From premium wagyu dons to dainty mille crepe cakes

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? As much as we love the spate of new F&B joints popping up everyday, there’s some respect to be had for a restaurant that’s stood the test of time in tumultuous Singapore, and continued to keep things fresh for its loyal fans. Every month, we scope out some of your best-loved places for the new menus they’re bringing to the table.

Fat Cow

The premium donburi institution refreshes its offerings with 15 new dishes to the a la carte menu, introducing in particular a new non-beef (read: seafood) direction where the chefs can flex their plating creativity. Find it in the starters, which include the Toro Uni Kaisen Mille-Fueille ($38), a refreshing orb of chopped toro, okra, sweet shrimp and fresh sea urchin. For a hot plate, the Kani Miso Korayaki ($34) marries warm grilled rab, scallop and shimeiji in a crab shell, with a gooey egg on top to tie the mushroom-heavy flavours together.

Easy lunch options include the new mini dons—the Hitsuma Bushi ($28) has a good texture to its eel, tender through to the last bite even after you’ve poured in the accompanying miso soup. And pescetarians will be pleased to see the Seared Ora Salmon ($48), topped with mixed mushrooms that lend welcome texture to the smooth bite of salmon. But for fans of Fat Cow’s signature offerings, there’re the two new options of Japanese wagyu, available as individual cuts or on the rice bowls. Pick the Nagasaki Wagyu (from $168 for a half-cut Grade A4 striploin) if you want a richer, more decadent mouth experience; the Kagoshima A4 Tenderloin is a more classic flavour that might sit better on the restaurant’s umami dons (if you needed a reminder, the rice is fried in beef fat, trimmings, and topped with truffle).

Lady M

Sakura season is in full swing, and you can get a slice of it in Singapore, literally, with Lady M’s latest seasonal creation the Sakura Berry Mille Crepe ($9.50). Like their Signature Mille Crepe, the Sakura Berry one is a layered stack of handmade crepes and velvety pastry cream, but with floral and fruity touches thanks to the addition of luscious sakura-infused white chocolate ganache and dehydrated strawberries placed in-between the yummy sheets. While it’s available at all Lady M stores in Singapore, you’d want to head to the newly revamped Orchard Central flagship boutique, now housing a beautiful new trellis decked with shimmering paper butterflies perfect for photo ops. Enjoy the Sakura Berry Mille Crepe while you can, cause just like the cherry blossom blooms it takes inspiration from, it is a fleeting experience only available till end-April.

Opus Bar and Grill

Hilton Singapore’s steakhouse just turned four in March, and they’re celebrating with new cuts and appetisers. To start, there’s a refreshing watermelon and feta cheese salad ($15), crispy crab cake ($18) and juicy buttery Atlantic scallops ($22) in butternut squash puree. Still, the anniversary favourite hasn’t forgotten its centerpiece charcoal grill, which continues to do justice to new quality meats like the New Zealand Lamb Porterhouse ($42) and New Zealand Roasted Tenderloin ($128)—the first time New Zealand makes an appearance on their predominantly Australian grill menu. You can only choose one sauce to go with your meats, and for that we recommend the housemade Harissa sauce, a creamy spice paste with a lemony tang that goes well with everything, but especially lobster.  Finally, call us predictable, but the highlight of the refresh has to be the Opus Over-The-Top Fries ($15)—chunky-cut truffle fries fried ingeniously in foie gras lard; a most worthy contender to a certain truffle fries institution across the road.

Porta Fine Food & Import Company

In a flash it’s been three years since modern European resto Porta opened on the fringe of Robertson Quay. Moving away from Porta’s initial Spanish-heavy character, Chef Alex Pan has made a concerted effort to incorporate more experimental techniques—he’s particularly fond of playing with molecular gastronomy, from his earlier days at Tippling Club—to reinvent the previous, “more straight-up bistro-style” dishes.

Definitely order the Chicken and Egg ($14), a standout for the onsen egg alone—dyed scarlet from beetroot juice then placed atop a nest of light greens and soy-marinated chicken. The Spicy Salmon Tartare ($16) is also good, a citrus-heavy dish tossed in sugarcane vinegar and served with crispy crackers; the crackers are in fact deep-fried rice paper sandwiching nori seaweed. Meat lovers will appreciate the classic Roast Chicken Leg ($24), tender after being brined in salt then shallow-fried; and the succulent Pork Belly ($26) cooked sous vide, its fat to juicy flesh ratio in perfect balance. There are new desserts worth trying too—it’s a toss-up between the cheekily deconstructed Key Lime Meringue ($12) and Spiced Apple Tarte Tatin ($14), Chef’s subtle take on bakkwa and Tiger Beer realised through bacon bits sprinkled atop spiced apple puff pastry and rum & raisin ice cream.

The Ottomani

Take your next date to supper club The Ottomani, whose new four-course menu ($108 per person, with add-on wine pairing at $68) of Middle Eastern flavours are sure to impress. Inside the intimate space, choose from three options each time for your bite (an amuse-bouche, if you will), starter, main and dessert. There’s a newly enhanced, aggressive emphasis on sourcing local, sustainable ingredients—whether it’s in the grass-fed tartare in the Durumzade bite or sustainably fished kingfish in the Pollin starter.

The generously portioned mains make sharing a breeze; for that we recommend the In Marshall—slow-roasted lamb shoulder in hearty spiced molasses—and Spud Point, tasty Tiberias snapper with a crust of roasted walnuts, burnt parsley and focaccia. All mains come with four side dishes that include local squash with smoked labneh, and handpicked heirloom tomatoes; so you’ll be plenty full. But no fear, you’ll still have room for the dainty desserts, especially the rich Dark Forest made with dark chocolate, dark cherries, halva, sour cherry and (yup) labneh.