A latest spot under the ilLido Group umbrella, Amò — and mind that accent on the ‘o’ — is where to go if carbs are what you want. The pizzas are spectacular — even the simple margherita holds its own against more adventurous creations, such as stracciatella, prosciutto, rucola and fig vincotto (above) and bone marrow, wild garlic pesto and anchovy salsa verde, because the tomato base tastes fresh and not fresh from a can. The crust — a thick, doughy variety and not the wafer-thin crisp — is delicious on its own. Pastas to consider include the tagliatelle with beef shank, mushrooms and orange salmoriglio; and spaghettoni with Boston lobster and tarragon; and the grilled octopus, friggitelli peppers and Calabrian chili vinaigrette is a decent option. But just start with pizza.
33 Hongkong Street; Tel: 6723 7733
Venue by Sebastian
Sorely missed since he departed the now-defunct Restaurant Ember in 2014, Chef Sebastian Ng is back with a new venture, and judging by the crowd it sees at night when the CBD is almost deserted, Venue by Sebastian looks set to impress a new generation of diners. Dishes that must never be removed from the menu (tweaked weekly) or we shall be most disappointed are the Jerusalem artichoke soup with crispy shredded duck, cold pasta with konbu and truffle oil, Chilean sea bass with mushroom-bacon ragout and lemon-mustard vinaigrette, Iberico pork jowl with gremolata and lemon, and pear tart with Baileys ice cream. But portions run small (they’re barely half a standard entrée) so prepare to order more items or two of everything.
#01-02 Downtown Gallery; Tel: 6904 9688
Come for the contemporary French bistro fare, stay for Chef Jérémy Gillon’s enlightening olfactory tour of the Alps. Short for ‘audacity,’ the dining concept brings a whiff of the mountains to the ground floor of Wanderlust Hotel. Pick your (intentionally) crumpled menu out of a wicker basket, and order away. Things move pretty quickly — new items might stay three weeks and classics maybe three months — so if you’re still in time, go for the braised octopus with grilled onion salad, roasted hazelnuts and basil dressing; and striploin beef with banana shallot papillote and tarragon coulis (above). If you can linger a while, ask to see Chef Jérémy’s collection of jars Alpine herbs — melisse (lemon balm), monarda, meadowsweet, and perhaps another 20 varieties — that often pop up in his cuisine.
2 Dickson Road; Tel: 6298 1188
Chef Ivan Brehm returns — not to The Kitchen at Bacchanalia, which he led to snag one Michelin star last year, but to this new establishment launched in collaboration with Unlisted Collection. Presenting what Chef Ivan calls “crossroads cooking,” the restaurant serves dishes such as Silken Cheese, which will have you debating at the table whether it’s more panna cotta or tofu; and Acarajé and Vatapá, an Afro-Brazilian fritter with turmeric and coconut curry with bread and salted prawn stew, which covers three continents on one plate. Certified sake sommelier, trained bartender and former sommelier at Bacchanalia and Whitegrass Matthew Chan is Nouri’s beverage manager.
72 Amoy Street; Tel: 6221 4148
Will you just look at this plate of golden goodness? How can you say no to that? The restaurant, bar and retail space by The Carbon Collective switches up its menu every quarter, with Muse’s three chefs creating mod-Asian sharing plates, such as the Korean–Italian Golden Kibun, panko-encrusted kimchi risotto on butternut squash puree and gochujang mayonnaise (above); and Uni Pie Tee, kueh pie tee topped with sea urchin. Cocktails by mixologist Isz Valentino at Amuse subscribe to the same philosophy: Tom Yum Bloody Mary; teh halia Earl Grey with ginger candy; and mango sticky rice, a rum-based beverage topped with coconut foam and served with mango and glutinous rice.
289 South Bridge Road; Tel: 9475 5529