All things [NEW] at Earle Swensen's, Steam Box and Eat @ 7

2016 has passed by in a flash, hasn't it? It seems like it was just yesterday that we are toasting to a new year, and now we find it already half over. But hey, look at it a different way and its half yet to begin. There's no better time than now to celebrate all things new, and no better way to do it than with food indeed! Here are some of the freshest pickings from eateries islandwide.

First up Earle Swensen's new and improved Western-Asian inspired menu seeks to whet your appetite this June. One can find new items for any course, from rousing appetizers to satiating desserts!

The Breaded Scallops with Wasabi Tartar sauce ($10.90) and Sesame Siracha Smoked Drumlets ($10.90) are two eye-catching starters, it's noteworthy how a little oriental twist has been injected to both dishes using the flavors of wasabi and sesame. These dishes certainly did their job well in inducing anticipation for the mains.

Looking for a guilt-free meal that doesn't compromise on taste? The Crispy Barramundi in Orange Basil Butter ($26.90), which is certified Healthier Choice option, would be a top pick! The highly prized seafood delicacy was cooked flawlessly, with fork-flaking flesh and a crispy seared skin. Accompanied by a refreshing citrus-y spin on the normal herbed butter, this dish left a pleasantly light and clean aftertaste overall.

Kalbi Beef Short Ribs ($33.90) is a unique Korean-American dish that blends sweet, tangy and savoury notes. The short ribs are marinated in an in-house secret blend and grilled meticulously before being served. What you get is tender (albeit somewhat thin) beef slices that are bursting with flavor and paired seamlessly with a side of fragrant butter rice.

As for dessert, a gourmet experience is created with the Millefeuille with Seasonal Fruits and Gelato ($11.70). Classic French puff pastry is layered with four gelato flavors, and has a medley of seasonal fruits on the side. Not only is this gorgeous, but it also delivers an interesting creamy-crunchy textural sensation with customisable taste to suit your inclinations. I say go for the dark chocolate as one of your four choices for an utterly rich and blissful affair.

And of course, the ever-popular Swensen's sundaes aren't to be left out! two reinvented treats take centre-state; the strikingly green You met your Match-a and flamboyantly pink For the Love of Lychee ($13.10). The first is a must-have for all professed green tea lovers, with generous scoops of smooth earthy geleato and its time tested companion of sweet adzuki beans, while the second is definitely for the sweet-tooths who would relish in the juicy lychee and strawberry toppings!

Earle Swensen's
1 HarbourFront Walk
t: 6272 3306

Operating Hours
Daily: 10 30am - 10 30pm

Second on the list would be Steam Box, a brand-new steam hot pot specialist restaurant that is bringing Hong Kong's hottest food trend "Steam-Potting" to Singapore! Similar to a steamboat experience, all the ingredients are brought to the table raw. In a matter of minutes, they are made ready to eat in the innovative high-speed steamer at every table. Steam cooking is rather incredible for how healthy yet delicious it is! It ensure that all natural juices and nutrients of the food is sealed in, without leaving traces of fat or scum. Talk about technology taking traditional gastronomy to the next level, eh?

Steam Box offers a large variety of fresh ingredients in its menu, with half-portions and full-portions available so you can get a taste of everything. The essence of these ingredients are collected below the steaming plate to slow cook the congee of your choice, either Century Egg, Pork Rib and parsley ($15) or Clam, Dried Scallop and Ginger ($18) a hearty and wholesome way to end off an already splendid meal.

Some of the marquee ingredients include Chef Marinated Chinese-style Ginger Chicken Thigh with Wolfberry ($9); Chef Marinated Minced Pork with Premium Salted Fish ($9); Garlic Bamboo Clams ($13); Barramundi ($18) and Crab ($28 for 3). All ingredients are delivered to the restaurant every morning and the dishes are prepared by hand. The Meat dishes are steeped in simplicity yet amazingly flavorful, sure to evoke nostalgia of home-cooked meals from your childhood, and freshness of the seafood is truly outstanding!

An array of unconventional dim sum dishes like Chicken Bundle with Yam and Carrot ($5.80), Pumpkin Crystal Dumpling ($5.80) and Otah Siew Mai ($4.80) is available as well, and is steamed right before your eyes too. Delicate and delectable, these dishes left with with an insatiable craving for more. How I wish I ordered another plate.,, and of course, the customary Creamy Egg Custard Bun ($4.80) did not fail to delight with its golden luscious flow.

Steam Box
Serangoon Garden
68 Serangoon Garden Way
t: 6281 6939

Operating Hours:
Daily: 11am - 11pm

Eat at Seven broke new grounds last year by concentrating the best of Japan with seven top specialist dining concepts and restaurants under one roof. The reception so far has been overwhelmingly positive, and this establishment has certainly made a reputation for itself. Three renowned brands, Menya Takeichi, Tokyo Sundubu and Enbu have launched exciting new mainstays for all you Japanese food devotees to enjoy.

Enbu's authentic straw and charcoal grill promises an Izakaya experience like no other, presenting a diversity of dishes with a trademark wonderful smoky fragrance. The Breaded Chicken Cutlet ($18) and Breaded Skewered Pork Cutlet ($20) are faultlessly golden crisp and come with the chef's original sea urchin sauce and strands of precious saffron spice. The taste of uni is truly one of a kind, briny and super umami, an ultimate accompaniment to the meat. The Father's Day platter ($58) is a true showstopper. This is every dad's dream with quality cuts of beef, pork and chicken and super value for money.

Menya Takeichi brings to the table a never-before-seen ramen dish: Rich Collagen Miso ramen and Dinosaur Chicken ($17.50). The unmistakable taste of miso adds a new facet of earthiness to the sensational pure chicken broth. The headlining Dinosaur Chicken undoubtedly rakes up points for presentation; slice into that beautifully charred huge hunk of meat and you will find the ajitama wrapped snuggly by delectable grilled chicken meat.

Tokyo Sundubu is the largest and most popular sundubu icon in Japan. With comforting stew that incorporates premium silky-soft tofu and different ingredients such as pork, asari clams and shrimps, one can definitely see why. The tategi, a pepper condiment that spikes the stew and colors it that resplendent red hue, is a stupendous assault on your senses in the best way possible! Now, the chefs have introduced the Lamb Mushroom Sundubu ($24). The tender and sweet meat heightens the indulgent intensity of it all, really pushing the boundaries of the signature moreish stew!

Riding the wave (more like tsunami) of cheese tarts and all things flowy, Cafe Nigiro presents its very own Baked Churros Cheese Tart ($4.80). Essentially a molten cheesy mix ensconced within a buttery crust, topped by an eggy dough and showered with lots of cinnamon sugar. You can't go wrong with such classic dessert flavors, but I think that the churro and cheese tart components weren't particularly cohesive. Both are perfectly enjoyable on their own, and I would say that they are better off separated as such. Still, a dessert that I couldn't bear missing out on!

Eat at 7
3 Temasek Boulevard
Suntec City North Wing #03-314
t: 6654 5054

Operating Hours:
Daily: 11 30am - 10pm

Written and Photographer by Jordan Ong. Jordan finds happiness in the simple: to eat and drink and find satisfaction in all her toil. Besides a deep love for artisan bread, she also has a taste for adventure, activism and anything alternative.

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