In The East

The trendy East Coast suburb has seen a recent mushrooming of new food and beverage joints. Spread out from Siglap to Katong, these new places add to well-established cafes and restaurants that draw a predominantly yuppie crowd. “Easterners” roll up in sporty cars and on foot, in fashionable flip flops and T-shirts, to hang out over a good meal. Evenings and weekends are hugely popular, and good tables are hard to come by. I-S introduces you to the new kids on the block.
Astons Specialties, 119 East Coast Rd., 6247-7857.
Since it opened in July, this joint has been packed for lunch and dinner everyday. Steaks are the star here, with the prime rib eye extra-cut ($14.90), served with homemade mushroom sauce, being a must-try. The grilled fish with herbs ($5.90), served with homemade asparagus sauce, is good too. Other recommended dishes include the black pepper chicken ($5.90) and the spicy seafood marinara ($7.90). Each of the above is served with two sides of your choice.
Indian Wok, 699 East Coast Rd., 6448-2003.
This warm and inviting Indian restaurant is one of the few in Singapore that serves authentic Indian-Chinese cuisine, which is very popular in India. The restaurant is immensely crowded on the weekends, so be sure to make a reservation beforehand. Seafood lovers will be pleased with the crab claws ($15) and the pomfret havoli ($18). The chili garlic noodle ($18) is another must-try. End your meal with the taste-bud tempting date pancake ($18).
The Hong Kong Tea House, G/F, 86 East Coast Rd., 6345-1932.
You can’t miss the distinctive white colonial-styled building that houses this newly opened joint. The walls of the interior are filled with photos of Hong Kong pop icons and vinyl LPs from the 1970s. Over 400 items are on the menu, including baked home made noodle with pork chop ($9), baked broccoli with Portuguese sauce ($12), and a unique fruit salad spring roll ($2.80 for 3 pieces). Not to be missed are juicy steamed pork dumplings ($3.80 for 4 pieces) bursting with broth. End your meal with the delightful and nutty cream of walnut ($4.50).
Settlers Cafe, 107 East Coast Rd., 6345-0071.
This comfy third branch of the well-known lifestyle cafe is a great place to spend an afternoon over board games and yummy munchies. Games include Snorta, a fun and whimsical party game, as well as the award-winning The Settlers of Catan. As for the food, try the juicy jumbo sausages ($8.90), which come in beef, chicken and cheese. Those who are looking for something more filling should check out the Settler’s sandwich ($8.90) with a choice of three fillings—turkey ham, special tuna mayonnaise and chicken.
Stonegrill, 91 East Coast Rd., 6348-1211.
Dining here is a unique experience—your food is cooked before you on volcanic stones that have been pre-heated to 400°C. As General Manager Simon Ng explains, this healthy way of cooking locks in the food’s natural flavors and juices, and eliminates the need for condiments. Start off your meal with wild stuffed mushrooms ($7.90); then move on to a nice chunk of tenderloin steak ($24.90) and a generous slice of Pacific dory fish ($11.90). Mains are served on the volcanic stones, along with a side salad and a dip.
Wine Connection, #01-06 The Domain, 914 East Coast Rd., 6441-6883.
This East Coast branch of the wine shop over at Robertson Quay opened its doors on August 1. Bottles start at a very reasonable $15 and go up to over $400 for premium labels. Special mentions include the Trivento Reserve Syrah/Malbec ($29) from Argentina and the Waipora Hills Marlborough Pinot Noir ($26) from Chile. Wine accessories are also conveniently available here (from $4). Wine lovers will be happy to know that there is a free casual tasting on every Friday, from 6-8pm. Remember to also check out the Belgian beers, such as the Duvet ($6.50).