A new generation of chefs is set on redefining Singapore cuisine with fresh cooking techniques, fusion flavours and innovative plating, while still retaining the unmistakably familiar flavours that strike a chord. Popular, local dishes are being reinvented, often with strikingly modern visual appeal, served up as classics on restaurant menus.
This is Modern Singaporean cuisine, or “Mod-Sin”, as coined by well-known homegrown chef Willin Low, who helms Wild Rocket.
The quaint establishment is located within the quiet Mount Emily Park. Step inside and you will be in the fierce presence of all things Singapore. Everything—from the lighting to the design of its interior and tableware—has a made-in-Singapore stamp.
Ask for the famed Laksa Pesto Pasta. This update of the local favourite with noodles in spicy coconut broth is an off-the-menu lunch item.
For dessert, the fragrant pandan-infused panna cotta with salted gula melaka (palm sugar) is recommended. An omakase menu (where dishes are selected by the chef) is also available at the chef’s table, should you decide to leave your meal in Low’s expert hands.
Those with a bolder palate will love Restaurant Labyrinth, helmed by owner-chef LG Han.
The restaurant has been making waves for its exceptional deconstructed plating of local favourites. Each dish is a visual spectacle that is Instagram-worthy. The Labyrinth Chilli Crab, for example, is served sans the thick and spicy dipping gravy that most locals have come to expect from the dish. Instead, diners are served tempura soft shell crab, delicately perched on a dollop of chilli crab ice cream, surrounded by sprinkles of mantou (fried Chinese bun) crumbs.
If you are in the mood for authentic Peranakan (Straits-born people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage) flavours, Candlenut is a must-try. The restaurant offers an unconventional use of the buah keluak (black nut indigenous to Southeast Asia), a key ingredient in a braised chicken dish. Instead, chef Malcolm Lee serves it up in the form of an ice cream, with the earthy buah keluak perfectly balancing out the Valrhona chocolate. It is presented in a yummy cradle of salted caramel, chocolate crumble, chilli specks and warm milk chocolate espuma.
For a gastronomic blend of east and west flavours, head to Redpan at Marina Square. The restaurant serves a comprehensive menu of fusion inventions like prawn and hae bee hiam pasta, a huge plate of al dente tagliatelle tossed with housemade spicy shrimp paste and sautéed prawns, or try a spin on two classics with lup cheong (Chinese sausage) mac 'n' cheese. End off the meal with a teh halia creme brulee, an exotic take on the creme brulee, infused with ginger & tea.