Weekend Haunts: Places worth checking out for their [NEW MENUS] part 1

With a whole slew of restaurants/cafes being opened every week; diners are being spoilt for choice whenever the weekend rolls in and the hellish decision as to 'where to eat' has to be made. Take our advice and commit to visiting the oldies (but goodies). Here are some of our picks for the newest menus in town, discounting the fact that these joints have been stationed there long enough to prove that they have a certain amount of substance to survive the gruelling trials of the F&B scene in Singapore. These joints are dishing out heavenly fried chicken, tender beef cheek rendang and outstanding eggs benedict, all guaranteed to make your weekends a whole better.

We kick off the mornings with Froth's new menu featuring a smoked duck salad, Lobster Truffle Pot Bun ($23.90) for those of you feeling a little extravagant this weekend and an uber succulent Pork Belly Eggs Benedict ($20.90) that could have done without the jarring distraction of the salted egg yolk hollandaise ladled heavy handedly over the porcine's sexy body. 

The Escargots Vol au Vents ($13.90) do good work as sharing plates for a pair, however, the sweet carrot puree and chocolate savoury soil which I had a sneaking suspicion, weren't just put there for aesthetic purposes - leads to an epic clash of the titans on the palate.

In this basement space of BIG hotel, replete with minimalistic charm and shady spots, the Rosti and Fried Chicken ($20.90) shines like a beacon of hope. Alright, I concur, maybe just the chicken bit, which sported an unbelievably airy coating reminiscent of a yam ring you'll normally find at a ze char stall. For something over the top sweet, the French Toast Cube ($19.90) is a nice sharing dish that is perfect carried over to a dinner affair even - brioche cube, fried strawberries stuffed with nutella, fried bananas, fried mars bars, pressurised green apples, speculoos anglaise and sea salt caramel ice cream hidden below the bread shelter. I can't say that I'm crazy about the dish, but the multitude of sins presented on a plate could easily wash away any sadness essentially.

200 Middle Road
t: 6336 1228

Operating Hours: 
Daily: 11 30am - 10pm


Nestled in the heart of Orchard Road where the hustle and bustle of city life has intercepted into every possible dimension. Arteastiq offers an oasis for peaceful respite. 

The concept is transparent and straightforward, providing a space for social interaction through expression of painting and gathering whilst in plain view of the whirlwind of activity on the streets down below. 

Some of the boutique tea house's new offerings include the Nordic Lights - Soba salad ($16) and the Louisiana Love - Chicken and Waffles ($22). The latter is a mash up of whats good for you and an ultimate comfort dish. Buttermilk chicken is panfried and served atop a wholewheat waffle, the healthier choice making several compromises on the overall theatrical effect of the dish as evident from the dish being cleaned off, all except that slab of lackluster waffle that failed to retain a crisp edge. 

Try the Latin Lover - frijolles ($25); as passionate as the name sounds, I'm deeply confounded as the consumption of so much beans definitely doesn't foster a closer relationship with your partner; the toilet, yes that I can vouch for. Still, its hearty nature of Mexican baked pork bean stew with sausages dotting the mix and a blanket of sunny side egg does make it a perfect candidate for those rainy days. The less attractive Prince of Monte Carlo - Short Ribs Croque Monsieur ($28) stole my heart.; a flavorful melange of 24 hour short ribs stacked with cheddar, rocket leaves and brioche before being topped by a fried egg (I'm pretty sure that qualifies for a sex-change to the madame breed); but sexual orientation aside, this treat is absolutely dashing in terms of flavors and the side order of sweet potato fries will have revisiting the plate too often.

Desserts at Arteastiq will etch a deep impression in your tastebuds, its substantial portion sizing coupled with wallet friendly pricing boosting Arteastiq's position as a tea house best suited for afternoon chill-out sessions with the girlies. The Pillows "Beignets" ($12) are great for those who love all things New Orleans style, doughy on the outside with a unique chiffon cloud like texture on the inside. This is served with powdered coffee sugar and aerated creme chantilly with berry compote at the bottom of the tea cup - not too sure I've got the method of consumption nailed, but as do the art culture it's inculcating, its all about free styling. Other options include the more sinful Ode to Nectar ($12), a honey chocolate mi-cult sporting some pitch perfect textures in its meltingly tender smooth chocolate innards. The Osmanthus Creme Brulee - Silk Thread ($13) will have you marvelling at its size; the ramen bowl sizes pot holding a sweet treat of set osmanthus custard, a touch of smoke from the caramelised top giving the dish a much needed contrasting nudge.

Plaza Singapura
68 Orchard Road
t: 63360951

Operating Hours: 
Daily: 10am - 10pm

One of favourite cafes of the year Holqa has reopened with a bang after a short hiatus to resurrect the menu. This time, instead of the lonely SnS-ji, the new menu sports 4 other contenders with an intention to wing it (geddit?). Amongst the Ninja, Peanut Butter Space Jam, Pineapple Buffalo Wings and Salted Egg Yolks Wings; my picks would have to be the Ninja (3pcs- $5, 6 pcs - $9, 9 pcs - $12) and the Salted Egg Yolk. Despite the rather anaemic form adopted by the lesser of the two evils during the fashion shoot, it's mild-mannered sweet and sour disposition makes it very suitable for the kids to enjoy as well. The Salted Egg Yolk is heart-cloggingly good, props to the Simple and Welson for nailing the textures and thickness of the sauce on their first try.

Also featured are the Open Sesame Mini Burgers and Mini Holqa Pulled Pork Burgers ($12 for 3), a toss up that saw me favoring the former despite my deep proclaimed love for Holqa's asian stylized pulled pork pasta and french toast. The Open Sesame mini burgers showcases a prawn and pork hybrid with dashes of sesame oil and crispy chestnuts within. Pity about the dry mini brioche buns; but hold up as works are in progress to get some real sized buns in action.

Holqa Cafe
37 East Coast Road
t: 6635 7010

Operating Hours:
Mon - Tues: 12pm - 9pm
Thurs - Fri: 12pm - 9pm
Sat - Sun: 9am - 9pm

Those looking for a little night nosh action tonight can consider hopping over to Hyde and Co along North Bridge Road for their newly introduced dinner menu; only available from Wednesday to Saturday nights.

Pictured above is the Nasi lemak Risotto ($22) which I hearsay has suffered loads of inconsistency issues since the first day it was dished out. Fortunately for me, my first taste of it made for a rather revolutionary experience - cooked in coconut water and finished off with coconut cream, the risotto bears a stark resemblance to the usual hawker delicacy except that its way better.. with plumper grains and more finesse in the finished product. Crowned with a bit of lemon zest overhead to whet the appetite, spicy prawns and crispy ikan bilis complete the deft equation.

The Assam Halibut ($21) is a quick dive too, a feisty combination of quick seared halibut over soba noodles dredged in assam pedas sauce for a good sour and spicy medley. Burnt cauliflower on the side adds to the novelty factor while a good dash of lime overhead brings life to the spicy concoction. I reckon that another choice of carb would edify the dish a whole lot better than the lifeless soba; but that's just me. More straightforward is the Beef Cheek Rendang ($25) , although my palate disagreed strongly with the lengthy amounts of salt dispersed throughout the stew, the imposing vibrant flavors in the rendang were spot on and in lovely juxtaposition to the bed of creamy sweet potato mash below.

Ring in dessert with their seasonal Gingerbread Waffle with Caramelized apples and salted caramel sauce - so good, especially with the slightly chewiness of the waffle batter and the big swashes of salted caramel sauce that so conveniently fill up those sweet crevices. Or, treat yourself to a different class of desserts - the latest creations from Hyde and Co, a bill of all-star concoctions named after hugely successful Broadway shows. We are all familar with coffee affogatos, but have you tried a Tea affogato?; you'll be hard pressed not to whilst at Hyde and Co. Specially curated by the in house barista Damien, you'll be treated to refreshing mixes of Strawberry Ceylon tea with berries compote and the adamantly more rebellious Hamilton, featuring Lapsang Souchong tea. Go ahead, we implore you to be daring with these creations.

Note that Hyde and Co. will be presenting a special Christmas set menu that will only set you back at $68 for 2 people. What a steal. And get this, if you make your reservations before the 14th Dec, you get an additional 10% off! 

Hyde and Co.
785 North Bridge Road
t: 6635 5785

Operating Hours:
Mon: 11am - 6pm
Wed - Sat: 11am - 10 30pm
Sun: 11am - 6pm

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