Dining Out 2 minutes 07 January 2019

The Scoop: Tim Ho Wan Gets New Owners In Asia-Pacific, Instagram-Ready Coffee At Hokkaido’s Baristart Coffee, Unique Zichar Dishes At Famous Treasure And More

A round-up of good eats and dining news from Singapore in January 2019.

Singapore new opening 2019

New year, new restaurants. This month's round-up of good eats across the island include picture-perfect lattes from Hokkaido’s Baristart Coffee that uses Hokkaido milk, an elaborate afternoon tea set from Violet Oon Singapore that is inspired by the Singapore’s colonial history and Singapore-style Chinese dishes at Famous Treasure that do not usually appear on the menus in most zichar restaurants.
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New Owners For Tim Ho Wan’s Asia-Pacific Outlets

The Asia-Pacific outlets of popular Hong Kong dim sum restaurant chain Tim Ho Wan gets a change in leadership. Singapore-based Titan Dining Holdings is now the master franchise holder of Tim Ho Wan’s outlets across the Asia-Pacific region except for those in Hong Kong. The original Sham Shui Po shop is a long-time one-Michelin-starred recipient, while two other outlets in Hong Kong have Bib Gourmand status. Last year, Filipino food conglomerate Jollibee Foods Corp invested S$45 million in Titan Dining.

In Singapore, Tim Ho Wan, which opened its ninth Singapore outlet in Great World City last week, was run by Hersing Corporation for the past five years. To herald the change in leadership, new dishes have been introduced at Tim Ho Wan’s Singapore outlets. They include beef brisket noodles, spicy pork dumplings and chrysanthemum aloe vera jelly. Tim Ho Wan also has outlets in Australia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan. Multiple locations in Singapore 

Enjoy the smooth rich taste of premium Hokkaido milk in your latte (Pic: Baristart Coffee)
Enjoy the smooth rich taste of premium Hokkaido milk in your latte (Pic: Baristart Coffee)
It’s All About The Milk At Hokkaido’s Baristart Coffee

Hokkaido’s Instagram darling Baristart Coffee has arrived in Singapore. Tucked away in a small alley near Odori Park in downtown Sapporo, Baristart’s iconic shopfront and elaborate latte art have made it one of the most Instagrammable spots in the city. Slated to open officially on 17 January, the Tras Street outpost will offer the same delicious cuppa, made with premium imported Hokkaido Biei Jersey cows milk. With only 800 of this breed left, Brown Jersey cows make up barely 1% of the cow population in Hokkaido and yield a rich and creamy milk with a tinge of sweetness that makes it perfect for lattes. The premium Hokkaido milk will also be the highlight of the cafe’s full range of savouries and desserts. 65 Tras Street
Wok-fried squid and lady’s finger tossed in pungent cincalok (fermented shrimp) sauce. (Credit: Famous Treasure)
Wok-fried squid and lady’s finger tossed in pungent cincalok (fermented shrimp) sauce. (Credit: Famous Treasure)

Unusual Singapore-Style Chinese Dishes At Famous Treasure

Taking over the space vacated by the erstwhile London’s Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant in Capitol Piazza is Famous Treasure, the upmarket offshoot of The Famous Kitchen in Sembawang Road. Eight foodie fans of the long-time restaurant have brought the no-frills restaurant to town. About 35% of Famous Treasure’s menu comprises new dishes such as roasted Irish duck and suckling pig stuffed with glutinous rice.

Want to try something new instead of the usual stir-frys and braised dishes? Look out for unique dishes such as chilled Teochew-style cockles in Shaoxing wine and jazzed up with chilli padi, garlic and shallots; fragrant wok-fried squid and lady’s finger tossed in pungent cincalok (fermented shrimp) sauce and dark soya sauce-drenched Kuala Lumpur-style Hokkien mee. 13 Stamford Road, #02-28, Capitol Piazza

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Colonial-themed Afternoon Tea At Violet Oon Singapore

Hanging in Violet Oon Singapore’s fourth outlet in ION Orchard is a framed black and white photo of home-grown cooking doyenne Violet Oon in her younger days at an outdoor tea party. That celebratory spirit is encapsulated in the Singapore High Tea Set ($58 for two) that comprises 13 dainty treats with a Singapore slant. Finger sandwiches and quiches are replaced by kueh pie tee, cheese tartlets loaded with chilli crab and egg salad with a tangy pineapple patcharee. Special mention goes to the yam cake, served in a boat-like bowl. The fragrant cubes are superbly moreish with a liberal dose of dried prawns, Chinese sausages and minced pork. A throwback to colonial times is the Coronation Chicken, a diced curry mayonnaise chicken on a crescent of deep-fried wonton skin.

On the sweets side, there are kueh, such as 

kueh dadar drizzled in coconut milk and a cotton-soft kueh kosui (steamed pandan and coconut tapioca rice cakes), while bobo chacha is reimagined as a gula melaka-drenched coconut panna cotta with yam, sweet potato and agar agar bits. Save space for the gula melaka-drizzled buttery scones that can be slathered with clotted cream and lime marmalade. 2 Orchard Turn, #03-22, ION Orchard 

Paradise Dynasty's new Wisma Atria outlet gets a modern new look (Pic: Paradise Group)
Paradise Dynasty's new Wisma Atria outlet gets a modern new look (Pic: Paradise Group)
Paradise Dynasty Gets A New Outlet With A New Look

Paradise Group’s flagship restaurant Paradise Dynasty gets a contemporary facelift at its brand new outlet at Wisma Atria which is set to open on 10 January. The group has eschewed the usual heavy finery for a softer, romantic look with muted pink furnishings, rose gold embellishments and modern light fixtures. Alongside its signature la mian and xiao long bao dishes, Paradise Dynasty also offers an extensive menu that covers the gamut of Chinese cuisines, including more unusual dishes from Anhui, Hunan and Zhejiang. Paradise Dynasty has also collaborated with hugely popular hot pot brand Beauty In The Pot to create a limited edition Beauty Collagen Xiao Long Bao that will be available exclusively at the Wisma Atria outlet. 435 Orchard Road, #01-18 Wisma Atria

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