From complete revamps to much-welcomed new additions

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.
 

Cook & Tras Social Library
 

Sit down for a meal here and you’ll be presented with a book of a menu. It may be an effort to sift through, but is highly in line with the library theme of the place. Located at the lobby level of Six Senses Maxwell, the cuisine here may be best described as Southern European, though a decent amount of local dishes find its way into the menu as well. Get items like hefty sticks of Iberico Pork Satay ($9) as well as The Lean Green ($18), a giant bowlful of kale, baby spinach, snap peas and other greens topped with mustard seed dressing.

But it’s the mains that really impress here. Those preferring seafood should get the Baked Barramundi ($28), where a generous serving of fish is served with a really balanced natural yogurt sauce, pickled pineapple achar and leek, for a range of flavours that all tantalize the taste buds. Meat lovers should go straight for the Steak Chimichurri ($45-65). Choose your cut and have it served with a nicely tangy chimichurri sauce plus a side of roasted garlic puree. Then get ready to be impressed again with their desserts. Try The Camp Fire S’mores ($20), a bed of ice cream, nuts and a large s’more served smoking and pleasingly aromatic.
 

El Mero Mero


Five years since they welcomed their first customers, the go-to Mexican restaurant at Chijmes has revamped and reopend on Jul 1, offering authentic yet current cuisine on the menu. Get classics like Baja Fish tacos ($14 for two), easily a favourite, where each mouthful is an amazing burst of salsa, chipotle mayo and freshly made tortilla flavours. There’s also a Tortilla Soup ($14) dish that’s worth mentioning. In it, tortilla is dehydrated and flamed then used in a thick soup of tomatoes, garlic, onion, chilli pepper and avocado for a filling, comforting dish. For mains, definitely get the Fajita ($38), where oyster blade cuts of steak are served alongside tortillas (yes, again) for a DIY-wrap item that is all at once fun and satisfying to eat. Don’t skip desserts. Most will go for the churros, which is yummy, but get the Braised Pineapple ($14) for slices of caramelized fruit served with creamy, homemade vanilla ice cream.
 

Fratelli Trattoria


Celebrity chef brothers Enrico and Roberto Cerea, who hail from the famed three Michelin-starred restaurant Da Vittorio in Italy, helm the kitchen here alongside resident chef Davide Bizzarri. The brothers bring with them here that same Lombardy culinary heritage that propelled them into stardom, with dishes in the new dinner menu like the Gazpacho di Pomodori e Pesche, Gamberi Croccanti ($42), where crispy Mazara red prawns are served prepared with vine tomatoes, peach gazpacho, heirloom carrots and herb mayonnaise for a delicate but comforting dish. Then there’s the Spaghetti alla Chitarra, Pancetta e Fonduta “Cacio e Pepe” ($32), a simple looking pasta dish elevated with Spanish pork belly and which packs a fragrant peppery kick thanks to the use of Sarawak black pepper. Items here feel highly refined, yet retain that moreish quality we love about Italian cuisine. Even their Tiramisu Moderno ($18) dessert, made the way the Cerea family likes it, will make you coming back for more.
 

Komyuniti
 

Expect an array of flavours when you indulge in cocktails at this hotel bar located right in the heart of Orchard Road. Award-winning mixologist As’ad shakes things up with the Mellon Down ($18), a melon milk washed-whiskey with wine cordial and fresh dill. While it’s on the sweeter side, the clarified beverage presents a bold, melon flavour that’s so aromatic, you’ll leave the bar still thinking about it. Meanwhile, the hot favourite La Negra Rita ($18) has been retained for obvious reasons. The dark purple elixir is primarily made up of kaffir lime tequila and orange liqueur; and flavoured with charcoal syrup, black salt, orange flower mist and topped with a citrus foam. Both sweet and tangy, it’s everything you’ll want in a cocktail. Coffee aficionados will also be interested to try the Comic Coffee ($18), which features butter-washed vodka and salted espresso. Find a refreshing local finish of soy bean curd at the bottom of the cup, and a piece of nougat by the side that provides a hint of sweetness to balance the strong coffee notes.
 

L’Entrecote Customs House
 

French steak bistro L’Entrecote’s new bistro and bar at Customs House features a stunning semi-alfresco setting that overlooks the quay. While its bistro menu of all-time favourites remains, look forward to sitting by the riverside for some bar bites and drinks too. But don’t be mistaken, plenty of substantial grub await, not just truffle fries and chicken wings. Pick the Deep Fried Frog Legs ($18) for an unexpected take on the usual wings, and don’t pass up on an order of La Planche De Charcuteries Et Fromages ($38), which presents the brand’s signature Duck Foie Gras Terrine and incredible Duck Rillette. No need to get a whole plate of steak frites either, just get their bite-sized version of Wagyu Beef Cubes with Legendary L’Entrecote Oxtail Sauce ($22), perfect for sharing. For drinks, very wallet-friendly beverages await, such as the refreshing, French summer staple Lille Vive ($10) and must-try licorice-flavored aperitif Ricard ($8).
 

Level33


Not that it needed it, but the world’s highest urban microbrewery has undergone a complete revamp, and now offers so much more. First off, beer geeks will appreciate that their brews are all now available bottled, meaning you can buy home your favourite Level33 beer to appreciate at home. The floor is also now separated into three different, but interconnected concepts. Previously housing a restaurant plus a terrace with a seperate bar bites menu, a new social space has now been added, where a more casual dining experience featuring an oyster bar awaits.

The main restaurant menu is even more intertwined with the beer brewing elements now, thanks to the work of executive chef ArChan Chan. Try their degustation menus, that range from a two-course ($68) to nine-course ($135) option. The yummy homemade spent grain bread remains, and as an appetiser, there’s a new squid noodles dish, where the squid is thinly sliced and served in a consomme, alongside lager-pickled enoki. For mains, their new spent grain linguine is one to look forward to. Not only does it make good use of beer brewing byproducts, it’s tossed in a unique seaweed butter sauce that is heavy and creamy enough to satisfy, yet light enough for you to keep going for another bite.
 

Propeller


A new food and drink menu has arrived, and we wonder why this wasn’t the line-up they’ve had all along. Firstly, the cocktails, all craft creations by head barman Haran Loges, only range between $15-17. All the nine new concoctions stand out in their own way, but start with the Dusk to Remember, a Negroni-inspired drink made using a homemade banana vermouth reduction that is great for those who dislike Campari.

Get the photo-worthy Chill Pill for their take on the classic Penicillin, or if you’re like us, try the savoury Seatini. It’s a more layered, saline take on the Dirty Martini, with a salty bubble foam on top that is surprisingly delicious to eat. The Red & Murky—their version of the Dark & Stormy—made with their own ginger beer that packs heat without being too spicy, is worth trying too. The food is amazing as well, especially the highly addictive Prawn Gumbos Quesadilla ($14.50) that had us slurping finish every bit of sauce. Or get the Waffle Fries with Corned Chilli Beef Cheese ($13.90) for a can’t-go-wrong finger food to go with your drinks.