Some people take food REALLY seriously. To them, every meal is something to savour, and they will settle for nothing less than dishes made with love, finesse and the finest of ingredients. We’re talking about foodies.
If you happen to be dating one, deciding on where to go for a lunch or dinner date can be tough. But don’t fret—these three fine dining restaurants in Singapore are safe bets, with a reputation for amazing food and new menus that are sure to impress even the fussiest foodie in your life.
1. Alma by Juan Amador
A Michelin-starred restaurant for three years running, you’d expect this fine dining spot at Goodwood Park Hotel to charge a pretty penny for its multi-course offerings. But you’d be wrong. Head down for a lunch date, and you can try the new three-course day menu for a reasonable $39++. And if you want to really pamper yourselves, you and your date can opt for the four-course and five-course lunch sets for $55++ and $88++, respectively.
Each dish from the East-meets-West menu has a simple name that belies its complexity of flavour and texture. Highlights include the Crispy Tofu—silky tofu fried to golden perfection, served with sautéed mushrooms, generous shavings of truffle and a divine foie gras emulsion.
The Ohmi Beef was another standout. It features a single slice of premium wagyu beef that’s bursting with umami flavour, served with cheese-stuffed leek, black trumpet mushroom and zesty yuzu kosho seasoning. End the meal with Amaou Strawberry, where the prized berry from Japan is served atop silky-smooth panna cotta, coconut cream, lychee granita and elderflower gel.
Alma by Juan Amador is at Goodwood Park Hotel.
2. The Ottomani
As far as dinner date spots go, The Ottomani is as romantic as they come. Sequestered at the back of sister bar The Fat Prince past a pair of velour curtains, the restaurant has an intimate harem-inspired interior bathed in the warm glow of oil lanterns.
As you might have guessed, The Ottomani specialises in Middle Eastern cuisine. The newly-revamped menu features a four-course set ($108++ per person) comprising Moroccan and Turkish-inspired dishes cooked above a charcoal grill to bring out the full flavour of the locally-sourced ingredients.
Every dish is a winner, but we had extra strong feelings for In Marshall (slow-roasted lamb shoulder with spiced molasses and sumac gremolata, and garnished with charred shallots and parsley) and Ash (fork-tender Kurobuta pork collar rubbed with Turkish coffee, Szechuan pepper and zhoug, a Yemeni hot sauce).
All mains are served with four side dishes including charred corn with couscous, preserved lemon dressing and Turkish spice; and baby potatoes with pickled sumac onion and spices. For a sweet finish, go for the the Dark Forest—dark chocolate, labneh, sweet dark cherries, halva and sour cherry.
The Ottomani is at 48 Peck Seah Street.
3. 15 Stamford by Alvin Leung
Alvin Leung is the chef behind the three Michelin-starred Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, a restaurant known for its daring, deconstructed take on Chinese cuisine. So when news broke that the culinary rebel was going to open a new restaurant in Singapore, foodies expected a similarly bold concept—a molecular gastronomy version of local favourites, perhaps? Well, almost.
Nestled in the stately The Capitol Kempinski Hotel at City Hall, the 162-seat restaurant pays tribute to Chef Alvin’s favourite dishes from around the region. While the DNA of the original dishes have been preserved, each has been tweaked—some ever so slightly, some more drastically. An example of the latter is the Chargrilled “Bak Kut Teh” Pork Chop, $38, a broth-less take on the local favourite that features a tender char-grilled pork chop marinated with herbs and spices served alongside slices of angelica syrup-infused watermelon.
Meanwhile, the Singapore Laksa, $32, looks pretty much like your usual bowl of laksa, but there’s a lot more going on than you might think. For one, the quail eggs have a light Jasmine Tea flavour, while the Tiger Prawns have been prepared tempura-style. Sure it’s pricey for a bowl of laksa, but it’s one of the best we’ve ever had, and your foodie date will be impressed for sure.
15 Stamford by Alvin Leung is at 15 Stamford Rd.