Hotspots: Rizu & Crossroads Cafe

Pip Harry finds delectable omakase in Duxton Hill, and a breezy alfresco café in the heart of Orchard Road.

RIZU Modern Japanese Cuisine
39 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089617
rizu.com.sg

After a hectic workday a visit to the sleek Japanese restaurant RIZU is the perfect remedy. My dining partner and I sink into plush seats, with cool towels and a printed menu outlining our forthcoming 8-course Signature Omakase. Smooth jazz plays quietly in the background and our glasses are filled with sweet, dry sparkling sake and excellent French pinot noir. And exhale…
We’re not fans of urchin or caviar, and the kitchen is more than happy to modify the menu. Our first dishes are cauliflower, topped with edible flowers, followed by tender white asparagus spears and scallop and slivers of glistening sashimi. The presentation is artful, and everything tastes wonderful – fresh and full of delicate Japanese-French flavours. Tableside, our waiter pours a creamy pea soup over fresh, green peas and shoots, then delivers a rich slice of foie gras, bamboo shoot and moringa. For the main we opt for the Wagyu beef with shavings of truffle, black garlic and crispy burdock root chips. After a palette cleanser of mint, basil and lemongrass, we are served traditionally prepared sushi – just perfect raw fish, a dash of soy and wasabi, and palm shaped rice. To finish, a house-made matcha ice-cream with sweet azuki red bean.
Verdict: Elegant, fresh and flavourful omakase, thoughtfully prepared by Head Chef Noboru Shimohigashi.

Crossroads Café
Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
320 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238865
singaporemarriott.com/restaurant/crossroads-café

This breezy, bustling café is located at the crossroads of Orchard Road’s busiest intersection, under the wings of the iconic Marriot Hotel. It’s perfect for a pitstop between shopping, and it would be easy to wile away a few hours people watching and enjoying the extensive drinks list. Offering both local and international flavours, Crossroads caters to just about any palette – including hungry kids and teens. I start with a grilled asparagus and pumpkin salad, with flax seeds and vino cotto dressing, and a bowl of Char Hor Fun, a local favourite with seafood, rice noodles, mushroom, egg and oyster sauce. It’s pleasant, but my tastebuds prefer the excellent beer battered cod fish and chips (crispy and wonderfully fresh white fish) and Marriot Burger with Angus beef, crispy bacon and trimmings. The dessert menu is enticing, and I can’t go past the classic sticky date pudding, with lashings of caramel sauce and very good vanilla bean ice cream. A quick macchiato and I’m back on the road with a pep in my step.
Verdict: This easy-going, versatile café offers a wide range of East meets West plates.