&MADE: MICHELIN STARRED FOOD AT BARGAIN PRICES
A year ago, would anyone have believed that the French, three Michelin starred chef Bruno Menard would eschew high end dining and turn his hand to running an affordable – but quite brilliant – burger bar here in Singapore? There is but one question to ask: where is it? ‘&Made’ is a play on the way French people pronounce the word ‘handmade’ and everything here is, as it’s name suggests, made by hand. It’s sleek, it’s chic and at last the mid market, mid week dinner has become something to shout about. Packed at weekends too, his signature ‘B Burger’ is just $19 and is absolutely worth the calories. Hurrah for reasonably priced food of Michelin starred quality.
&Made, #01-04/05/05 Pacficic Plaza, 9 Scotts Road, Singapore 228210 (although part of Pacific Plaza, the restaurant does actually have it’s own entrance opposite the Shaw Centre carpark).
T: (+65) 6732 9808 (but there’s not much point ringing them; they don’t take reservations).
(Images courtesy of Deliciae)
VIOLET OON’S KITCHEN: A MUST TRY. THIS STYLISH NEW RESTO SERVES UP EXCELLENT WESTERN AND LOCAL FOOD
PS. Café (in terms of their sense of style and décor) meets local cooking legend Violet Oon in her new family run restaurant, Violet Oon’s Kitchen, found next to Bar Bar Blacksheep on Bukit Timah. VOK is a find because I really believe she’s the only person in Singapore who can cook both Nyonya and Western food well. I am a tricky customer to please in this respect because I think I know about both genres and I am hugely fussy…especially about eating western food somewhere where it is not the only thing on the menu. Her Pulled Beef Rigatoni is one of the best I have ever had; I’ve even taken Italian people here who have been blown away by it. Western food aside, it’s also great to find somewhere serving traditional yet stylish local food with a good selection of well priced wines to enjoy alongside dishes such as Peranakan fave, beef rendang. A definite on my list of visitor-friendly restaurants as you really can please everyone.
Violet Oon’s Kitchen, 881 Bukit Timah Singapore 279893
T: (+65) 6468 5430
(Image courtesy of Violet Oon’s Kitchen)
ESPA AT RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA: THE ALMA MATER OF THE SPA WORLD HAS LANDED
Move over Spa Botanica, where most people go for a halfday chill out when it’s required. As well as delivering good treatments at reasonable-ish prices Spa B carries the added bonus of forcing you to physically leave the island. ESPA, billed as the ultimate spa experience, has now opened – also on Sentosa – amid much fanfare. It’s huge (with treatment prices to match unfortunately: a 45 minute reflexology foot massage costs $150) but breathtakingly luxurious with an awesome 10,000 square feet of treatment space as well as a vast manicured garden you can lounge around in afterwards – presumably to defray the price of the treatments and make you feel that you are at least getting something for nothing. Money no object, I’d come here once a month. It’s that good. They also have the first Turkish hammam which is worth trying (pictured above).
ESPA is part of Resorts World Sentosa
T: (+65) 6577 8899
(Image courtesy of Resorts World Sentosa)
CHYE SENG HUAT HARDWARE: THE NEW INDIE COFFEE BAR NEAR LITTLE INDIA
Chye Seng Huat Hardware…no prizes for guessing what this building used to sell. Owned by the guys who started Papa Palheta, this is their new place where you can slurp the mighty bean and be seen. Well, it is once you get inside; the door is extremely hard to find. It’s not the main one (too obvious for such an edgy independent) which is locked, barred and gated. Instead you have to go around the side of the building and through some rather ugly grey gates with a ‘No Parking’ sign on them. A hard to find haven if ever there was one. The coffee they serve is roasted on site and is the same selection you’ll find at Papa Palheta’s on Hooper Road, including their vey good house blend.
Chye Seng Huat Coffee Bar, 150 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207563
T: (+65) 6396 0609
(Image courtesy of Chye Seng Huat)
IT’S NOT NEW…BUT IT IS CLEVER
Each week we’ll also showcase a hidden gem that I love and can’t live without. It may be known to some, it may be news to others but it’s a place that offers something out of the ordinary.
YUE HWA: BRILLIANT & LOCAL CHINESE EMPORIUM
Yue Hwa (I’m no whizz at pronunciation but ‘you whaaaa’ seems to work ok – as in ‘you what?’ but missing off the ‘t’) in Chinatown is a great one-stop shop for people staying with you who are looking for well-priced presents to take home. You have to be able to hunt out the good stuff though so don’t send anyone here who is super high end as they won’t be able to cope (send them to Shanghai Tangs in Taka instead). My favorite place to buy reasonably priced, heavy, pure silk dressing gowns in rich emerald silk, embroidered with butterflies and lined in shocking pink. They also have a good jewellery department too on the top floor.
Yue Hwa, 70 Eu Tong Street, Singapore 059805
T: (+65) 6538 4222
(Image of Yue Hwa HK is courtesy of changmoh.com)