Words and photographs by Sarah Lim.
If you were patient enough to learn about the history of The White Rabbit at Harding Road, you’d probably have had a pretty intense lesson on Singapore’s history. Occupying the space of what used to be a chapel, this one-of-its-kind restaurant impresses the moment we step foot in. It is whimsical, classy and charming all at the same time.
We were excited to find out Chef Benjamin Tan is back, assuming the role of Head Chef after a hiatus, and has made a radical overhaul of the menu. It seems we weren’t the only one pleased; our waiter gushed over the good news, and reassures us that the meal was going to be nothing short of spectacular.
Even though I have been to Ritz-Carlton Singapore many times, for some reason, I never had the chance to eat at Summer Pavilion, the luxe hotel’s Chinese restaurant. So, when I was there for a staycation recently, I made a reservation to drop by for lunch to sample some of their signature Cantonese dishes.
Chef Sam Leong needs no introduction. He is one of the most famous local chefs in Singapore, and he has an impressive list of accolades which includes being named the Chef of the Year at the Hospitality Asia Platinum Award in 2006 and 2007, and Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year (2009) by the World Gourmet Summit. After leaving Tung Lok Group, he has joined Resorts World Sentosa to open Forest Restaurant, which serves Chinese cuisine with a Western approach (in terms of food presentation).
The restaurant’s interior design is inspired by the lush tropical rain forests, and it is definitely one of the most stunning Chinese restaurants in Singapore.
At Forest, Chef Leong acts as a consultant, and besides providing guidance for the cuisine and menu planning of the restaurant, he also conducts cooking classes with his wife, Forest. He has launched a special culinary class combined with a four-course set lunch. This means to say you can have a nice lunch at the restaurant, and then move on to the culinary class in the beautiful state-of-the-art show kitchen to learn some tips from Chef Leong.
One of the best meals that I had last year was at JAAN Restaurant Swissotel, and I’ve been suggesting it whenever someone asks me for recommendations.
I was thrilled when Chef Julien Royer extended an invitation to try his summer menu. But at the same time, I was a little afraid. What if it wasn’t as good as before? I had a fantastic experience at JAAN previously and I did not want to tarnish that memory.
I went back and I had a spectacular meal. Chef Julien has done it again. I dare say you will find it very hard to find a restaurant which can offer a better dining experience.
He has been helming the kitchen for a year, and given that he has managed to settle down, I have no doubt that the upcoming year will be good times for the restaurant and we can definitely expect greater things to come. JAAN is still one of the best, if not the best restaurant in Singapore.
There are some restaurants that one goes regularly, places that serve decent food at affordable prices. Then there are other places you go for special occasions – like a hot date, birthday celebration, or wedding anniversary.
When you are looking for somewhere to have a romantic dinner, Equinox Restaurant at Swissôtel The Stamford is one of those places that always come to mind. It has one of the best locations in Singapore, overlooking the beautiful city. But that aside, I also love that it is very versatile. You can bring your clients there for a business luncheon; hang out with your girlfriends over a leisure afternoon tea; or have a romantic date – it is a restaurant that is suitable for all occasions.
I recently sampled the new menu by Chef de Cuisine Lee Bennett, and it was a good meal. If you haven’t yet had the chance to try Equinox, give it a shot. If you have and it has been some time, it’s time to go back again.
Words and photos by Sarah Lim.
You know the food has to be good when a restaurant gets booked well in advance despite being housed in a location away from the bustling office crowd. The tranquillity is lost once inside the restaurant. A waitress piles her arms with several dishes, hastily serving them up before disappearing behind the kitchen doors.
Restaurant Ember at Hotel 1929 serves modern European cuisine, and it is not a secret that they have one of the best set lunches in Singapore.
It’s always nice to visit new restaurants run by young and talented chefs who are truly passionate about their food.
I first learned about Keystone Restaurant at Stanley Street a few months ago through my journalist friends. They told me about the excellent work Chef Mark Richards is doing at the restaurant, and it is one of the few places that use sous-vide cooking for most of the dishes on the menu.
I went there a while back, and ever since my visit, I’ve been recommending it to my friends. I’ll cut to the chase. If you like hearty meals with big portions, Keystone Restaurant is probably not suitable for you. But if you enjoy dining in a classy restaurant that serves refined and sophisticated food, this is the place to go.
Most people have the impression that I always eat at fine dining restaurants, but my friends would know that I usually prefer going to casual places that are cosy and provide good food at reasonable prices.
But sometimes if you want a very good meal, you really have to fork out top money for it. JAAN Restaurant at Swissotel is the prime example. I had one of my best meals of 2011 at JAAN. I’m going out on a limb and say that they are among the top restaurants in Singapore.
One of the good things about living in Singapore is that there are so many restaurants around. Even though I eat out quite often, it is still impossible for me to try all of them.
The new Graze at 38 Martin Road (sister to the original Graze at Rochester Park) is a relatively new restaurant, and I’ve been wanting to go there since my visit to KHA next door.
Graze is actually quite close to my ideal restaurant. It is classy, elegant, sexy, romantic, and modern. It’s the kind of place where you can go for a business luncheon, a romantic date, a laid-back weekend brunch, and even a private party.
The Song of India by award winning Chef Milind Sovand is one of the best Indian fine dining restaurants in Singapore. So imagine my surprise when I found out that DEAL.com.sg has a deal that offers 35% off a scrumptious weekend buffet brunch at The Song of India for only $29 NETT (usual price $44.75).
While I love going to nice restaurants, it is impossible to spend so much on food all the time. That’s why I think DEAL.com.sg is doing a great job providing consumers with dining deals at a huge discount.
Even though I haven’t tried many Indian buffets in Singapore, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you must try the buffet brunch at The Song of India.
Man Fu Yuan at Intercontinental Hotel – one of Singapore’s top Cantonese restaurants – has undergone a refurbishment earlier this year and it has since returned with a stunning decor and a new emphasis on Chinese tea.
While I liked their dim sum, I didn’t frequent the old Man Fu Yuan because the decoration was kind of boring. Boy was I impressed when I went there for lunch recently. The restaurant now has a nice contemporary look with classy butterfly chandeliers, exquisite hand-painted wall coverings, and natural timber floors.
Tanjong Beach Club (TBC) by the Lo & Behold Group is the perfect place to escape from the city and enjoy a day of sun, sand and sea. It has a restaurant (The Dining Room), a bar and a pool facing the beach.
The Dining Room at Tanjong Beach Club offers a unique beach dining experience, and after dinner, you can laze by the pool and enjoy a Tanjong Martini with truffle fries. The beach house at Sentosa is modern, sexy and definitely the place to see and be seen.