By: Alyssa Chung
TAO Group and Marina Bay Sands recently launched Japanese restaurant Koma. As you step in, you’ll be greeted by a dramatic passageway inspired by the torii gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. The swanky hotspot features sushi, robata and izakaya style dining, complete with original creations by Koma’s executive chef Kunihiro Moroi. The restaurant, bar and lounge boast a whopping 230 seats. If you’d like to be up-close to the culinary action, score a seat at the striking sushi bar. Or for more privacy, request for the semi-private dining room on the mezzanine floor. The space also houses a sophisticated bar and lounge serving a selection of over 30 types of sakes.
For dinner, savour unique dishes including the Salmon Pillow, a crisp puff pastry shell filled with smoked avocado and topped with salmon sashimi and burnt jalapeño peppers as well as Wild Mushroom Fried Rice – koshihikari rice tossed with shiitake, enoki, shimeji and maitake mushrooms. One of the highlights of the sushi bar is the luxurious Surf & Turf Roll, which comprises a luxe combo of wagyu beef, Hokkaido uni and caviar. And if that’s not decadent enough for you, opt for the superb Snow Aged Niigata A5 Wagyu Beef.
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, #B1-67, Singapore 018972
Tel: +65 6688 8690
Another casual food concept has been launched at Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski. This time, it’s traditional Thai food. At Chalerm Thai, expect to dine on appetisers, soups, salads, rice and noodle dishes, curries, seafood and more. Aside from classics like papaya salad, tom yum goong and phad Thai, some of the more interesting dishes include lightly battered deep-fried crispy morning glory with chilli sauce dip (S$8), or stir-fried soft-shell crab with yellow curry (S$20).
Great for sharing too are seafood dishes like steamed whole sea bass (S$32), dressed with a zesty, spicy lime sauce, as well as prawns fried till golden and perked up with sweet tamarind sauce (S$18). The grill fires up meats like kor moo yang or grilled marinated pork neck with spicy lime sauce (S$18), and nuea yang (grilled marinated beef with Thai spicy sauce at S$20). Round off with mango and sticky rice (S$10) or the more unusual warm pumpkin yam dumplings in coconut milk (S$8).
Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski. 13 Stamford Road, Singapore 178906
Tel: +65 6715 6875
Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hotpot
Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hotpot (formerly at Boat Quay) offers a unique variety of house-made signature slow-cooked soup bases plus a huge range of fresh ingredients like seafood, mushrooms, leafy greens and noodles. You’ll also get to feast on beef cuts from all over the world including New Zealand, Australia, USA, and Japan. The melt-in-the-mouth Premium Eight Second Beef (S$24 per portion) is highly recommended. The best way to savour this well-marbled New Zealand beef is by dipping each slice into the hotpot for precisely 8 seconds. There’s also the superb Spicy Beef Cubes (S$16), a popular Sichuanese dish of bite-sized beef marinated in a picante sauce and dusted with chilli flakes. For something different, go for the healthy Black-bone Chicken Slice (S$20 per portion).
Satisfying soup bases include Stewed Marinated Beef with Spicy Soup featuring braised beef meat chunks, soft beef tendons and chewy beef backstraps (S$48). Cubes of deep-fried golden tofu and radish are also added to the piquant soup spiked with Sichuan peppercorns, Sichuan chilli slices, plus traditional herbs and spices. There’s also the newly created Golden Chicken Soup or Golden Frog Soup (S$68). The blend of nourishing chicken (or frog) broth and sweet golden pumpkin comes with black fungus, yam, konjac, pineapple chunks, sliced cucumber, shimeiji mushrooms and pumpkin. Other signature soups include the Catfish with Spicy Soup (S$48), Pickled Cabbage with Pork Rib Soup (S$28), and Tomato with Oxtail Soup (S$48).
Aside from hotpot, the contemporary 150-seater restaurant also offers chef’s specialities and authentic local street snacks from all over China. Try the BBQ Garlic Canadian Oysters (S$32 for six pieces) roasted over hot coals, and drizzled with a special house-made sauce of garlic, chilli and chopped spring onions.
6 Lorong Telok, Singapore 049019 (near Clarke Quay MRT)
Tel: 6536 8058
The Garden Club
The Garden Club’s breezy rooftop setting freshly decked out with natural botanicals, rattan furniture and wooden fixtures is the perfect spot in the CBD for wholesome meals. There are various options for lunch and dinner. For the health-conscious, the menu offers plenty of vegan dishes and plant-based alternatives. For a fuss-free lunch, you can pick, mix, and build your own quick-serve bowls from a variety of bases, proteins, vegetables, add-ons and condiments. Each bowl (from S$9) is prepared fresh and with as little salt, oil, flavouring and preservatives as possible.
On the ala carte lunch menu, Beyond Meat™ Cheeseburger and Fries (S$26) stands in for a juicy cheeseburger minus all the guilt. Or try the Garden Ragu Fettucine (S$15) comprising fettucine with house-made specialty Beyond Meat ™ ragu sauce. Meanwhile, the more extensive dinner menu presents items like Cauliflower Bouquet Roast ($10) - a whole roasted cauliflower is topped with a house special garlic miso sauce and confit leek as well as Eggplant Pesto Grill (S$12), consisting of a whole eggplant grilled with house special pesto (using garden-fresh herbs), and served with Japanese purple sweet potato mash. If you prefer traditional proteins, don’t fret. The kitchen also rolls out creations like Beef Cheek Confit Fennel (S$23), a whole slow-cooked and seared cheek of beef served with a side of roasted potatoes and greens, as well as Grilled Barramundi ($20) partnered with tabbouleh, grapes and sesame tofu puree.
Finally, enjoy the Spice Cream (S$8), a homemade clove and cinnamon ice cream served with kumquat and candied walnuts. Or wash everything down with fresh juices or non-alcoholic drinks like the Rasa Sayang (S$16), a refreshing cooler of white wine, lychee, dry rose buds and lemon soda. If you must have a post-work cocktail, try the Jalisco Sunset (S$16), concocted with Milagro Blanco, fresh lime juice, pineapple juice and fresh cilantro.
6A Shenton Way, OUE Downtown Gallery, #05-01, 068815
Tel: 69718265 (Bar: 69718266)