When it comes to Singapore’s culinary scene, there’s always something exciting to look forward to. Exclusive pop-ups regularly bring novel new gastronomic experiences to our door, as chef collaborations continually yield creative and delicious results. And of course, who could forget the constant slate of new restaurants—unveiling fresh concepts month after month?
As we hurtle towards the end of the year, the local dining scene remains as vibrant and diverse as ever. An array of international flavours arrive on our shores, beginning with contemporary Colombian restaurant Bacatá. From chef–owner Fernando Arévalo comes the newest addition to Singapore’s growing Latin American dining scene, celebrating Colombia’s vivacious cuisine and culture with modern innovation. Nearby, Kun stands out as Singapore’s first ever omakase-style Sichuan restaurant. Going beyond familiar flavours like Sichuan peppercorns and málà, the restaurant strives to revive vanishing Sichuan classics—along with its disappearing culinary art forms and techniques.
For fans of Japanese cuisine, Shin Terroir is an exciting new omakase in town focusing on the intricacies of binchotan. Helmed by Singapore and Hokkaido chef duo Nicholas Lee and Takeshi Nakayama, look forward to profound, multifaceted flavours that brim with each plate thanks to the distinguishable attention paid to the meats. Meanwhile, culinary influences from all across the Mediterranean come together in a delightful blend of rich flavours at Noa—showcasing the breadth of ingredients, spices and delicacies from around the region.
Ahead of your next big night out, look to our list of the city’s most exciting new restaurants to check out.
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If you have been misled to think that Sichuan cuisine is limited to heat and málà, one meal at Kun—Singapore’s first Sichuan omakase restaurant—will resolutely change your mind. At Kun, the intricacies of the ancient cooking tradition are preserved with great finesse, showcased on the back of premium ingredients. The tongue-numbing effects of Sichaun peppercorns feature prominently across the 12-course menu, but never dominate.
Thin slices of Cypress wood-smoked beef arrive on an ornate plate, decorated with fresh garlic and individual pieces of China’s National Landmark Pepper, an exceptionally high-quality breed of pepper that is harvested only once a year. Each bite (customised with any number of peppercorns to your liking, although the chef recommends two) is an apt introduction to the true complexity of flavour set to unfold over the rest of the meal.
Succulent pieces of lobster are placed atop a silky, peppercorn-infused sauce that is so addictively spicy, it’ll tempt you to lick your plate. Juicy scallops, meanwhile, are paired with a punchy yuxiang wei (fish flavour) sauce emblematic of Sichuan cuisine, which you might recognise from the ubiquitous stir-fried eggplant dish at your neighbourhood cai fan stall. The precisely-calibrated flavours in Kun’s version converge with such harmony, it renders the taste almost brand new.
A sweet koji and tangerine peel glaze cuts the marbling on a Spanish Iberico pork belly beautifully, while a petite rice dumpling comes wrapped in a delicate ground glutinous rice parcel, laden with caviar for indulgence. In the last savoury dish of the night, a flawless iteration of Mapo tofu is elevated with minced Angus short ribs folded in throughout. Served over a steaming bed of Japanese rice and topped with an unexpected addition of freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano, this is a bowl that presents a humble staple dish in a grand new light—awakening your senses to the true artistry of Sichuan cooking.
Kun, 74 Amoy Street
Enquiries: 6969 4256
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While not much of Colombia’s vibrant cuisine has been explored in Singapore, one visit to Bacatá will have you stoked for more. As a result of its geography, the South American country encompasses a dizzying blend of influences—from Spanish to Creole. This is delectably bestowed by Bacatá’s chef-owner Fernando Arévalo, who puts a modern spin on the local dishes he grew up with.
Apart from the tasting menu, which offers a curated selection, there are à la carte options better suited for a communal affair. If you choose the former, snacks first descend, each poised to tickle a different part of the tongue. A grilled shishito pepper encircled with a paper-thin potato cigar, fresh Spanish mackerel ceviche doused in creamy savoury salsa and a sweet bite of walnut tart laden with house-cured sardines and marinated fig slices. Each plate that follows after sings of a significant piece of Latin American cuisine—whether it be empanadas stuffed with tomato paste and plied with smoked otoro or a tender slab of torched cuttlefish in a mildly spicy bed of ndjua sauce and chimichurri.
Another Colombian staple is the rice dish, a mouthwatering amalgamation of aged Carnaroli grains, joined by white asparagus puree, smoked eel, uni cream and yellow passionfruit—which elevated every spoonful with a burst of sweetness. Going off the Colombian-native chef’s childhood memory, an honest potato soup like no other (sans any traces of truffle oil) falls to be the quiet star of the menu, served alongside chunks of Boston lobster, grilled white corn, puffed quinoa and discerning choices like capers and coriander. Nothing more, nothing less; everything that is requisite gathered in a plate. As you edge closer to the end of the meal, roasted plantains make up a stunning finale—warm, fragrantly sweet and moist under a layer of date sponge, and topped with a spoonful of burrata ice cream.
Bacatá, 182 Cecil St, #03-01/02 Fraser Tower, Singapore 069547
Enquiries: 6904 5686
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At Shin Terroir, the true craft of yakitori—Japanese skewers—is enlivened through an omakase experience. Within the sleek confines of a 12-seater dark dining room, the spotlight shines on the open kitchen where a custom-made three-tier grill from Osaka sits, backed up by hot Kishu bincho coals made purely from Ubamegashi—a Japanese oak that’s touted for its immaculate ability to attain searing temperatures while retaining high heat. Here, most of your plates are kissed by the flame.
Following a customary chawanmushi, the next course saw a riff on the ubiquitous onigiri, as finely-chopped fatty tuna belly sat atop a grilled square of nanatsuboshi rice. Each bite rendered a hearty juxtaposition of soft-crisp textures and hot-cold mouthfeel from the raw fish and charred carb respectively. Following that was a slow build of flavours—featuring fine produce that flirted with the flame, like the red kimmedai fish, paired immaculately with a juicy daikon and a simple oden broth. But the bulk of your prix fixe experience here remains to be a French poulet from Toh Thye San Farm, which is the main protein that makes up most of the yakitori here, save for a stunning Miyazaki A4 nearing the end of the meal.
A delightful slew of meat sticks proved the restaurant’s might, each showcasing the delicate techniques of prep work and grilling mastery from chef duo Nicholas Lee and Hokkaido native Takeshi Nakayama. From gizzard chunks meticulously entwined with chicken skin to liver sprinkled with Speculoos cookie crumble, which added a caramelised sweet touch to the offal, each course was a fun one to devour. Perhaps too delicious at times—leaving guests wishing for the option to order an extra serving of the same course, especially the kawa (chicken skin), which was grilled to be crispy on the outside while retaining a soft chewy bite. A comforting ramen bowl showed up last, featuring a collagen-rich broth made with the bones and offcuts from the same chicken—a conscious no-waste effort by Shin Terroir to use every part of the poultry. Following the high from the main meal, the dessert made sure to deliver, through a single pillowy kaya mochi elevated with Azuki beans and a toasty hojicha custard.
Shin Terroir, 80 Tras St, Singapore 079019
Enquiries: 9656 0654
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The vibrance of the Mediterranean is evident the moment one steps into Noa. Intricate furnishings evoke the beautiful craftsmanship of the region, as hues of ochre, garnet and emerald call to mind the soil, sun and lush greenery associated with the place. In a corner, a private enclave comes inspired by Moroccan design and ornamented with a Persian carpet.
Culinary influences from all across the Mediterranean come together in a delightful blend of rich and diverse flavours here. Some dishes, like the hummus, are more familiar. Noa’s rendition of the Middle Eastern dip is wonderful—perfectly creamy and complemented by the crunch of crispy chickpeas and the savoury relish of smoked sardine. Others, meanwhile, are a delightful exploration of delicacies less commonly found. Crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, the Noa ‘Bomba’ Crispy Meatball, for instance, comes accompanied by aioli and harissa—a hot chilli pepper paste native to the Maghreb—for an addictive kick of heat.
The smoky char of the grill works wonders with the spices at play, evident in offerings such as the Charcoal Grilled Salmon with Chraimeh Sauce and the Barbeque Scampi Rice Spanish Style. The Burnt Cauliflower Salad with Dates, in particular, is a standout. Deceptively simple, the dish sees the richness of dates further bring out the delicate sweetness of smoked cauliflower—balancing out the heavier flavours on the table with ease. As for desserts, the delectable mix of cherries and pistachio in the Cherries and Pistachio Ice Cream Sandwich proves a winning combination to close the meal on a sweet, refreshing note.
Noa, 83 Neil Rd, 01, #01-02-03, Singapore 089813
Enquiries: 6513 4178