New Bites: January 2016
new bites january 2016
Already feeling tired from the first work week of 2016? Reenergize yourselves with a shake from that new juice bar, or a cold brew from that robot-themed café that has made its way into the CBD. Or perhaps a good round of galmaegisal from a new Korean BBQ in town! Here are our 10 recommendations on the hottest new restaurants and cafés to check out this January.

1. Vatos Urban Tacos

Vatos Urban Tacos
The insanely popular Vatos Urban Tacos has finally arrived on our sunny shores. Opened by three Korean-Americans, the restaurant-bar fuses Korean and Mexican flavours to produce a unique Ko-Mex dining experience. Select from a range of Urban Tacos like Galbi Short Rib ($12 for two tacos), Korean Pork Belly ($10 for two tacos) and Baja Fish ($10 for two tacos). Vegetarian and vegan options are also available. If you're still feeling peckish, get the Kimchi Carnitas Fries ($16), which is covered with braised pork carnitas, sauteed kimchi, melted cheese and topped with sour cream. Image: Vatos Urban Tacos Facebook Page

2. Fat Saigon Boy

Fat Saigon Boy
Fat Saigon Boy, a contemporary Australian-Vietnamese joint, is the newest addition to Ann Siang's district. Check out their $13 lunch special, where you get a choice of one main, side and drink. Other dishes include the BBQ Lemongrass Pork Banh Mi ($11), stuffed with aioli, French pate, grilled pork belly, pickled vegetables and herbs. For the more adventurous folks, go for the Caramel Rare Beef Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls ($7 for 2 pcs) or Crispy Pig Ear Chips with Pineapple Chilli Dips ($8). Image: Fat Saigon Boy Website

3. Meta

Headed by a Korean chef previously from Waku Ghin, Meta joins the slew of trendy restaurants in Keong Saik, adding a contemporary Asian touch to the hood. It offers only three set menus – 5-course and 8-course tasting menus and a 5-course vegetarian menu — which will be refreshed accordingly with seasonal ingredients. While Head Chef Sun Kim is still working to put more Korean flavours onto the menu, current highlights include ,Wagyu Tartare with Egg Jelly and Korean Pear Kimchi with a bulgogi sauce, alongside Japanese sweet shrimps with dashi jelly and trout roe and a spherical Citrus Cheesecake (pictured) that cracks open to reveal a blood orange liquid centre encased by a dark chocolate shell. For a little dry ice fun, order The Rock. Image: Shaun Tan

4. Joe & The Juice

Joe & The Juice
If you ever thought healthy meant nutritious but tasteless, think again. Popular Danish juice bar Joe & the Juice portrays 'healthy' in the more cool, fun and effortless light. Be sure to try the protein-rich drink, Power Shake ($6.90, $8.90), made with strawberry, banana and vanilla milk. Some of the other flavours include: Sex Me Up ($6.90; $8.90), Sweet Beet ($7.20, $9.20) and Stress Down ($6.90, $8.90). Image: Joe & The Juice Facebook Page

5. Seorae Galmaegi

Seorae Galmaegi
Located at Plaza Singapura, newly opened Korean restaurant Seorae Galmaegi specialises in galmaegisal (pork skirt meat), a unique cut that forms only 250g of every full-grown pig and was reserved strictly for Korean royalties in olden days. Using Seorae’s special ‘circle grilling’ technique, the galmaegisal, marinated in a delicious blend of Korean spices, is grilled to perfection. To celebrate the opening of Seorae Singapore, with every $80 spent, diners will receive a dining voucher worth $38, for a limited period only. Image: Seorae Galmaegi

6. Free the Robot

 Free the Robot
Co-sharing doors with Bitters and Love in Telok Ayer, Free the Robot is a robot-themed cafe that seeks to keep its prices affordable for its customers. We’re talking about $3 Truffle Fries and a substantial sandwich like the Surf & Turf Meatballs for just $7.50. For that caffeine fix, sip on Free The Robot Signature ($6), made with cold-pressed coconut oil, milk and espresso or their Single Origin Cold Brew ($6.50), for those who prefer a lighter dose. Image: Free the Robot Facebook Page


Designed by Philippe Starck, ADHD (All Day Hotel Dining) is nestled at swanky and new hotel, The South Beach. The restaurant boasts a diverse menu with a range of cuisine, including local delights with highlights like Herb Coated Veal Tenderloin ($42), Truffled Oxtail ($16) and Salmon Three Ways ($32, pictured). If you’re craving for a sweet treat, get the Signature Chocolate Sphere ($16) or Beery Fields ($18). Note: Buffet breakfast is served from 6:30am-10:30am on weekdays and 6:30am-11am on weekends. Lunch & Dinner is available from 12pm-11pm daily. Image: The South Beach

8. Portico Prime

portico prime
The second restaurant by Portico, Portico Prime, takes over the spot in Dempsey previously occupied by Prime Society. Amidst its industrial chic interior, your eye immediately goes to the elegant bar in the centre, as well as the Chef’s Table and open kitchen area beside it. For dishes on the menu, locally-sourced ingredients are used wherever possible. The Pan Seared Barramundi, for example, is sourced from a farm in Pulau Ubin, while the honey used in their Crème Brûlée comes from a local apiarist in Lim Chu Kang. Must-tries from the Signatures Tasting Menu ($78++ per person) include Caramalised Leek and Potato Soup, Tochigi Prefecture Wagyu A4 Ribcap – exclusive to Portico – and the Deconstructed Blackforest dessert with hidden popping candy. Image: Portico Prime

9. The Coffee Academics

the coffee academics
Visited The Coffee Academics’ pop-up over the last few months? Finally open for business, this café from Hong Kong does well to impress coffee lovers with unique pours like Pepper Agave Latte ($7.50), as well as to attract passersby in Scotts Square thanks to its visually stunning interior. It boasts 7 sensory coffee stations for on-site roasting, hand-brewed single origins and coffee classes (to name a few), each displayed with state-of-the-art coffee equipment. Coffee aside, their food menu stays limited for now, but if you’re hungry, go for the Crispy Fish Fillet Tacos ($21) or Açaí Berry Bowl ($15). Image: The Coffee Academics Singapore Facebook Page

10. Mr Churro

mr churro
You might be thinking – another Korean churro chain? For those yet to try this trending snack, trust us when we say that Mr Churro is a good place to start. From a takeaway kiosk in the basement of ION Orchard, these crisp 50cm churros covered in cinnamon sugar come in prepared-to-order in six variations: Original ($4.50), Nutty ($5.90), Mini ($8.90, box of 5), with Ice Cream ($6.50), with Dip ($5) – like dark chocolate and blueberry – and Filled ($4.90). Top up $2.50 for a hot beverage or $4 for a frappe. Image: Mr Churro SG Facebook Page
Written by Rachel Wong and Peh Yi Wen
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