New Restaurants, Cafes and Bars: March 2015

New Restaurants, Cafes and Bars: March 2015

We can't believe it's already March, and it appears that the craze for waffles, froyo and Korean fried chicken hasn't died down!
Burpple Guides
Burpple Guides

Plus39 Gelato Bar joins the busy crowd at Circular Road, providing icy relief to CDB folks with their freshly prepared gelato. While prices may be higher than most gelato places, be assured that you're paying a premium for quality — Gelato Coach Jacopo Quaglia knows his stuff and you can taste it in the gelato, which possesses a silky smoothness rivalled by few. Flavours are rotated daily, but if you can, don't hesitate to go for the undeniably good Pistachio or the intriguing Chilli Chocolate gelatos. Alternatively, dig into the very alcoholic frozen Spritz made with Aperol if you've had a very rough day at the office.

The famous Kok Kee Wanton Mee has moved just a few steps from their old home at Lavender Food Square to Hoa Nam Building at 27 Foch Road, and is finally open for business once again. Nothing has changed (save for a $0.50 increase, and servings come in bowls now) - the noodles are still springy, and the mystical secret sauce and sweet chilli continue to enchant. Welcome back to the queue.

Joining the cluster of eateries opposite Sembawang Shopping Centre (which currently includes RoyceMary Cafe, Mootime and the famous Sembawang White Bee Hoon) is Baker's Brew Studio, a baking studio-cum-cafe concept. There is no partition between the baking kitchen and the seating area, so if you visit at the right time, you will get to observe the baking process and grab piping hot bakes fresh out of the oven! There is no fixed menu per se — the bakers let their creativity and inspiration dictate what rolls out daily. Past bakes include Earl Grey Lavender and Red Velvet cakes, Paddlepop and Japanese Cheesecakes, with many flavours yet to come. Try to catch their Raspberry Swirl and Carrot Cake!

Situated in the Bras Basah area, The Betterfield offers truly fine dining quality fare in a relaxed bistro setting. The kitchen is helmed by a chef who has former experience working in several hotel and restaurant kitchens, and the years of experience is evident in the sheer quality of the food served. Try their brunch options such as Eggs Benedict, or their finger food options like truffle fries and their awesome Secret Thai Chilli Chicken. For mains, go for the Duck Confit and the Black Angus Ribeye, which are irresistibly affordable at just $20 nett, yet taste better than equivalents which cost double elsewhere. This place is a true gem!

Sandwiched between Stateland Cafe and Honeycomb at Bali Lane, & Why is a New York-themed deli brought to you by the guys behind I Am Cafe along Haji Lane. Halal-certified and Muslim-run, & Why serves coffee, sandwiches, salads, mocktails, and selected bakes. Go for their Lobster Mobster ($16.90) — lobster chunks tossed with chopped celery and mayo, topped with arugula on bread -- and their indulgent Choc Rocher Cheesecake. End your meal with one of their decadent non-alcoholic mocktails such as the Mad About Dolce ($6.90) — you'd swear it tastes like it contains Baileys!

Opened by the same people behind Honeycomb and Stateland Cafe, Chick and Ken specialises in Korean fried chicken and Bingsu. You can choose from three flavours of chicken ($15.90 for 8 pieces) — Yangnyeom (gochujiang, garlic, rice syrup), Ganjang (soy sauce, garlic, mirin) and Salted Egg. For Bingsus, go for their classic Injeolmi Bingsu ($12.90) — shaved ice with honeyed cornflakes, red beans and toasted rice cakes, accompanied by a syringe of decadent condensed milk!

Taking over the space previously occupied by the legendary Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice at South Buona Vista Road, Australian-style Paddy Hills serves cafe food in the day, and Asian-inspired small plates after 5.30pm. There is a strong fusion aspect to their offerings which aim to surprise the tastebuds, as seen in their intriguing Cauliflower Fritters with paprika salt and masala yogurt ($12). For brunch, share their gorgeous Berry Ricotta Hotcake ($19) — a huge, fluffy, crisp cake that's topped with berries, mascarpone, berry sugar and beautiful edible flowers. Also go for their Squid Ink Tagliatelle ($23), a Japanese fusion dish topped with ever-so-lightly seared scallops. For dinner, select from their wide array of yakitoris and share their Golden Man Tou Sliders ($23)!

From the people behind Montana Brew Bar comes Nookie Yogurt, a yogurt concept best described as "frozen yogurt meets deconstructed desserts". You can choose from various exciting flavours, ranging from the light-tasting Strawberry Watermelon Rose to the more indulgent Chocolate Banana Churros. If you're feeling inventive, you can also customise your yogurt!

Opening along Bukit Pasoh Road, Boca serves authentic Portugese fare in a warm, stylish setting. Be welcomed into the three-storey shophouse by flights of Andorinha (swallows) which commemorate the spirit of returning home, and make yourself comfrotable in this stylish, warm space. Order the Prato de Salgadinhos Mistos, which is their platter of petiscos (the Portugese equivalent of tapas) and go for the super-comforting Açorda de Bacalhau (congee-esque bread with salted cod), and the Chouriço em Chamas (chorizo flame-grilled in brandy). End the evening with the original Portuguese Egg Tart, served with a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon and icing sugar as they should be. Sounds like an amazing date night, no?

Setting up shop in Orchard [email protected], Chir Chir (pronounced Chi-Re Chi-Re) is a restaurant chain from Korea that specialises in deep fried Korean-style chicken and -- to the joy of many -- pairs it with beer. The chicken servings here are portioned for large groups, what a great excuse to bring friends! Definitely order the Nest Snow, essentially Cajun chicken tenders in rich cream sauce topped with whipped cream, and pair it with the Ladykiller, a mojito drink served with an upside-down bottle of beer that replenishes the drink as you sip it.

Brightening up the Novena neighbourhood is The Clueless Goat, a new cafe which serves coffee, waffles and brunch options. The beans used are from Common Man Coffee Roasters, so you know your coffee needs will be met. Choose from a variety of brunch options such as their Ranchers' Eggs -- poached eggs with smashed avocado, salsa and shaved parmesan -- and their British Breakfast Platter. Do not leave without trying their very unique waffles, which taste like a cross between buttery pancakes and fluffy waffles, perfect for when you can't decide between the two ;)

Situated at North Bridge Road and taking over the space from the now-defunct De’Pop Culture Cafe, Halal-certified Wilder offers a fresh spin on classic brunch fare in a industrial cafe setting. Go for their French Toast -- a unique Eggs Benedict-esque creation with two fried eggs seated atop a savoury, stuffed brioche -- or the satisfying Prawn and Corn Fritter with Avocado and Homemade Tomato Salsa topped with Egg. A small selection of dessert items and drinks are also available.

The top picks, popular finds and newly opened places in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, curated by Burpple editors!

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