Dedicated to serving up a healthier perspective on Indian food through accessible and nutritious recipes, Singapore- based social- impact food brand has relaunched its famed Spicebox Kit. The funky new design trades the wooden look for airtight, tinplated steel to provide maximum freshness. The revamped steel box (choose between silver or gold finish) features nine colourful tins containing the essential spices needed to cook all of the recipes in the accompanying 116-page, hardcover cookbook, Cooking with Indian Spicebox by founder Namita Moolani Mehra – think North Indian favourites like daal and butter chicken, and other Indianinspired dishes like lamb and veggie burgers, plus kid-friendly fare. With the purchase of each kit, 10 street children will be provided with a hot, nutritious meal, in partnership with India-based charity Life Vrindavan. To buy a Spicebox Kit, or for more details, visit indian-spicebox.com.
18 North Canal Road 8182 2858 | facebook.com/thebelljar.sg
First impressions: Occupying a three-storey shophouse in Boat Quay, The Belljar is dimly lit, with grey, black and wood furnishings creating a classy-chic vibe. Feast on Asian-fusion dishes on the ground floor, relax with a sundowner on the second level, or get fancy with a whisky appreciation class on the top level; this multi-functional space suits various occasions.
The Chosen One: Apart from the extensive whisky selection, the original cocktails on the menu are sure to appeal. Those who prefer a sweeter concoction will enjoy the Singer in a Smoky Room ($25), a flashy tipple presented in an actual bell jar with a mini smoke machine. On first whiff, you’ll get the soft, herbal scent of the lavender flower, followed by a layer of red wine, which adds visual appeal and fragrance; the drink finishes off with marmalade, gin and elderflower. Looking for the classics? Go for The Belljar Old Fashioned ($16), a great blend of Buffalo Trace bourbon, Bowmore 12-year-old whisky, bitters and sugar.
The Cheapskate: Ladies get one-for-one on drinks like lychee martinis and sangria on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Bite on this: Food takes equal weight at this restaurant bar, which is open for both lunch and dinner. Look forward to a selection of sharing plates and mains inspired by Singapore’s melting pot of cultures. We tried the har cheong siew yoke ($15), a prawn-paste and pork dish roasted to perfection. An ode to local hawker fare, the thick slices are the perfect balance between crispy crackling and melt-in-the-mouth meat. An ideal complement to this sinfulness is the burst of citrus in the Highball ($15), a refreshing whisky-based cocktail. Another must-try is the duck breast ($22), an interesting combination of roasted meat, red cabbage mousse, juniper berry cinnamon jus, fresh greens and Parmesan crumbs. What really stole the show for me, however, was the gochujang pasta ($16), a unique fusion dish made with spicy Korean pepper sauce for heat and peanut butter for creaminess.
Last but not least: If you’re keen on learning more about whiskies, this is the place to go. The Belljar offers whisky appreciation classes and pairing sessions, soon to be expanded to include other spirits like gin.