Every which way you turn in Singapore nowadays, there are cooler, edgier, fancier restaurants springing up. Although it is fun and thrilling to explore new flavours, marvel at their striking decor, or even try a new cuisine, I oftentimes just yearn for something tried and tested, especially when it came to special occasions. For my hubby’s birthday recently, I planned a series of meals in restaurants that originated from way back when. Nostalgic favourites that still stand strong today, unfazed by the new kids on the block. The first oldie but goodie on the cards was Tony Roma’s.
I’m always quite excited when I hear that a chef is trying to take on the very interesting challenge of producing “Modern Singaporean” cuisine. Combining our traditional flavors with modern cooking techniques, plating styles from different cultures, and ingredients from all over the world is something that I both enjoy playing with at home and eating when done deftly by a skilled chef. Chefs that do this well include Willin Low, Jeremy Nguee and Malcolm Lee. And, from what I’ve tasted during a recent trip to Pidgin Kitchen & Bar, Chef Adrian Ling.
“Didn’t we go to school together?” is not a question I’m usually asked by chefs. And yet, it seems par for the course in Lolla, a one year-old modern establishment that has become one of the hottest tables in the town, but which refuses to forget its convivial, clandestine origins. I’ve had two vegetarian meals at this sparkling supper-club-turned-restaurant (with my herbivore girlfriend K); the experience was eclectic, serendipitous, and sensational.