Little Bastard 臭小子: Discreet Adults-only Bar worth scouting out

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With a perplexed look plastered to my face, I navigated the insides of a bustling Refinery in search of the mysterious Little Bastard, the latest concept conceived by the same folks. Greeting me with a mischievous smile, the waiter led me to the dingiest corner of the restaurant, cloaked in shadows, pulled open a plastered wall to reveal a poorly-lit spiral staircase. With no fear of consequence whatsoever, I navigated the staircase with fierce ambition, mostly because I was beginning to fear my compatriots having sneaking suspicion that I had taken an alcoholic diversion from dinner time. Not that that was needed of course since Little Bastard has the functionality of a well-stocked bar. My first sweep of room caused me to have bated breath and a throbbing heart, especially so with the stripped down minimalistic look complete with painted oil drums and mahjong tables making me feel very much at home.

You may think it's all awfully contrived to this point, but when the food starts appearing at the tables, your Cantonese affair is authenticated. Conceived out of a passion for culinary experimentation, the dishes are clever, with names woven around local linguistics. My admiration for the thought process behind this joint multiplying with a noticeable success to puns employed.

Moosehead Kitchen & Bar: New Dinner Menu

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Fresh faced in the new year, Moosehead brings out the big guns with a line of new dishes bent on challenging the forefronts of Asian and Mediterranean cuisine merger.

Chef Seumas Smith may just be 24 years of age but possess a broad armour of experience from 1-Michelin starred Lords of Manor (UK) and 2-Michelin Starred Dinner by Heston (UK) and Esquina (Singapore) to boot; enough to propel the restaurant forward as a culinary destination worthy of both daily treats and special occasion sessions.

Arteastiq: Valentine's Day Dinner + Art Jamming special

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Well, I may just be a little late to the game. But if you're like me, a non-keeper of deadlines, and if you've got an other half to impress, you would be freaking out by now.

Fret not, here's me presenting to you the best Valentine's day experience I've had the pleasure of encountering last week. And guess what? They still have seats available for tonight's Dinner + Art Jam Special ($188 for 2 pax). So all you stragglers, you're in luck.

Open Farm Community: Backyard dining

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Hello my friends (and the same to whichever lurker is reading this sad pathetic blog)

Welcome to this, the 7th Sunday of the year - sign already that the days run away like wild horses over the hills. How are you this week? Tired? Empowered? What's your adjective? I'm feeling a little anxious, apprehensive at the turn of events and not too sure if I'll be able to stick my landing. Still though... gotta bounce.

But first, here's a quick run through of Open Farm Community's latest foray into an urban oasis of local inspired flavors with regional produce to boot. 10 entirely crisp and clean new dishes greet the menu, each and everyone of them drawing inspiration from the diverse and distinct DNA of Singaporean's favourite flavors.

Ash & Char: pushing the blackened boundaries

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2016 has seen an extremely warm reception to cauliflower in my culinary dictionary. I can't even begin to describe the reverberating excitement that floods my soul when the thought of Renaa Matbaren's Gratinated Cauliflower crosses my mind. Nicely blackened on it's edges and bathed in a luxurious cheese gratin sauce, this fat-ladened indulgence coupled with frigid -10 degree temperatures on the outside certainly made for a revolutionary experience.

Fast forward to the brink of 2017, where friendly bistro Ash & Char sets the stage for what could potentially make or break my most pivotal first year encounter with the Brassicaceae species. Their Fried Cauliflower with gochujang and lemon dressing with gremolata ($9) sets some high expectations with bonus mark scored on aesthetics. The end result is safe. Taking bites of the browned and slightly crisp florets, the lemon dressing uplifts the equation and gochujang lends a feisty profile. As a staunch believer in the importance of doing the humble bouquet justice, I found Ash and Char's efforts to be admirable. Sugar, we're headed somewhere.

Tin Hill Social: New Brunch Menu

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On Sunday mornings, the courtyard of Tin Hill Bistro comes alive. Expats touting 'dad-bods' and nursing their cold pints bask in the sun whilst the pitter-patter of kids footsteps followed by gregarious chains of laughter percolate the crisp air.

Conspicuously lacking in this weekend tableau are flocks of bleary-eyed 20 somethings, $18 plates of fluffy pancakes decked out with edible flowers (of all things) and towering stacks of monstrous milkshakes that serve more of an aesthetic purposes over gratification. Tin Hill Bistro remains a secret of mine, not one for the more fashion-forward, young and moneyed. This is the charm of the establishment, one that's not overlooked by the neighbourhood and its patrons - and that's just fine with me.

[NEW] The Wall: pairs sumiyaki with wall to wall of Whisky

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'They packed up in here wall to wall' - now, that would be an understatement.

The newest kid on the Tanjong Pagar road, The Wall, expounds its beliefs in breaking down 'walls' and pre-notions to the the concept of whisky drinking in Singapore.

You enter the warmly lit bar and walk through what is suddenly a stunning juxtaposition of conservation shophouse brickwall on one side, and a striking floor-to-ceiling collection of whiskys on the other. It's a gorgeous room and all you'll want to do is sink into an armchair with a solidly built dram in your hand. Unfortunately, you won't find that here, the elimination of clichéd scenes of whisky drinkers wrapped in mists of cigar smoke in private rooms presents the opposite truth here -The Wall hosts a typical bar set-up with high stools and a rather excellent bartender behind the counter, willing to transform your choice of whisky into a quintessentially urban imbibe experience that most regular whisky lounges don't provide.

SBCD Korean Tofu House: Tofu to lust after

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All it took was the word 'uplifting' on the press release to reel me in; that accompanied by depressing 3 days worth of non-stop showers. I was sold on the concept that anything hot and steamy could eventually work as a therapy. And it did.

SBCD Korean Tofu House is the latest addition to the CBD dining, stowed away in the basement of the new Tanjong Pagar Centre (a bright establishment and latest extension of the Tanjong Pagar MRT station). Here you'll find a full fledged menu of Korean comfort food

Anjali Chocolate: Here's looking at you.

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3 years and progression from a small workbench to a compartmentalised cottage stocked with chocolates aplenty. Anjali chocolate has definitely worked its way up from its humbler days when stowed away in the innards of Pasarbella (read full review here). It's new premises in Loewen Road (located at the peripherals of the Dempsey cluster) spilling forth sophistication and an attention to detail even in the wines procured for the Chocolate tasting event I had the privilege to attend.

Monday Light Bites: Yusheng @ Shin Minori - Japanese Ala-carte buffet at River Valley Road

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In the blink of an eye, Chinese New Year is upon us. And as most of you would come to know, majority of the larger Chinese restaurants would have long closed reservations by now. So if you're seeking a fuss-free alternative, look no further than Shin Minori (located on the 3rd floor of UE Square) where you can get their signature yusheng in conjunction with the hearty ala-carte buffet you're about to tuck into.

The Harvest Yusheng ($69.90 ++) can feed 8 -12 comfortably - apple ponzu plum sauce is drizzled over a myriad of fresh and pickled vegetables along with slices of fresh sashimi. Running till the 11th Feb, you can call a day in advance and reserve your party pack for a special promotion price of 1-for-1 when you takeaway.