In this latest issue of Spirited Eats, Spirited’s food editor Esther Lim shines a gastronomic spotlight on some of the more interesting food experiences in town this month of May.

What to eat, what to eat… a common refrain for many gastrophiles looking for new culinary experiences. And while it’s easy to just point at some of the latest openings in town – such as L’antica Pizzeria Da Michele Singapore for some authentic Neapolitan pizzas, or Cote Korean Steakhouse for traditional Korean barbecue in a New York steakhouse setting – it’s always great to revisit some favourites in town to see what they’ve been up to.

So for this month’s Spirited Eats, I check out offerings from Luce, Origin Grill, and Keyaki, all of which feature new chefs, as well as The Prince and 87 Club Street, both of which have reinvented themselves. Then there’s Bar Cicheti that has just reopened with a new look and menu after a month of renovations, and Cure, which has unveiled revamped course offerings.

The Baileys Irish Mist dessert at Cure


We love Michelin-starred Cure for many reasons, not least for championing Irish cuisine. Chef Andrew Walsh’s ‘Nua Irish’ approach is an incisive contemporary gastronomic examination of the provenance of the Emerald Isle, and always promises to upend misconceptions about the cuisine of his homeland.

The best way to understand what Cure is about is through its seasonal tasting menu, the NUA Experience. Here Chef Andrew and his team combines homely Irish ingredients with cutting-edge techniques – as well as borrowing a smidgeon of Asian influences – to create dishes that are both familiar and surprising. We can’t ever get enough of his Soda, Stout & Treacle Bread, for example, and likewise the Tayto Cheese & Onion Crisps, a playful reimagination of a favourite childhood snack.

His Irish twist on Seafood Chowder too is enchanting, while the Corned Beef Short Rib, Cordyceps & Kampot Pepper sounds bizarre but is downright delicious. And while we don’t normally shill desserts, the Bailey’s Irish Mist of White Chocolate here at Cure is a delightful melange of textures and flavours.

If you can’t spare time for the full Nua Experience, though, the good news is Cure has launched three- and five- course prix fixe menus where you can shape your own meal here.

Cure | 21 Keong Saik Rd., Singapore 089128 (Google Maps link) | 6pm to 10pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 12pm to 2pm and 6pm to 10pm Thursdays to Saturdays; closed on Sundays and Mondays | | 9338 4207 | online reservations

TheSmoked Rigatoni Cacio e Pepe from Bar Cicheti

Bar Cicheti

One of our favourite pasta bars, Bar Cicheti on Jiak Chuan Road, has emerged with all refreshed after a month of renovations. It’s a cheerier and more youthful look, for sure, but for the foodie in us it’s really the revamped food and drink menu we’re most keen to rediscover.

It doesn’t disappoint. We’ve always been fans of the excellent pasta here, and Bar Cicheti continues to impress with options like the Calamarata Arrabbiata, the pasta rings tossed in a spicy tomato sauce and topped with a huge dollop of decadent straciatella, or Agnolotti, which come as indulgent pasta parcels filled with duck ragù. The one pasta dish that is a must-order? The Smoked Rigatoni Cacio e Pepe. Imagine the pasta first charred over a grill before it gets the classic cheese, butter and pepper treatment, imbuing the entire dish with a most alluring wok-hei. Love.

Make sure you complement your pastas with some appetisers. The Burratina comes highly recommended, the clever use of marinated cherries and raspberry vinaigrette adding a lovely tang to the creamy cheese, while the Insalata Della Casa is an endive salad crunchy with candied pecans.

We also love the reimagined wine programme. Co-owner and sommelier Ronald Kamiya continues his love for off-the-beaten-track wines with a list that’s built around movie themes and titles. The 2021 Maloof Rouge de Gris from Willamette Valley, Oregon – turns up as a juicy red wine made with Pinot Grigio, which is unusual to say the least.

Bar Cicheti | 10 Jiak Chuan Rd, Singapore 089264 (Google Maps link) | 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 10.30pm Sundays to Thursdays; 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays | | 6789 9801 | online reservations

The Crispy Pork Belly at Origin Grill

Origin Grill

Chef Simon Bell, the Chef de Cuisine at Origin Grill in Shangri-la Singapore, has finally introduced a new menu with his own culinary stamp on it. The Australian native, who joined Shangri-La Singapore’s signature grill house in December last year, not only shines the spotlight on the restaurant’s Josper charcoal grill by offering up less commonly found steak cuts, but has also rolled out a range of dishes aimed at complementing those steaks.

So while the traditional steak lovers can opt for perfectly charred classic cuts such as T-bone or ribeye – from Tender Valley in New South Wales and Queensland’s Westholme, respectively – the more discerning ones among us are likely to revel in Stone Axe rump cap or the W. Black hanging tender. A great way to enjoy these cuts though? The Meat Sharing Platter for Two, which offers up a chef’s selection of different cuts.

But don’t forget the rest of the menu. The Organic Kale Salad is a delicious way to add some virtue to your meal, while the Hand Cut Pasta is a fun take on pappardelle tossed with a medley of mushrooms. If you’re not into steaks? The tender and moist Roasted Spring Chicken is an excellent alternative, but our favourite dish here has to be Crispy Pork Belly, a roulade of pork that’s scrumptiously juicy in the middle with spot-on crispy skin on the outside.

Origin Grill | Lobby Level, Tower Wing, Shangri-La Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Rd, 258350 (Google Maps link) | 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 10.30pm Tuesdays to Sundays; closed on Mondays | | 6213 4595


Keyakiat- Pan Pacific Singapore launches a Sake Pairing Seasonal Menu.


Keyaki at Pan Pacific Singapore has unveiled a new multi-course seasonal menu that combines an impressive spread of familiar Japanese favourites paired with a well-curated selection of sakes.

This elegant traditional kaiseki-style new seasonal menu from Keyaki’s newly appointed Executive Japanese Chef Naohisa Yamada promises to transport you to Japan. Dishes such as Teppanyaki Style Abalone with Liver Sauce, White Fish and Rapeseed Tempura, and Grilled Smoked Japanese Wagyu Beef is an exquisite showcase of top Japanese produce and the immaculate skills required to prepare them.

Sake lovers will delight in the different styles of sake as presented in this food and sake pairing menu. They range from the refreshing yet serious Brut-style Keigetsu Junmai Daiginjo Sparkling ‘John’ to the robust and umami-forward Gozensu Junmai 1859 Nama Omachi x Bodaimoto, the latter of which perfectly complementing the paired smoked wagyu beef.

This seasonal pairing menu is available from 15 May to 14 June 2024.

Keyaki | 7 Raffles Blvd, Level 4 Pan Pacific Singapore, Singapore 039595 (Google Maps link) | 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 10.00pm daily | | 6826 8240


A la carte signatures from the refreshed menu at LUCE


What was LUCE by Davide Giacomelli is now simply LUCE. The flagship Italian dining destination of InterContinental Singapore has a new Chef de Cuisine at the helm with Chef Andrea Rossi, and the Ravenna-born Italian has reworked the offerings at LUCE to reflect richer, more robust cuisine of his Emilia Romagna heritage as opposed to the lighter, more summery flavours of his predecessor.

And while it retains an à la carte menu, LUCE is now mostly positioned as a buffet restaurant. Not that we are complaining, of course. You’re looking at a daily lunch or dinner spread featuring Italian specialties that range from a selection of Roman-style pinsas and hearty pastas to live stations offering grilled meats or even pasta prepared in a parmesan wheel. To accommodate international guests residing in the hotel, the buffet spread includes more cosmopolitan options such as fresh cold seafood, an Asian kitchen showcasing Chinese, Indian, and local dishes, and even Japanese sushi and sashimi.

For the best buffet experience at LUCE though, come by on Sundays for its Champagne Brunch. Here’s when LUCE’s kitchen goes into overdrive, putting out a full international spread anchored by traditional Italian favourites. Bonus: It’s 30% off this May for all lunch, dinner and Champagne Brunch buffets at LUCE, so you know what to do.

LUCE | 80 Middle Rd, InterContinental Singapore, Singapore 188966 (Google Maps link) | 12pm to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 10.00pm daily | | 6825 1008


Hanging Tender at 87 Club Street

87 Club Street

What was previously Club Street Wine Room by Chef Andrew Walsh of Cure is now 87 Club Street. Despite the name change the gastrobar remains a wine-centric venue, but now comes with a refreshed food menu offering a number of pasta favourites, wine-friendly small plates, as well as staples from the grill.

The new 87 Club Street moves away from the edgier food menu of its previous iteration in favour of more familiar, accessible options. So instead of wood-fired guinea fowl and hasselback potato you’re looking at the likes of Mussels, Nduja, Fennel, a Salumi Board Selection, or Grilled Rock Melon & Parma Ham, dishes carefully curated to work well with any choice of wine.

Don’t knock the Classic Caesar, which comes as a lovely take on the traditional Caesar salad but with delectable whole anchovies and a perfectly cooked egg. The Bucatini Cacio e Pepe delivers exactly as promised, the thick al-dente strands well-coated and totally moreish. We heard great things about the Pork Chop Milanese, but instead settled for Shoulder Tender from the grill, which came beautifully seared and flavourful from being basted in beef fat, garlic and thyme.

87 Club Street | 87 Club St, Singapore 069455 (Google Maps link) | 12pm to 3pm and 5.00pm to 11.45pm Mondays to Fridays; 5pm to 11.45pm on Saturdays; closed on Sundays | | 9639 5914 | online reservations

Mezze Platter from The Prince

The Prince

Here’s another reinvention – what was previously Fat Prince is now The Prince. Fat jokes aside, The Prince has moved away from the more Australian-inflected contemporary approach to Middle Eastern cuisines and returns to the more traditional Arab take offered by the original Fat Prince.

Those of us who have been around since its Ottoman Room days – a private dining space hidden within the confines of Fat Prince – may remember. The Prince’s Karam menu, puts Arab-style hospitality up front and centre. It starts off with a burgeoning mezze platter, comprising nine mesmerising dips and bites such as a creamy cashew hummus and luscious pumpkin baba ghanoush. We absolutely loved the Arabic braided bread, a finger-licking delight of fluffy bread glazed in fig brown butter. For mains you get to pick from a grilled Lamb Porterhouse, roasted Whole Branzino, fork-tender 24 Hour Beef Cheek, or a Duck Tagine.

Desserts are a must. Their Kunafe here is probably the best rendition of that classic Arabian dessert in town, while the Date Pudding Cake with coconut ice cream and whiskey foam is rather divine.

The Prince  | 48 Peck Seah St, Singapore 079317 (Google Maps link) | 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 12am daily | | 3129 7547 | online reservations

[Photos courtesy of respective restaurants]

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