SPECIAL Tendon (SGD 13.90)
What: A tiny tempura resto in Tanjong Pagar that only has TWO items (Special – aka meat – TENDON or Vegetable TENDON) on the menu and a snaking line out the door.
Pros: It’s reasonable, tasty and the portions are huge (very yummy chawanmushi starter comes with the set).
Cons: Chicken tempura is like weird in theory AND in reality and it’s a big part of the Special Tendon option. Also beware you will smell like someone doused you in frying oil for the rest of the day and night.
Verdict: I would go back for the Vegetable TENDON option on a day that I can reach Tanjong Pagar at 11:30am.
Tendon Ginza Itsuki
101 Tanjong Pagar Road
Braised Pork Belly Rice Bowl (SGD18) with green tea (can’t remember the price)
What: Modern Asian CBD resto with fairly expensive food (mains start at SGD12 bucks) that is actually worth it. Also they have a lunch special – if you add SGD3 you get a drink and salad.
Pros: The restaurant is beautiful – my lunch mate and I were surprised and concluded it would make a lovely intimate wedding venue. It’s filled with light, it’s clean and crisp and I’m even into their unexpected marbled tables. The rice bowls (she had Butter Poached Cod (SGD18) and I had Braised Pork Belly (SGD16)) were delicious and fresh and the hefty meat serving made me happy.
Cons: Their Liu Shia Custard Donuts AKA salted egg yolk donuts (SGD7 for three), though beautiful, were fairly ordinary and a bit too sweet. Skip them!
Verdict: I think it’s a good place for an overdue Friday lunch catch-up or a lunch meeting with clients.
65 Tras Street
+65 6221 4698
Ham and cheese croissant
Salted caramel chocolate tart
A newly-opened whimsical cafe housed, somewhat unceremoniously, at the base of the Park Hotel and next to Ikea.
Pros: The staff are fantastic, the decor is charming and for the most part I really liked my food (coffee, ham and cheese croissant and the choc tart get full marks).
Cons: It’s small so it may be tough to get a seat and I didn’t really like their lemon tart – it was all curd and too light to pack a punch.
Verdict: Oh I loved it! I want to go back and eat ALL THE THINGS.
The Bakehouse by Carpenter and Cook
321 Alexandra Road #01-14
From the bottom to the top :P: Polenta lasagne (SGD18), Arancini with ragù and tomato sauce (SGD8) and Egg and squid ink tagliolini with shrimp and zucchini (SGD18)
What: A casual Italian restaurant located in a very quiet part of Suntec.
Pros: The food is good, fresh and reasonable. I enjoyed my polenta lasagne and Yuka thoroughly enjoyed her tagliolini (the squid ink abomination, above). Also, the wait staff are polite, knowledgeable and helpful.
Cons: It’s like on a second floor in Suntec – where NOTHING is open. Ambience is negligible and lighting is fluorescent mall lighting. #justsayin
Verdict: I’m itching to go back and try their degustation menu (Six pastas and a glass of wine for SGD26 – what?!), their desserts and their gelato so clearly, I say go.
Suntec City Mall Tower 1
3 Temasek Boulevard 038983
*Forgive the messy plate.
Super Huevos Rancheros (SGD 20) and the Taco de Desayuno (SGD7) with a side of baconnn
What: A beautiful restaurant perched in a very trendy part of the already very trendy Robertson Quay.
Pros: The breeze in your hair and pretty people errwhere. Their food is pretty good, like I enjoyed my breakfast taco, but it’s not as good as the price or the ambiance of the restaurant suggests.
Cons: I had their Sparkling Yuzu Margarita (SGD17) which sounded like it would taste like a party in my mouth but was at very best, passable.
Verdict: I would say… don’t go. The food is better at their sister restaurant Lucha Loco and if you want good food on the river… make yourself a tasty sandwich and sit on the steps in the quay.
60 Robertson Quay
Ciriole alla Norcina at SGD28 yo
What: Tiny, classy, Italian joint in the Duxton area.
Pros: The food is spot-on. We ordered this antipasti which was this gorgeous burrata, rocket and tomato thing and it made me completely forget I had a fake cheese allergy. My pasta (pictured above) was delicious as well, if a little heavy.
Cons: I would not have visited this place – had it been on someone else’s tab (it was my boss – haHA) – that gorgeous antipasti was SGD45 and the pastas are on the pricey side too.
Verdict: I would say, go if someone else is paying – hear me out – the food is good but you can get similar at Pasta Brava AND it’s in a far more charming space.
49-50 Duxton Road
The vegetarian platter with additional kebabs!
What: Teeny-tiny Israeli restaurant located in 100 AM mall.
Pros: The food is delicious, healthy (ish) and comforting. I felt like we were eating in someone’s home. I also loved their smoky baba ghanoush (top-most, middle, green mush) and kept going back to it for just a little more, just a little more.
Cons: The ambiance is non-existent. The food is clearly pre-prepared and then heated up and given to you when you order it. I mean it’s good – but I’m just saying it’s like the opposite of fancy.
Verdict: It’s a good option for Mediterranean food in Singapore – and it’s healthy too. Go with good friends (BECAUSE YOU CAN’T TAKE ANYONE ELSE) and enjoy!
We paid about SGD45 for two people (platter, 3 orders of meat and drinks – we over-ordered, clearly). By the way, I stole the idea of putting the total amount spent from the awesome Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow.
Pita and Olives
100 Tras Street, #03-10
Best. Burger. Place. Ever. Okay fine, a restaurant/cafe type establishment situated in a mall that services European tai-tais that serves Very. Good. Burgers.
Pros: The burgers – especially the blue cheese, poached pear and walnut burger (I’m literally swooning just typing this) – are so, SO good. Their onion rings served with this curry dip are also divine.
Cons: The service can be patchy and their renovation has made the space a little less cozy and a little more whatever.
Verdict: I would say it’s still one of Singapore’s better kept secrets, restaurant-wise. Go. But don’t tell anyone. And use this Groupon.
501 Bukit Timah Road
#02-01 Cluny Court
+65 6763 1547 (reservations recommended)
Duck confit with potato mash!
What: An affordable french restaurant with very minimal attempts at decor (minus some questionable chandeliers) because: affordable.
Pros: The food is good and it’s really good value-for-money. They have a set lunch and you can choose the entree, main and dessert for SGD22.90. I had a wonderful garden salad that came with hazelnuts (what??), duck confit (a bit heavy but whatchoogonnado) and pandan creme brulee to end. Not too shabby considering how much you would pay ANYWHERE else for something like that.
Cons: The ambiance – it’s very minimalist and very spartan but hey, just squint and you can call it industrial.
Verdict: For Singapore, it’s good value and I say go and enjoy a nice fancy meal (you can even get steak – yo!).
Saveur – Two outlets but I went to the one @ Far East Plaza
14 Scotts Road, #01-7B
It’s so good it’s loco!
What: Very hip taqueria (restaurant that serves tacos) and garden bar (aka they have outside seating and some potted plants) situated in trendy Duxton, with more pretty people as customers than I could count.
Pros: The tacos are so good that I literally wolfed them down before I could take any pictures of them. That’s why the only picture you have is of a coaster.
Cons: EXPENSIVE. It’s SGD11 for a teeny taco – no sides – and the drinks are on the pricey side too.
Verdict: OMG go – the food is good, drinks are quite good, the people are “good” and there are twinkly lights. Twinkly lights!
15 Duxton Hill