Life is short. Times are tough. One month into the new decade and already the world is brought to its knees by raging bush fires and a deadly new virus. We do what we can of course, but we might as well make the most of it by eating well. Aside from healthy options, we also what to satiate ourselves with flavours and sensations that make life worth living. For this reason, we’ve rounded up some of the most exciting fresh new menus in town.
the codes of flavour
Named for the police sting operation to eradicate triads and gangsters from the streets of Singapore back in the 1950s, Operation Dagger is an award-winning cocktail bar that puts flavours first when it makes a drink for a customer.
Ensconced in a hidden basement in Chinatown, the bar’s talented team led by creative director Thomas Girard has launched fresh new menus featuring three types of “hooch” – its special in-house fermented condiment. The drinks menu also includes evocative creations like “Golden Mile”, an aromatic concoction with coconut, Thai herbs and a chilli kick. The “E-701” is a beetroot-based cocktail that brings to mind red velvet cake, albeit with a zing. It looks like bandung but “Purple Yamborghini” combines the sweet and sour flavours of pandan, yoghurt and yam.
The team has also refreshed its bar grub offerings with delicious morsels that will gratify your taste buds and line your stomach to keep you satisfied well into the night.
Operation Dagger is at the basement of 7 Ann Siang Hill, tel. 6438 4057.
an italian connection
For Mirko Vinci, the hardest day in the kitchen should never be considered a punishment, but an important lesson for the future. This is the mantra by which the amiable chef from Puglia in Southern Italy grounds himself, and it has seen him through more than 15 years of a remarkable culinary career. After working with some of the best chefs in Milan, London and Singapore, he is taking dining to the next level as head chef of Grissini.
His love for travelling and tasting the world is reflected in his work. Having experimented with cuisines and cooking styles from all over the globe, chef Vinci now has a keener understanding of dining habits. This in turn has enabled him to rethink traditional recipes to craft unique signature dishes and fresh exciting menus.
Since the best proof of the pudding is in the tasting, why not pay chef Vinci a visit, and let him cook you a juicy tomahawk steak?
Grissini is at 392 Havelock Road, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, tel. 6233 1100. See its full menu here.
who are those five guys?
Just landed on this little red dot is Five Guys, the burgers and fries sensation from Virginia, USA. Started by the Murrell brothers in 1986, it took taste buds by storm and quickly gained a cult following.
By the 1990s, the Murrells had perfected their concept and Five Guys became the place to get a juicy personal burger with all the toppings you could stuff between the buns.
It’s been said that once you’ve tried one, you can’t settle for anything else. Hype? Considering that “the burgers are hand-formed from the freshest meat, sans preservatives; the buns are baked fresh daily with a secret recipe; and the all-beef hot dogs are split and grilled lengthwise for a caramelised exterior”, we’re quite sure they’re worth a try.
Five Guys is located at 68 Orchard Road, 01-32 Plaza Singapura, tel. 6976 4385. See here to know more.
A new chapter for hua ting
After a multi-million dollar facelift, one of Singapore’s favourite Chinese restaurants has reopened its doors to welcome diners. And master chef Chung Lap Fai has returned to helm its spacious new kitchen.
Chef Chung, of course, has already garnered a litany of awards for Hua Ting. He now aims to take traditional Cantonese dishes into the new decade with a more sophisticated direction in Chinese fine dining.
His new signature dishes showcase a palette of flavours. Some of these include Chilled Marinated South African Baby Abalone with Japanese Sake; and Double-boiled Chicken Soup with Sea Whelk. What we really want to sink our teeth into is the Steamed Fresh Crab Claw with Egg White, Spring Onion and Ginger Puree (above). Chef Chung’s most popular dishes are, of course, still available.
Hua Ting is at 442 Orchard Road, level 2 Orchard Hotel, tel. 6739 6666.