New omakase menus, a produce-forward offering and a revamped terrace lounge

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? As much as we love the spate of new F&B joints popping up everyday, there’s some respect to be had for a restaurant that’s stood the test of time in tumultuous Singapore, and continued to keep things fresh for its loyal fans. Every month, we scope out some of your best-loved places for the new menus they’re bringing to the table.
 

Akira Back


The namesake restaurant of famed Chef Akira Back was the modern Japanese-Korean restaurant we never knew we needed when it first opened along South Beach Avenue almost two years ago now. While the tuna pizza and Tajima short rib remains our go-to (and the toro tartare is always fun to order), there are now six more reasons to visit again. Of the new items, the Yukhoe ($42) is a clear standout. The common Korean steak tartare dish gets elevated here with the use of wagyu, seaweed caviar and nashi pear, resulting in a balanced plate of flavour you just have to dive into. Then definitely go for the glazed Crispy Tofu ($20), a supremely yummy snack thanks to the addictive homemade gochujang soy sauce. And the new main, the Shiso Seabass ($33), is surprisingly light and delicate, in stark contrast with the heavier, punchier starters.
 

Rizu


This modern Japanese restaurant already received a much-deserved glowing review from us (deservingly so, especially after they’ve quickly upped their game since opening), but they’re not sitting on their laurels. On the request of diners, Chef Noboru Shimohigashi is now dishing out not one but three different omakase meals. If you’re going for the sashimi and sushi items, you’re better off ordering these than going a la carte, for better value. The Special Omakase ($200) is an 11-course showcase of chef’s use of French culinary techniques using both western and Japanese ingredients—the abalone risotto, sukiyaki rice bowl and nigiri sushi especially have us sold. If you want something more focused, the Fresh Fish and Modern Style Omakase menus ($150 each) are also tantalizing options. Whichever you choose, getting the alcohol pairing is a must. A well-paced mix of Champagne, wine, umeshu and sake will enhance your experience as you journey your way through the courses.
 

Salt Grill & Sky Bar


After many years, Chef Luke Mangan of Salt Grill & Sky Bar leaves the helm of his ship, handing the reins over to Chef Jake Kowalewski who now offers a modern Australian menu that is more produce-focused and seafood leaning. Everything is sustainably sourced, from the Geraldton Kingfish ($32) served sashimi-style with Yarra Valley salmon pearl, to the incredibly juicy Roasted Shark Bay Brown Tiger Prawns ($33), fished only once a year. For cheese lovers, the savory Whipped Truffle Burrata ($27) is a must. When it comes to mains, expect a slight Asian twist with elegant touches—like the Australian Pink Snapper ($55), served with homemade lap cheong chili jam on the side. Same goes for the Westholme Wagyu Rump Cap 200g ($68); a juicy slab of beef with Sakura ebi sauce, and chef's take on the Australian Surf & Turf, reinterpreted with prawn butter as the seafood element. In that vein of Asian touches, the Ondeh Ondeh "Lamington" ($19) with coconut snow is a decadent dessert great for pandan lovers.
 

Zafferano


The scenic outdoor terrace lounge of this modern Italian restaurant has undergone a major upgrade. There’s now a canopy of tulip umbrellas to keep the place sheltered while not completely covering up the place, and a new bar menu has launched to go along with it. Enjoy an eponymous Zafferano ($20) cocktail, a citrusy concoction made using saffron gin, or spice things up with a Perk Me Up ($20) made of rum, falernum, pumpkin, lime and chilli padi. Fresh fruit martinis (all $20) are now a thing here too. For nibbles, Head Chef Emanuele Faggi serves up satisfying dishes like deep fried oysters with oregano mayo ($36 for six), freshly baked pizzas ($25), and a good range of bruschettas with toppings like lobster, burrata, roasted turkey, and more. If you’re craving something more sinfully classic, there’s always the dependably good truffle fries that is not going anywhere.