The recent dining restrictions are sure to build up your appetite for a fine meal once possible. Here are the top spots to make a beeline for when the chance comes.
A visit to Firangi Superstar, the newest hotspot on Craig Road, is almost like stepping into the set of Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited, a hyper-stylized film that follows three brothers on a journey across India’s colorful landscape. At Firangi Superstar, the dining area is divided into four intricately designed rooms — Officer’s Club, Old Railway, Elephant Palace, and Jungle Lodge — that add an element of whimsy to an almost faultless dining experience.
The food, best described as Modern Indian, takes on unexpected forms in the hands of Chef Thiru Gunasakaran. Distinct Indian flavors are drawn from meals enjoyed during his childhood, while the dramatic execution is a result of his Western culinary background. The ‘Tiny Plates, Big Tastes’ portion of the menu exemplifies this best, with dishes both familiar yet new like the spice-forward Beirut Bhatura, This Is Not Aloo Gobi, and Prata Waffle??? — a playful take on prata as a breakfast dish that’s accompanied by Madras-style fried chicken, butter chicken sauce, and jaggery syrup.
As for mains, opt for the Salvador Thali, which is a vegetarian dish that features pumpkin steeped in a sambhar marinade, which is then roasted and charred in the tandoor. It is then smothered with lime pickle, fried salted chili flakes, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds. As for a meat option, the Indian Saddle is a personal favorite – tender lamb porterhouse marinated in spiced yoghurt and then charred in a tandoor. It is accompanied by an Indian spiced chermoula and confit garlic sauce, and pairs well with the Firangi Naan Basket.
Visit Firangi Superstar at 20 Craig Road, #01-03, Tel: 6304 3022
A meal at the Mirazur pop-up in Singapore is one that is met with anticipation because at its home turf in Menton, France, the restaurant is the recipient of 3 Michelin stars and has the distinction of being “The Best Restaurant in the World” — a title bestowed by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
At a time where leisure travel is close to impossible and enjoying a meal at Mirazur in France is but a dream for now, snagging a coveted seat at the Singapore pop-up is almost like winning the culinary lottery. Each visit also proves to be an element of surprise:
In place of menus, diners are presented a theme for the week, such as Leaves, Flowers, Roots, and Fruits, highlighting ingredients at their best according the different phases of the moon. On my visit, I enjoyed the Flowers menu, which proved to be a multi-sensorial experience full of color, imagination, and of course, flavor. The meal began with the distinct flavor of rose in the Rose, Gamberoni, and Rhubarb dish, followed by the subtle earthiness of saffron in the Saffron, Mussels, and Beetroot course.
The Capers Tart and Artichoke is a display of exceptional technique where 300 caper petals are placed above a savory artichoke puree and a parmigiano reggiano disk. This was followed by the Banana Flower with Trout Roe, where the inherent bitterness of the banana flower was complemented by a tart sudachi lime sauce with spring onion and celeriac. For the meat course, veal is presented two ways: A tender slice of veal is served alongside meadowsweet flowers sauce and matcha oil, as well as a veal sweetbread and clam ragu with apple and fennel to help cut back on the richness.
Visit Mirazur at 31 Bukit Pasoh Road. mandala.club/mirazur.fr
CASA BY REMY LEFEBVRE
The idea of home was a little blurry for Chef Remy Lefebvre, who spent over two decades shuttling between places like Africa, France, Mexico, Spain, the Middle East, India, Hong Kong, the Caribbean, and finally, Singapore. Today, you could say that he has found a slice of it with the recent opening of Casa Restaurant, which boasts contemporary woodfire gastronomy in a homely, yet elegant setting.
Casa is, in a way, a microcosm of Chef Lefebvre’s journey on a plate, taking inspiration from the various places he was based in at one point. Here, the season’s choice offerings, whether from the land or from the sea, are the main stars and are transformed through the culinary techniques Chef Lefebvre has picked up on his journeys. For example, the Blue Mussels dish is his take on chawanmushi, where the coconut cream custard is dotted with fresh seafood like blue mussels, smoked eel, seasonal peaches, and Madras curry from India.
At Casa, something as humble as the egg is transformed into the Perfect Egg, where an expertly cooked egg with wobbly whites and a runny yolk is accompanied by wild pepper from Madagascar, Thai basil salsa verde, charcoal-cooked razor clams, and sweet corn. Meanwhile, Chef Lefebvre’s expert handling of fish is seen the Aged Rock Bass dish, which is first aged for seven days in a chiller. Shio koji is then brushed on the skin of the fish lending it flavor and a crisp texture once it’s grilled, and then served with lemon puree, sauce vierge, and sauteed kampot rice with sofrito.
Visit Casa Restaurant 30 Victoria Street, CHIJMES, #01-20. Tel: 9722 8171