By Tatler Dinner
June 17, 2021
Here are 10 establishments offering their unique interpretation of Asian cuisine
Modern Asian cuisine has grown in popularity over the past decades, as chefs continue to find new inspirations and ideas to reinvent classic recipes that cater to the contemporary palate. Here in Singapore, there is no shortage of restaurants serving this cuisine and their delicious offerings range from unique interpretations of chicken rice, Japanese-Korean fusion dishes, and fine local dishes. Here are the places where you can find them when the food cravings strike.
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“Demonic Chef” Alvin Leung is famous for his daring and experimental cuisine, as evidenced by his two Michelin star Bo Innovation in Hong Kong. But for his restaurant at Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, he instead focuses on more traditional culinary techniques to create delicious modern Asian dishes, inspired by his travels through the region. Browse the extensive menu and you’ll see how he’s elevated local favorites like chicken rice. For its version, the poultry is cooked to juicy perfection in the giant roasting pan and served with the usual enhancers: chili sauce, ginger puree and soy sauce. Even more, the accompanying rice, a premium variety from Jin Long Yu, is made tastier thanks to a chicken broth filled with umami.
The restaurant perched on the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands offers reinvented versions of your favorite Asian dish. At the helm is Group Executive Chef Joey Sergentakis, who combines innovative cooking techniques with his solid understanding of Asian flavors and ingredients to create dishes that keep diners coming back for more. This is clearly evident in dishes such as Hokkaido Scallop Ceviche, where plump seafood is bathed in a dressing of pomelo, lemongrass, and cilantro for bursts of sweet, lemony flavor. Local favorites have also been given a modern twist, like the pork satay, which uses the coveted Iberian variety and is grilled over binchotan charcoal to make the meat succulent and lightly smoked.
Restaurant, $$$, Asian, Contemporary, Marina district
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Contrary to what some might think, Como Cuisine does not serve wellness dishes but a collection of delicious dishes from the various properties of the hotel brand around the world. Bhutanese Executive Chef Tshering Lhaden and his team craft these recipes from scratch using seasonal produce from the region wherever possible. Highlights on the menu include Bhutanese momos, Lhaden’s own version of the popular street snack from his homeland. Its version comes with everyday handmade packaging and stuffed with fresh ingredients of minced pork belly, red onions, crushed garlic, cilantro leaf, ginger and chili flakes. Dip these tiny chunks in the homemade chili sauce for a fiery kick.
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Korean-American chef Akira Back is a fan of Japanese cuisine. But for his eponymous restaurant, present all over the world, he has chosen to combine his know-how with his Korean culinary heritage. Proven favorites include the AB Pizza with its crispy crust topped with aioli, micro shiso, truffle oil, and your choice of tuna or mushrooms. Also reflecting its global influences, the salmon tiradito bathed in a lemon yuzu sauce, reminiscent of Peruvian ceviche.
Restaurant, $$$, Japanese, Modern, Other Neighborhoods
The Nomads is Singapore’s premier Central Asian restaurant, showcasing the gastronomic gems of countries along the Silk Road, particularly Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. However, executive chef Dannel Krishnan pointed out that they have also included “flavors from West China, spices from the Caucasus, ideas from Russia and techniques from the Mediterranean”. The result is a blend of tantalizing flavors in signatures such as lamb samsa, a traditional Kazakh dish reinvented as lamb tartare using the premium Mottanai variety. This tartare is filled with mini cones coated with sugar to enhance the clean and light flavors of the meat.
Restaurant, $$$, Asian, Contemporary, Raffles Place
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A Singaporean through and through, banker-turned-chef Han Liguang champions local cuisine with his take on mod-Sin cuisine, showcasing the nostalgic influences of the food he grew up eating, made with mostly local produce. . His culinary genius shines in imaginative signatures such as the terracotta “Ang Moh” Kampong Chicken Rice, which has undergone various iterations over the years. The current version features meaty chicken strips served with fragrant rice infused with the chef’s delicious roux sauce. The dish is also served with the hainnese-style chap chye and lala soup. It’s the same with OG Chilli Crab, which was first introduced in 2014 and is back on the menu. Inspired by beach crab, the dish features soft shell crab that is fried and placed on mantou “sand” with Shaoxing mousse and a dumpling of chili crab ice cream.
Restaurant, $$$, Singaporean, Modern, Marina Bay
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Chef-owner Sun Kim has carved out a niche for himself by creating interesting dishes using his Western culinary background and showcasing a myriad of Asian influences, especially Korean (his personal heritage). There is no better way to experience his unique cuisine than with the Chef’s Tasting Menu, featuring the restaurant’s greatest hits as well as other innovative creations that are updated seasonally. Feast on the tuna tartare enhanced with caviar, avocado and dashi jelly, as well as the extremely juicy Challans duck accompanied by chestnuts and mushrooms namul (a Korean side dish), which is a delicious blend of textures and earthy flavors.
Restaurant, $$$, Asian, Fusion, Chinatown
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Drawing inspiration from his Malaysian Indian heritage, Chef Manogren Murugan Thevar elevates classic Indian cuisine with a contemporary twist by introducing his innovative approach to traditional flavors and spices. This is why Thevar’s menu changes frequently according to the chef’s creative inspirations. What dominates, however, are the hearty sharing plates and snacks infused with the smoky flavors of the grill, whether it’s dosai mackerel or tandoor baby lamb. The intimate, modern 35-seat Indian steakhouse also offers an eclectic list of Asian-inspired cocktails and wines.
Restaurant, $$$, Modern, Indian, Duxton
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Chef-owner Petrina Loh describes her cooking as an ‘experimental fusion’, admitting that she enjoys working with a variety of ingredients – teasing their natural flavors through various cooking styles to release an explosion of sweet, salty, bitter. , acid and umami in the mouth. Take, for example, her steamed Venus clams in a dried fig chicken broth, inspired by a heartwarming soup she grew up eating. The savory broth is concocted with dried figs and rhizome of Solomon’s seal (a Chinese herb) boiled for half a day to achieve a rich, creamy texture. While filling on its own, Loh complements the soup with hints of savory flavor with a side dish of homemade kimchi and pickled wakame.
Restaurant, $$$, Asian, Fusion, Dempsey
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Singaporean chef Gan Ming Kiat’s ingenious interpretation of Singapore cuisine has been a big hit since the restaurant opened on the sleepy Brighton Crescent in 2019. The restaurant started out as a private dining room at parents’ home. de Gan and has since evolved into a beloved restaurant. . Gan’s inventive menu pushes the boundaries of modern Singaporean cuisine and draws inspiration from Japanese cuisine and techniques. Mustard Seed’s omakase-style tasting menu changes monthly, adding to the excitement factor of watching the chef in action from the counter seats in the intimate restaurant. Some of the interesting variations of Gan on local favorites include buah keluak mee pok, turmeric fried frog legs, and beef kueh tee tartare.