Shinya Izakaya @ Boat Quay, Raffles Place – Casual Izakaya in Central Singapore (Media)

Boat Quay has gotten somewhat of a makeover as a foodie destination in recent years, with the addition of a few bars and eateries that helped it shed its reputation as “that place with all the overpriced seafood restaurants”. 

One of these new joints is Shinya Izakaya, a Japanese bar and sister business to Georgetown Tze Char (also located at the far end of Boat Quay) and Nonbei Izakaya. 

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Gochi-So Shokudo @ Jewel Changi Airport – Premium Iberico Pork Restaurant with Seasonal Specials (Media)

It’s not often you can use the words “Iberico pork” and “wallet-friendly” in the same sentence, so it was a pleasant surprise to discover that Gochi-So Shokudo, a casual Japanese eatery, has been serving quality dishes at affordable price points. 

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Since its opening in 2019,  more outlets have popped up around Singapore, bringing its pork dishes to customers islandwide. Its Jewel Changi Airport is situated next to the HSBC Rain Vortex, with plenty of seats abound. 

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Catkin by Huishan @ Wilkie Road, Rochor – Elegant Dessert and Tea Experience Inspired by Local Flavours

While I’m not big on sweets, I never fail to gravitate toward plated desserts, especially for their fine details and craft. 

Catkin by Huishan is the latest space to launch its own line of locally-inspired desserts, led by ex-Willow head pastry chef, Soh Hui Shan. Situated within Twenty-Eight Cafe on Wilkie Road, Catkin appears to be a one-woman operation where you can watch your desserts assembled before you. 

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Dessert omakase is pretty uncommon in Singapore, and it’s Chef Soh’s mission to break into this niche market, starting with a trio of mod Sin creations that evoke memories of our favourite childhood snacks. 

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When in Tokyo: Udon Shin うどん 慎 @ Shibuya City, Yoyogi – Must-Try Udon in Central Tokyo with 2 Hour Queues

Udon is often overshadowed by the more popular ramen, which is a shame considering how versatile this noodle can be. Hot or cold, it’s hard to resist those thick strands with their distinct chewiness. 

Udon Shin うどん has emerged as one of the absolute must-try spots for udon which queues of up to two hours forming every day outside its premises near Shinjuku Station

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L’Entrecôte The Steak & Fries Bistro @ Duxton Hill – Authentic and Intimate French-Style Bistro

Steak and fries is an unpretentious dish that has been enjoyed for generations at many a bistro in France. After all, you can’t go wrong with a solid cut of steak and crisp, umami fries on the side! 

L’Entrecôte The Steak & Fries Bistro has perfected the art of steak and fries so well, it has become synonymous with the very dish in Singapore. So when Restaurant Week rolled around late last year, I couldn’t pass up on the chance to try it for myself, along with other classic French fares.  

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When in Tokyo: Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory @ Setagaya City, Tokyo – Adorable Totoro-Shaped Cream Puffs Limited to 200 Pieces Per Day

Whether you’re a hardcore Ghibli fan or a casual viewer, you can’t deny that Totoro, the titular character of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film, My Neighbor Totoro and mascot for Studio Ghibli is one of the cutest and most iconic creations to grace Japanese animation. 

If you’ve visited the Ghibli Museum and are craving more Totoro – you can get a taste of this kawaii character at Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory in Setagya-Daita, Tokyo!

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Tucked away in a cozy, residential neighbourhood, Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory was opened by none other than the sister-in-law of Studio Ghibli’s founder and director, Hayao Miyazaki. It is the only bakery in the world that currently has official permission from the studio itself to churn out sweets and pastries in the shape of Totoro, so you can be assured you’re getting the real deal. 

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