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Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

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sinyeeloke
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Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby sinyeeloke » Wed, 01 Apr 2015 4:27 pm

Anyone know which restaurants' ambience is good?

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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 01 Apr 2015 4:38 pm

sinyeeloke wrote:Anyone know which restaurants' ambience is good?


I've never been to any restaurants where the ambiance tasted good. Some were in reasonably good taste though, but I refuse to pay for ambiance, therefore rarely frequent high end restaurants. Also, I would assume ambiance is good or bad based on the individual preferences so might be a little hard getting a consensus.

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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby the lynx » Wed, 01 Apr 2015 4:39 pm

sinyeeloke wrote:Anyone know which restaurants' ambience is good?


What kind of ambiance are you looking for? Relaxed, romantic, elegant?

Or are you going to suggest a place instead?

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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby bgd » Wed, 01 Apr 2015 4:53 pm

the lynx wrote:
Or are you going to suggest a place instead?


He probably won't but I bet another first time poster will. :wink:

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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 01 Apr 2015 4:54 pm

Probably from the same IP as well. ;-)

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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby asianwanderer » Sun, 05 Apr 2015 11:00 pm

"Good" is somewhat broad and is very subjective. The Cliff is quite a popular place for an exquisite dining experience but I personally like Ku de ta's vibe.

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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby Girl_Next_Door » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 9:09 am

If price is not a subject, I like Jaan. The food is really good and the view is fabulous. Kudeta food is mediocre for the price you are paying. Sky on 57 is also mediocre. Both places enjoy great view but I don't think that's enough for the price that you are paying.

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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby JR8 » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 10:58 am

Girl_Next_Door wrote:If price is not a subject, I like Jaan. The food is really good and the view is fabulous. Kudeta food is mediocre for the price you are paying. Sky on 57 is also mediocre. Both places enjoy great view but I don't think that's enough for the price that you are paying.


This is the problem with an ill-defined question. What is 'ambience'? The sophisticated Zen-calm of sushi at the Ritz-Carlton? Or the crowds and hubbub of dinner at an East-coast seafood centre?

My experience of Kudeta is er.... highly negative. Sure the views are great, but the food is both poor and very expensive. I reckon anywhere I've tried with great views in SG = $$$+poor food/service+rather vulgar scene. I could have a rant but I'll leave it there :lol:

I hadn't heard of Jaan, but will read the reviews with interest... http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Restauran ... apore.html

@BGD. good call, 'and lo it came to pass' :)
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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 12:00 pm

The wife and I ate at Jaan a couple of years ago. I'm not really into French Cuisine but have to admit after getting used to a gigantic dinner place with virtually a single bite of food on it, the food actually was quite good. But, having said that, my palate is rather coarse so it may not have been good by French standards. It was expensive though, even using house wines the bill came up to about $500 for just the two of us. The view was nice from the 70th floor, but the decor wasn't anything to write home about. Let's just say, had it not been our 25th Anniversary, I doubt I'd have gone there, and I probably won't be back as it's wasn't value for money for me. (Might be different however, if I had that kind of money to blow on a regular basis). :-k

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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby JR8 » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 2:11 pm

It's so weird! I can't reconcile how one can live here for years, and yet not have even heard of such a place until today, esp. it being so Central.

Well, the reviews on TripAdvisor seem generally very positive, and that's from people with some experience/track-record. So maybe my aversion to fine dining+amazing views can be put aside in this case and it goes on the 'perhaps worth trying in future' list?

We'll see. It becomes difficult to venture outside the tried and tested, and take the risk of new venues, as many ultimately seem to disappoint. In a simplified world any special occasion for me might simply be enjoyed at the Fat Cow :) It'll be where we have our last 'special' dinner out here this time around (again).

Maybe the 29 meals/mo. at home/food-court, and 1 night/mo. seeking something really rather special, is the dining equivalent of 90% shopping done at NTUC/market, and 10% at Cold Storage? ... The prudence and economy of the former, more than self-funding the extravagance of the latter.

[Well, maybe that's just how I justify it to myself :cool: :lol: ]


--- Either way, for that one occasional special night out, it has to justify itself. I suppose that's why I vehemently dislike places that are popularly highly rated, but ultimately materially fail to deliver value for money, at what ever price-point that might be.
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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby Girl_Next_Door » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 2:56 pm

Every friday is a date night for me and the husband. Beyond that, we also tried a reasonable number of top restaurants in the world and asia. Despite trying most of the restaurants (many open and closed fairly quickly), there are very few that I would recommend. My husband is a belgian and he wanted to "support" Emmanuel Stroobant. I am not sure if it make sense, but our conclusion is, the food are perfectly executed but the food is just not tasty. Many chefs try to be creative, but many are lost in their creativity.

We used to like Forlino but have not been back for a couple of years (too many new restaurants to try) so I can't tell for the standards now. A recent new find is El Mero Mero in Chijmes. Its mildly fancy mexican food. The ambience is average and service has plenty of rooms for improvement but the food is really delicious.

The biggest irony I find about restaurants in Singapore is, despite the reasonably higher cost for dinner, the services is still lacking.

I do welcome any other recommendations of restaurants that is tasty and provides good services.

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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby JR8 » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 4:53 pm

Every Friday, nice! We had the same pattern before we moved back here. These days the whole getting home/changing/trek back down-town means it is less frequent than that. No point having effort/hassle detract from the whole for us [sadly]...
Forlino @ Fullerton. This is another I think we haven't tried. Again, the sense of 'captive audience', business people on expenses, makes me wary TBH.
El Mero Mero.... can't say I've heard of it. Chijmes is not somewhere I particularly like though, it has a vibe of KTV-bars, transience, happy-hour beer specials (being the primary draw) etc. I remember many years ago there used to be a veeery good JPnese place there, $ but good. Maybe Gyu-kaku?, http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Restauran ... apore.html, don't recall, it was long ago.

El Mero Mero... interesting one. http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Restauran ... apore.html I enjoy Mexican food, but am tired of the cliched pastiche trashy interpretations that usually get dished up. Maybe that's another for the list.

Yeah, there's a fine line between 'nouvelle', inventive and satisfying. Example: Heston Blumenthal. I find his conceptualisation and execution fascinating, but can't imagine paying to try it! :) Are you with Team Heston, Team Delia, or more of a Team Gordon type? hehehe...

And yes service is often lacking here, true. Unless you're eating somewhere where the wait-staff have been through catering school. One gets an impression that many wait-staff here are part-timers/2nd jobbers. The opposite extreme might be the experience with professional/career wait-staff in say the US. Often worth every cent of the tip, something I unfortunately very rarely get to say here. [Funny how informed/helpful wait-staff become something of an unexpected bonus wherever you encounter them in the world... ].

Well for local suggestions, you've heard our no.1 and I don't want to be a scratched record :) At a much simpler level, for a weekend brunch, Jones The Grocer up on Dempsey Hill. Friends in town? A seafood pig-out up on the East Coast, that'll be more real and les$ than Newton Hawker Centre or Lau Pa Sat in the fin'cl district. With a sea-food night @ East Coast, it helps if you have local friends along who are attuned to which stalls to order from, what, and how much to buy.

We also had a very nice meal at 'Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse' - http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Restauran ... apore.html
The reservation got f'd up via their unnecessarily 'clever' booking system. That was my wife's last birthday, so the issue became very personal very fast :) Their way of serving most wine is also infantile and strangely demeaning, er, like a $100k vending machine you get a vending card to, so... each time you want a top-up you have to break from the table and do a 'walk of shame' over to the other end of the restaurant with 50 sets of eyes on you! Make it easier, order wines that are kept behind the bar. That aside, the food we has was very very, very! good :) I think it was Mi Amigo that gave me the tip on that one. He said he did corporate dinner/ent there. I can see why, despite the booking and stupid wine machine and I'd certainly go back any day.

That's all of the solid pluses I can think of for now. There are certainly plenty of disappointments/'just blah' too along the way. We all have them, so no need to list...
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby Girl_Next_Door » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 5:10 pm

Well, work is exhausting and friday date nights is a little treat for us, as well as to keep the romance going in the concrete city.

I am on team heston, though gordon's casual dining outfits do serve a pretty good burger if you are looking for a no fuss meal. So far, I think my favorites are Eleven Madison Park and L'atelier Paris (the menu is almost the same everywhere but for some reason, Paris one taste way better). My colleagues told me Tickets @ Barcelona is great but I had not been successful in securing a table in the past 2 trips.

Locally, I love this fried hokkien prawn noodle that is cooked using charcoal (instead of gas) along east coast. The husband will have his pizza in Al Forno while I indulge in the fried hokkien prawn noodles just across the street.

Jones is a bit over-rated for me, so we usually go to Becasse which is across in Dempsey. For steak, we usually grab really good cuts and grill at home. So far, only Puck by Wolfgang gets our stamp of approval. Apparently, Valentino's at turf club serves what seems like a good Florentine styled T-bone steak.

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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby JR8 » Wed, 08 Apr 2015 12:25 pm

I quite understand! It's just for us it's operationally harder for us to achieve 'weekly' these days. So we're back to an earlier routine of going out for a better than the day-to-day meal perhaps every other weekend when we can fit into the other obligations. Then ideally monthly going out for something pretty special. I.e. we know it probably won't be cheap, but we hope and expect that we'll find it value. We have one favourite, and they constantly evolve their menu which helps, so that keeps it interesting. So that might be the venue for 1/3 months. Then the other two might or will be places new places we've short-listed to try. Picking the 2/3 is an interesting and curiously enjoyable process in itself :)

At that point, as with 1/3, the likely menu-cost of the other 2/3 becomes somewhat secondary, it's more about the overall experience. I suppose a downside of that is that one is thus invested in a new place at least meeting your heightened expectations. Plus the experience is inevitably benchmarked vs your favourite-1/3. It's really great when it all comes together though! Ideally perhaps we'd have 2 'regulars', and seek a new 'special find' every quarter, but a 2nd keeper has yet to present itself.

It could be more challenging, on our last posting our favourite restaurant in the city just happened to be a 50M stumble from our front door. And it was exceptional. That made it much harder to go and risk untested places :lol: So when we had a special event, or friends in town, it became very easy to um and err in trying to choose a place, and then conclude 'Maybe it's just better if we go next door?'. We never had a disappointing meal there.

I haven't eaten at any restaurants operated by the three mentioned chefs. To date all I've managed is watching their cooking shows, and having some of their books. I suppose Delia is reflective of the kind of fare I'd enjoy when I get to visit my parents. There is the ... er ... concept [?] of 'classical French cookery' and techniques, well a lot of the techniques are incorporated into all Western cuisine (stocks being used as a foundation flavour, opposing flavour and texture 'points' creating interest within one recipe, and meal etc). So/therefore I doubt I'd eat at one of her places as I'd fear being disappointed. Jeez... I think I'm becoming my father :lol: He has a pretty painful habit of when ever we're out for a special family meal, after all is done, and there has been a huge amount of huffing and puffing over whether the bill can possibly be right (lol), that he'll insert the killer line... 'You know X [my mum], you could have done that meal better for a fraction of the cost'. He doesn't cook, so has no idea what having a night away from the stove must be like for my poor mother! And at that point my mother and I might catch each others eye, tilt our heads, momentarily flare eyes and suppress a laugh. :lol:

Anyway, sorry, back to the subject... :oops:

I've been away from the UK for so long now that I've never got to try a Heston or Ramsey venue. I'd love to try a Heston place and for it to surpass expectations, and open new culinary chapters I've never experienced before. Ramsey might be the something of a safer feeling middle ground. I really get his approach and techniques and have massive respect for him. Anyway, all in due course! [Reflective moment: The pleasure even just discussing good food brings me is suddenly very striking :o :lol: ].

I think my favourites are (no particular order):
- The place that's our '1/3' here.
- Peter Lugers Steakhouse, NYC. http://peterluger.com/
- The place next door on our last posting [can't name the place... don't need to help the spooks join the dots].
- The lobster shack in Newport, Rhode Island (US), whose name I've forgotten!

Others longer ago, so I've no idea how they rate now...
- Du Rhone, Geneva
- Dorchester Grill, London
- Nanbantei, Tokyo

.... and others, that are now history, but remain fond memories...

Thanks for the other places you mention, some of them I've never heard of. 'Becasse'.... hmmm, I'll check that out...
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Restaurants with good ambience in Singapore?

Postby JR8 » Wed, 08 Apr 2015 12:37 pm

Becasse, Dempsey Hill
https://thechosenglutton.wordpress.com/ ... mpseyhill/

I haven't read the review yet... but just glancing at the pics I know we've been there :o :)
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard


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