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.
Dedicated patrons of this cosy Franco-Asian dining establishment will always have something new and innovative to look forward to, as Chef Dylan Ong never disappoints. An ode to the restaurant’s Asian heritage, The Masses’ Menu 8.0 offers some of the quirkiest yet nostalgia-ridden dishes, like the Infused Ajitsuke Tea Egg ($9), as well as the Pork Trotter Jelly ($11.90) which pays homage to the chef’s Teochew childhood. But the star of the show is hands-down the Chargrilled Char Siew Lamb Rib ($11.90). It’s exactly what it sounds like: Australian lamb rib marinated in char siew sauce, sous-vide for 36 hours and finished on a binchotan grill. A decadent dish worthy of any cheat day, tuck into the soft and tender meat garnished with fresh mint and paired with a sour cream dip. To cut through the richness, order the Soft Shell Prawn Meuniere ($15.90), which oozes flavour in every bite, and reminiscent of an elevated tze char experience. Vegetarians will also get the great option of diving into the pillowy Ricotta Gnocchi ($19.90), served with a medley of local mushrooms and a potato sauce diluted with chicken stock.
Giving the phrase down-to-earth a whole new meaning is Stellar at 1-Altitude, where a fun and relaxed fine dining experience awaits. Inspired by the four universal elements of air, water, earth and fire, the newest 6-course ($168) and 9-course ($228) Elements menu is as unconventional as it is unostentatious. In fact, in between courses, be taken to the kitchen counter for a taste of some of their fresh offerings from their miniature garden. For dishes, A Floating Daisy (only available on the 6-course menu) which comprises hazelnuts, artichoke and saltbush, is rather unforgettable thanks to its thick, creamy broth with sweet as well as savoury crumbs. Meanwhile, A Saucy Pig that features their most prized pork pluma is a lean cut of shoulder meat finished with fried garlic bits and dollops of various sauces. Smear the meat in all the sauces presented; it’s best consumed messy. Another highlight has got to be the Rabbit in a Blanket from the 9-course Elements, which offers rabbit ragu in a delicate scallop wrap, topped with edible flowers and served with a side of Valrhona chocolate. And finally, enjoy some dessert art specially created at your table by their in-house pastry chefs.
Impressing locals with its warm, comforting and hearty Chinese fare is popular chain Yun Nans, which now boasts a second outlet at Westgate, just seven short months after its launch at Jewel Changi Airport. Exclusive to the Mandarin restaurant in the West is the Crispy Hor Fun with Yunnan Truffle Prawn Broth ($15.90), that features both stir-fried and deep-fried noodles to be savoured alongside the robust seafood and truffle soup. And for a take on the restaurant’s (literally) hot favourite Steam Pot Chicken, try the new Steam Pot Chicken Soup with Matsutake Mushroom ($33.90), which pressure-cooks a chicken instead of brewing it with water, to deliver a clear and nourishing broth, sans the greasiness. Apart from the new dishes, fan favourites will still be available at the new joint, like the Yunnan-style Charcoal Grilled Tiger Prawn (S$5.90) and Charcoal Grilled Pork Belly ($9.90).