The White Rabbit at Dempsey.
Where: The Working Capitol, 1 Keong Saik Road
Open: 8am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday. It will open on Sundays from next month.
Food and art come together at chef Kenjiro Hashida's second restaurant, Hashida Garo. It is located at the Mandarin Gallery, two floors above his two-year-old Japanese restaurant Hashida Sushi.
Garo, which means gallery in Japanese, will showcase art pieces, as well as traditional Japanese tea ceremonies on the tatami platform in the 20-seat dining area. The tea is paired with Japanese sweets or wagashi, as well as other sweet treats such as yuzu macarons.
Bento sets available include Unagi Ippon ($19.80++) for breakfast, a two-tier bento lunch ($48++), and the Extravagance Lunch Set ($90++, photo 3), which includes Miyazaki wagyu beef.
Bento ingredients are subject to change depending on seasonal produce. Hashida Garo includes a retail space selling condiments, fruit, confectionery, sake, and dining ware.
Where: 04-16 Mandarin Gallery, 333 Orchard Road,
Open: 10am to 10pm daily
Info: Call 6235-2283
Park Bench Deli
Sandwiches are the stars at this takeaway deli in Telok Ayer Street, which opens tomorrow. Former Lolla head chef Tan Huang Ming, 28, Andrei Soen, 29, of seafood boil restaurant The Cajun Kings, and managing director Aamir Ghani, 40, are behind it.
The Kong Bak Banh Mi is filled with slices of braised pork belly simmered for a day in dark soya sauce, star anise and cinnamon, and perked up with greens and daikon radish in a baguette.
The Torta sandwich, which is inspired by a classic Mexican dish, Cochinita Pibil, has slow-braised pork shoulder marinated in achiote seeds, orange and lime juices. It is topped with Cotija cheese and pork crackling.
Prices range from $12 to $16. The deli also serves sides such as potato salad, quinoa salad and acai bowls, ranging from $4 to $6.
Where: 179 Telok Ayer Street
Open: 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, closed on weekends
Info: Call 6815-4600 or go to parkbenchdeli.com
The Pizza Collective
The Les Amis Group has launched its latest pizzeria at Bugis+, where diners can customise their own pizzas ($12 nett). Pick from 28 toppings and five sauces such as the spicy Hot Drizzle, or the Coke Drizzle - a twist on the popular beverage.
Four signature flavours ($13 nett to $16 nett with drink or salad for a set meal) are also available. Two of them are Kim-ky, a kimchi pizza with cheese; and Pig-na Colada, which comes with bacon and cheese.
The other two signature items are dessert pizzas - Apple Of My Eye, with apples and cinnamon; and Monkey Business, which is a chocolate and banana pizza.
Where: 01-12 Bugis+, 201 Victoria Street
Open: 11am to 10pm daily
Info: Call 6509-3850 or go to www.facebook.com thepizzacollective
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This article was first published on July 19, 2015.
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