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New Restaurants, Cafes And Bars: December 2015

New Restaurants, Cafes And Bars: December 2015

'Tis the season for catch-ups, family gatherings, and basically spending time with the people we love. Thank goodness there are new places for lovely date nights, affordable after-work drinks with friends, desserts and more!
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Save yourself the almost four-hour flight to Hong Kong and leg on over to Scotts Square instead for The Coffee Academïcs experience. Occupying the unit facing their earlier pop-up store, look forward to state-of-the-art brewing techniques and excellent cuppas when you swing by this super chic joint. The coffee they use is a blend of beans from Panama, Colombia, and Ethiopia, with a lovely medium body and just a teenie weenie hint of acidity. Feeling adventurous? Try the Okinawa, a dark brown sugar latte ($7.50), or the Pepper Agave Latte ($7.50) with raw agave nectar and ground black pepper – an intriguing mix of sweet, spicy and bitter that goes surprisingly well together. There’s a well-curated selection of sweet and savoury dishes too, including the Academïcs Cinnamon Churros ($16), Açai Berry Bowl ($15) and the Crispy Fish Fillet Tacos ($21, served with curly fries!).

Located within the National Gallery Singapore and overlooking the spectacular night view of the Padang and Marina Bay, the partially open-air rooftop bar Smoke & Mirrors is perfect for an intimate nightcap. Many of the drinks available come with distinctive visual presentations. Go for the potent tequila-based Tiger Blood Daisy ($20) for some pyrotechnic fun or the fruity and bittersweet vermouth-based Siamese Fireback ($20) for a theatrical surprise!

Taiwanese favourite Smoothie House brings cool relief to our tropical city with bowls of their madly popular Snowflake Ice in a cosy corner of One Raffles Place. The signature Mango Snowflake Ice with Panna Cotta ($12.90) tempts with multiple folds of mango shaved ice studded with huge chunks of mango and crowned with a wobbly panna cotta! Also worth trying is the Tiramisu & Red Beans Snowflake Ice with Panna Cotta ($15.90), with alternating layers of finger biscuits and coffee-based shaved ice dusted with cocoa powder. Bring two or three friends so you can try more flavours!

This fuss-free concept from the Emmanuel Stroobant Group dishes out quality sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups and pastries at very reasonable prices.
Get the pre-packed goodies to go or pop by for a power lunch with your colleague or yoga buddy and dig into their Kale Soba Salad ($13.80) best paired with the gomadare dressing, the Lentil Salad ($13.80) with succulent slices of poached sakura chicken breast to boot, and the Smoked Salmon Sandwich ($14.80) slathered with dill mayo! Pair it with a cup of Nespresso, Alain Milliat juices or coconut water, and don't forget the ridiculously moist and chocolatey Saint Pierre's Signature Flourless Chocolate Cake ($6) for a sweet finale.

New within the newly-opened PasarBella at Suntec City is yakitori stall Grilllo. Order the skewers à la carte for a light snack and try the juicy Chicken & Leek ($2) and the flaky Salmon ($2). For a value for money deal, opt for the Grillo Box ($9.90) and choose from nine sets of preselected combination of skewers instead, with a choice of two sides such as wild grain rice or cabbage and carrot salad plus a sauce – go for Smoky, for a more pronounced char-grilled flavour. The set also comes with a Brown Sugar Mochi ($3, à la carte), which isn’t overwhelmingly sweet.

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Fall head over heels for Mr Churro, the newest Korean brand that has landed on our shores! Known for their 50cm churros, nibble on these crispy yet chewy on the inside treats, whether simply dusted in cinnamon sugar ($4.50), with a dip of your choice (chocolate or cheese), or drizzled with chopped nuts and chocolate sauce (Nutty Churro, $5.90). Banana lovers should defo try the churros with the banana milk soft serve ($6.50, Banana Milk Ice Cream), that is only available in Singapore! Be prepared to wait a little as each churro is cooked to order.

Nestled within the quiet Greenwood Avenue estate and steps away from Shelter In The Woods is Claude's, a café concept which offers freshly baked cakes, breads, artisanal coffee and brunch – think Crispy Tortilla Quesadilla ($15) and Beef Pita Sandwich ($19). Its location and spaciousness makes it ideal for weekend family brunches or group gatherings. Bring a friend and share their gigantic Full English Breakfast with Foot-Long Sausage ($24) for a spot-on brunch fix – eggs in any style, stewed beans, hash browns, bacon, roasted tomatoes, chunky salsa, warm bread and fresh salad. If you're looking for classic café sweets, go for their artistically-plated "Like No Other" Charcoal Waffle ($16) – a mixture of fruits and sauces, cheddar flakes, vanilla crumbs and hand-churned vanilla and chocolate gelato atop a waffle that's crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside!

Korean joints have been mushrooming non-stop, but House of Gimbap sets itself apart with a focus on rice rolls ($11.50, 10 slices) and wellness teas. The Beef Bulgogi Gimbap is an easy choice – a sweet and savoury meaty sensation filled with marinated grilled Australian beef, mushrooms, fresh lettuce and pickled vegetables – and so is the Wasabi Tuna, especially if you’re looking for a mild kick. For those who prefer rice bowls, they offer a small selection too including the Spicy Pork Dupbap ($15.50), which comes topped with spicy grilled pork, vegetables and spring onions. Wash it all down with the refreshing, mint-kissed Esel Tea ($3) for the full experience.

From the folks behind Carvers & Co, Wolf Burgers is situated within the just-launched PasarBella at Suntec City, which sees a food court-like concept where diners order from different “stalls." Following the popularity of their beef burgers at Carvers & Co, Wolf's menu also includes pork and chicken varieties, alongside three types of waffles. Go for the Pork Gochujang burger ($9.90) — a pork patty char-grilled to-order, topped with Korean-inspired grilled cucumber and kimchi. For something classic and satisfying, the Alpha Burger ($14.90) will do the trick with two thick, chunky beef patties coated in a double-layer of melted American Cheese and caramelised onions. Add a side of crispy, well-seasoned Sweet Potato Fries ($5) to complete the meal. This seems like a good spot for after-work dinner, especially for groups who can't decide where to eat!

If you're a fan of Maison Ikkoku's cocktails, then you're gonna swoon over their newest concept housed in the Pinacothèque De Paris smack in the heart of Fort Canning Park's lush grounds. While the tipples at Kandahar are more playful and experimental, look forward to more refined concoctions at this establishment, as well as a more sophisticated interior with touches of copper pipes, filament bulbs and velvet curtains. Considering the bar doubles up as a humble “kitchen,” they dish out surprisingly delectable nosh (including a 12-course omakase for only $68) that are, more than good enough for an intimate date night. Must-order dishes include The Sea ($38) — an indulgent starter comprising Hokkaido scallops, ikura and tobiko, as well as The Nest ($28) – a Parmigiano Reggiano and mozzarella custard. Be sure to opt for the cocktail pairing for the latter, as the whisky-based 'Antibiotic' infused with young ginger and smoke (using Jack Daniel's wood chips) is absolutely tipplelicious.

Hidden behind an unassuming door along Telok Ayer Street, Free The Robot shares the same space as Bitters & Love, operating in the day while the latter takes over in the evening. This rustic little space is lovely for a calming, simple lunch of Beef Meatballs with Jasmine Rice ($11), featuring chunky handmade meatballs and soft, fluffy rice. For a light breakfast bite, have the Sous Vide Egg with Jamon Ham, Truffle and a slice of Brioche ($5), the savoury cured meat and heady whiff of truffle adding a lovely twist to the local favourite of half-boiled eggs. Coffee is brewed from blends supplied by Toby's Estate, perfect for your mid-day coffee run. If you're up for something interesting, try the Free The Robot Signature ($6) — cold-pressed coconut oil, milk and espresso using Woolloomooloo beans!

Ann Siang welcomes Fat Saigon Boy, a contemporary Australian-Vietnamese joint with casual, laid-back vibes. Don't expect authentic Vietnamese fare here, and enjoy a light lunch with dishes like the Signature BBQ Lemongrass Pork Banh Mi ($11), stuffed with grilled pork belly, pickled vegetables, herbs and smeared with pate (add a good squeeze of Sriracha too!). If you are one for pho, try their legit take on Beef Pho ($14) — the beef broth simmered with aromatic herbs provides layers of flavour! Otherwise, go for the Char-grilled Lemongrass Pork Vermicelli Noodle ($13) with the same tender char-grilled pork chunks in the banh mi, along with roasted nuts, fried shallots, julienned veggies and fresh Asian herbs. Pop by after work with your colleagues, and pair some Vietnamese tapas with a beer or two for a relaxing night out.

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Curated by our editors, featuring great places and the latest food news.
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