BIG SHOTS OF THE YEAR
Must-try restaurants to show you’re in the know.
Chef Clayton Wells brings the winning formula that made his Sydney restaurant Automata famous to Singapore. At Blackwattle, modern Australian fare like grilled Fremantle octopus with an umami puree of squid ink and fennel is complemented by a diverse drinks menu in a spartanly chic setting. The 60-seater in Telok Ayer sports a cocktail bar and a patio upstairs. $50 corkage. Closed Dec 24 to 25. 97 Amoy Street.
The much-anticipated restaurant by ex-Bacchanalia chef Ivan Brehm has been making waves with its innovative “crossroads cooking”. Dishes here reveal similarities between Brehm’s Brazilian heritage and global flavours, such as its starter of Silken Cheese – a cross between tofu and panna cotta. A private dining space for eight is available. $55 or 1-for-1 corkage. Closed Dec 24 and 25. 72 Amoy Street.
Celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten brings his signature dishes to his first restaurant in Singapore. Dishes here focus on the natural flavours of ingredients, with herbal broths and spicy coconut sauces. A must-try is the caviar creations, where the roe tops an egg yolk sandwich, for example. The colonial-style restaurant also has a private dining room for up to 20 guests. $50 or 1-for-1 corkage. 17D Dempsey Road.
REDEFINING THE SEASON
More than just the usual festive fare.
Asian ingredients are the focus at this fine-dining restaurant, but chef-owners Ace Tan and David Lee, both ex-Pollen, are not taking the usual Mod-Sin route. 33 Ingredients, a signature here, is a dumpling made with over 20 types of grain and stuffed with shrimp, beans and mushroom. $65 corkage. Closed Sundays, except Dec 24 and 31. 76 Duxton Road.
Alongside modern Indian fare, chef Manjunath Mural offers Indian-style Christmas foods. Think morel biryani-stuffed turkey cooked in a tandoor, and a pot-roasted leg of lamb seasoned with nutmeg, ginger and cumin. $30 corkage. 33 Scotts Road.
Executive head chef Nicky Ng adds Christmas spirit to his modern Cantonese cuisine with a six-course festive menu. Enjoy dishes such as soya-poached foie gras and a double-boiled abalone soup with morel and turkey. 1-for-1 corkage. Level 4, Grand Park Orchard.
Hearty food for the soul.
Chef Damian D’Silva shares a taste of his heritage by using traditional recipes for his Eurasian and Peranakan dishes. And face it, how many people these days have the patience to make sambal buah keluak with minced pork or pork trotters stewed with salted vegetables? Save yourself the trouble – dine out, and dig into D’Silva’s famous buah keluak fried rice to boot. $20 corkage. Level 2, Destination Singapore Beach Road.
This 13-year-old Italian restaurant may have found a new home in a hotel and updated its menu, but you can still find its signatures such as stracci pasta with wild boar. New modern Italian dishes include angel hair pasta with crab and chilli, and duck breast with whisky-infused bacon. The restaurant has two private dining rooms as well, for more intimate gatherings. $40 corkage. Closed Jan 1. Level 27, Oasia Hotel Downtown.
The popular New York steakhouse, famous for its 28-day dry-aged USDA steaks, has launched a Singapore outlet at Robertson Quay. Go for its decadent seafood platter of fresh lobster, crab and shrimp, before tearing into the meat. $50 corkage. #02-01, Intercontinental Singapore Robertson Quay.
Beautiful picks for a stunning night.
The restaurant, housed in a black- and-white bungalow at the former Seletar Air Base, provides a rare tranquil moment away from the bustling CBD. The restaurant focuses on a farm- to-table concept, using local produce for modern European dishes. End the meal with a stroll around the restaurant’s garden. $40 corkage. 3 Park Lane.
The veteran fine-dining establishment offers a breathtaking view of the Marina Bay waterfront. The one night-only Christmas Eve menu sees classic festive flavours such as Pyrenees lamb rack with Jerusalem artichokes, as well as a mont blanc log cake for dessert. Wine pairings are also available. Christmas takeaways are available too. $50 corkage per 750ml. Closed Dec 25, Jan 1. #02-02B, One Fullerton.
ContemporaryFrench restaurant Corner House has an enthralling and extensive selection of wines – from first growths to old vintages dating back to the ’70s. Also set in a black-and-white bungalow, it offers a panoramic view of Singapore Botanic Gardens and a private dining area beside the wine cellar. $90 corkage. Closed Mondays except Dec 25. E J H Corner House, Singapore Botanic Gardens.