8 Romantic Restaurants For A 'Crazy Rich Asians' Date Night
August 20, 2018 | BY Dudi Aureus
The upcoming flick by Singaporean author Kevin Kwan has put the spotlight on our Little Red Dot and the lavish lifestyles of, well, those crazy, rich Asians.
When it comes to food, Singaporeans aren't afraid to voice out about where they think the best laksa or prata is to be found. That's why in the book (and upcoming movie) 'Crazy, Rich, Asians', one of the top things on protagonist Nick Young's agenda is for his new-to-Singapore beau, Rachel Chu, to try out our local cuisine.
But delicious hawker food aside, we reckon that Nick wouldn't shy away from Michelin establishments either. Here are eight places perfect for a romantic date we think the lovebirds would enjoy.
As someone who guards his privacy fiercely, Nick might enjoy a place that’s literally hidden within the lush foliage of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Helmed by chef Jason Tan, his ‘gastro-botanica’ cuisine fuses French cooking techniques and prime ingredients to craft a standout menu. Both of them will surely be impressed with his “Interpretation of Kaya Toast”, which deconstructs this breakfast staple into a too-pretty-to-eat dessert made with pandan, gula melaka, and pineapple. There's also his signature Cevennes onions served four ways, and the impressive the wine offerings personally handpicked by the capable sommelier.
Nick might not have time to jet off to France's la ville de l’amour, with so much to do in preparation of the wedding, but he can always take Rachel to the next best thing—a languid meal at Les Amis.
The French stalwart is a favourite of the rich and famous for its contemporary French fare, which gives diners a taste of the beautiful seasons of France—with occasional Asian accents. These are showcased in ever-changing menus.
Summer is here, which translates to light and flavourful dishes such as the lobster mousse wrapped with baby spinach and sprinkled with a classic fish bone sauce, or crab cooked in a broth and served with a dollop of caviar. Don’t skip the tipples, especially since the wine list comprises over 3,000 bottles of old and new world gems—perfect when he also wants to show off his fine palate.
(Related: 10 Amazing French Wines)
For something out of the ordinary, a visit to a restaurant like Ocean by Cat Cora is the stand-out setting unlike any other—for the simple fact that it proffers an intimate aquarium dining experience, complete with views of rays, sharks and, schools of fish.
With the mesmerising marine life as the backdrop, the couple can tuck into chef de cuisine Minwoo Yun’s eight-course Mediterranean-Californian fare (something they should be familiar with). Both of them won’t be able to resist the pan-seared seabass decorated with chunks of cauliflower, salsify and clams; or the citrus Hamachi with dashi foam. Best of all: the culinary team uses only sustainably-sourced seafood.
The Chinese restaurant atop OUE Tower is one of the only two establishments in Singapore with a revolving dining concept. So if Nick wants to show off the panoramic view of the marina bay and the CBD skyline, this is the perfect place to bring Rachel out for a romantic dinner.
They’re in the capable hands of veteran chef Martin Foo, who serves prefix menus that varies every month. Perhaps the best set for the couple is the Eternal Happiness—especially with the challenges they’re going through, no thanks to Nick’s mum. But other than that, the dishes are quite tasty too. Think pan-fried lobster tossed with egg white, Prosperity Pot heaving with seafood gems like abalone, sea cucumber and fish; and hot stone grilled Saga gyu.
(Related: 5 Of The Best Chinese Restaurants)
Would Nick be able to snag seats at this hard-to-book, multi-awarded two-Michelin starred restaurant? Yes, why not? The extremely friendly and professional staff will make them feel instantly at home within its elegant surrounds, and in the right space to savour chef-owner Julien Royer’s modern French fare.
The menu is anchored on his ‘essential cuisine’ approach to cooking, which puts forward the season’s best harvest to create refined dishes such as the pigeon cooked sous vide and roasted with hay for a smoky finish, and heirloom beetroot presented in different ways. And in true French tradition, there’s the option to pair the meal with some rather exquisite wines.
With all the family engagements they need to attend while on their Singapore holiday, it might be a good idea if they can just go out for a drink. If they can spare one random night, they should head over to celebrated bar Atlas, which is also ranked no. 4 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2018.
Plush interiors aside, we’re quite sure that even Nick would be impressed with the floor-to-ceiling gin tower and the extensive champagne list carrying some hard-to-find labels. Or, they can always opt for classic martinis or G&Ts.
The food menu is not as varied, but offers some delectable hits too: lobster and champagne risotto, A5 wagyu cannelloni pasta and welsh baby lamb rack are just a few of them.
Opulent and sophisticated interiors backed by topnotch hospitality and traditional Chinese fare—this is the kind of restaurant Mrs. Young would surely frequent. It also helps that it’s by famed restaurateur Alan Yau, who’s also behind acclaimed restaurants Hakkasan, Busaba Eathai and Park Chinois in London.
But if Nick wants to give Rachel a small dose of the Singapore taitai life, then a fancy night out is in order. And her palate will be in for a wonderful surprise, especially if Nick mixes new dishes with Yau’s tried-and-tested signatures.
These include the double-boiled Four Treasures seafood soup served in a coconut, crab rice noodles infused with the 20-year-old Gu Yue Long Shan rice wine, and handcut Taiwan noodles tossed with dried pork and la la clams, which is his own take on the Italian pappardelle vongole.
Their trip to Singapore won’t be complete without a stop at celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda’s two-Michelin-starred outpost at the Marina Bay Sands. They can take their time at the bar with, perhaps, a few drinks and light bites before heading to the counter dining room for the meal proper.
It’s not only going to be feast for the palate, but for the eyes as well. The well-oiled culinary team transforms the finest seasonal ingredients into beautifully plated, mouthwatering dishes, served as part of a 10-course degustation menu. These include Wakuda’s signature marinated botan shrimp with sea urchin and a generous dollop of Oscietra caviar, and the Japanese Ohmi wagyu steak enhanced with wasabi and citrus soy.
Wakuda is also known for his amazing sake collection, so they should skip the wines and go for the latter instead.
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