Modern departures from familiar flavours at Bacchanalia, Singapore

bacchanalia_crablasagna

Singapore is currently enjoying quite the culinary renaissance. It feels like there are new restaurants and cafes opening weekly. And to be honest, I can’t even keep up with all these new places. Unfortunately, judging from my dining-out experiences over the past year, far too many newbies prize style over substance, i.e. while many of these new eateries look great and attract a growing pride of local hipsters, the reality is that their food is often both mediocre and very expensive. One restaurant that opened this past year, however, whose culinary program has continued to impress me is Bacchanalia, located (oddly enough) in the city’s Masonic Hall. Continue Reading →

East-8, a NY-inspired eatery trying hard to be hip in Singapore

east8interiors

Until about a month ago, I had never heard of East 8, this despite the fact that it’s a quick ten minute walk from my office. A good friend had written to me saying that a friend of hers had opened up this tiny New York-inspired fusion tapas bar and suggested I give it a go. So, a few days later, I checked it out. The long and short of it is that East 8 is not bad. Nice interiors. Very nice people. And the food is pretty good, but like all “tapas” bars in Singapore, it’s priced a little higher than what I consider the food to be worth. Basically, a good option if you’re in the ‘hood and money isn’t really a concern. Continue Reading →

Candlenut in Singapore. Nyonya cuisine in evolution

candlenut kitchen's malcolm lee

One of my favourite chefs in Singapore is Malcolm Lee. Not only is he immensely talented, passionate and hard-working, he’s also humble and sincere. I’ve been a fan of his ever since he opened his first restaurant, Candlenut Kitchen, which was located on Neil Road in Singapore. Because of evil landlord issues (which seems to be becoming the norm on our little island-nation), Malcolm had to close Candlenut Kitchen down in 2012. Almost a year and a half later, this driven young chef has re-opened, this time in newer, shinier digs; he’s also dropped the “kitchen” in the restaurant’s name. Continue Reading →

Baishinka Tea House by Higashiya, Tokyo, Japan

Baishinka-kakigori

When I had told my wife S that I was taking her to Tokyo to celebrate our wedding anniversary, she pretty much left the planning to me. The only requests she made were a stop by her favorite designer’s boutique in Omotesando and a visit to Baishinka, the gorgeous new tea room opened by the folks behind Higashiya (which we’ve established in an earlier article that she’s quite obsessed with). Of course, I was happy to accommodate her requests. Continue Reading →

Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa of DEN, Tokyo, is a master culinary comedian. And his restaurant is the coolest place in Tokyo to dine in right now.

DEN-DFC3

Earlier this month, thanks to some amazingly cheap deals on Scoot, I was able to whisk my wife S up to Tokyo for a three day eating trip to celebrate our twelfth wedding anniversary. We had only three nights in town, which meant (to me at least) making sure each dinner was truly something special. On the first two nights, we visited familiar favorites (including, of course, Sushi Sho). For the last night in town, I wanted to take S somewhere neither of us had been. And after a bit of research, decided the restaurant I most wanted to try — and that I thought she’d really enjoy — was DEN, in Jimbocho. And boy am I glad I did. Continue Reading →

Great, affordable neighborhood sushi at Tomi Sushi, Novena Square, Singapore

tomi-sushi-set

On any given day, if you were to ask my lovely wife S want she’d like to eat, nine out of ten times she’ll answer, “sushi”. Sushi is, without a doubt, her favorite food. Her favorite sushi place of all time is Sushi Sho, in Tokyo. Sadly, there is no place in Singapore that even comes close to serving the kind of super-exquisite and super-umami sushi served by Keiji Nakazawa. That said, there are some rather chic places here that do serve some high quality fish, but most of those, we have realized over the years, are rather overpriced (for what you get). They are also not the kinds of places you frequent on a weekly basis — which is how often S wishes she could indulge in her favorite food. Fortunately, we have discovered, in our neighbourhood, a place that, while very modest and mass-market in appearances, does serve some really high quality sushi, at also very moderate prices. Continue Reading →

Go see Next to Normal now!

Next to Normal

One of the actors in Singapore who I admire most, both for his talent and for who he is as a person is Adrian Pang. Last night, I had the sheer pleasure of attending the opening night performance of Next to Normal, staged by Pangdemonium!, the theatre company run by Adrian and his wife Tracie (who directed the show). I had been looking forward to this partially because one of my college classmates wrote the score. But I was also excited to see what Adrian and the amazing cast he put together would do with this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning musical. Continue Reading →

Extra Virgin Pizza, United Square, Singapore

extravirgin-pizza

These days, whenever I’m driving up or down Thomson Road, if my two and a half year old son T is in the car with me, I’ll inevitably hear him peep, “Pizza?” when we get within sight of United Square. I’ve already written previously that my lil’ boy is a complete pizza addict. And his favorite pizzas in Singapore are the ones served at Extra Virgin Pizza, whose large sign facing the road is akin to a bat signal to our tiny terror. The second he spies that sign, with its iconic hand-making-a-V-logo, his little eyes light up and he begins to implore mama and papa that he simply must have pizza for lunch or dinner that day. Continue Reading →