Three Tasty Trends on the Rise

What’s hot on the table these days? In partnership with UOB The Dining Advisor, we take a look at the trending eats Singaporean foodies are tucking into.



Photo by Burppler MakanWarrior

Unagi speciality shops have been all the buzz this year, whether it’s local brands like Man Man and Uya or the international, century-old Japanese brand Unagiya Ichinoji. Hitsumabushi, the humble dish of grilled eel on rice made famous in Nagoya, is undoubtedly the chirashi don of 2018. But what is it about this simple, earthy unagi bowl that’s got the community hooked? For one, the unique preparation. To make hitsumabushi, eels glazed with a housemade tare (Japanese sauce) are charcoal-grilled whole without steaming. Done this way, the freshwater fish is rid of its muddy, fishy taste. Take it from Burppler Xinyi Lim: “I know some people don't fancy unagi because it can taste quite fishy if not cooked well. Don't worry, this isn't the case here!” The many ways to savour the dish (there are four), and the theatrics of a Japanese chef skillfully fishing a slippery live eel out of the tank and slitting it wide open before your eyes, are more reasons unagi has successfully slithered onto our shores.

Where to get your unagi fix
For queue-worthy unagi: Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant
For tender unagi charred to perfection: Uya
For more Nagoya-style unagi dishes: Unagiya Ichinoji

Cantonese classics


Photo by Burppler Jonathan Lim Jia Jun

It’s about time this regional Chinese cuisine had its turn in the limelight. Beyond dim sum (which we’ve practically made our own), Cantonese food is known for its complex yet amazingly light flavours that come together with an indelible mark of good cooking: wok hei. Making Cantonese cool again are the many congee spots that popped up this year. What Burppler I Makan Sg had to say about Mui Kee shows for it: “No doubt about the smooth velvety texture and flavourful taste of their congee, but the wok hei in this parrot fish belly congee was the ultimate.” Silky, translucent chee cheong fun also makes an appearance alongside congee, while the meatier stuff like roast duck from Michelin-starred chef Alvin Leung’s Forbidden Duck and Kia Hiang’s old, but not forgotten braised chicken also help tip the scale in favour of all things Cantonese.

Where to get good Cantonese food
For velvety, wok hei-packed fish congee: Mui Kee
For claypot spring chicken with lots of zhup: Myo Restobar
For underrated Hong Kong delights: Crab Corner

Enjoy 10% off your total bill at Crab Corner with UOB Cards (Mon-Thu, 11am-5pm).

Asian-inspired menus


Photo by Burppler Shumin Zhuang

Hitting home for a home run, restaurants are taking slant towards native produce and Asian-inspired dishes this year. Masterchef Asia winner Woo Wai Leong’s newly opened Restaurant Ibid is a fine example — all his dishes, including a stellar steamed lotus leaf rice with foie gras, revolve around at least one Asian element or technique. Others have injected an Asian touch into revamped menus, from pulled duck chee cheong for brunch at The Masses to har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken) and waffles at modern SPRMRKT. It’s not just restaurants; bars and hotels alike have hopped on the bandwagon headed in the local direction. We’re counting kueh salat cocktails, Katong laksa at buffet lines and more.

Where to try Asian-inspired dishes
For a fun, Asian-inflected lunch affair: Ding Dong
For an Indian take on meats: Meatsmith Little India
For a Peranakan-themed buffet: Sun’s Cafe

Enjoy 1-for-1 Peranakan buffet at Sun’s Cafe with UOB Cards.

Know of an up-and-coming food trend that we missed? Let us know by leaving a review on your best 2018 eats in the app! Sign up for ​UOB Cards​ to enjoy UOB Dining promotions and head over to The Dining Advisor for more 1-for-1 dining deals. See full terms and conditions here.