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Counter Attack

The Peak heads down to five of the latest spots with cool countertops and kitchens that serve up Asian interpretations of popular bar food.

As more restaurants and bars adopt an open-kitchen concept, siting at the counter is no longer the awkward affair it once was. Think front-row seats to watch chefs and bartenders cook (or shake) up a storm and more intimate dining experiences. Scroll down to see five such places.

STREET FOOD THEATRE

For a modern interpretation of Thai street food, Long Chim by acclaimed Australian chef David Thompson features an open kitchen that shows off the bustling action in theatrical fashion. A counter seat at the noodle bar offers the best view of how the restaurant whips up authentic dishes like pad thai. #L2-02 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. 

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Suit and shirt from Etro. Men’s Grand Complications Ref 5270R, from Patek Philippe.

SPICY PLATES ON A NEUTRAL PALETTE

The white-marble countertop at Joo Bar makes every dish placed upon it instantly Instagrammable – such a neat spam and tofu sandwich with kimchi. Ladies, keep an eye out for the handy bag hooks hidden under the countertop. 5 Tan Quee Lan Street.

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Dress, from Dolce & Gabbana. Villeret 8-Day Perpetual Calendar, from Blancpain.

GET WANTON AT A BAR

The snazzy Wanton: Seng’s Noodle Bar has its roots in the humbler Dunman Food Centre, but it’s here where you’ll get to see your char siew being blowtorched in front of you. Have it with a bowl of springy egg noodles and succulent wonton or shrimp dumplings, topped with generous pieces of crispy pork lard. 52 Amoy Street. 

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Shirt and trousers, from Dsquared2. Langematik Perpetual Calendar in White Gold, from A. Lange & Sohne.

COSY UP HERE

Sum Yi Tai’s tapas-style Chinese fare might just be fancy dim sum to some, but sharing these familiar favourites like honey-glazed char siew and claypot rice side by side with friends is a refreshing – and cosier – alternative to the typical big round tables found at Chinese restaurants. 25 Boon Tat Street. 

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Suit, shirt and bow tie, from Dolce & Gabbana. Overseas Chronograph Perpetual Calendar, from Vacheron Constantin.

SPACE TO BREATHE

The lack of tables and chairs around DSTLLRY’s gorgeous U-shaped countertop lit up by industrial lamps means you don’t feel boxed in while snacking on bar offerings like a bara chirashi don that comes with glistening cubes of salmon and tuna. #01-01, 21 Media Circle. 

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Coat and dress, from Max Mara.

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