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Great local food or too atas?


Ba Chor Mee Pasta? Local food gets the fine dining and fusion treatment

Local food is getting more and more innovative with the emergence of fusion as well as fine dining takes on our familiar and beloved local dishes.

However, is local food evolving into fodder for atas (Malay for “high”) taste buds? Then again, why not? If better ingredients are used, who says local food can’t be “fine” as well?

These are a few finer and more exciting options for local-inspired cuisine.

Bak Chor Mee Pasta, Ujong
Bak Chor Mee Pasta, Ujong


Ba Chor Mee Pasta ($25.90), anyone? Ujong at Raffles Place serves fusion Singaporean food. Other intriguing (including to the taste buds) creations include Hae Bi Hiam Mentaiko Capellini ($25.90) with chilli-fried dried prawns and lardons.

Shendol Delights ($15.90), the Chef’s version of chendol, is a creamy-smooth coconut panna cotta served with gula Melaka syrup, chendol jelly and homemade red bean ice cream. It is basically a deconstructed chendol that’s just as yummy.

Ujong, Raffles Hotel Arcade, 328 North Bridge Road, #01-10, Singapore 188719, Tel: 6635 6502

Nasi Bojari, Madam Kwan’s
Nasi Bojari, Madam Kwan’s

Madam Kwan’s

This popular chain from Malaysia specialises in Nasi Lemak ($13.90). The rice is coconut-steamed and served with chicken curry, sambal ikan bilis, dried shrimp floss, hard-boiled egg, achar and fresh cucumber.

They also serve Madam Kwan’s Nasi Bojari ($18.90), her signature tri-coloured rice with Assam prawns, beef rendang and deep-fried chicken drumstick. Mmm…

Madam Kwan’s, VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, #01-155, Singapore 098585, Tel: 6271 9989

Soup Kambing, The Clifford Pier
Soup Kambing, The Clifford Pier

The Clifford Pier

Here, you can enjoy good classic local dishes such as Soup Kambing ($15) – mutton soup with spices, fried shallots and scallions.

For a blast from the past, try the Rickshaw Noodles ($18) – stewed yellow Hokkien noodles in a pork broth with traditional condiments.

From The Clifford Pier’s dessert menu, its take on goreng pisang comes with coconut ice cream and gula Melaka. The ice cream flavours feature local flair and inspirations such as pandan, kopi o and teh tarik.

The Clifford Pier, The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore, 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049326, Tel: 6597 5266

Peranakan Afternoon Tea, Pacific Marketplace
Peranakan Afternoon Tea, Pacific Marketplace

Pacific Marketplace

Until Aug 9, Pacific Marketplace will have a new Peranakan Afternoon Tea ($58++ for two adults). Presented in a four-tiered tiffin carrier, the highlights of the Peranakan Afternoon Tea include Kuay Pie Tee with Sweet Turnip and Prawn, and Open-Face Otak Sandwich with Quail Egg.

There is also Nonya Chicken Curry served with freshly-baked French Baguette. End the afternoon tea on a sweet note with kueh lapis and onde onde.

The Peranakan Afternoon Tea is on from 3pm to 5pm.

Pacific Marketplace, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039595, Tel: 6826 8240


Sofitel So Singapore is so new, the ink on the menus at Xperience hasn’t even dried yet. The unique dishes include foie gras and truffle siew mai and chipotle chilli crab tacos.

It looks like there will be more atas local dishes to come, as we understand that guests can customise their own menus based on textures and tastes.


So, before you turn your nose up at atas local food, do give these dishes a try. You might just find yourself blown away.

By Cheryl Chia