From its powder-blue exterior walls to its monochromatic pillars and floor, its fragrantly-charred fluffy buns to its strong black coffee, I love everything about Chin Mee Chin Confectionery (aka C.M.C.). It’s the stop I must make whenever I find myself in the east, and last week was no exception.
When I received word that Bochinche was going through a bit of a rebrand with a more accessible menu and a small gourmet market, I was excited. Argentine food isn’t easily found in Singapore but knowing how palatable and full of flavour the cuisine can be, I thought it was high time that we got a little more serious about our Argentine food education. And who better to give us the low down than Bochinche’s Chef Patron, Diego Jacquet.
The perpetual hipster label may make proper foodies fairly skeptical of the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood, but there’s at least one restaurant worth visiting. Owned by Tippling Club’s award-winning chef Ryan Clift, Open Door Policy was one of the first establishments to shake up sleepy Yong Siak Street. The two-year-old restaurant is still constantly full, with guests returning for its rustic bistro classics with a contemporary twist. I chat with Head Chef Daniele Sperindio, who dishes on being a chef in Singapore and why camera-welding patrons don’t bother him – at least, not anymore.
In January last year, I visited the first Epicurean Market, organised and hosted by the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort in Singapore. I had a blast, partly because many of the guest chefs were friends and they made sure that my wife and I were well-fed and extremely well-hosted.
Having sampled some amazing modern tapas restaurants in Spain, Japan and Singapore over the years, I confess that I am rather partial to this genre. Tapas is a celebration of life with its cacophony of colours and tastes – all enjoyed in a casual and energetic setting. BAM! on Tras Street met all these key benchmarks and then some. With such an explosive name, my expectations were, ahem, loaded.
It’s no secret that my wife and I are big fans of Chef Willin Low and the Modern Singaporean food he’s been pioneering for the past 9 years through his restaurant Wild Rocket. Fans of Willin’s, including us, were rather distraught last year when he announced he was closing down this flagship eatery in search of a new location. After a few months of looking around, however, he decided that his original location on Mount Emily Hill was better than anything he’d seen. And so, instead of moving, he renovated the old space, re-opening with a brand new look last week, and with the very notable addition of a dining bar, at which Willin has begun to serve a new 8 course degustation menu.
There are some friends who you simply trust explicitly when it comes to food recommendations. My friend L is one such person. So when she raved about the best steamboat meal she’d ever had, and added the caveat that she had been introduced to this gastronomic revelation by none other than Wong Ah Yoke, chief food critic of The Straits Times, the main English newspaper here in Singapore, I knew it was something I had to try for myself. And soon.
Last year, while visiting the Christmas edition of Public Garden’s flea market, my wife and I met Joey Gan, founder of GSH Conserves, a local producer of some insanely good sauces. Because we always like to support local artisans, we purchased several jars of Joey’s products and promised, when we had the time, to interview him for this site.
In the first of this series, I sit down with Jennifer Dembitz from PS.Gourmet over a deep plate of linguini vongole. The PS.Gourmet group owns and operates six successful outlets, and will be adding two more to their roster very soon. Jen came to Singapore in 2010 by way of New York, where she was a publicist at award-winning agency Bullfrog & Baum. We talk about her bi-continental F&B career, personal cooking style and of course, the magic formula behind PS.Cafe.