You don’t have to travel far to get your fill of some unusual and very tasty cuisines.
We all know Singapore is a foodie nation – and these days, dining options run the gamut from the run-of-the-mill (no offence to everyone’s favourite Italian and Thai dishes, which we definitely couldn’t live without!) to the straight-up uncommon.
Here, we’ve rounded up some of those less-commonly found cuisines for those of you who have adventurous tastebuds. Ready, set, eat!
While a visit to South America may not quite be on the cards for your average Joe, a visit to what the restaurant dubs “first-ever authentic Peruvian cevicheria in Singapore and Asia” is as simple as hopping onto a Grab to TONO Cevicheria in Bugis.
As TONO focuses on seafood – more specifically, Peru’s national dish, ceviche (marinated raw seafood cured in citrus juices) – you’d be remiss not to give one of its signatures, Ceviche TONO ($28++), comprising market fish, crispy baby calamari, purple potato and smoked aji amarillo “tiger’s milk”, a try.
Another popular dish for those who prefer to keep it a bit simpler is Lomo Saltado ($40++), a traditional stir-fried beef with tomatoes, onion, coriander and potato. Don’t mind if we do.
Newly opened at Changi Airport’s Jewel in April, TONO’s “little brother” restaurant, TONITO Latin American Kitchen showcases the different flavours from the region by serving authentic favourites from Mexican, Venezuelan, Argentinian and Cuban cuisine, among others.
Its Peruvian chef-owner, Daniel Chavez, aims to make LatAm food approachable and appealing for diners, and dishes such as Tallarin Saltado ($26++), a stir-fried Peruvian pasta with onions, tomatoes, coriander and a special soy sauce, definitely hit the spot.
Its Latino sandwiches — such as the Mexican Torta ($18++), comprising chicken, avocado, chipotle aioli, tomato salsa and coriander – and range of antichuchos (marinated grilled skewers) are also a popular choice, according to the restaurant.
Try it: TONITO Latin American Kitchen is at 78 Airport Boulevard, #02-248, Jewel at Changi Airport, 819666. To make a reservation, call 6904-3975 or e-mail email@example.com. The restaurant does not take bookings on Fridays, Saturdays and Public Holidays.
This gritty Chinese speakeasy – which is hidden away behind a kopitiam on Circular Road — has been making headlines since it opened earlier this year for its very exotic spin on Chinese cuisine.
No, you won’t get your regular zi char dishes here, but rather things like D*** Soup ($30++), a six-hour boiled chicken and pork-based herbal soup featuring the, ahem, privates of a crocodile.
Or, if that’s just a tad too far out of your comfort zone, go for the mouthwatering Wagyu Truffle Beef Hor Fun ($68++, serves two to three pax), comprising premium A4 Kagoshima Wagyu, crispy deep-fried hor fun strips, poached egg and finished with a truffle gravy.
Try it: The Dragon Chamber is at 2 Circular Road, 049358. Call 6805-8181 to make a reservation.
Get a taste of Africa at this unique cafe and lounge that serves up breakfast, brunch, dinner and tapas favourites from around the world – as well as a tantalising cocktail menu.
Choose from eclectic, hearty dishes such as Fried Plantain with Mango Chilli Marmalade ($16), Lamb Heart With Chimichurri Sauce ($20), Caribbean Goat Curry ($28) and Liberian Peanut Chicken Stew ($28).
The dessert menu is also chockful of intriguing options, including Nakupenda ($10), a Kenyan doughnut topped with house soft-serve ice-cream, and Malindi Halwa ($10), a Swahili mochi made with fresh dragon fruit juice, an assortment of nuts and spices, dukkah filo and coconut yoghurt.
Carnivores, rejoice, as Argentinian cuisine is heavily focused on grilled meats, which is something that this charming Amoy Street joint does very well indeed.
Boasting an impressive range of steaks, BoCHINche, which means ‘ruckus’ in Spanish, also serves up empanadas (two for $16++), a popular Latin American pastry, with various tasty fillings. Other dishes such as the Green Peas & Saffron ‘Arroz’, with grilled red Argentine Prawns & Bisque ($29++), make use of plenty of fresh, delicious produce.
End off your meal with BoCHINche’s signature milk cake, Tres Leches ($19++), with mandarin sorbet, citrus and lemongrass – and embrace the food coma that is sure to follow.
If the only time you’ve had Swedish food has been at IKEA, you’ll definitely want to check out this delightful Halal-certified cafe on Beach Road. Its menu is expansive, to say the least, and includes the quintessential Swedish Meatballs ($19++), served with baby potatoes, lingonberry jam and pickled cucumbers, as expected.
But there’s lots more to choose from: Tunnsbrodsrulle ($19++), Sweden’s version of the hotdog, with mashed potatoes, grilled sausage, fried shallots and relish in a traditional thin bread roll; Swedish Lamb Stew ($24++), comprising lamb, carrots and onion stewed in a creamy dill broth; and the appetizing Smorgasboard ($69++, serves two pax), that has an assortment of hot and cold items including pickled herring, Skagen with lumpfish roe and black angus sirloin. We’re drooling already.
A range of Tibetan, Nepalese and North Indian offerings are on the menu at this unassuming Little India restaurant – think loads of grilled meats, masalas, and veggies.
Newbies to Nepalese food should not miss out on the country’s version of dumplings, the momo ($7.50 to $9 depending on your chosen filling), which are served either steamed or fried with homemade chutney.
There’s also Sukuti ($12), a Nepalese traditional smoked mutton marinated in Himalayan spices, or for something warming, go for one of the thukpa options (from $7.90). The famous Tibetan noodle soup is sure to hit the spot.
Try it: Everest Kitchen is at 55 Chander Road, 219950. Call 6957 2397 to book a table.
By Victoria Barker, June 2019