Restaurants in Singapore: Lolla and PS. Cafe

Singapore is well-known for its food and especially its street food, like I mentioned in my previous blog post. I went to many hawker centres and randomly stopped at food courts to see what was being served. Everywhere I went I found something new. On some nights I skipped these hawker centres and dined at two extremely good restaurants during my stay.

Lolla
22, Ann Siang Hill
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I love open kitchens. It immediately excites my palate and I love to see how my food is being prepared. Lolla satisfies that part of me by being a wonderland of kitchen wizardry. It is a few minutes away from Singapore’s Chinatown and one of the most coveted restaurants in the area. Lolla has evolved from a gourmet supper club which has been sporadically hosting events since 2008. Lolla’s Secret Supper got a permanent shop front at this lively location in September 2012 and since then has been extremely popular among discerning diners. The entrance is unpretentious with a Peranakan tiled wall welcoming you into this industrial chic bar. They’ve got 13 seats on the street level floor and 22 more in the basement.  In spite of having very few seats, they do not take reservations for dinner. Book your table for lunch like I did then continue bar hopping (coming soon) in the area.
IMG_20150417_181637Cuisine at Lolla is an ingenious interpretation of Mediterranean tapas-style small plates with a focus on local and foreign sourced produce. The menu is sectioned as per base ingredients, which reflects their produce-first principle. Their staff is extremely warm and well-versed with the menu. Nick deserves a special mention for carefully explaining every dish I ordered. She introduced me to Chef Kyle Henderson who looked after my curious palate.
Here’s a little bit about my favourites at Lolla:
– Lolla’s signature dish is called a Sea Urchin Pudding ($21 for half and $40 for full) which looks deceptively small. Raw, creamy sea urchin sits on top of savoury custard tinged black with squid ink. I saw this being ordered nearly ten times during lunch service alone.
– San Marzano Tomato Salad ($14) is simply dressed in olive oil and basil.
Spanish Tortilla with Smoked Eel ($19) has Russet Burbank Idaho potatoes that are cooked to perfection in duck fat. Eel just adds this wonderful umami flavour to the dish.
– Grilled Avocado ($15) was on their special menu and I thank God for that every day. This beautiful, simple dish makes the most of the buttery avocado by grilling it on an open fire before topping it with pickled fennel, pine nuts and goat feta.

IMG_20150417_183449Grass-fed Ribeye Steak ($58) cooked to your liking. It is imported from Tasmania and doesn’t need more than salt and pepper to flavour it. My steak was so rare that I could hear it moo.
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Hokkaido Scallop Carpaccio ($38) tastes like the sea. It’s the best scallop one can find in the region, treated with utmost respect to give you simple, clean flavours. Chives, sea salt and olive oil is all it takes.
Soft Egg with Sausage ($16) is perfect with some crusty bread which helps in soaking up the runny yolk and fat.
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PS. Cafe
28B, Harding Road
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Dempsey Hill is a lush green, slightly isolated area in Singapore, dotted with cafes and bars. We got a bit lost trying to locate PS. Café as Google Maps also gave up on us. When we did manage to find it, I was in love with the modern decor. PS. Café has outlets across Singapore but the one at Dempsey Hill is beautiful because of its proximity to nature. The decor is more western than other places I visited. They provide al fresco dining option which will give you a scenic view of the grounds. Lounge music, large lamps, zinc roof, glass facade, and the occasional white bricked wall made me feel like I wasn’t in Singapore anymore. It’s a place where young locals come to feel like they’ve travelled across the ocean and reached a new country.
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The western influence is seen even on the menu where they serve upscale cafe style dishes. After days of eating Asian food, some salad and pasta served me good. PS. Café is great place for lazy brunches and suppers.  I am told their signature burger, the PS Burger, is spectacular but I skipped it for a lighter meal.
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Here are some of my favourites from the menu:
– Sangria appears on the menu in white and rep options. However the ingredients used in making them were simply outstanding. White Bouquet Sangria ($19) has New Zealand Reisling, longan, lychee, rambutan, white chrysanthemum flowers and lemon soda. Conveniently it comes with a straw and a spoon.
– I ordered the Chargrilled Portobello Salad ($25) table and found it to be extremely satisfying even as a meal. Beautiful greens, dressed to perfection!
Miso Cod ($39) was my favourite of the night. Awase miso broiled Pacific cod was cooked perfectly and served with roasted pumpkin, eggplant, and a soba vegetable salad.
PS Shepard’s Pie ($27) is a hearty dish served with your choice of soup.
Morocco Miracle Stack ($26) is a dish that caters to the few vegetarians you might meet in Singapore. Beautiful roast mushrooms, herbs, pine nut pesto, couscous, spiced cherry tomatoes, eggplant, tahini – you get the drift?

Locals recommend:
– PS Burger ($29)
– PS Steak Sandwich ($32)
– Shoestring Truffle Fries ($15)
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Desserts at PS Café are something to write home about. They have a counter with all the cakes lined up, covered in glass cloche. Each slice of cake or pie was as big as my face. They come with ice cream on the side and enough for two or three people. I highly recommend trying their giant Ultimate Fudge Brownie ($16) and Sticky Date Pudding ($15).
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Apart from these homegrown restaurants, Indian chefs are coming up with ideas that cater to the locals.  There are wonderful restaurants like Jiggs Kalra’s Punjab Grill at Marina Bay Sands Hotel that recently won an award at the World Gourmet Summit earlier this year. Punjab Grill provides an epicurean journey of the Northwest Frontier Province covering the unique flavours of undivided Punjab.

You can experience all this and a complimentary set-menu meal at Punjab Grill when you book a flight with Singapore Airlines. These are just some of the many reasons why you should plan your next trip to Singapore.

 

  1. Singapore turns 50 this year andSingapore Airlines is providing special prices for Indian tourists starting from Rs. 22,000 per person. It comes with a bundle of surprises filled with complimentary experiences & attractions. Read more
  2. Hotel dealswhere you pay for 2 Nights and get the 3rd Night free.
  3. Shop Till You Drop with the never-endingShopping deals and so much more!

 

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