From cafes offering more refined fare to restaurants dishing out more casual options

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.
 

Atlas


If the dining menu was intricate and refined before, then with new executive chef Loki Lynch in charge, Atlas’ menu can be said to be more comforting, produce-forward fare—though no less complex. He brings his culinary years spent in Australia, love for Mediterrenean cuisine and keen knowledge of ingredients to the fore. Start with his taramasalata ($20), a mezze paired with bagel chips and leaf-on radish for dipping. It’s addictive, thanks in no small part to the za'atar spice blend used. If you’re here more for a nibble to go with your drinks, get the mini lobster rolls ($26), where buttery buns meet large chunks of lobster meat. Drip on some tabasco for a balanced kick.

But it’s Lynch’s take on spaghetti ($32) vongole that steals the limelight. Something he often eats at home, each plate of freshly cooked pasta comes with generous amounts of carpet clams and cuttlefish, and topped with breadcrumbs for added texture. Vegetarians will appreciate the roasted pumpkin ($26). Mixed with a salad of pear, bitter leaves, sunflower seeds and drizzled in burnt butter vinaigrette, it’s one dish even carnivores will devour. Lynch makes his own desserts too. Don’t leave without having the banana and caramel cream pie—you’ll start out wanting to share but end up fighting to have the whole thing to yourself.
 

The Black Swan


This CBD haunt has come a long way since their 2013 inception. They’ve went through several menu iterations, but have always maintained their chophouse flair. With their latest menu, that doesn’t change. Still, new head chef Alysia Chan brings her produce-driven, minimal waste culinary chops to the table. Expect cuisine that is more thoughtful than they seem. Take the Venus Clams ($24), a plate of shellfish cooked in a broth made using beer keg run-off. The beer adds a lightness to the deliciously briny dish, making it that much more smashable. The Broccoli & Pine Nut Hummus ($14), that makes good use of usually discarded broccoli stems by blending them into a paste as a dip, is also genius—and served with crispy polenta chips for the perfect combo.

For mains, the Vintage Beef Ribeye ($60/300g) stands out for its richness in flavour, thanks to cuts taken from really old cattle. And gone is the Cauliflower Steak we know and love, and in its place is a Charred Sugarloaf Cabbage ($24) that kinda hits the same spot of a vegetable dish that mimics the satisfaction you get from meat. There’s a new cocktail menu too, with drinks that are all relatively stiff no matter how tame they sound. Try the Cecil Sour ($19), a take on the Clover Club but with added lavender notes for a more floral, refreshing feel, making for a good first drink.
 

Curious Palette


Following a collab with pop-up dining experience Magic Square alum Desmond Shen, the spacious Prinsep Street cafe and restaurant now offers a selection of inventive, comforting cuisine suitable for any time of day. Case in point: the Sugarloaf Cabbage, Seaweed Butter ($12.90). Mix the roasted cabbage in their homemade creamy emulsion of butter and seaweed, plus poached egg and topping of toasted nuts, and what you end up with is a slimy umami bomb with each mouthful.

For mains, don’t miss the Prawn, Mentaiko Belacan Pasta ($18.90) that combines the best of what we love about prawn mee and pastas into one satisfying dish. The spaghetti is firm, prawns nicely charcoal grilled, and you’ll easily slurp up every ounce of the shallow broth it comes in. Then there’s the Kaya, Coffee Butter ($9.50), that creatively resembles a traditional kaya toast set, complete with a slab of cold butter infused with coffee flavour sandwiched in-between the white bread. The side of sous vide egg and espresso shoyu just completes the whole experience. For an actual brew, get the Magic ($5.50) they’re so known for or try the new Coconut Cold Brew ($6.90) that is smoother, and even more refreshing than your usual cold brews.
 

Firebake


The east-side woodfire bakehouse and restaurant is delivering more of what its community loves with their latest. Start your weekends earlier and better as Firebake now opens from 9am. Many of their fan favourites remain (that Cheesymite is to die for), but expect a wider selection of mains. There’s now a burger on the menu, in the form of the Firebake Wagyu Cheese Burger ($18). Here, house-baked woodfired sourdough potato buns sandwich a patty and melted cheddar, but more importantly, a good dollop of Greek pastitsada sauce, which strangely reminds us of rendang. Then there’s the really good value, lean and flavoursome Grilled Argentinian Striploin ($28) served atop a slice of rye bread and topped with salsa verde; good for a lunch treat or full dinner. For something lighter, Firebake now serves tartines ($18), an open-faced sandwich with toppings that vary, depending on what they have. Think options like pastrami soaked in a pool of cheese fondue, or mortadella slices with sundried tomato pesto—it’s heavenly either way.
 

Hard Rock Cafe


A new menu has arrived at this Orchard stalwart, with several hearty burger additions that remind us all of their status as one of the big boys of burgers, lest we forget. There’s the 24-Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger ($41.95), which embodies the Rock N’ Roll glamour of the famed restaurant chain with iridescent gold flakes sitting atop the beef patty. For a less showy and more bite-sized burger option, choose the Buffalo-Style Sliders ($28.95), which encompasses the perfect amount of spice from the buffalo sauce and flavour from the crispy onion rings. Other new dishes slated to become favourites include the One Night in Bangkok Spicy Shrimp ($18.95) and Baby Back Ribs ($41.95). Lastly, end off your meal with one of two Boozy Milkshakes ($24.95), that combines both dessert and drink so you won’t have to pick between the two.
 

Se7enth


This perfect executive lunch spot has upped its game. The new Australian Wagyu Striploin Steak ($68) is an easy go-to. Its marbling is spot-on (not too much, not too little), and is tasty, even without the black pepper sauce served on the side, thanks to a seasoning of Himalayan salt and herbs. Large portobello mushroom slices, grilled asparagus and cheesy polenta sides complete the already generous serving. For a carb fix, the new Vongole Pasta ($26), that comes with heaps of clams (the seared scallops add-on is darn worth it too), won’t leave you feeling dissatisfied. For an even lighter meal (though still filling), get the Grilled Salmon Salad ($18). You’ll get a large plate of greens mixed with plenty of salmon chunks, avocado slices, tomatoes, and caramelized onions that makes an otherwise good dish great. And if you’ve been here before, be glad to know that the Asian items like the Australian Sirloin Beef Hor Fun ($32) remain on the menu, though reinvented to pack even more flavour.