For many of us, the festive season is all about wining and dining with loved ones amidst a decadent array of log cakes and roast turkey. But for restaurants, its crunch time as kitchens get ready for a busy period of gatherings and parties.
Most importantly, the end of 2019 has come to serve as a time of reflection. This year Singapore has welcomed a renewed interest in its dining scene, thanks to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and The Michelin Guide. New restaurants, the likes of Cloudstreet and La Dame de Pic, has stirred up excitement for prospects of new stars in the horizon.
For others, it’s a moment of introspection on what has worked and what can be done better. This month, we see the fresh evolution of familiar names and new additions to dining destinations. Fine-dining restaurant Art now finds a fitting home for its contemporary Italian cuisine and dim sum lovers have a new fun spot to hang out at.

1
Art

After closing its doors at Raffles Place, the modern Italian restaurant has now resurfaced at the National Art Gallery. The relocation also means that Art has replaced Il Lido Group’s other restaurant, Aura. This time, Art is under the personal purview of chef-owner Beppe De Vito who shares an exploration of Italian culinary traditions bolstered by Italian ingredients. Perhaps inspired by its new home, Art seems to have unleashed a wave of culinary creativity with its dishes as well.

2
Butcher’s Block

Raffles Hotel’s latest dining concept takes the classic steakhouse for a spin. At Butcher’s Block, diners can expect a menu featuring premium meats from around the world. Chef Rémy Lefebvre heads the kitchen here, exploring a variety of cooking techniques from using wood-fire ovens to bincho grilling — which is why a seat at the Chef’s Table makes for such an entertaining experience. The restaurant also has communal tables, perfect for gatherings and parties. Naturally, diners can also find an impressive wine menu here to go with dinner. The Wine Library at the restaurant boasts more than 100 different wine labels.

3
Caffe Cicheti

Following the footsteps of its sister restaurants, the new Caffe Cicheti is a ‘modern-day osteria’ offering homely Italian fare — taking over popular brunch spot Fynn’s. Here, chef-owner Lim Yew Aun takes the opportunity to further explore the cuisines from Italy’s coastal regions informed by bright flavours and fresh seafood. Lim continues to have his hearty pasta dishes on the menu, this time accompanied by a selection of anti-pastis and mains. Think Iberico pork roast with a side of granny smith apple slices and salami platters. Brunch-lovers, fret not — Caffe Cicheti will continue to have brunch menus available through the weekend too.

4
COMO Club

COMO Club is the latest culinary addition to the COMO Dempsey hub. Sandwiched between The Dempsey Cookhouse and Bar and Candlenut, COMO Club is meant to be a cosy and casual spot for drinks and small plates. This is the perfect place to be for those looking for quality nibbles to go with drinks. The menu sees ‘tapas-portioned’ dishes of signatures, such as Candlenut’s kurobuta satay and Ippoh Tempura’s tempura platter. Best of all, COMO Club is open till after midnight for night owls around the area.

5
PS.Cafe by the Sea at East Coast Park

For the first time in its two-decade-long history, PS.Cafe has finally made its way to the East away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Its latest outlet is located at the scenic waterfront in East Coast Park, set up as a stylish hangout for families and cyclists around. Diners can still find PS.Cafe signatures, like truffle shoestring fries and rich desserts, here. The menus also offer outlet exclusive dishes paying homage to its seaside home, such as a Thai-inspired lemongrass spaghettini with mussels and clams or a modern take on chilli crab with soft-shell crabs and grilled tiger prawns. P.S.: Come hungry as portions here are big.

6
Social Place

Popular Cantonese tea house, Social Place, has just opened its first overseas branch in Singapore. The innovative restaurant is best known for its creative takes on dim sum and other Cantonese dishes in Hong Kong, and Singaporean fans won’t be disappointed by the menu here. Popular dishes here are Instagram hits, such as its Truffle Shiitake ‘mushroom’ Buns and the adorable Caramel Pudding Surprise which is shaped like a pig. Dine with an open mind: some of these dim sum bites taste as well as they look.

Jasmine Tay
Senior Writer
Jasmine Tay is the dining, culture and jewellery writer. She makes fine silver jewellery and causes mini-explosions in the kitchen when she can't afford fancy dinners. Sometimes she tells people what she thinks about art, and binges on the music of Danzig when they don’t agree.