New restaurants and menus in Singapore (October 2019)
Autumnal menus, contemporary Chinese, and the return of heritage chef Damian D'Silva.
If the name hasn't already given it away, Kai Duck is the roast duck-focused offshoot of popular Chinese restaurant Kai Garden. The food here proves that crispy-skinned peking duck doesn't just have to be served wrapped in wheat pancakes with cucumber and hoisin sauce – they also offer duck in a crispy seaweed-popiah skin roll; in sliders; and atop a fried corn crisp. It's not just fowl here though, their beetroot fried rice – which comes truffle-scented and served in a hot stone pot – is vegan and well-fried; while a comforting patin fish soup comes with meaty chunks of fish meat, suffused with the fragrance of Chinese rice wine.
#05-10/11 Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road. Tel: 6235-5419
Braci's Autumn menu
It might never be Autumn in Singapore, but it is in Europe now. Braci moves with the seasons to present a new menu full of Fall goodies: game meats, and Autumnal produce like chestnuts and pumpkins. Highlights from the new menu includes French Mieral pigeon, mineral-tasting and smoky from the grill; as well as ravioli, filled with a pillowy-light venison farce and served with castelmagno (a Piedmontese cheese made with a mix of cow and goat milk) fondue and chestnuts. There's also a gargillou-like creation named the Autumn Harvest, with a medley of vegetables served in almond-quince cream and a variety of aromatic oils.
52 Boat Quay, #05-01/ #06-01. Tel: 6866-1933
After exiting restaurant Folklore, heritage cuisine champion Damian D'silva is back with to dish up more family recipes at members club Straits Clan with a new spot, Kin. As with his previous efforts, the chef will be serving a mix of traditional recipes from his Eurasian-Peranakan heritage, as well as a slew of sharing plates from other ethnicities. There'll be hard-to-find-elsewhere dishes like daun pegaga, a refreshing Asian pennywort (also known as gotu kola) salad with lime-shallot oil dressing; and gulai, beef cheek slow-cooked with coconut milk and 15 spices. There'll also be a fair number of D'Silva's signatures on the menu, including buah keluak fried rice; and his legendary kuih kosui. Expect plenty of spice, lovingly (and tediously) simmered curries and sambals, and the same uncompromising work ethic that goes into both ingredient sourcing and preparation.
Straits Clan, 31 Bukit Pasoh Road.
The latest in a string of modern-oriental inspired concepts to occupy the heritage building at Clarke Quay – previously IndoChine and then VLV – is The Riverhouse, a 3-in-1 concept comprising a club, lounge, and Chinese restaurant. The restaurant part's called Mimi, and they offer "casual small plates" – which basically means you can have dim sum for dinner here. The food's clearly targeted at a younger, "hip" audience, given the punny dish names and liberal injections of European ingredients and techniques. Highlights include wok-fried salmon medallions with a soy "sabayon", and Black Gold chicken, which is oven baked with black garlic, mixed nuts, and served over a moreish bed of crispy rice.
3A River Valley Road, #01-02 Clarke Quay. Tel: 6261-1189