As we slip into the second half of the year, the dining scene in Singapore remains vibrant and exciting. The pace of new openings may have slowed down, but whatever is launching is certainly noteworthy—from fine-dining establishments helmed by top chefs from around the world, to sister restaurants of iconic bars core to our city’s culinary identity.
There is a new dining heavyweight in Sentosa—Mauro Colagreco’s Fiamma. As the chef behind the renowned three Michelin-starred Mirazur in Menton, Fiamma marks Colagreco’s first fine-dining venture in Singapore. Boasting family-style hearty Italian cooking inspired by what his grandmother used to whip up in the Argentinian countryside, Fiamma has found a picturesque home in Capella Singapore, in the warmth of what feels like an impeccably-designed luxurious Italian home.
Back on the main island, Malaysian-born Chinese chef Zor Tan is at the helm of Restaurant Born, a new fine-dining destination bringing together French culinary technique and traditional Chinese ingredients for a new, original type of fusion. With each course in Tan’s degustation menu a gastronomic success, this is the restaurant to visit if you’re after finely-executed, inventive contemporary fare.
For those looking to let their hair down after a long work week, there may be no better place to visit than popular homegrown bar Native’s new sister restaurant. Rooted in locally-foraged ingredients and a sustainable culinary ethos, the chic new establishment turns out plate after plate of elevated local cuisine—comfort food with a twist. And if it’s community you’re searching for, look to private member’s club Mandala Club’s new dining concept: a swanky Japanese restaurant with a fresh take on seafood dishes from Hokkaido.
Here, Vogue Singapore spotlights the best new restaurants on the island to book a visit to, ahead of your next big night out.
1 / 4
Home to some of the most exciting F&B concepts on our shores—including the latest Gaggan residency—Mandala Club isn’t about to slow down on the gourmet front. Especially with Mori, an elusive 12-seater den centred on Hokkaido fare with a fusion twist. Well, the disco ball rotating above will tell you that this isn’t quite like your traditional Japanese restaurant, alongside a jolty playlist featuring the likes of Wu Tang Clan, and a little rock and roll spliced between.
Market-fresh drives the menu at Mori, with the produce interchanging, dependent on what is at its prime. For Spring, the Omakase experience sings of the cream of the crop from the sea. One would surely be at a disadvantage if raw food isn’t up your alley; as small plates adorned with slices of hirame (olive flounder) and hon maguro (bluefin tuna) coincide with acidic condiments like aji amarillo vinaigrette.
A particular highlight fell on the octopus dish—served chilled in a ceviche style, while doused with a dash of heat from the kizami wasabi. Every bite granted the sweetness of grilled white corn, along with the wondrous crunch of the octopus. And just before the last savoury main of the night, a delectable plate of somen arrived, tossed in piquant abalone liver sauce, and of course accompanied with a tender slab of sake-steamed abalone.
As the meal progressed, so did the flavours—leading up to the restaurant’s signature, Mori Wonder Bowl. Essentially, a chirashi bowl stacked with the freshest catches. Ours comprised of seven “wonders”, including tuna nakochi, king crab and copious amounts of uni. What’s also worth noting, is that between the courses, your glass is never left empty—with the restaurant’s prestigious beverage pairing programme, with notable Sake Samurai, Elliot Faber at the helm.
Mori, 31 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089845
Enquiries: 9361 0851
2 / 4
Order the Tartufo pizza at Fiamma at Capella Singapore and expect a homemade pizza dough, with a crisp, airy, and honeycombed crust enveloped by the taste of smoky wood. It is crafted to perfection and is topped with a visually arresting trio of Scarmoza cheese cream, Tuscan salami and fresh black truffle. This is it—easily one of the best pizzas we’ve ever had, and not at all heavy on the stomach even after a few slices.
Pair this with Mediterranean red prawn crudo with kumquat and green peas, and a delightful seafood-packed cioppino for the heartiest of meals, dreamed up by Chef Mauro Colagreco himself. The restaurant is a tribute to the three Michelin-starred chef’s hearty Italian cooking, inspired by her home in the Argentinian countryside. Fiamma’s portions are generous and designed for sharing, so skimping on dishes is not an option here. The blue lobster tagliatelle, cooked satisfyingly al dente, should also be added on to the spread if your group is larger than two. Flavours are rich, balanced, and distinctly Italian—nothing is unfamiliar to us well-travelled and well-fed Singaporeans, yet Chef Mauro’s expertise in pulling it all together make his dishes instantly lovable.
The best part of Fiamma being at Capella Singapore is that apart from the quiet, verdant landscape it surrounds itself with, it means Sentosa gets another great dining option after FOC Sentosa, Tanjong Beach Club and Panamericana. You don’t have to go for a full meal either. If a coffee and a wonderfully traditional tiramisu is what you fancy instead, while gazing outside at the sparkling blue waters, go for it.
Fiamma, 1 The Knolls, 098297
Enquiries: 6591 5046
3 / 4
Joining the league of luxurious fine-dining restaurants in Singapore is Restaurant Born. Located in the Jinrikisha Station, an iconic heritage building on the corner of Tanjong Pagar and Neil Road, the establishment is a sight to behold. Upon entering, you are greeted by dramatic archways that transit each dining room to the next. The main dining hall, flanked by an elegant open kitchen, is painted in neutral tones of cream and sand, with bright accents of emerald green. The centrepiece is a magnificent floating sculpture hanging from the ceiling, fashioned into a billowing form from paper by artist Peter Gentenaar.
The menu at Restaurant Born is inspired by chef-owner Zor Tan’s life. Having spent a decade-long career in elite French kitchens, Tan melds elevated French culinary technique with decidedly Chinese dishes and ingredients to create a new, original type of fusion. While every plate that comes out of his kitchen is a gastronomical experience, look out for star dishes like an Aged Beef and Oyster Fried Bao, a satisfyingly fluffy sphere of pastry filled with Sichuan peppercorns, marinated aged Wagyu tartare and seared oyster emulsion. Another rich course sees a silken puree of Jerusalem artichoke—slow cooked in brown butter—topped with a briny burst of caviar and fresh lily bulbs. Tan executes seafood to perfection, from a tender and flaky steak of monkfish served with Yunnan Jade fungus and an amalgamation of various chilli oils, to a fresh barramundi fish maw wrapped with Chinese cabbage leaf and caul fat—mimicking the quintessentially French chou farci cooking technique with ingredients he holds close to his heart.
The night closes with a complex set of desserts imbued with the same amount of thought as the rest of courses, including a comforting Toasted Rice Coconut Sable, crowned atop French chestnut puree—perfect for rice lovers with a sweet tooth.
Restaurant Born, 1 Neil Rd, #01-01, Singapore 088804
Enquiries: 6223 3292
4 / 4
When Native Bar first opened its doors in 2016, it took Singapore by storm thanks to its inventive cocktails, locally-foraged ingredients and unwavering focus on sustainability—none of which let the bar’s intrinsically cool and underground feel fade into the background. It is no wonder the establishment has been awarded time and again on Asia’s best lists. Now, the bar is adding a a restaurant arm to its portfolio. Native Restaurant, situated on the first floor right beneath its older sister on Amoy Street, is translating the bar’s mixology ethos into a new culinary offering, with a menu of regionally-focused dishes elevated for the modern gourmand.
Chef MJ Teoh (a mainstay of Amoy Street, having worked under Chef Ivan Brehm at Nouri) has worked with the Native team for a long time. Her keen understanding of the brand’s vision permeates her first stint as head chef. Her creations are inspired by her childhood, like a particularly flavoursome Nose to Tail Chicken Pao Fan. As the name of the dish implies, no part of the chicken goes to waste in the cooking process. Organic chicken thigh and chicken gizzards are served with a soothing broth made from roasted wings and chicken feet. To soak it all up, you’ll receive a side of puffed rice made from unused cooked rice. This is the sort of dish that instantly vindicates Teoh’s choice to put it front and centre on the menu—incredibly comforting and elevated, all at once. Another must-try is Teoh’s do-it-yourself take on a Thai Miang Kham, each parcel a melody of flavours that coalesce into a perfect bite.
No visit to Native is complete without a tipple or two. Try the sake on tap for a refreshingly sweet and light liquor to wash your dinner down with. For something heavier, Ah Moy’s Mary (an Asian twist on a Bloody Mary) is a savoury, shiitake-infused cocktail that will have you reaching for sip after sip.
Native Restaurant, 52 Amoy St, Singapore 069878
Enquiries: 8869 6520