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In Good Taste: Lolla, Fat Cow and Cherry Garden

A new month brings about a slew of new openings, and our round up of November 2017’s top tables offers a survey of where to hit up if you’re constantly on the look out for quality restaurants. For a more comprehensive look into a specific spot though, we’ve got a full review of Kyuu by Shunsui which had us swooning over just a simple tomato, as well as an interview with Clayton Wells — the chef of the newly opened Australian restaurant Blackwattle.

While new spots are certainly exciting, it doesn’t mean we can’t rely on time-honoured establishments. Indeed, one of the greatest things about living in Singapore is the sheer variety and quality of our restaurants.

This week, we pay homage to three establishments that have withstood the test of time. They span across the culinary spectrum from Lolla to Fat Cow’s all new omakase concept and classic Cantonese cuisine at Cherry Garden.

Chanterelle mushrooms and aged monchego cheese by Lolla

Chanterelle mushrooms and aged monchego cheese come together to create magic in Lolla’s dish.

The dish: Mushrooms with aged cheese are a match made in heaven and Lolla does it best by first sauteeeing chanterelle mushrooms – the gourmet delicacy known for its distinctive nutty taste – which is served with sprouted beans, shards of aged manchego and dressed with mushroom jus. The result? Spoonfuls of rich umami goodness that has us going back for more. The dish itself is part of a newly introduced five and seven-course omakase menu.

The place: Lolla is a respected institution in its own right, having been around for five years when Ann Siang Road first came alive with a new wave of quality independent restaurants. It now has a new head chef in 31-year-old Singaporean Saiful Aziz who was formerly its sous chef and has sharpened his knives at establishments like Esquina, The Prime Society and The Study.

Price: $70-$80++ (five-courses) or $100-$115++ (seven-courses)

Lolla, 22 Ann Siang Rd, Singapore 069702, 6423 1228.

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Baby leek nigiri sushi by Fat Cow

The range of nigiri sushi at Fat Cow

The dish: Think of sushi and an assortment of tender seafood pressed delicately into short grain rice comes to mind. At Fat Cow, it’s the baby leek nigiri sushi that has our attention. It could be because the usual canon of offerings, while delicious, are by no means new. But serving up a vegetable-based sushi that doesn’t have us recoiling in horror is equal parts guts and glory. Here, baby leeks – small, cute and tender sans the giant flavour bomb that full-grown leeks posesss — are finely sliced, dressed with umeboshi puree and topped with bonito flakes. The sushi is part of an all new omakase menu.

The place: Fat Cow is well-loved for its decadent wagyu dishes, but the sushi served here is part of a new counter-dining concept. Guests are given the choice of being seated at the recently installed 8-seater wooden bar for an omakase menu put together by chef Shigeru Kasajima.

Price: $120++

Fat Cow, #01-01/02, Camden Medical Centre, 1 Orchard Boulevard, Singapore 248649, 6735 0308.

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Pan-fried A4 Miyazaki wagyu beef sirloin by Cherry Garden

Pan-fried A4 Miyazaki Wagyu Beef Sirloin with garlic barbecue sauce and sautéed vegetables

The dish: Sometimes, all you feel like having is a good steak – but what if your dining companions feel like having dim sum? Consider heading to Cherry Garden where you can get the best of both worlds. While those around you dig in to dim sum, go for the pan-fried A4 Miyazaki wagyu beef sirloin served with garlic barbecue sauce and sautéed vegetables. It’s very much like a steak – except an extremely luxurious one for the cut is so tender, it melts in your mouth. The garlic barbecue sauce elevates the beef while the sauteed vegetables are a nice break from the richness of the meat.

The place: Cherry Garden is Mandarin Oriental’s resident Chinese restaurant and it has recently gone through a makeover. The 120-seater formal establishment now sports a considerably brighter look thanks to the lighter wood and large windows that allow for natural light.

Price: $48

Cherry Garden, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039797, 6885 3500.

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Azimin Saini
Azimin Saini is a contributor to Lifestyle Asia. He has spent a decade in journalism, writing for The Peak, Style:Men and the Michelin Guide.
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