The one and only time I tried checking out Michelin-starred dim sum specialist Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong was a complete bust. My wife and I had tried stopping by the original Mongkok branch for an early breakfast before a full day of appointments. Unfortunately, the line was simply too long and after a little more than 30 minutes, we had to hightail it back to Central, sans dim sum.
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.
One of the restaurants that people keep asking me if I’ve tried is Jamie’s Italian. Ever since Jamie Oliver opened his eponymous casual Italian eatery here in Singapore, there’s been an almost non-stop buzz surrounding it. The fact that most customers have to wait in line (for often over an hour) — only a tiny fraction of tables are available for reservations (online) and I’ve been told that the next available table is in 3 months — has obviously helped to build the hype. Well, last week (and thanks to a buddy who was able to score me a table), my wife S and I, plus two friends, were finally able to try this much-talked about restaurant.
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.
I am a total ice cream addict. On top of that, since my wife S makes some of the best ice cream I have ever tasted, in the years since she first bought her commercial ice cream machine, I’ve become a rather discerning (or spoiled depending on who you ask) ice cream lover. Which means that any new ice cream has to be pretty damned good if it is going to impress me. Which is exactly what the flavours I tasted from Singapore’s newest ice cream brand, The Inspired Chef, did.
I’m a fan of Chef Ryan Clift. And I’m happy to admit it. I admire the very technically refined and often challenging food he cooks at Tippling Club, his flagship fine diner. And I love the food at Open Door Policy, his casual bistro in hipsterville (i.e. Tiong Bahru). And now, with the opening of DING DONG, Ryan’s ode to Southeast Asia, there’s yet another reason to respect this very hard-working chef and restaurateur.
Finally, after months of waiting, IZY is open. This chic, ultra-urban modern izakaya opened its doors (to the public) for the first time last night. Yours truly, along with his always gorgeous and almost always hungry wife, and four friends, were among the first to check out Club Street’s newest (dare I say hottest?) arrival.
Located in the hip meatpacking district of New York City, Del Posto is one of those restaurants that, when you enter its premises. simply takes your breath away. To the left, there is a classically designed dark wood bar and in the middle, a grand staircase that leads up to the second floor of the restaurant and brings you a little closer to the huge sparkling crystal chandelier.