Singapore is as modern as it gets. Declaring independence from the United Kingdom (as part of Malaysia) in 1963 and sovereignty in 1965, it astoundingly transformed from a third- to first-world country, serving as a hub for nearly every 21st century economy.
It’s a globalized country, pulling in influences from across the world. Thus, its food scene is a busy collaboration: Cantonese, Indian, Szechuan, Thai, and Vietnamese.
Enter SING, the new concept from food journalist Cuc Lam and Jerry Lasco (Max’s Wine Dive, The Tasting Room, Boiler House). Situated beside Snooze: an A.M. Eatery in the Heights, SING is now open daily for lunch and dinner. It celebrates Singaporean cuisine through a menu that looks like the ultimate Asian fusion bible. There’s dan dan noodles with intensely floral Szechuan peppercorn; light, flaky, Vietnamese egg rolls; good ol’ pad Thai; and Tandoori chicken satay, among other dishes.
Allow me to steer you to the chicken tikka masala, dressed in a creamier, heartier curry than expected. The char kway teow, emphasizing the wider vermicelli that’s popular in Singapore, is a fantastic alternative to pad Thai with pork brisket and Chinese sausage. And SING does a version of the Thai pork and green bean dish pad krapow moo, loading up on heat with dried chilis.
The chili crab rangoon shows further inventiveness. In Singapore, order chili crab and you’ll get crab drenched in a tomato sauce with fried buns. Here, Lam couldn’t get whole crabs, so she improvised with a rangoon topped with a spicy tomato sauce.
The beverage program is small right now, featuring two sake cocktails (a bittersweet pineapple lychee sake-tini and a sake version of a tequila sunrise) and a few craft beers and wines on tap. Lam says she hopes to expand the sake list, so be on the lookout for that.
She also will introduce a Sunday brunch, and before you think about bringing the whole gang, seating at SING is minimal (about 20-30 people can sit between a chef’s table, counters along the windows, and a few outdoor tables). Lam says the small seating space was purposeful, as she hopes to clean up with online orders.
Here’s my recommendation: Order. I know I’ll be heading back for more, this time focusing on turmeric pork glass noodles, boat noodles with bo vien, and lemongrass pepper riblets.