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3 new Asian restaurants to try: Jinzakaya, Kai Garden, Empress

If these restaurants give you deja vu, here’s why.

A TURN AT JAPANESE

Jinzakaya1

WHO Les Amis Group

WHAT Jinzakaya

Following the success of Vietnamese eatery Nam Nam Noodle Bar and Spanish tapas joint La Taperia, Singapore fine-dining pioneer Les Amis Group expands its casual-fare line-up to cover Japanese cuisine.

Jinzakaya3

Retro-chic Jinzakaya is a good after-work watering hole that serves an extensive selection of grilled foie gras and wagyu skewers, as well as donburi (Japanese rice bowls), to go with the drinks. Sake labels are curated by the group’s tipple expert Raymond Lim, who is partial to introducing boutique breweries. Get the fruit-based sakes that come in blood orange and yuzu flavours for a refreshing change. #01-08/10 Owen Link, 1 Farrer Park Station Road.

FROM STEAK TO SUCKLING PIG

Empress

WHO The Prive Group

WHAT Empress

The Prive Group has expanded from its steak-and-burger roots to venture into Chinese cuisine. Empress at Asian Civilisations Museum bears the hallmarks of a Prive restaurant, with its scenic location overlooking the Singapore River and al fresco dining option. The menu offers Chinese standards like char siew (crackling roast pork), braised abalone and lobster e-fu noodles, but more interesting are dishes that showcase the group’s know-how of Western cuisine, such as fried brown rice with pine nuts and asparagus, and chempedak-infused creme brulee. 1 Empress Place.

YOU CAN’T KEEP A GOOD CHEF DOWN

FungChiKeung

WHO Fung Chi Keung

WHAT Kai Garden

Chef Fung Chi Keung, the man who introduced colourful xiao long bao to Paradise Group outlets, has branched out on his own. He now runs fine-dining Cantonese restaurant Kai Garden, where he can practise his flourishes on traditional Chinese dishes with complete autonomy. Especially good is a piquant dish of braised chicken with flower crab, where the unusual pairing of common fowl with a Chinese delicacy works, thanks to a robust gravy and slices of roast pork that tie the dish together. #03-128A/B Marina Square.