CASA Restaurant by Remy Lefebvre

(opening June 21)

Remy Lefebvre has come full circle in his career in Singapore, starting out as an employee and now as a business partner of Plan B Ventures, the F&B group that first brought him to Singapore in 2014 to helm its Mexican restaurant El Mero Mero. In the last few years, he was better known as the chef of Butcher’s Block in Raffles Hotel until last month. He’s now the face and hands behind CASA — where he serves his culinary autobiography on a plate.

“The concept is shaped by my early life experiences growing up in Africa and France and celebrating the seasons through produce; working in Spain, and living in places with pristine natural environments,” he says. His eco-friendly approach means using line-caught, responsibly sourced, traditionally farmed and bio-dynamic ingredients, and “showcasing ‘real cooking’ with woodfire in the traditional way”.

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It’s taken him more than 10 years to take the plunge with his own venture again. “The closure of my first own restaurant in Barcelona in December 2009 shook me up, and it has taken me many years to re-establish my confidence, to take the step to ‘put my name on the door’ again.” Knowing his strengths and weaknesses, having an established group as a backer gives him the security he needs. As chef/partner of CASA, he receives a share of the profits.

He was fortunate in that renovations were already underway before the Heightened Alert (HA) was imposed. “We were able to maintain the project timeline – we were planning to open in the first week of June, so now we’ll open as soon as dining in is allowed again.”

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CASA joins Plan B’s stable of restaurants in CHIJMES, and serves four- to eight-course lunch and dinner menus priced from S$118 to S$258. Seafood takes precedence over meat, with only one land animal served each day, and there will be weekend champagne brunch at S$198.

Setting up CASA has special meaning for the chef who has settled in Singapore with his wife and kids. In the same way that the restaurant is designed to evoke a sense of familiarity and comfort, “launching CASA for me means to finally be home – both literally and metaphorically”, he says.

#01-20 CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street, Tel: 9722-8171. casarestaurant.sg

This article was originally published in The Business Times.

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