Think you know your pasta and burgers? Well, think again. In this fast-paced, ever-evolving food scene, restaurateurs and chefs may feel the need to change things up, and give these classics a new lease on life. Sometimes they fall flat. The ones on our list don’t.
1. Tom Yum Seafood Pasta from 49 Seats
One of Singapore’s worst kept secrets, 49 Seats was probably the first to make tom yum pasta before it became more ubiquitous. So how do you know they are OG? Request a spiciness level of 49, and see if you can take the heat. The pasta has the texture and creaminess of a carbonara, but the intensity is 100% Thai.
2. Zucca Fettucini or Broccolini Pesto from Original Sin
These pastas are good for your waistline — everything is vegetarian. (No worries, they are tasty.) We like the Zucchini Pasta, served with a creamy pumpkin sauce, carrots, baby spinach, walnuts and fragrant sage. But when we are feeling edgy, we get the Broccolini Pasta. Apart from the tangy sun-dried tomatoes-and-chilli combination, it is flamed with Absolut Vodka in a pink sauce. Sublime.
3. “Bak Chor Mee” from Labyrinth
It sure looks like one of Singapore’s best noodle dishes but chef Li Guang conjures up an edible illusion to delight the senses. Thin slices of squid, infused with saffron, make up the egg noodles, while the fish cake slices are made from fresh Hokkaido scallops. Get the tasting menu and try guessing what the rest of the dishes are made of.
4. Buah Keluak Noodle by National Kitchen by Violet Oon
The exotic lure of the buah keluak, a poisonous fruit that yields aromatic ‘black gold’ when prepared properly, takes centre stage in this dish. Each spaghetti strand is coated with a paste reminiscent of squid ink, but comprising chillis, prawns, and coconut milk, not to mention buah keluak itself. It’s a wonderful way to end a meal of Peranakan favourites.
5. Cereal Prawn Pasta from Atlas Coffeehouse
This fusion dish is for the ‘zichar’ lovers up for an adventure, where a plump tiger prawn, coated in cereal batter, sits atop a mound of Aglio Olio-esque spaghetti. There’s enough garlic and chilli padi to convince you it’s a heartland favourite, but bite into a mouthful of cereal-coated pasta, and you know you’ve got something special before you.
6. Salmon Mentaiko Bao or Chilli Crab Bao from Bao Makers x Butler’s Steakbar
Bao Makers takes the best part of the beloved Kong Bak Bao (braised pork belly bun) — the fresh, steamed bun that smells live heaven — and gives it a modern-day twist with a variety of flavours. The salmon mentaiko and chilli crab flavours are among their most popular: we love the indulgence of the former and the sweet kick from the latter.
7. Mac and Cheese Burger from The Beast
There’s plenty of heart — and calories — in this burger. The buns are made with the Southern classic that is mac and cheese, hand-shaped and fried with breadcrumbs till it turns a golden-brown. It’s a heart attack-inducing accompaniment for the juicy beef patty slathered in barbecue sauce, but it’s so good we’d do it all over again.
8. Swordfish Burger or Bleu Cheese Burger from The Market Grill
You might not think that fish could taste so hearty, but get the Swordfish Burger here and live in ecstasy for the next 20 minutes. The fillet is grilled and paired with herbed mayo, mango salsa, spices and served on a sesame bun. The thick slab of fish meat has heft, and you go away feeling you are indulging in the rich goodness befitting of an oily beef burger. We also like the Bleu Cheese Burger, where the beef patty comes with salty bleu cheese and a sweet burnt onion marmalade and bacon, served in between a walnut raisin bun.
9. Pulled Pork Burger or Prime Beef Burger with Foie Gras from Two Blur Guys
This unassuming joint might be called Two Blur Guys, but the chefs sure know what they are doing when it comes to burgers. The Pulled Pork Burger is a generous portion of shredded, slow-cooked pork between toasted buns, dripping with cheese. It’s a messy sight, but sure to be your tummy’s delight. They also do their Prime Beef Burgers well, but we’d up the ante and get the one with foie gras.
Are you ready for another round of promo code hunting? Get the latest version of the Chope app ready on your mobile phone because you’re going to need it: look out for the Mother’s Day Guide on the app and hunt for Gold Eggs this week. A little head’s up – all the eggs released this week are 400 Chope-Dollars each!