First up, what’s fusion food? According to Dictionary.com, fusion food is “any dishes combining ingredients or cooking methods from 2 or more regional or ethnic culinary traditions”. In fact, fusion food is not that distant a concept to Singaporeans. Peranakan cuisine is the perfect example of fusion food, which originated from Chinese-Malay marriages back in the early days by using ingredients from classic Chinese dishes such as pork and garlic, with spices commonly used in Malay dishes such as lemongrass, and belacan (yum!).
While Asian-Western fusion cuisines and restaurants are commonly known, what about specifically, Singaporean fusion food? Think nasi lemak risotto, laksa maki, chendol xiao long bao, and chilli crab cheese fries… Local-fusion or confusion? You’d only know if you’ve tried.
1. 49 Seats: Seafood Tom Yum Pasta
With its affordable prices and accessible outlets, 49 Seats has increased in popularity over the years. Its original outlet at Kreta Ayer Road opens till 2am from Mondays to Thursdays, and 5:30am on Fridays and Saturdays, thus making it a great supper spot to satisfy those midnight hunger pangs and sudden cravings. Other outlets are located at Bugis+ and Orchard Central. For $14.90 with no GST and service charge, enjoy a generous serving of tom yum pasta topped up with succulent prawns, mussel and clams. Be warned, it is spicy! Discover more about 49 Seats.
Photo credit: 49 Seats
2. Loof: Chilli Crab Cheese Fries
You know the 风和日丽 neon signage that appears a lot on Instagram? That sign belongs to Loof, a rooftop bar at Odeon towers that provides an amazing panoramic view of the city’s urban landscape. On its menu under the die-die must try section is Chilli Crab Cheese Fries (S$14) – a combination of Sri Lankan crab, chilli, cheddar cheese and scallions. Another interesting food option on the menu is ang moh popiah (egg, mayo, daikon, carrot, cucumber and red radish in a wrap). Discover more about Loof
Photo credit: Loof
3. Sinpopo: for an array of Singaporean fusion desserts and salads
Situated along Joo Chiat Road, Sinpopo has an adventurous menu serving up delectable local cuisine with a twist. It’s difficult to select only one when there is so many to choose from: Chilled Pandan Soufflé, Orange Kaya Pisang Crème Brulee,, Gula Melaka Cake (a crowd favourite!), and the Frisee Salad with Crispy Muah Chee (S$10). As it is owned by the same brand behind Everything With Fries and Awfully Chocolate, you’d find the popular items such as Har Cheong Gai Burger and Nutella Tart on Sinpopo’s menu too. Discover more about Sinpopo!
Photo credit: Sinpopo
4. Restaurant Labyrinth: for Chendol Xiao Long Bao and other reinvented local recipes
Located in Esplanade Mall, Labyrinth is an award-winning restaurant that has established itself in the local culinary scene since its opening in early 2014. The upscale restaurant reinvents traditional local recipes to provide guests an out-of-the-ordinary gastronomic experience in a fine dining setting. Some of these reinvented recipes include Chendol Xiao Long Bao, Hokkien Mee (with Boston Lobster, Egg Yolk Noodle and Smoked Bacon) and Bak Chor Mee (with Hokkaido Scallop, Squid and Dried Anchovies). Discover More about Restaurant Labyrinth!
Photo credit: Restaurant Labyrinth
5.The Tuckshop: beer with hints of Gula Melaka, Bandung Latte and more
Hidden away in a shophouse around the corner of Guillemard Road, The Tuckshop is a contemporary cafe and bar with an industrial chic interior. While not all of the 5 founders were born and bred in Singapore, they interpret the term ‘local’ as someone who supports their ‘local’ neighbourhood wherever they may have come from. They have created their own rendition of beer: The Tuckshop Edition (S$10), a lager style beer with fresh calamansi juice and hints of Gula Melaka. There are also local sides to go along with your beer, such as chilli ikan bilis (S$6), carrot cake (S$9), and pork floss wings (S$10). If you are not a fan of beer, there are also non-alcoholic fusion drinks available such as Kaya Butter Kopi (S$6) and Bandung Latte (S$6). Discover More about The Tuckshop!
Photo credit: The Tuckshop
6. The Chupitos Bar: any interest in Pandan Cake shots, or Milo Godzilla shots?
Situated in Clarke Quay, Chupitos Bar is the only specialized shooters bar in the city with more than 130 shots and dropshots. Expect to be surprised by the innovative flavours available on the menu, ranging from flavours in its yummy section such as Black Forest Cake, to flavours in its deadly section, such as Girl Scout (served with a marshmallow on a stick). At $12 for a pair of shooters, you can give the local flavours a shot – Bandung, Milo Godzilla and Pandan Cake. Discover more about The Chupitos Bar
Photo credit: Chupitos Bar