2 Stamford Road, Swissotel The Stamford, Level 2, 178882
Opened in April this year, spacious restaurant CLOVE, with glass walls and ceiling, refreshing greenery and earthy tones, offers international buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Reflecting its name, CLOVE features some dishes with warm, peppery, clove tastes and heady aromas. At the seafood bar, don’t miss applewood smoked Tasmanian salmon, as well as Chilean black mussels, tiger prawns, scallops and more. A DIY salad bar complements the seafood well. There’s also a DIY poke station for the adventurous, with clove marinated Australian beef shank, plus chicken and seafood accompanied by a colourful melange of vegetables, nuts and seeds for nourishing meals. A noodle bar highlights familiar local tastes of Singapore laksa, Ipoh hor fun, Penang prawn noodles and Japanese ramen. There are roasts, casseroles and wok-fried delights, including coq au vin, butter chicken, Australian prime ribeye, herbal soup and bouillabaisse, plus bread and cheese selections. At the live station, on rotation, look for spice marinated lamb leg from New Zealand served with baked aubergine and cumin jus. Attractive desserts beckon such as passionfruit meringue tartlet, ruby chocolate hazelnut praline, prune bread pudding and popular Portuguese egg tart.
Verdict: Enjoy relaxing over a meal here, before or after indulging in retail therapy in the adjoining Raffles City Shopping Centre.
181 South Bridge Road, Capri by Fraser China Square/Singapore, Level 2, 058743
The newest hotel in Chinatown also houses JÙN, a bright, cheerful Chinese restaurant. Meaning ‘handsome’, the eatery represents the traditions of old Chinatown coupled with the modernity of the vibrant hotel.
JÙN’s menu highlights local Chinese tastes with their original heritage, presented creatively. My lunch companion and I chose a set menu of three courses for two persons ($28 per person), with choices available for main dishes, and were most pleasantly surprised at the portioning and fine tastes.
Chilli crab rillettes kueh pie tee with its Peranakan background, and ngoh hiang (rolled beancurd skin enclosing juicy meat and seafood with five-spice seasoning) with plum sauce, were both delicious starters. San bei chicken with mushroom, garlic confit, ginger and basil, appealed with its nuances of soya sauce, Chinese wine and sesame oil. For an adventurous finish, baked cempedak (jackfruit) crumble, packed with rich, creamy, fruit flavour, accompanied by vanilla ice-cream, left a memorable impression.
The a la carte menu includes perennial favourite Singapore chilli crab, Teochew-style steamed fish, comforting crab meat and fish maw soup, as well as fragrant pork ribs to tempt tastebuds, and more. Wine, spirits and cocktails complement meals at this 80-seat oriental-chic restaurant.
VERDICT: A welcoming atmosphere awaits in the heart of Chinatown for traditional Chinese meals with a modern twist.