At National Kitchen, amid an atmosphere of
ornate mirrored ceilings, tiled flooring and plush
leather banquettes, Oon showcases her nuanced
Peranakan cuisine, a style that draws on Malaysian,
Chinese and Indian ingredients and cooking techniques. Standout dishes include beef rendang, dry
laksa and udang goreng chili.
“Our goal is to preserve the traditional flavors
and methods of cooking, and not take any short-
cuts,” says Yiming Tay, Oon’s son and a partner
in the restaurant. “Everything you taste comes
from spices that were painstakingly processed and
treated. We try to source the best ingredients from
the local wet markets and to provide our guests
with an authentic dining experience.”
o cap off a busy day of sightseeing (and
eating), come nightfall, visitors should delve
into Singapore’s nascent craft beer scene.
A wave of new taproom and brewery openings
has swept over the island in recent years, leaving
behind a slew of unique venues pouring exceptional
selections of imported and locally brewed beers.
Smith Street Taps and its adjacent sister
operation The Good Beer Company should be the
starting point for any Singapore craft beer crawl.
Hidden in a corner area on the second floor of
the Chinatown Complex food center, sandwiched
between the food vendors, Smith Street is the
no-frills “bar” of choice for local beer enthusiasts.
Here there are 12 beers on tap, with a particular
focus on rare and experimental imports—and that’s
it. The simple concept works well, although those
seeking further choice can plunder the nearby
refrigerators at The Good Beer Company, which
stocks upward of 50 different beers.
A short walk away is Freehouse, a hip taproom
discreetly located on the second floor of a renovated
shophouse. The staff pairs around 16 draft and 40
bottled beers with a bar-friendly menu of Asian-fusion
dishes including a Korean-style kimchi bulgogi hot dog,
bacon tempura and nacho dumplings. On tap, expect
an emphasis on craft breweries from New Zealand
and the West Coast of the United States.
Back across Marina Bay at the glitzy South Beach
entertainment complex, home of the new 634-room
JW Marriott Singapore South Beach, award-winning
craft brewery Little Island Brewing Company (LIBC)
recently spun off its high-concept tap bar, Alchemist
Beer Lab. The contemporary bar has 16 taps to
accommodate LIBC brews, including the Black
Magic Dry Irish Stout, which scored a gold medal
at the 2016 Asia Beer Awards.
It’s what’s packed into half the taps—or, specifically,
the beer towers—that makes things even more
interesting, however. “We have these infusion towers
where we put all kinds of ingredients—fruits, herbs,
spices, hops—and then the beer comes through
underneath, the ingredient flavors are stripped and
the beer goes straight into the glass,” says LIBC
founder Francis Khoo.
In other words, similar to when brewers dry-hop
a beer—that is, add fresh hops to a beer after its
primary fermentation to enhance flavors and aromas—the beers are freshly infused with ingredients
complementary to their specific profiles.
It’s an innovative concept, and one symbolic
of Singapore’s ongoing spirit of reinvention. [
restaurant is a
must-stop at the