5 Best Bistronomy Experiences in Singapore
Just a few restaurants that impress with their unique brand of gourmet meals served in a casual setting—and at pocket-friendly prices, to boot
Bistronomy (a contraction of the words bistro and gastronomy) is a culinary trend that began in the 1990s with French chef Yves Camdeborde's dream of making haute cuisine more accessible to the masses. He did so by creating refined dishes that were served in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere similar to bistros and at a fraction of the price of similar dishes at a Michelin-starred establishment.
Delicious, expertly cooked food coupled with amazing service in a bistro-style setting proved to be the magic formula that gourmands were already craving at the time, and the bistronomy movement quickly spread across the world, favoured by many young chefs looking to attract more diners.
The approach remains a vital part of today's evermore vibrant dining scene, especially here in Singapore where food lovers continue to crave unique dining experiences that won’t burn a hole in their pockets. Here are just a few of the island's favourite haunts.
Chef Andrew Walsh's first venture remains the temple where Walsh showcases his culinary prowess. The intimate and welcoming restaurant is his stage for creative plates, which over the years has featured varied influences including local flavours. This time around, Walsh embraces his Irish heritage by repositioning Cure as a place to discover the bounty of the Emerald Isle. The updated menu now champions “new Irish cuisine”. Guests can expect top-notch produce like Irish brown crab and Galway oysters, as well as the widely acclaimed Silverhill Farm duck, which is served with native berries and salted duck egg.
Le Bon Funk
Le Bon Funk is a casual venue in buzzy Club Street that is also devoted to serving a rotating selection of biodynamic wines. Housed in a stylish shophouse space created by Foreign Policy Design Group, this is a wine bar for any occasion—whether you’re looking for just a glass to cap the day or to linger with friends over a bottle and grazing platter of their sourdough bread and house-cured charcuterie. Chef-owner (and Burnt Ends alumnus) Keirin Buck changes the menu daily depending on the best produce he can get but you can expect to find moreish nibbles such as Comté and tapioca balls and mains like Barnsley lamb saddle and coc beans. At Le Bon Funk, guests are in for a surprise, but bound to leave satisfied.
This popular restaurant continues to win fans with its creative Australian dishes served in a chic yet casual setting. Start with their snacks, such as marinated olives and roasted Padron peppers, before moving on to the next course consisting of small and large plates. One of the must-have dishes at Cheek Bistro is the classic pairing of burrata cheese and heirloom tomatoes simply seasoned with salt and pepper, drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, and given a lift with the addition of fermented green chilli. It prepares the palate for heartier dishes that include the Iberico pork collar accented with caramelised fennel and heirloom radish. The wines, sourced from all over the world, are hand-picked to elevate the meal.
Veal tartare 'os a moelle' with beluga caviar
Young potatoes filled with bagna cauda
Dutch red mullet with artichoke Barigoule, jus à Bécasse and toast rôtie
A5 Ohmi Wagyu at Table65
Signature apple dessert
Helmed by Dutch chefs Richard van Oostenbrugge and Thomas Groot—also the co-owners of acclaimed Amsterdam restaurant 212—the establishment is designed to engage all of your senses. From theatrical elements that include well-placed lighting features to the ever-Instagrammable apple dessert encased in a bubble-like globe, the menu celebrates the produce of the region while making the culinary experience fun and enjoyable. Top picks include the serving of locally-sourced Toh Thye San duck that’s served with a mole sole, touches of a sweet-and-sour blueberry sauce and an earthy Rouennaise sauce crafted with duck liver.
Esquina was fashioned after the lively tapas bars in Spain, and yes, that means it has a good selection of quaffs mostly sourced from the same country. Leading the kitchen is Barcelona-born executive chef Carlos Montobbio, who continues to dish out traditional and innovative dishes using the best produce of the day. Signatures reign supreme, including the dish of lobster paella enriched with Hokkaido uni, saffron aioli and sugar snap peas, as well as a showcase of Spanish suckling pig belly. The latter is cooked to perfection and drizzled with a luscious mulled wine jus, while the side of rhubarb and apple chutney both complement and cut through the rich flavours.