Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best of 2009

C says:

2009 has been quite an eventful year for atetoomuch. To commemorate it, and to start a new tradition, we’re going to list our Best of 2009 – a summary of the most outstanding places that we’ve discovered this year, or old faithfuls that never fail to satisfy.

The criteria are simple – no minimum or maximum budget, no limit on cuisine type, just places or dishes that made us sit up, take notice, and vow to be back. The only restriction is that it has to be places in Singapore.

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here’s my Top 9 for 2009:

1) Sage The Restaurant

Better late than never. We avoided this place on the assumption that it looked too chi-chi and intimidating, only to discover that it was anything but. Our first visit there in November was one of our best meals of 2009.

2) Morton’s Bar

The fillet mignon sandwiches are good, but the burger here is out of this world. Best burger in Singapore, period.

3) Canton-i

ION Orchard is officially our favourite mall, due in no small part to the great food discoveries we’ve made there. The char siew at Canton-i, with its succulent layers of fat sweetened and charred to perfection, has spoilt me for all char siews in future. No other char siew even comes close. Ok, so Wong Ah Yoke recently dissed the char siew for being inconsistent, but we still beg to differ. We’ve had it 3 times and it has never failed to impress. Maybe we got lucky. Or maybe we just have lower expectations.

4) Kith Cafe

Good food, unpretentious owners and waitstaff (though the same can’t be said for some of the clientele…), and the best damn flat white I’ve had in Singapore.

5) Hiang Ji at Toa Payoh

This is an unexpected but definitely deserved entry. The noodles/hor fun, flavoured with the unmistakeable fragrance of lard, are simply heaven.

6) Arinco King

Yes, at $18 per roll you could say this is overpriced. And perhaps the salt caramel isn’t quite as perfected as Canele’s. But I still think this is worth every penny. That wonderful combination of light sponge cake, burnt caramel whipped cream and salt caramel glaze puts a smile on my face every time.

7) Modern Peking Duck

Thanks to Modern Peking Duck at the ION basement food street for bringing peking duck crepes to the masses. My only grouse is that they’ve stopped serving the Big Pig, and in its place they offer suckling pig crepes. These aren’t as good as the peking duck ones.

8) Shin Yeh

I can’t stop thinking about the oyster omelette here, which I guess is the hallmark of a good restaurant. For this reason, and because less than a day after our first visit I’m already plotting a return trip, Shin Yeh has made it to our Top 9.

9) Ember

Our year will not be complete without Ember. Our anniversary dinner there this year reminded us just how understatedly fabulous the food is.

Well, there you have it. I wonder what 2010 will bring, and I can’t wait to find out. Happy New Year, everyone!

A says:

I agree with C’s except for one of them (Arinco King). My top 9 for 09 are:

1) Sage – expensive but worth it

2) Canton-i – Crystal Jade prices but way better food

3) Modern Peking Duck – I was addicted to these for awhile. Eat them on the spot. I’ve learnt they don’t keep well at all.

4) Morton’s Bar – Probably the best burger in Singapore. And even though it’s $25 (after 8pm), it’s still not the most expensive. Shocking.

5) Hiang Ji at Toa Payoh – We can’t be accused of being too atas with this on the list. Big ups to YCC for the recommendation. I take full credit for asking for hor fun instead of mee kia though.

6) Kith Cafe – Love this place. If only it were a bit bigger. Too bad we don’t live in the area anymore.

7) Shin Yeh – One of my new preferred Chinese restaurants.

8) Ember – Always good.

9) Saizeriya – Unbeatable value for money. Just steer clear of the steaks.

Other notables (but not necessarily must-try material): Hand Burger, Melt buffet at Mandarin Oriental, Smoke Shack (which we’ve tried separately but haven’t gone together so no review yet).

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