Beppe DeVito opens &Sons bacaro in Singapore

sons_beppe

Before I begin this little profile, I will admit that Beppe DeVito, owner and chef of &Sons, the chic, big bacaro that opened in China Square in mid-December 2013, is a very close friend. His wife and mine are also business partners, which pretty much makes us family. None of this, however, colours my opinion that &Sons might just be Beppe’s smartest concept to date. Continue Reading →

Oldie but goodie: Nanbantei

nanbantei skewers

My family and I are big fans of kushiyaki. Skewers of meat, seafood, veg and even rice, glazed with soy marinade and grilled over charcoal fire. Wash it all down with some sake or ice-cold beer, and it’s one of the most relaxing meals money can buy. My kids ask to go for “Japanese satay” pretty often, and Nanbantei is our regular haunt. As testament to how how great it is, it celebrated its 30th anniversary just a few months ago, beating the odds and thriving in Singapore’s uber competitive food scene. Continue Reading →

P. Bistro: Great pastry and good, simple, real food at proper prices in Singapore

bistro-macarons

Far too often, new restaurants and cafes in Singapore disappoint me. Most often, I leave upset because I’ve been overcharged for mediocre food that may look okay but usually lacks flavour. I also leave perplexed because so many of these places are able to fill their seats, night after night, with (young) customers whose expectations must simply be lower than mine. So, I was thrilled recently to discover a new place (in my own neighbourhood no less) that offers simple, tasty, well-cooked dishes and pretty awesome pastry at sensible prices. Continue Reading →

Lokanta Maya is a brilliant bistro in Istanbul, Turkey

lokanta mayaChef Didem Senol has taken Istanbul by storm.  The Turkish native who studied in New York at the French Culinary Institute and worked at Le Cirque and Eleven Madison Park, has returned to her hometown to create a new bistro dining experience.  In 2010, she won Time Out Istanbul’s  Best Chef Award.  Not only has she made a name for herself, but she’s also creating a new path for female chefs in her city.  She cooks seasonal and local food with mainly organic produce,  her restaurants are inviting, contemporary, and refreshing. Continue Reading →

Tippling Club in Singapore moves to cosier digs. The food remains awesome!

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Singapore’s hardest working chef, Ryan Clift, has moved his ultra-chic bar-cum-fine-diner into 3 shophouses in the heart of Chinatown. With the move, he has also reprogrammed his offers. While the old space offered 42 seats around a “C” shaped counter, the new Tippling Club has separated the drinking area from the dining. The bar, located at the restaurant’s entrance, seats 32 people while the dining room seats just 22. Gone also is the all-counter seat dining configuration for diners. You now have a choice to sit at proper tables or at one of eight bar seats that face the pass (i.e. the area from which food is inspected before being sent out into the dining room) and the main kitchen. Continue Reading →

A temporary emporium on Dunlop St

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Combining ‘temporary’ and ‘emporium’, Temporium is a not-so-new pop-up store along Dunlop Street that opened in the first week of September, and sees itself running til the end of February 2014. 4 units divided into a store, gallery and diner, Temporium has quite a number of big names behind it. The property is owned by Breezeway, while the concept, interior and general management is by Tofu; and the diner is a collaboration between Wild Rocket, Papa Palheta and Weekend Worker. Continue Reading →

Colours of Thailand at Angsana, Bintan

Thai street food
A couple of weekends ago, I was invited to Angsana Bintan for a quick weekend getaway, and also to experience their quarterly weekend event, The Colours of Thailand. Among the activities lined up, it included feasting on a selection of Thai cuisine that was thoughtfully prepared by Chef Renu Homsombat, Banyan Tree’s Corporate Chef at Saffron, who had specially flown in from Bangkok for the event. Continue Reading →

Crab in da Bag at Big Splash. Freaking awesome seafood on the east coast of Singapore

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With the holidays coming around, you may be looking for some fun, laid-back, affordable dining spots suitable for large groups. One great place that I recently had the opportunity to feast at, and that I highly recommend, is Crab in da Bag, a seafood joint located at the Big Splash complex in East Coast Park. While you might instinctively give this place a wide berth — it admittedly looks cheesy and theme-parkish — the food is awesome, the portions bountiful, and the booze well-priced. Continue Reading →

Istanbul’s Meze by Lemon Tree serves inspired Turkish cuisine

Atom dessertTurkish restaurants can be divided into three large categories: meyhanes where people drink raki and eat meze, fish restaurants which involve a banquet of cold and hot appetizers followed by a showcase of fish as a main, and meat restaurants, which serve grilled meats, and all sorts of kebabs and skewers charcoal cooked to perfection.  These categories, obviously, are aside from the numerous esnaf lokantasi tradesmen establishments, street foods, snacks, and produce available to grab and go. Continue Reading →