Our five picks are sole outlets that you won’t find anywhere else.

Officially launched on 30 Sep, Savourworld is a dining cluster beside Kent Ridge MRT station that brings together an intriguing range of food and drink options, from craft beers to Thai milk tea, donburi to quinoa bowls.

If its name seems confusingly similar to that of the food festival Savour, that’s because this $10 million project is a joint venture between Darren Chen, executive director of Savour, and Michel Lu, CEO of Savourworld.

Currently, the 16 tenants that have opened (up to 30 are expected) are sprawled across the ground floor of Ascent, most of them encircling a 250-seat al fresco courtyard where diners can settle down with food from any of the restaurants.

Though Savourworld is found in an unlikely location—surrounded by NUS, NUH and the offices of Science Park—it is open seven days a week, and will host DJs, bands and events such as Oktoberfest, Uncorked Wine Festival and Christmas.

For now, here are the five joints that we deem most worthy of your attention.

Tokyo Joe (#01-24)

Tokyo Joe specialises in donburi and serves a mean bara chirashi don ($16) with salmon, tuna and hamachi (the $19 premium version adds scallops). Other scrumptious rice bowls include chicken teriyaki don ($12) and gyudon ($16).

In the evening, the restaurant also offers izakaya bites and binchotan skewers like pork belly with apple sauce ($2) and bacon-wrapped scallops ($3).

For drinks, get the Echigo draught lager ($9) brewed from Koshihikari rice, or choose from a wide range of sake (e.g. Dassai 23, $150/720ml), umeshu and Japanese whiskies.

(Fun fact: “Tokyo Joe” alludes to the fact that the Japanese restaurant is run by non-Japanese, but it is also the name of a notorious Japanese-American gangster.)

Licktionary (#01-34)

Created by advertising power couple Valerie Cheng and Farrokh Madon, Licktionary features a roster of inspired flavour combinations with whimsical names like Happy, Peace and Naughty (single scoop $3.80, double scoop $6.50, cone $0.50). During happy hour (Wed & Fri, 4 to 8pm), get a pint for $12 instead of $15.

Here are just some examples of their flavours:

  • Luck (pineapple + spices + cookies)
  • Summer (strawberry + lemon)
  • Lust (dark chocolate + brandied cherry)
  • Carnival (vanilla + sweet & salty peanuts)
  • Mojo (coffee + brandied caramel)
  • Kampung (coconut + gula melaka + pandan)

Ottoman Kebab & Grill (#01-34)

At Turkish restaurant Ottoman Kebab & Grill, you must try the divine grilled meats (from $10.90). To survey the full range, order the Ottoman Shish Platter ($49), which comes with chicken, beef, lamb, seafood, grilled tomatoes, salad and pilaf.

Another showstopper is the kunefe ($12.90), a dangerously addictive dessert composed of shredded filo, cheese, syrup and crushed pistachios.

Originally established at Bedok Mall in 2014, the restaurant now serves alcohol and is no longer Halal. Here’s hoping they find greater success at their new home!

Chinese Noodle Bar by Blue Lotus (#01-26)

The second venture by imposing restaurateur Ricky Ng, Chinese Noodle Bar by Blue Lotus presents an uncomplicated menu of simple dishes and bold flavours.

The most daringly simple entry is the signature lard truffle noodles ($12), though if you insist on protein, options like grilled soya chicken drumstick noodles ($13) and grilled king prawn lau gan ma noodles ($16) are also available.

As accompaniments, try the Sichuan beef shank and tendon ($9), as well as the selection of skewers such as fennel and spices portobello ($5) and san bei pork belly with leeks ($7). Between 5 and 7pm, enjoy freeflow skewers at $18.

The Good Beer Company (#01-23)

The Good Beer Company, purveyor of “uncommon, epic, legendary beers”, offers $10 pints during happy hour (4 to 8pm) and $13 pints after. This craft beer joint spent six years as a hawker stall at Chinatown Complex, and was founded by booze expert Daniel Goh, who also runs Smith Street Taps and the blog Spirited Singapore.

Current beers on tap include Stockade’s The Sesh, an Australian golden ale; Fourpure’s American Pale, a Californian-style pale ale from London; and Hitachino Nest’s White Ale, a Belgian-style witbier with hints of spice and citrus.