9 Scotts Road, #01-01 Pacific Plaza, 6734-4886
11am to 10pm, daily
If your noodle-loving kiddo is still on the fence about ramen because he doesn’t like the strong-tasting broth, then a trip to Tsuta might just change his mind. The world’s-only Michelin-starred ramen eatery set up shop on our shores (the first out of Japan) some three months back to much fanfare ― and long, long queues.
This 18-seater open-concept outlet serves only two ramen flavours ― the richer shoyu (infused with black truffle) and the thin yet tasty shio broth (a chicken-seafood blend). The latter might sit better with your mini-me because it’s lighter in flavour, although it’s a tad on the saltier side, thanks to the addition of Okinawan sea salt and Mongolian rock salt. Order the shoyu for yourself if you’re a truffle lover or want to compare broth bases.
Both types of ramen come with springy handmade whole-wheat and whole-grain noodles. Each bowl is then topped with thick, succulent char siew slices, thin slivers of braised bamboo shoots, plus an onsen egg hiding some gooey goodness ( just imagine junior’s eyes lighting up with excitement at this!).
Prices range from $15 to $22.80, and orders are made via an electronic payment booth before you take your seat.
To top this experience, your little fella may actually sit this close to the chefs and take in all the backend ramen-making action in real time. Who knows? This might even inspire him to be the next MasterChef!
2. SAIGON ALLEY
Novena Gardens, 273 Thomson Road, 6256-0261
Open from Monday to Saturday, 12.30pm to 2.30pm (lunch), and 6pm to 11pm (dinner).
Don’t let the nondescript exterior fool you because once you enter this cosy 40-seater eatery that shares space with Nickeldime Drafthouse, you’ll find that Saigon Alley serves rather delightful home-style Vietnamese dishes redolent with fragrant herbs like mint and coriander.
Order the appetite-whetting Northern Vietnamese Beef Salad ($12++) ― the tart and strong flavours of greens like basil, laksa, coriander and spearmint is the perfect accompaniment to the pink and tender meat.
If no Vietnamese meal is complete without pho, Saigon Alley has a pretty decent beef or chicken Pho Bo ($14++). Painstakingly boiled for 8 hours, the broth is rich and flavourful ― they even offer a vegetarian version for non-meat eaters.
Kids will love the Banh Mi ($10++), a crusty baguette filled with chicken liver paté, pan-fried sliced pork, and pork sausage, among other ingredients. Feeling peckish? There are loads of options here ― from the Lot Leaf Beef Rolls ($10++), to sweet and juicy Roasted Chicken with Vietnamese fish sauce ($12++)
Round off the hearty meal with Fried Banana with Ice Cream ($5), reminiscent of our goreng pisang, plus some strong Vietnamese coffee ($5.50++). Ahhh… bliss!
Up next, succulent Hong Kong roast meats, plus classic local dishes with a twist.
3. KAM’S ROAST
#01-04 Pacific Plaza, 9 Scotts Road, 6836-7788
Open from 11am to 10pm (Mondays to Fridays); 10am to 10pm (Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays). Accepts online reservations.
The juicy slices of Kam’s Roast Duck ($16.80 for the upper quarter; $19.80 for the lower quarter; $29.80 for half a duck; $55 for a whole duck), offer an irresistible combination of textures. The crunchy skin is the perfect foil to the succulent pieces of duck meat beneath. Pour the duck sauce (featuring the roasted duck’s tasty oils) over steamed rice ($2 per bowl) and enjoy a flavourful upgrade .
Another must-have is the “Toro” Char Siu ($22.80) — Kam’s unique spin on regular barbecued pork. This version, made with pork belly instead of the usual rib cut used in regular Char Siu ($14.80 for a regular portion), boasts bouncy collagen-rich fat that’s melt-in-your-mouth yum! If junior’s more of a noodle type of guy, he’ll dig the light and springy Braised Noodles with Ginger & Scallion ($6.80 per plate).
It’s a pity that current Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority rules forbid the import of poultry from countries that aren’t certified bird-flu free zones — so Kam’s uses duck instead of its signature goose, which the Hong Kong outlet serves. But the quality of the roasts it offers, more than makes up for that ― order a plate of two roasts (prices start from $19.80), so you’ll get to sample more than just duck.
Expect queues at this local outlet of the Michelin-starred restaurant from Hong Kong, so reserve to avoid disappointment.
458 Joo Chiat Road, 6345-5034
Open from noon to 10pm (Tuesday to Thursday); noon to midnight (Friday and Saturday); and noon to 10pm (Sunday). Closed on Monday.
Think your brood knows local? Well, think again.
Located in the heart of the Katong, an area rich with Peranakan heritage, Sinpopo immediately draws you into the past with its retro tiles, rustic and homey ambience, and even a vintage box TV set. You’ll feel like you’re back in your grandma’s old kitchen, till you get a load of the hip offerings.
Printed on what looks like an old school register, the menu includes dishes like a Crispy Muah Chee Salad ($12), which incorporates pieces of the fried bite-sized snack in a classic Caesar’s salad.
Sinpopo also adds its own spin to classic Singaporean dishes like the Sinpopo Crab Bee Hoon ($16) that boasts a flavourful broth bursting with the flavours of crab meat and salted egg yolk, as well as the Nonya Kiam Chye Arg! ($16) that is served with a tender, fall-off-the-bone duck leg confit.
Want to try a bit of everything? Go for the Nasi Lemak for two ($25), which comes with a starters like luncheon meat crisps, sambal fishballs and har jeong kai wings.
You need to leave room for the desserts. Blending traditional old school Singapore treats with new ingredients and techniques, you won’t go wrong with the Gula Melaka Jelly ($8), which is served with coconut froth and crunchy gula melaka bits. We promise you’ll be back for more.
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