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This week, we welcome Chef Jason Jones of the Loco Group back to take us on another culinary adventure and he delivers with celebrated Restaurant Nouri. This is a wonderful place for bang-on-value executive lunches and mind-blowingly creative, delicious degustation dinners & cocktails. Helmed by Chef-Owner Ivan Brehm (he’s worked at famed restaurants Per Se in New York, Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in England & led The Kitchen at Bacchanalia in Singapore to its first ever Michelin Star in 2016), Nouri serves up dishes with a global flair, highlighting the similarities and connections we all share across food cultures. Little surprise, since Chef Brehm himself is a bit of a global citizen with his mixed heritage of Italian, German, Russian, Spanish, Lebanese, Syrian and Brazilian – he calls his cooking style Crossroads Cuisine.
This week, it’s our foodie friend, Chef Anthony Yeoh‘s turn to recommend some yummy eats and as the weekend approaches, brace yourselves for BRUNCH! If you’re looking for something yum in the city/ CBD area, do check out this multi-concept restaurant/ bar on the corner of Tanjong Pagar Road & Tras Street, Crackerjack. There you’ll find a coffee counter brewing till late afternoon, a beautiful cocktail bar that opens later in the evening and then there’s the restaurant that serves delicious new-American food. Chef Tony recently tried their weekend brunch and recommends these stand-out dishes:
The super-comforting Bone Broth, featuring egg stracciatella (like an egg drop they stir in), kale & barley. But truly, the star is broth, which is really flavourful, made in-house and so restorative, especially if you’re at brunch nursing the effects of the night before!
Another great hangover antidote is their Funnel Cake. Why? Well, this is typical American carnival food – batter funneled into hot oil and deep fried to light, doughy, crispy perfection. And we all know fat means flavour and a good way to soak up the sins of the night before! But make no mistake, these are next level funnel cakes – adult funnel cakes smothered with (hair of the dog!) a boozy whipped cream made from Amaretto (almond liqueur), along with candied bacon and bananas. This is a delicious, high-brow / low-brow play on an American classic.
The play doesn’t stop at Funnel Cakes – try Crackerjacks’s play on corned beef hash, their Sweet Potato Hash! This hearty plate featured house-made breakfast sausage crumbled on sweet potato, along with sauteed capsicum, kale, caramelised onions and an egg. Stick-to-your-ribs good!
Finally, Chef Tony recommends the QFC – Quinoa Fried Chicken. It’s a boneless chicken thigh encrusted with quinoa, which is a super food, a grain that’s high in antioxidants and protein. So could this possibly be healthy in an, er, deep-fried way? Haha. Jicama (Bangkwang, which we use in Popiah) slaw and homemade spicy banana ketchup complete the crunchy chicken dish. With this weird & wonderful banana ketchup, you get a distinct caramelised banana flavour, and a pleasing sauce that’s tangy and spicy at the same time.
On a recent work trip to Miami, a friend from Houston recommended I try Yardbird, a restaurant renowned for its signature Southern-fried chicken and waffles. I was not disappointed by my visit there as a solo diner. Great food, cocktails and service got me all excited when I discovered upon return to Singapore, that they were opening a branch here at Marina Bay Sands! Even better, I got to meet the man behind the brand and pick his award-winning brains about everything from food, to creativity and music. The affable John Kunkel was recently in town for the official launch of The Bird, but made a little time to discuss with me his favourite things on the menu and also to recommend some makan places he’s enjoyed in Singapore.
First of all, the Yardbird restaurants in different locations are not cookie-cutter – while the classics like their fried chicken with cheese waffles, Bourbon-maple syrup & house-made hot sauce and minty watermelon salad remain the same, Chef Kunkel has taken time with his staff to come up with new cocktails and dishes that are specifically designed for the Singapore palate. Take their Low Country Laksa – a South US meets Singapore dish that gets inspiration from New Orleans Creole-style cooking, featuring seared Snapper in a ginger-coconut broth. There’s also the Black Pepper Crab Cakes, where Maryland meets Singapore. Don’t miss their deviled eggs, given a little umami twist with smoked trout roe topping. Wash everything down with a yummy Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade – dangerously refreshing & fruity, with an alcoholic kick.
B1-07, Galleria Level
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
LUNCH Daily 11:00am – 4:00pm
DINNER Daily 4:00pm – 11:00pm
DRINKS & LIGHT SNACKS Daily 11:00pm – 2:00am
WEEKEND BRUNCH SAT & SUN 10:00am – 4:00pm
TEL: +65 6688 9959
Some Local Places John Kunkel recommends:
1. Burnt Ends Modern Australian Barbequefor that open fire-style of cooking. Try their signature Sanger – made from pulled pork shoulder, homemade cole slaw & chipotle aioli sandwiched in a brioche bun. BURNT ENDS
20 Teck Lim Road
Lunch: Wednesday – Saturday 11:45am – 2pm
Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday 6:00pm to Late
Tel: +65 6224 3933
2. FOC for excellent Catalan-style Spanish Tapas, including their grilled octopus, croquetas, patatas bravas & squid ink paella. FOC
40 Hong Kong Street
Open Mon – Sat 12 – 2pm, 6 – 10:30pm
Tel: +65 6100 4040
3. Atlas Bar for great cocktails in a gorgeous Art Deco environment. ATLAS BAR
600 North Bridge Road
Open Mon – Sat (Closed Sun)
Mon – Thu: 10am – 1am
Fri: 10am – 2am
Sat: 3pm – 2am
Telephone: +65 6396 4466
4. Roti Prata from Lau Pa Sat – for that perfect balance between crispy, fluffy pastry and mellow, spiced curry.
Lau Pa Sat (Telok Ayer Market)
18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
Open 24 hours Daily
Tel: +65 6220 2138
For those who work in the restaurant business and work split shifts (lunch & dinner) like Chef Willin Low, you’ll treasure those magic 2-3 hours in-between. Willin heads here for a little “me” time when he can, specifically because it’s open all day from 12 noon and also because of the wonderful food and drinks! For a post-lunch, pre-dinner snack, Willin recommends Luke’s Oyster Bar & Chop House’s fresh, flavourful Tuna Tartar with avocado & toasted ciabatta and Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes done Maryland style. The crab cakes, in particular, are mostly big chunks of crab, so juicy on the inside, crisp on the outside and altogether awesome!
Needless to say, leave a little room for some fresh oysters, washed down with a stress-busting cocktail or two. Willin is partial to their Martini & Bloody Mary, which he likens to tomato soup that’s cold and refreshing, with a good punch of alcohol and the perfect balance of savoury, sweet, spice & tang.
So next time you’re in dire need of an early Happy Hour or looking for a place to while away time between lunch and dinner, Luke’s is the place for great cocktails, lovely interiors and delicious snacks.
There are 2 branches now, but Willin’s favourite remains the original, just off Club Street.
TASTE: Luke’s Oyster Bar & Chop House
20 Gemmill Lane Open Daily (except Sundays):
Mon – Wed: 12 noon – 10.30pm
Thu – Sat: 12 noon – Midnight Reservations: