Where to eat and what’s new in Singapore: Idlewild, Chi Kinjo, Neon Pigeon’s V-day special

Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Idlewild, Chi Kinjo, Neon Pigeon's V-day special

Where we dined this week…

Chi Kinjo

You’ve heard the scandalous tales of Sum Yi Tai and Mona Lounge, now enter Chi Kinjo — the third character of the narrative from Coterie Concepts. Alike its sister counterparts, this chic den is Japanese — one of fab sushi rolls and punchy highballs. In the comforts of a casual, small space, Chi Kinjo straddles between tradition and modern, eastern and western. A standout dish was the smoked striploin steak that features grilled molten pieces of meat, paired with a black garlic onion cream, umami soy reduction and a finishing touch of charcoal oil for that smoky flavour. You can’t go wrong with a classic karage dish made a little special with kaffir lime. It was the perfect fusion bar bite where we enjoyed the subtle tart flavors that came through the deep fried chicken pieces. Served alongside red pepper mayo dip on the side, we could have this fried goodness all day every day. Another hit was the Crouching Tiger Roll (the same name adapted from the iconic martial arts movie in 2000), which featured three different types of prawns cooked in varied ways. The prawn tempura provided a crunchy contrast to the soft rice encasing it; while tiger prawns laid above the rolls, as well as sakura ebi sprinkled everywhere to further drive home the crunch factor. As for the tipples? Our winner had to be the Shiso watermelon cocktail; incorporating Shiso sake, freshly watermelon juice and calamansi. The perfect summer drink, we would say. — CC

Chi Kinjo

29 Stanley Street, Tel: 6260 5284
Opening hours: (Mon-Wed) 5pm-1am (last kitchen orders at 10pm), (Thur-Sat) 5pm-1am (last kitchen orders at 10.45pm), closed on Sundays

Neon Pigeon

To usher in the new year, Neon Pigeon has introduced new spring additions to their menu; while still heavily embodying Japanese influences in their sharing plates. Start the night right with their bestselling Tokyo hummus (eponymously named behind the inspiration behind the dish), you won’t find the conventional chickpeas but in its place, a pool of edamame topped with a generous amount of furikake. Served with curry chips on the side, each bite brings about textural and flavour diversity; as the richness of the hummus is balanced with crunch and a tinge of spiciness from the curry. The soft shell crab bun was another fusion delight that reminded us fondly of our kong bak baos (braised pork buns); albeit given a Westernized twist with the substitution of deep fried soft shell crabs instead of your traditional braised pieces of fatty pork belly. Sink your teeth into the crackling good soft shell crab smeared with black pepper teriyaki sauce, corn kernels and avacado — all sandwiched in a fluffy mantou bun. What is a night out without a glass of wine or two? A new wine menu has been rolled out, ideal for either food pairing or to be enjoyed on its own. We loved the full-bodied French le Menut des Jacobins, 2011 that carried a fruity scent and a nice earthy tone. For the whites, we thoroughly enjoyed the ever-so complex Jamsheed Madame Chard, comprising of honeycomb and oak accents with vibrant notes of lemon sherbet. With Valentine’s Day coming up, Neon Pigeon has also specially curated a Love Birds set menu with the dessert, Cherry Bomb taking centre-stage with its refreshing yakult sorbet, sake jelly and meringue. —CC

Neon Pigeon

1 Keong Saik Rd, Tel: 6222 3623
Opening hours: (Mon-Sat) 6pm-12am

Where we’re looking to dine…

Idlewild

InterContinental Singapore is about to shake (and stir) things up. Their upcoming class act, Idlewild is a retro-luxe bar that’s inspired by the art of travel from the 1940s to the 1960s. Add to that, a famous head at the helm of it — award-winning bartender Andy Griffiths from Australia will be making Singapore his new home. Watch this space for more updates.

Idlewild Singapore

80 Middle Road

Fung Kee Hotdogs

Fung Kee first stole our hearts in their unassuming outpost at Orchard Towers with their winning combo of tantalising hotdogs and smashing negronis. Now, they have ventured to cooler ground, with a second outlet at Duxton. Bonus: they also have soy dogs to keep every vegan sated.

Fung Kee Hotdogs

68 Duxton Rd
Opening hours: From 5pm till late

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