New openings include Phat Cat Laundry, Xiao Ya Tou, Birds of a Feather and more trusty favourites

Small in size but big in flavours, “tapas” or rather small plates menus, have grown in popularity here in recent years. This comes as no surprise, for sharing food is a very common practice in Asia. Just think about the amount of tze char restaurants around town. Plus, you get to try a bit of everything without filling up. We present 8 restaurants and bars serving up the best Asian and Chinese cuisine with modern twists..

Birds of a Feather Crispy Gyoza and Fortune Skewer in Szechuan Pepper Broth

Birds of a Feather

Inspired by the Chengdu relic of the Golden Sunbird, Birds of a Feather is a modern, all-day dining Sichuan café to nest in. The menu is creatively balanced between east and west; for instance, Oriental Bolognaise of angel hair pasta, pork ragout, onsen tamago ($20) is inspired by zha jiang mian, and comes with a spicy or non spicy option. For those with timid taste buds, the spices are toned down, such as in the classic Sichuan dish of Find the Chicken in the Chillies ($16), with bits of fried chicken. Tofu burger with mapo meat sauce ($22) is also a play on classic mapo tofu. If you’re just looking for a nibble, the crispy gyoza with truffle soy vinaigrette ($16) could be your new favourite dim sum. Finish off with desserts that won’t look out of place in a hipster joint, such as chocolate pop, passion fruit foam and caramelised banana ($16) and poached pear with citrus, ginger and longan with orange caramel espuma ($12). The interiors, with lots of wood, greenery and natural light and shadows, are as instagrammable as the food. 115 Amoy Street. Tel: 6221  7449

Chow Fun Restaurant and Bar

With Chow Fun Restaurant & Bar’s 18 inventive Asian and Western-inspired noodle in small plates (think boat noodles), all priced at $2.90 each, you won’t need to ponder too much—just order everything! Winning over our hearts were the spicy soy ginger glazed pork belly bibim guksu as well as the Kung Fu Dashi Broth, inspired by Singapore’s well-loved bee hoon. The eclectic eatery also offer bar grubs like creamy fish roe fishball ($6.90) to go with their all-day happy hour.  #01-08 The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road. Tel: 6464 6900

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Phat Cat Laundry’s Brontosaurus Char Siu Beef Rib

Phat Cat Laundry

Phat Cat Laundry stands out in design with quirky laundry boxes and comic strips lining the wall. Using Asian ingredients in both their cocktail and food offerings, diners can look forward to cheeky dishes like truffle prawn egg rolls ($14) as well as tea-infused cocktails ($22) like Black Tea + Beragmot featuring Earl Grey creme gin, rich syrup, hand-pressed citrus and egg foam. Not to be missed is the Brontosaurus Char Siu Beef Rib ($25) that’s slow-cooked for 18 hours then baked, making the meat moist and tender with every bite. 4 Jiak Chuan Road. Tel: 6221 8262

Full of Luck Club

Aside from dishing out hearty steamed buns and scrummy modern cantonese dishes, Full of Luck Club also has an impressive line-up of Asian-inspired bevvies. On the shelves are interesting Hong Kong craft beers like Gambler’s Gold ($15.80) and Hong Kong Beer ($11). Innovative concoctions are also available like the wing chun kick ($14) made with dried chrysanthemum-infused rum, goji berries, fresh lime juice and mint. 243 Holland Avenue. Tel: 6208 6845

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Red Tail’s Scotch Century Egg

Red Tail

Loyal Zouk patrons will be pleased to know they’ve opened their first restaurant and bar, Red Tail. The contemporary Asian sharing plates are nothing short of excellent, with favourites such as the   Scotch century egg ($9) that’s wrapped in prawn and Kurobuta pork mince before being deep-fried. Another stellar dish is the seabass nori taco ($29) served with dried pickled gourd, ginger and a hint of malt vinegar mayo. Created in partnership with Proof & Co., the craft cocktails are tip-top too. We recommend Fancy Uncle ($22); a smooth concoction of blended whisky with Earl Grey tea, spiced honey apple syrup and lemon. #01-04 Clarke Quay Cannary Block, 3C River Valley Road. Tel: 6738 2988

Boruto

This two-storey sake bar has over 44 scrummy hot and cold tapas, each boasting a unique Japanese twist. Perfect on a rainy day is the Zuwai gani sausage ($30.80), where sweet crab meat is encased in sausage filling and served on smoky crab bisque and toast. Truffled Hiyashi somen is also a crowd favourite with its intense truffle flavours that’s paired with caviar and crisp sakura ebi. #01-01 Golden Castle Building, 80 South Bridge Road. Tel: 6532 0418

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Sum Yi Tai rooftop bar

Sum Yi Tai

Creative Crack Snacks get us going anytime, from the salmon skin with salted egg yolk and lime zest ($9) to salt and pepper squid tentacles ($15). Signature golden ginger chips ($10) are great for sharing too. Lunch sets offer a more straightforward taste of Hong Kong, especially in the Dragon Sets ($12-18) with springy noodles and options like crispy roast pork, honey glazed char siew and roast duck.  25 Boon Tat Street. Tel: 6221 3665

Xiao Ya Tou

The impish xiao ya tou—little imp—is the inspiration for this self-proclaimed “air-con tze charrestaurant bar”, by the same owners of modern French restaurant Symetry. And they’venailed the cheeky, nostalgic and fun vibe of the Duxton area, with retro décor and kitschy menu illustrations.

There are separate menus for lunch, brunch and dinner, and even some specials for supper. From the dinner menu, don’t miss their well fried char kway teow ($13), which is packed withChinese sausage, chye poh and bean sprouts. Like in the olden days, you can also bringyour own eggs and get $1 off! Your wallet won’t feel the pinch in small plates such as thecrispy otak-otak roll ($12), dipped in a tangy tamarind peanut sauce, and crab & lap cheong omelette ($9) with generous amounts of Chinese sausage. The most expensive item fromthe big plates, Korean inspired twice-cooked beef short rib ($32) didn’t quite do it for us

when the Chinese inspired dishes were so good. Don’t miss out on the simple but wellexecuted signature cocktails too (all $15), especially the Milo Dinosaur with just the right amount of Milo powder. 6 Duxton Hill. Tel: 6226 1965
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