From pasta bars to hotel restaurants, it's the season of Spring menus

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.


Bar Cicheti


Where do we begin with the Spring menu at homegrown pasta and wine bar Bar Cicheti, which continues to be ever-decadent while incorporating unconventional in-season ingredients? Chef Aun skillfully weaves the season’s finest produce from both Italy and Asia—artichokes, fava beans, zucchini flowers—into the menu. His versatility apparent, he nails every single pasta texture—from pillowy agnolotti to the classic spaghetti.

For the limited-edition Spring menu, the Bucatini ($30) has a firm al dente bite to the pasta that you won’t find elsewhere, complemented surprisingly with Hokkaido scallops, Chinese spring peas, and buttery saffron broth. The result is a delightfully floral pasta that will leave you room for more carbs. Spring (ha) for that or the Spaghetti ($28), tossed in creamy jalapeno pesto and chopped pistachios for flavour as robust as its hue. If you need antipasti to pad out the pasta, the grilled Asparago ($15) rained on with a shower of ricotta reinvents the ugly vegetable; or there’s the fail-safe Traditional Tiramisu ($14) you can’t go wrong with.

Ask sommelier Ronald Kamiyama for his profoundly expert take on which Italian wines pair best; though we’re stubbornly partial to the 2016 Chateau de Trinquevedel Rose, an easy-drinking rose from France.
 

Brotzeit


Spring has sprung in Germany too, and that can only mean one thing—the return of the country’s prized white asparagus. For just three months a year the Bavarian-harvested vegetable is exclusively in season, its lighter flavour gracing almost every dining table in Germany. The annual seasonal menu at Brotzeit pays homage to the dainty veg, serving farm-to-table white asparagus with a modern twist. Have it alone ($28) or as a side to the German restaurant’s iconic meats—the Pan Seared Barramundi ($35), fished from local farm Kuhlbarra, is a complementary option if you aren’t feeling up for a full Grilled Beef Tenderloin ($39). We much prefer Brotzeit’s more innovative takes that subtly work the vegetable in—like the appetising White Asparagus Cream Soup ($9), and dessert: a Deconstructed Lemon Cheese Tart ($10) that features white asparagus ribbons atop a cream cheese and asparagus puree. Pro tip: the iconic vegetable pairs great with Rieslings. Available through Jun 9
 

Lime Restaurant


While the rest of the island goes nuts over Impossible Foods, PARKROYAL on Pickering’s Lime Restaurant takes it back to the OG with a plant-based a la carte menu spotlighting Beyond Burger. Aiming to find environmentally friendly alternatives not just to beef, but also pork and seafood, the menu features just seven dishes spanning appetisers to desserts; the four vegan mains comprise a Beyond Burger, Fishless Fish & Chips, and Omnipork options in an Arrabbiata Pasta and Patty with Barbeque Sauce. Desserts are dairy-free, with the Coconut Chocolate Mousse Cake with Lemon Lime Sorbet and Lemon Grass Aiyu Jelly with Berries and Raspberry Sorbet being as easy on the eyes as they are on your digestive tract.
 

One-Ninety


This Four Seasons Hotel Singapore stalwart has completely revamped, now offering Asian-influenced Provencal cuisine in a classy garden setting, in line with the decor of the hotel’s recently-upgraded rooms. It’s now bright and clean, feeling less dim and cluttered than before, and making it an easy choice for long lunches and dinners with a cosy bunch. Start with homemade sourdoughs spread with seaweed butter (that also goes really well with many of their seafood dishes) before ordering up the iconic seafood tower (serves two) that includes lobsters, crabs, scallops, prawns and more. For something meatier, try the Westholme wagyu striploin that comes with a generous side of fries, while their spread of local dishes—from laksa to beef rendang—is always welcome. If you’re there for lunch, definitely go for the semi-buffet offering ($38) or have that plus a main for just $10 more.
 

Skirt


W Singapore’s centrepiece grill restaurant refreshes its menu yet again, turning up the heat with fresh produce. The grazing menu ($78 per person) sees updates in a curated repertoire of the restaurant’s best—the likes of Sobrassada Stuffed Calamari and Citrus Crab Donuts, set to become new signatures at Skirt. Included also are bestselling favourites like the Blistered Padron Peppers and Burratina Salad to get your appetite going. For your main, it’s a choice of the Mediterranean Seabass flown from Greece or a prime cut of Iberico Double Pork Chop, served with honey glazed carrots and grilled broccolini.
 

Smoke & Mirrors


It’s been two minutes since Yugnes Susela left, and with new head barman Jorge Conde in charge, comes a completely revised menu that remains true to the Smoke & Mirrors name—nothing is at it seems—while new artistic elements fit in nicely with the National Gallery locale yet also leveraging Conde’s background in graphic design. His creations seem accessible at first, thanks to a menu that places drinks in categories like Strong & Neat, Long & Refreshing, Fruity & Punchy, among others. But order up most any cocktail, and what you’ll mostly likely get is something much, much more complex. The Robbery at the Museum ($28), supposedly a take on the Singapore Sling, uses things like tepache, aquafaba, a cherry gin blend, and locally sourced herbs, resulting in a drink that may constitute the classic ingredients used in our national drink, yet tastes nothing like it; in a good way. For a real head-spinner, try the Picasso’s Pencil ($25), a mezcal-based drink that whiffs of actual pencil wood aromas; or get our favourite La Fumata Bianca ($28), an earthy, smokey and stiff drink that reminds us nothing of the classic drink it is based upon—negroni.