While it seems like most celebrations took a hit during the season of coronavirus, we still have to eat. 

Whether you are going about your normal routine or shaking things up at home, there is no reason to deprive yourself of reasons to indulge in good food. This month, we present a selection of cutting-edge dining spots in Singapore where you can still celebrate in a time of coronavirus.

La Brasserie

La Brasserie is known for a lot of things. Freshly made loaves. Gorgeous glass facade. And now, the Te Mana Lamb, known colloquially as the Wagyu Beef of Lamb as it has the same fine marbling of Omega-3 fats paired to a rich flavour. From now till 24 February, this exquisite breed of lamb will be available in a specially created modern European à la carte menu and/or a 4-course degustation menu.

The elusive Te Mana has a thrilling origin story. Part of an elite breeding program, over 10 years of experimentation went into the lamb to bring the fat back to the animal so that it can thrive in the high lands. This not only ensures a sturdier, healthier breed, but also produces cuts where fat is strategically positioned under the meat at a microscopic level to ensure an incredible mouthfeel. Finished on chicory herb pastures for 30 days, the finishing cut is stripped of the typical gamey odours and possesses a buttery texture because of the intramuscular fat.

With an aim to showcase the lamb’s textural tenderness and 21-day aged flavours, Executive Sous Chef Zacharie Ong’s creations are subtle and yet decisively adventurous. The Lamb Ragout with Rosemary Sable Breton Tart pairs the decadent meat with the modest minted pea, housed in a rich buttery vessel. An easy crowd-pleaser, the Rack of Lamb is unbelievably tender and comes with an assortment of expertly grilled and pureed root vegetables. If you feel like tasting the limits of lamb, opt for the surprisingly good Arabica Coffee Smoked Lamb, which marries the stunning juicy smoked loins with bittersweet Kahlua ice cream.

La Brasserie x Te Mana Lamb
When? Now till 24 Feb
$118 onwards per pax for a four-course dinner menu
The Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049326

Small’s

An experimental studio concept verging on the prestige of chef’s counter, Artichoke’s Chef Bjorn Shen opens a “tiny-ass room” where three days a week, four people will join him as he serves (and tests) all his up-and-coming food ideas. Currently, it serves an intriguing pizza omakase, where the hearty familial staple gets a serious upgrade and is dished out 10 to 12 different ways throughout the evening, including snacks and desserts. 

For the hefty price tag, one can expect the personality himself to serve up spontaneous and yet intense dishes like pizza constructed from high-hydration Neapolitan-style dough that has been aged for a minimum of 4 days, with quirky ingredients like octopus eggs to seal the deal. Shen himself will be constantly bringing new inspirations and techniques into the mix, as the fluidity encapsulated by the space allows for bold choices and changes to dominate the menu. Always the trendsetter, the larger than life presence of Small’s might just cement a new dining trend for the year.

When? Now till otherwise specified
$500 onwards for four pax for a twelve-course dinner menu
161 Middle Road Singapore 188978

15 Stamford by Alvin Leung

If you are dressed to impress, 15 Stamford by Alvin Leung is the place where you will want to be seen brunching on Sunday afternoons. Their Fancy at 15 Sunday brunch whips up a plethora of outstanding dishes, ranging from fresh seafood to premium roasted cuts to live stations, such as pastas and crepes, a swanky jazz band, and unlimited alcohol pairing for an extra $20. Nestled within the gorgeous Capitol Kempinski Hotel, it is the place for one to unwind with extra-decadent choices in preparation for the next long week.

If the allure of high quality brunch dishes such as oysters, seared foie gras, richly marbled Wagyu beef, creamy Désirée potato salad, tiger prawn aglio olio, and freshly baked bread is not enough for you, the spread also extends to more international cuisines such as local noodles such as laksa cooked right in front of you and excellent sashimi. Those with a sweet-tooth will be spoilt for choice when arriving at their dessert room, which houses a live crepe station, a huge counter of sweets from pastries to cakes to chocolates, and an impressive spread of cheeses and honeycomb bar.

After 3pm, the fun continues at The Bar, where guests get a a complimentary hand-crafted cocktail  and electronic tunes by Guest DJs.

Fancy at 15 Sunday brunch
When? Now till otherwise specified
$148 onwards per pax for the buffet without alcohol pairing
The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, 15 Stamford Road, Singapore 178906

Lai Bao

Who needs family drama when there’s a new kid on the block providing a delicious reason for family reunions? Lai Bao is an affordable 1960s-inspired zichar establishment by Baoshi, the same F&B group responsible for Monga and Wee Nam Kee, that recently opened near to the CHIJ Primary school in Toa Payoh.

On the menu are old-school specialities mixed with new interpretations of classic dishes, and this eclectic trait runs even to the way payment is handled, now conveniently through QR codes at the table with credit cards. For those who prefer familial dishes, the Sixties Fish Head Charcoal Steamboat is a must-have, with its all-natural collagen soup—simmered over charcoal for 10 hours using grandma’s secret recipe—and fried fish slices. Those who are looking for something different will be delighted with Charcoal Silken Tofu or the Sweet & Sour Pork, now cooked with vinegar to give a beautiful dark colour.

Standout dishes are the Deep-Fried Teochew Duck Fritter, which folds smoked duck meat with hand-mashed yam, and the aromatic Lai Bao Wok Fried Fine Bean, which will change any the mind of any stubborn vegetable-hater. Perhaps one of the best-kept secret, Lai Bao is also home to one of the most affordable crab deals in Singapore, offering two crabs for only $50! Available as Chilli or Black Pepper, each crab weighs at least 600g to 700g and the sauces are excellent, especially for the black pepper as it uses a complex blend of 13 spices.

When? Now till otherwise specified
Lor 1 Toa Payoh, #01-1040, Blk 168, Singapore 310168

Butcher’s Block

There is something primal about enjoying meat, and the newly opened Butcher’s Block at Raffles Hotel plays into this desire. The restaurant offers some of the world’s most luxurious cuts of meats paired to a wood-fire-focused dining experience handled by Chef de Cuisine Remy Lefebvre, who has previously served 16 years cooking in Qatar, Spain, Grand Cayman among other locales. His preference for time-honoured methods of curing, ageing, fermenting and cooking with wood-fire comes through in the more hedonistic dishes, especially for the OAK Table experience.

Reminiscent of a meat omakase, the OAK Table is an eight-seater communal dining experience which features off-the-menu delights served by the chef himself. This can range from special cuts often in limited quantities, such as prized beef or even seafood that have been aged to produce unique flavour profiles. To wash down everything, there will be a line-up of one bubbly and three wines available free-flow throughout the night. In addition, the three-meter long table is strategically positioned in the middle of the restaurant, so that diners can enjoy an intimate view of the theatrics and action in the kitchen.

When? Now till otherwise specified
$398 onwards per guest for the OAK Table experience with free-flow wine pairing
Raffles Hotel Singapore, #02-(02-07), 328 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 188719

Tiong Bahru Bakery Diner

Tiong Bahru Bakery Diner, the latest extension of the popular Tiong Bahru Bakery at Funan, demonstrates that eating clean or green does not necessarily mean cutting out all aspects of food that make the act enjoyable. The new menu features substantial meals that elevate common greens and herbs, and a delectable sourdough waffle concocted from a 158-year-old starter that has made its rounds around the world.

Highlights from the menu are the Hot Chicken Salad & Caramelised Pumpkin, which features slow-cooked chicken breast slices basted in brown butter and roasted, buttery Kabocha pumpkin; Miso Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Broccolini, tossed in basil and almond pesto, miso local eggplant confit, broccolini and finely grated grana padano cheese; and the Pulled Pork Creamy Risoni Pasta, a savoury crowd-pleaser as the risoni is finished like a risotto with butter, broth and cheese, transforming it into plump bits with all of the pulled pork’s juices.

You will want to make room for the two dessert options here. The Fluffy Brown Butter Pancake is outstanding in its construction, where the batter is fermented for 24 hours to develop the flavours, acidity and complexity of the dough, and then mixed with a blend of buttermilk and brown butter gives the pancakes a melty, caramelised texture. The Sourdough Waffle truly speaks for itself with its name—prepared traditional Belgian style, the waffle is delightfully sour, fluffy, and crispy, the perfect vessel for a sunny-side up with ricotta and bacon if you are going for the savoury option.

When? Now till otherwise specified
Funan, 107 North Bridge Rd #04-(22-25), Singapore 179105

Alma by Juan Amador

Located at the edge of Goodwood Park Hotel, the 1-Michelin-starred Alma by Juan Amador is a hidden gem with top-drawer food. Their executive set lunches have recently been spruced up to include all-new signature dishes such as the Salt Baked Celeriac, Kaboucha Pumpkin, and ‘Kulhbarra’ Barramundi at extremely attractive price points.

Those who have been to Alma will know that their Potato Bread is a highly coveted companion to the meal. Served in a wooden box with a bed of warm coffee beans, the pillow soft buns are an excellent start to the meal. Out of the five new appetisers, the citrusy Kanpachi Brandade stands out for its delicate balance of flavours to whet your appetite. There are six new mains as well, ranging from vegetarian options to masterful presentations of meats, including the Hungarian Goose Aged 7 Days, which is served on a memorable crepe made of scallop.

Always out to surprise with their dedication to complex techniques and surprising flavours, it is no wonder Alma remains in a league of its own.

When? Now till otherwise specified
$49 onwards per pax for a three-course lunch menu
Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road, Singapore 228221

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