By: Alyssa Chung
Violet Oon (#01-25 / #01-26, Tel: +65 9834 9935)
Jet-setters and local diners can now savour boldly flavoured local and Peranakan meals at Violet Oon (VO) Singapore @Jewel. This is the group’s biggest and outlet to date. One of the highlights is the DIY Nyonya Poh Piah ($58), featuring six pieces of handmade popiah skins along with more than 12 different fillings and condiments. Fill up your popiah roll with braised bamboo shoots, jicama and beancurd in a tau cheo and prawn bisque, Chinese sausage, prawns, and dried flat fish.
Deliciously smoky creations from the live charcoal grill station include grilled squid in a kicap manis spiced marinade ($17), ayam panggang katong or grilled Gula Melaka glazed chicken ($16), and eggplant with sambal ($13). Violet Oon’s best-sellers such as reef rendang ($23), dry laksa ($22), and crispy ngoh hiang ($14) are available here too. Before leaving, pick up a variety of VO Singapore’s food products ranging from locally inspired jams to cakes. Perfect as gifts.
Yun Nan (known in China as Yunhaiyao) is the F&B group’s first restaurant to open outside of China. The concept focuses on highland cuisine, and fresh ingredients such as wild mushrooms are sourced from the highlands of the Yunnan Province. One of Yun Nans’ most unique specialities is the steam pot chicken soup ($23.90). This dish uses only a special breed of black feet chickens. What’s interesting is that the soup is brewed using a technique that does not require a single drop of water. The chicken is pressure-steamed for three hours and the condensation results in a soup that is clear, delicate, nourishing, and full of flavour. After slurping up the wholesome broth, enjoy the chicken meat with a spicy sauce and handful of beansprouts. Other dishes to try include the beef stew in copper pot ($24.90), brimming with tender beefshin and beef tendon along with a melange of baby cabbage, potato, turnip, and dried pepper simmered for more than four hours. Although it looks fiery, the dish is very manageable.
Finally, ease your palate with an incredibly smooth and delicate beancurd pudding with a touch of brown sugar ($4.90). There are also specialities exclusively available in Singapore, such as Yunnan rice noodles in prawn broth with black truffle ($13.90), a dish inspired by Singapore’s prawn noodles.
JUMBO Seafood (#03-202/203/204, Tel: 6388 3435)
The ever popular Jumbo Seafood unveils its sixth outlet in Jewel. The brand is best known for its premium live seafood and of course chilli crab served with deep-fried mantou. Other versions of crab creations include the signature black pepper crab, golden salted egg crab and steamed crab with Chinese wine and egg white (prices start at $58 for a small mudcrab). Laden your table with seafood dishes such as live prawns fried with cereal ($18) and deep-fried red tilapia with Nonya sauce ($38) or meats like glossy mocha pork ribs ($18) and sweet and sour chicken ($12).
This outlet also serves scaled-down portions, perfect for couples and small groups. For instance, here you’ll get mini portions of chilli crab meat sauce served with sliced fried mantou ($16.80). Travellers may also lug home premix packs of Singapore chilli crab paste,and black pepper crab spice sold at the outlet.
O’TAH (#B2-241, www.otah.sg)
This 12-seater kiosk at Jewel Changi Airport’s food hall is a brand new concept by Lee Wee & Brothers. The outet is open 24 hours, seven days a week, so if hunger pangs strike at any hour of the day, head over good ol’ otah with a twist. The brand has given a new spin to the classic otah of minced mackerel marinated with homemade spice paste. There are four varations: Pink Salmon Otah ($26.40), Scallop Otah ($26.40), Cream Cheese & Corn Otah ($26.40), and Petai & Anchovy Otah ($20.40). These handmade snacks, wrapped in coconut leaves and grilled, come in a box of 12.
A unique invention is the O’TAH Fries ($6.90) comprising hand-cut mackerel fish otah accompanied by shoestring potato fries. Dip them into the lime and herb mayonnaise. Or enjoy with Ben’s Burger ($11.90), a towering creation of mackerel fish patty, with tomato, purple cabbage, caramelised onion and a sunny side up, sandwiched between fluffy charcoal buns. There is also the Pesto Salmon Nasi Lemak (S$12.90) – mackerel fish otah perked up with pesto salmon, and served with coconut rice, omelette, potato croquette, anchovies, peanuts, and sambal chilli.
LeNu is a casual Chinese noodle bar concept by Paradise Group. If you’re looking for comfort food, this is the place to be. Slurp up richly flavoured braised beef broth, cooked for 18 hours using beef marrow, bones and other premium ingredients. There is also the collagen-rich pork bone broth that’s boiled for hours to ensure that the flavour, nutrients and essence of the pork are fully extracted.
Diners can pair the soup broth with their preferred choice of noodle including la mian, thick vermicelli and rice noodle. You can also customise your bowl of noodles with different meats such as pork, chicken and beef. Alternatively, there are simple dry noodles given an edge with special homemade sauces.
Shang Social (#01-219 to 222, Tel: 6337 9700. www.shangsocial.com)
Shang Social, the first standalone dining establishment by the Shangri-La Group outside of a hotel setting, is modern, chic, and inviting. The venue caters to different preferences and occasions. There’s a bar area, a more formal dining space, and a casual area where you can have a quick bite as well as pick up Asian food products at the retail space.
This modern Chinese concept pays tribute to Cantonese, Huaiyang, and Sichuan cuisines. The menus, both traditional and contemporary interpretations, are conceptualised by three of Shangri-La’s acclaimed master chefs: Chef Mok Kit Keung, Chef Joe Hou, and Chef Rick Du – each a master in Cantonese, Huaiyang, and Sichuan cuisine, respectively.
Gather your mates and feast on crispy deep-fried whole boneless chicken filled with fried glutinous rice; Huaiyang-style braised black marbled pork and spicy Sichuan chicken. Pair your meal with refreshing sparkling tea, or tea-infused and Asian-style cocktails concocted by The Shang Social Bar. If you are time-strapped, head to the more casual MRKT at Shang Social to slurp up springy bamboo noodles flavoured with dark soya sauce and lard. The bamboo noodles come with a choice of prawn and conpoy dumpling in XO sauce or beef brisket. Dim sum and congee are available to boot.
Sama Sama by Tok Tok (#03-225/226, Tel: Tel: 6904 3971. www.sama-sama.sg)
For some punchy Indonesian flavours, head to Sama Sama which serves a variety of spice-laden dishes. The kitchen fires up items like sate kambing betawi ($24) or Jakarta-style grilled baby lamb skewers served with house-made sambal kecap. Great for sharing is the ayam bakar taliwang ($29) – Lombok-style grilled whole chicken marinated with spices, freshly pounded black peppercorns and purified sea salt. The succulent meat is livened up with a variety of traditional house-made sambal alongside cucumber, tomatoes, lemon basil, and long beans. Alternatively, go for the kakap merah bakar Jimbaran ($39) or Jimbaran-Bali style grilled whole red snapper jazzed up with traditional house-made Balinese shrimp paste and Javanese sweet soy sauce.