Sydney-based Chef Clayton Wells of Automata (located at The Old Clare Hotel) has been in town for the last two months preparing for the launch of Blackwattle (a brand new venture with the Unlisted Collection group). With the launch of this new restaurant at Amoy Street, Wells will be dividing his time between Sydney and Singapore. He plans to be in Singapore at least one week of each month.
What can first-timers at Blackwattle expect when they dine at the restaurant? Will the concept be similar to Automata in Sydney?
It will be similar in style and atmosphere to Automata, but taking advantage of local ingredients and flavours. Expect simple but delicious dishes that focus on quality produce in a fun environment.
There has been an increasing number of Australian chefs setting up shop in Singapore. How do you feel about coming to Singapore?
We are excited to join the thriving food scene here in Singapore. We are looking forward to bringing our own distinct style to Amoy Street.
What do you think of the dining landscape here and how do you think you can contribute to the scene here?
We love how culturally diverse the food scene is here, that’s what drew us here in the first place. We hope to bring a fun and energetic approach to fine dining. Our menu will constantly evolve, allowing people to dine with us often and try new things.
How will Blackwattle set itself apart from other restaurants in Singapore?
Our style of dining is quite unique. The food is simple, yet considered, the service professional but fun.
Could you share some of the unique ingredients that you are using at your restaurant here?
We’ll be making our own types of miso and vegetable ferments. We are also looking to work with some interesting Chinese herbs and spices, something we have not been able to use in the past. We are playing with things such as Chinese sand ginger, dang gui, dang seng and black cardamom. We have made a jackfruit miso we are excited to use as well.
Could you describe the restaurant’s interior/setting?
I worked hand in hand with the designer Akira Kita to bring alive my vision of ‘elevated comfort dining’. Blackwattle’s design is influenced by a raw industrial aesthetic, while respecting the buildings original interiors. Highlights include an eye-catching aircraft chandelier from The Rag & Bone Man in London and soft bottle-green leather banquettes. The furniture pieces (fixed and loose) are unique custom designs, which were developed for Blackwattle. Their common denominator, as it is for the rest of the interior design, is the avoidance of clutter and ornaments. Kita employed the use of unpretentious natural local materials that are not masked, and express their raw structural purpose.
Do you have a favourite local dish so far?
One of my favourite dishes is the pepper crab at J.B. Ah Meng Restaurant, which I go to quite often.
Blackwattle, 97 Amoy St, Singapore 069917. Tel: 6224 2232