Putting the 'epic' in epicurean: Food trends to watch for in 2019

By Desiree Koh

As Singapore readies itself to host next year’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards – a first for an Asian country – Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore looks at some of the most flavourful upcoming fads for dining out in 2019.

Fine dining with a story on the side

(PHOTO: Facebook / Preludio)

With the 2018 departures of both Joël Robuchon and Andre Chiang’s three Michellin-starred establishments, it appears to be goodbye to grandiose gastronomy. Instead, it is the allure of flavourful tales about dish origins and more interactive experiences that are pleasing palates.

At Preludio, chef-as-auteur Fernando Arevalo defies pre-defined genres and invites guests to touch, see and smell novel produce like tomatoes from Mount Vesuvius before they dine. With vaunted chefs Marco Pierre White and Alain Ducasse set to open fine-dining establishments against this backdrop this year, it will be interesting to see what they bring to the table.

Underground eats

(PHOTO: Lynnette’s Kitchen)

On the same theme, some of Singapore’s hottest tables are private kitchens that dish out inventive options – and more. At Lynette Seah’s chic Tiong Bahru home, the green gazpacho is the yin to the yang of her signature buah keluak (candlenut) fried rice, and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra violinist throws in a performance as a nightcap to go with her British food cake with brandy. Sam Wong’s Lucky House (call 9823 7268) serves up extensive Cantonese spreads and his trademark roast duck, but is booked through mid-2019.

Hit me up, bartender

(PHOTOS: Facebook / Rye & Pint, Pink Blossoms, Smith Street Taps)

While Tiger beer might have earned its stripes, micro- and micro-micro breweries have rushed in to meet the nation’s insatiable thirst for creative brews featuring Southeast Asian ingredients. Rye & Pint’s Haze Me Up has hints of mango, pomelo and sago, Pink Blossoms Brewing’s Belgian farmhouse ale features a crisp clove and pepper aftertaste, and Brewlander’s Love comes with splashes of passionfruit and pineapple. Hawker beer bars like Smith Street Taps and 3rd Culture continue to creatively pair artisan beers with local fare – just don’t ask for ice.

Superfood Me

(PHOTOS: Facebook / The Edible Co., Hunters’ Kitchenette, Cocoloco)

Move over kale and quinoa. Supermarkets and farmer’s markets are pushing out an even variety of produce naturally pumped with everything from flavonoids to antioxidants. It’s easy to eat clean with local artisanal producers such as The Edible Co., Hunters’ Kitchenette, Cocoloco, Bruneus and An Tea Social crafting superfood-powered snacks, condiments and beverages. Or check out award-winning Edible Wild host Nithiya Laila’s adventures in local farming, and her ideas for Kranji-to-kitchen creations.

Raising a toast to the sandwich

(PHOTOS: Facebook / Park Bench Deli, Instagram / Shake Shack)

Even as kaya remains a hot favourite on toast, Singapore’s sandwich game is levelling up with the opening of iconic New York burger stand Shake Shack at Jewel. Joints like Firebake are rising doughs that incorporate all-natural ingredients, including filtered Nordic fresh water. For something with a local twist, check out Park Bench Deli, which puts out hefty classics to the CBD crowd during the week, and collaborates with institutions such as Rumah Makan Minang and Candlenut to put Javanese and Nonya flavours in their loaves at pop-up stores over the weekends.

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