What better way to welcome the Year of the Rooster than by dining at cafes and restaurants named after its avian buddies?
1. Bird Bird
Bjorn Shen’s fried chicken restaurant has moved to Frankel Avenue, complete with a revamped menu. Feast on the Birdhouse Special, featuring buttermilk fried chicken, mash drenched in sausage gravy, and a cornbread waffle; or tuck into more of Shen’s typically wacky, but always yummy, #dudefood creations including Big Mac Fried Rice and Durian Softie Pie.
2. Birds of Paradise
This gelato parlour is known as much for its Instagram-friendly interiors as its range of refreshing Asian-inspired flavours, including Strawberry Basil, Spiced Pear and Lychee Raspberry.
3. Birds of a Feather
Since it opened late last year, Birds of a Feather has been piquing the interest of local foodies with its take on “contemporary Western cuisine with a Sichuan influence”. This translates into dishes like the Oriental Bolognaise, above, inspired by zha jiang mian, as well as more authentic takes on Sichuan cuisine like the fiery Find the Chicken in the Chillies.
4. Paper Crane
It’s all about comfort food at Paper Crane. Warm your stomach—and heart—with a selection of pastas (the pesto is a personal favourite), Beer-battered Seabass and Chips (the fish is from Ah Hua Kelong, a local fish farm that prides itself on sustainable farming) and the Kimchi Fries, which come with grilled steak and cilantro mayo.
5. Brother Bird
Now housed within Stateland Cafe, a rotating menu of soft serves—past flavours have included avocado, watermelon, cookie butter—and mochi flavour bursts—including liu sha, earl grey and raspberry—means return visits to this dessert joint are a must.
6. Neon Pigeon
This “modern urban izakaya” takes what you know about Japanese cuisine, then turns it all on its head. Start with entrees from its “Birdfeed” menu, and be sure to order a serving of the House Smoked Bacon Rice for the table to share.
7. Old Hen Coffee Bar and Old Hen Kitchen
Situated within a 5-minute walk from each other at Rangoon Road and Owen Road, Old Hen Coffee Bar and Old Hen Kitchen stock the same selection of in-house cold brews, from the original Smooth Black and Creamy White coffees, to the limited edition Valrhona Dark Cocoa Orange and the new Cold Matcha Milk. The kitchen also serves up a wider selection of food, including mains like Salmon & Soba, so head there if you’re looking to fill your stomach in addition to loading up on caffeine.
Coffee lovers can go beyond simply having a cuppa here. From the intriguingly-named Death Cream (a blend of espresso, vanilla beans and cream) to Espresso Hotcakes, Espresso-Rubbed Rack of Lamb, Chocolate Coconut Affogato and Espergroni General (a cocktail with espresso-infused gin), you can get your caffeine hit from the start of your meal right through to the end.
9. The Black Swan
Raffles Place peeps know it for one of the best Happy Hour deals in the heart of the CBD, with $2 oysters and $9 drinks on weekdays from 5-8pm. With its newly-opened al fresco seating area, there’s even more reason to ditch work for drinks instead.
Technically, this is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pop-up. Hong Kong’s buzziest establishment will be taking over the kitchens of Meathsmith on Sunday, 12 Feb, 2pm; and Burnt Ends on Monday, 13 Feb, 7pm. The Burnt Ends edition is now fully booked, while the Meatsmith one is no reservations, so get your comfiest shoes on and get ready to queue. There’s nothing quite like tucking into yummy chicken parts grilled to perfection in the Year of the Rooster, after all.
By Annabelle Fernandez
Your ultimate Chinese New Year 2017 guide: