Forget about white tablecloths and stiff service. These restaurants are redefining the luxury dining experience by focusing on produce, concepts, and even guilty pleasures.
If there’s one travel destination most of us are pining for, it’s Japan. But since the chance of traveling there any time soon is still quite slim, we’ll have to make do with experiences within our reach. Enter Sushi Sato – a destination for sushi lovers hidden within Dempsey Hill’s greenery. Behind the counter is Master Chef Yuji Sato from Hokkaido, who brings with him 26 years of culinary experience and the concept of ‘kokoro’, which translates to heart, spirit, and wisdom.
The first thing you’ll notice while enjoying your meal at Sushi Sato is the relaxed atmosphere. Unlike other omakase restaurants where diners are sitting face to face with stern, tight-lipped chefs, Chef Sato is all smiles, eagerly sharing more about the ingredients he’s working with for the day. For lunch, diners can choose between the Uruoi ($150) course, Utsukushi ($220) course, and Tomi ($300) course. But it is during dinner where the freshest ingredients shine brightest, so choose between the Omakase ($380) and Kokoro ($480), which features around 16 to 17 outstanding dishes.
Given Chef Sato’s close relationship with sought-after suppliers in Japan, favorites like Hokkaido botan ebi, bafun uni and ikura will make frequent appearances on the various menus, in addition to seasonal specialties like katsuo, kamasu, winter buri, and his personal favorite, kohada. To complement the meal, make sure to peruse the drink menu as well, which is comprised of sake, Champagne, and wine that has been personally selected by Chef Sato to complement his creations.
Chef Marvas Ng’s first foray into the world of food as young boy earned him the title of “feather-plucker of chickens” (not to be taken too seriously, as this was at his grandmother’s kitchen after all). But this interest soon paved the way for a full-time culinary career, which led him to serve critically acclaimed French fare for over a decade in China and Hong Kong, followed by modern European food at a renowned resort back home in Singapore.
Today, Chef Ng can be found at his own kitchen at Path, which was recently realized through a partnership with 1855 F&B. Located at MBFC Tower 3, Path is a contemporary restaurant the highlights the familiarity of East Asian flavors juxtaposed with French cooking techniques. What results from Path’s menu is a multi layered experience; the best of East and West that is translated on a plate through Chef Ng’s strong personal perspective and experiences. The dish that best exemplifies this is the Signature Butter Roasted Soy Glazed French Poulet, which undergoes brining, butter roasting, hot smoking, as well as a Cantonese technique that ensures crispy skin.
Other highlights on the menu include the Hokkaido Diver Scallop “Hot Stone”, Char-grilled Giant Spanish Octopus Tentacle, and the Imperial Stock Braised “Kuhlbarra” Fish Maw. Rounding everything out at Path is a wine list that is waiting to be explored, which is comprised of both popular and lesser-known labels.
Cleverly hidden behind Proper Slice, a street side pizza-by-the-slice concept by the folks behind Lucali BYGB, Corduroy Palace is a watering hole for the modern bon vivant – a place to see and be seen in the most unlikely location. Here, classic American fare is accompanied by a handful of local favorites, as well as a unique selection of wines and cocktails.
Corduroy Palace is best described as a love child between a dive bar in middle America and a grand hotel ballroom, which gives you an idea of what to expect from the menu. On one hand, you get to indulge in items like freshly shucked oysters, crab legs, and a thick slab of prime rib accompanied by an incredibly loaded baked potato. On the other, it’s elevated diner fare, so think sandwiches like turkey, chicken, and egg salad, alongside Chicken Cordon Bleu and Mexican tamales. An unexpected addition is the xiao long bao from famed hawker stall You Peng, whose luxe factor is cranked up with the addition of caviar.
Where drinks are concerned, Corduroy Palace boasts 10 wine coolers flanking the long wine hall, where natural and biodynamic wines share the space with classic and cult wines, as well as a variety of bubbly. While there is no extensive cocktail menu, Corduroy Palace will be able to share a small and concise list of classic tipples that include a Manhattan, Gimlet, Fernet and Cola, and a Dirty Martini, to name a few.
SALTED & HUNG
We often forget how much waste comes out of restaurants, especially in fine dining establishments that often require perfection in the ingredients they use. This is not the case at Salted & Hung. Here, Chef-Owner Drew Nocente pushes the gastronomic envelope and brings flair, creativity, and passion to food ethics, with a personal philosophy called ‘Zero Food Waste Dining’ that is seen, felt, and tasted throughout the menu.
The ingredient that best represents this philosophy is the aged turbot, where every part of the fish is utilized in three elements of the dish – Turbot, Turbot Tea Broth, and Turbot Liver Vin Jaune. Even the turbot bones are hung and dried for two weeks to prepare a special dashi broth. As for the Green Lip Abalone, the abalone meat is brushed with abalone butter during grilling, where the latter ingredient is made with abalone liver, yeast extract, and butter. The ingredient then comes full circle because even the abalone shell is used in the dish for plating.
Another memorable dish is the Bafun Uni with snow crab, radish noodles, and buttermilk. The radish noodles are poached in a radish dashi made from its trimmings, while the snow crab and fresh Bafun uni are dressed in a buttermilk emulsion, which is made from fresh kelp butter combined with uni, radish stock, and dill oil. Finally, dessert is a celebration of apples that pays homage to Chef Nocente’s family apple farm: Apple pound cake with compressed apple and apple jam, slow-cooked apple wedges in fermented apple juice tossed with maple verjus and applie pie sugar. Rounding this all up is apple kombucha served on the side.
As its name suggests, Revolver brings an explosive dining experience to Tras Street. The bold, fiery grill is a showcase of Indian cooking sensibilities that puts fire, premium produce, and carefully selected spices front and center, skillfully handled by Executive Chef Saurabh Udinia and his fearless team. Here, meats, seafood, and vegetables are charred to perfection on either the custom-built woodfired grill or hand-built tandoor, which draws out maximum flavor.
For a full culinary immersion, opt for the 9-course Experience tasting menu, which starts with an unexpected ingredient: Courgette flowers. Acting as a delicate parcel, it is filled with creamy paneer cheese with cumin and onion, and then gently grilled over woodfire and finished with tomato chutney for a hint of tanginess. Then there is the Fresh Paneer, specially sourced and flown from India, cooked in the tandoor and served with Chef Saurabh’s vegetarian sambal.
This menu also manages to transform often uninspiring chicken cuts into a flavorful masterpiece. The Boneless Wings and Necks feature skewers of succulent chicken cooked in the tandoor and finished with lemon juice, coriander, chili dust, and yuzu aioli. And for the perfect finale, there is the Pulled Pork and Gruyere Kulchette (inspired by the mildly leavened flatbread called Kulcha), comprised of a tandoor-cooked flatbread stuffed with gruyere cheese and crowned with a pulled pork mixture that’s flavored with coconut milk and tamarind chutney.