10 delights to usher in the new year

ENTICING: Salt 'N' Pepper tripe from 5th Quarter at Syed Alwi Road is a worthy contender for top dish to try this year.
10 delights to usher in the new year

ROBUST FLAVOURS: Cacciucco alla Livornese from Capri Trattoria & Pizzeria has a tomato-based sauce with mussels, prawns, squid, clams and crayfish.
10 delights to usher in the new year

APPETISING: Shrimp porridge from Boca is a Portuguese special made of bread, fish stock, olive oil and shrimp.
10 delights to usher in the new year

UNCOMPLICATED: The cabbage dish from Humpback - with cheese and oil - is a simple but marvellous dish
10 delights to usher in the new year

INNOVATIVE: The brownie from The Quarters at Icon Village comes with buah keluak ice cream that is nutty and earthy.
10 delights to usher in the new year

NOSTALGIA: The menu at the National Kitchen by Violet Oon features authentic Nonya cuisine. PHOTO: NATIONAL KITCHEN BY VIOLET OON
10 delights to usher in the new year

'GLORIOUS': The beef-tasting platter at Ash & Elm


    Jan 04, 2016

    10 delights to usher in the new year

    THIS year should be an exciting one for the Singapore dining scene.

    Michelin Guide inspectors will be coming to our shores to inspect and produce our very own guide.

    At the same time, there seems to be a return to the simpler ways of dining - rustic dishes and set-ups, inexpensive menus and socially conscious food sources. My wish list for 2016:



    That diners learn to appreciate and tip good service.




    That we will get more small restaurants with specialised menus.




    That more local chefs will come to the forefront, joining the great foreign ones we have now.


    Until my wishes get fulfilled, here are 10 dishes from 10 great restaurants you just have to check out.






    Salt 'N' Pepper tripe ($10)


    Where: 5th Quarter (39, Syed Alwi Road)

    Tel: 6291-1936

    As they took my favourite dish, pork tail, off the menu, this is actually my second choice. But it makes a worthy filler for the top spot.



    Hakka salt-poached chicken ($18)


    Where: Joyden Canton Kitchen (#02-21, HillV2, Hillview Road)

    Tel: 6465-9988

    Half a chicken is steeped in a salt and herbal stock and you eat this with a killer ginger sauce. Just add rice.







    Cacciucco alla Livornese ($28)


    Where: Capri Trattoria & Pizzeria (3, Binjai Park)

    Tel: 6468-4886

    If you like robust flavours and seafood, this will leave you weak at the knees.




    Torched scampi ($18)


    Where: The Pelican Seafood Bar & Grill (#01-01, One Fullerton)

    Tel: 6438-0400

    A gorgeous dish with a sauce - made with lobster and crab stock and whipped with butter - that will seduce you.




    Shrimp porridge ($28)


    Where: Boca (6, Bukit Pasoh Road)

    Tel: 6221-0132

    Let 2016 be the year you try Portuguese porridge, which is made of bread, fish stock, olive oil and shrimp.






    Beetroot ($13)


    Available only for dinner

    Where: Moosehead (110, Telok Ayer Street) Tel: 6636-8055

    It is just beetroot with pomegranate, toasted almonds and salted ricotta - but it all comes together perfectly.



    Prawn paste kai lan ($18)


    Where: Chef Kang's Kitchen (25, Mackenzie Road)

    Tel: 6238-6263

    The prawn paste used is aromatic and addictive but it's the pork lard that takes this dish over the edge. Very satisfying.



    Cabbage ($10)


    Where: Humpback (18, Bukit Pasoh Road)

    Tel: 9772-9896

    If you have been meaning to add vegetables to your diet, start here. It's a simple dish - just charred cabbage with a sprinkling of cheese and oil - but it's marvellous.






    Condensed Milk & Milo golden toast ($3.80)


    Where: Tuk Tuk Cha (Suntec City Tower 3, Sun Plaza, Tampines 1, Raffles City)

    This guilty pleasure is as sinful as it is glorious. Any time you feel down, eat one of these crispy babies. It is an instant mood-lifter.



    Buah keluak ice cream ($6 per scoop)


    Where: The Quarters (#01-09, Icon Village, 12, Gopeng Road)

    Tel: 6834-4174

    This Sin-Mod restaurant has a few innovative dishes but it's this ice cream accompanying the brownie that is memorable - nutty, earthy and sexy.



    Who: Maureen Ow of

    Instagram: @misstamchiak

    Recommendation: National Kitchen by Violet Oon (#02-01, National Gallery Singapore)

    Tel: 9834-9935

    "The menu features authentic Nonya cuisine, Singapore dishes from Violet's growing up years and her 50-year-old recipe collection. I was really intrigued by their memory walls because every picture on those walls reflects Singaporeans' life in food."

    Who: Jasper Aston Lim of

    Instagram: @jazpster

    Recommendation: Beef-tasting platter at Ash & Elm (InterContinental Singapore)

    Tel: 6825-1008

    "On the platter is the seldom seen bavette d'aloyau. Although slightly more fibrous and chewy, this less common cut is stunningly rich and full of that glorious meaty flavour."

    Who: Cheryl Ng of

    Instagram: @msskinnyfat

    Recommendation: Maggie Joan's (110, Amoy Street)

    Tel: 6221-5564

    "MJ is the epitome of underground hipness, with its hidden back street alley location at Amoy Street.

    Try the mod-Mediterranean small plates such as roasted artichokes, egg dukkah, fork tender Iberico belly with prunes and that amazing orange burnt cake. Enjoy them first. You can thank me later."