Beast & Butterflies
Beast & Butterflies
The stylish, Philippe Starck-designed M Social Singapore also houses restaurant and bar, Beast & Butterflies. While hotel restaurants are more often than not, run-of-the-mill, this youthful, neo-retro space prides itself on serving eclectic Asian-Western fusion flavors alongside artisanal cocktails. The space, which is furnished with lava lamps, video projections, table-top TV screens and walls mounted with 40 tablets of contemporary art, features a bar that overlooks the Singapore River. The menu offers a buffet breakfast ($20 per person), and a lunch set that comes with a range from one to three courses ($19.80-29.80) which includes local and Asian-inspired dishes like mee tai mak laksa ($16) and lobster porridge ($28). Hearty mains like the Great Rack of Lamb with steamed glutinous rice ($36) and the Beast Burger with wagyu beef patty ($28) are reliable a la carte choices. For dessert, order the iced meringues ($11) and yam brulee ($10).
If you find happiness in a taco, then the launch of this gritty (but cool) Mexician dive bar should send your heart aflutter. Located at Dunlop, Chimichanga is a humble set up which takes inspiration from spaghetti Westerns like From Dusk Till Dawn and The Desperados—minus the bloodthirsty vampire/gangster action. The menu is simple and to the point: tacos and quesadillas come with carnita pork, spicy chicken or shrimp fillings ($10 each), and other bar bites range from jalapeno pops ($10), chipotle wings ($10), crispy popcorn chicken ($10), squid rings ($10) and patatas fritas ($8). Don’t miss their beer bucket promotion—a bucket of five is at $30 and $40 from 11am-7pm and 7pm-12am respectively, with choices of San Miguel, San Miguel Light, Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Tennents Lager and Tennents Stout.
Beloved brunch fixture Spruce has closed its Phoenix Park outlet recently and the owners have replaced the restaurant with this new Tex-Mex “sister” establishment, dishing out fusion Mexican dishes in a slightly fancy setting. Unlike the grungier and more casual Tex-Mex restaurants here, Coyote retains the starched white table cloths and intimate al-fresco space, both details that were signature to Spruce. Menu-wise, veteran chef Jihardi Amin brings a modern spin to typical Mexican street grub, as seen in items such as Signature Wagyu Brisket De Res ($35), with beans, rice and jus, and the signature papaya cod fish ($38), which comes with kerabu salad, quinoa and papaya sauce. Other options include the usual tortillas and burgers, Mexican-inspired pastas and appetizers like tequila wings ($17). There’s also a weekend brunch menu that pulls together favorite breakfast places (think eggs benny and waffles), tacos, burgers and dessert—all with an Italian-Mexican-American twist.
The much-lauded bar and restaurant, which ranked #4 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list in 2015, retains its Prohibition-era vibe and is managed by the folks behind Pangaea, Bang Bang and Match, with principal bartender Steve Schneider and executive chef Julia Jaksic, and a few other partners. Just like its New York flagship, you can expect raucous late-night partying and friendly hospitality—the last batch of revelers will be served warm cups of chicken soup upon closing. The all-important cocktail menu has highlights like the EO Gimlet ($28), made with Perry’s Tot Navy Strength gin and lime cordial, and Ready Aim Fire ($26), a mix of mezcal, lime juice, honey-pineapple syrup and Hellfire Bitters. On the kitchen front, options range from meat, seafood, pasta, burgers and salad dishes, such as the roasted trout ($38), bone marrow poppers ($15) and EO Dry Aged Burger ($22). Late-night offerings are available till 2am, and there are plans to include taqueria items too.
Like Spruce, the owners of casual eatery Five & Dime seem to have found that a complete overhaul was in order. Cue Fat Lulu’s, a modern Asian barbecue and dessert bar which replaced the River Valley restaurant. Housed in the same standalone shophouse, the menu features a selected list of small plates and mains that has Italian, Mediterranean and Southeast Asian elements.
Some standout dishes are the seafood tostadita ($14); burnt squid, grilled octopus and prawns in chili lime vinaigerette and creme fraiche and the ikan bakar ($22); grilled fish with tumeric, garlic chili butter, ulum rajar and achar. And if you still have space for dessert, choose from classics such as warm banana bread and tiramisu (all $14 each), or molecular alternatives like “Atas” Kinder Bueno and peanut butter popsicle (all $16 each).
Orchard Road isn’t just where Japanese chain restaurants and fancy food courts reign supreme. Nestled in a quiet wing of Orchard Hotel’s level 2 is The Peranakan, an old-school gem dishing—what else—traditional Nonya cuisine. There are three different menus: Tok Panjang ($45-65 per person), where signature items are presented in rattan baskets; Six-Course Degustation ($85 per person, minimum six), a fancier, fine-dining experience and The Chef’s Table ($188-288), which includes wine pairing and an omakase-style line-up. Chef Raymond Khoo doesn’t aim to reinvent the wheel, so you can be sure to find famous classics like buah kulauk ayam and pig trotter pongteh available.
Read here for an interview with the restaurant’s veteran waiters.