The buzz from the Singapore dining scene is bursting at the seams with a slew of openings, menu revamps, launches of new concepts and chef collaborations. Month by month, we keep tabs on what you should save stomach space for in 2022. Bookmark this page for regular updates throughout the year!
1. Chez Kai
After running his home-based private dining and catering service, homegrown chef Yeo Kai Siang has opened his bricks-and-mortar restaurant, Chez Kai. The cozy restaurant, which is located in the refurbished Coliwoo Hotel Gay World in Geylang Road, serves ‘Franco-Chinese’ cuisine that reflects Yeo’s culinary training in Le Cordon Bleu Paris and his work experiences in Michelin-starred establishments in France and the UK, as well as working in Chinese restaurants in Paris.
Instead of the typical four seasons, the nine course-degustation menu is themed on the solstice seasons in the Chinese calendar, with dishes bearing influences from Chinese and French cuisines. Highlights include the chef’s play on ‘Surf and Turf’ that features a Cantonese-style fish broth reduction made from smoked fish bones, and accompanied by a roasted roulade of deboned French milk lamb shoulder; and his take on egg pasta – with fish stock, scallops and XO sauce.
2. LouLou French Cuisine & Wine Bar
Taking over the space vacated by famed roasted meat eatery Foong Kee Coffee Shop in Keong Saik Road is this restaurant/bar that serves French and Mediterranean cuisines. Hoping to immerse diners in the convivial spirit of dining along the French Riviera, LouLou serves dishes such as French Bouillabaisse, Stuffed Calamari “A La Provençale”, Pastis Flambéed Prawns, Seabream “Portefeuille” & Bisque sauce, Monkfish Tail and Chorizo Casserole.
After a year-long massive overhaul, Indian fine-dining restaurant Yantra will open on August 2. Instead of its previous Northern Indian focus, the long-time Tanglin Mall restaurant zooms out to a pan-Indian angle, by showcasing heritage dishes and street food from the vastly diverse food landscape across India. The menu is crafted by Delhi-based food consultant and historian, Pritha Sen, who has also traversed across the country to collect and research on heritage recipes, from royal households to tribal villages. Sen hopes to correct the misrepresentation of Indian cuisine, which is often seen as greasy and heavy.
Highlights include Nizam’s Kathi Kebabs, which has grilled mutton skewers topped on a paratha; Kong Shop Khorika Chicken, or binchotan-grilled black sesame chicken and a light but flavourful Punjabi-style Mah Ki Dal, black lentil dahl with a side of white butter for added creaminess. The Old Delhi-style butter chicken is less rich and creamy than those commonly found here, but the tandoori chicken still packs a tangy punch from being doused in fenugreek tomato gravy.
Chef Dylan Ong, who runs Franco-Asian restaurant The Masses and founder of casual French restaurant, Saveur, is the new chef-owner of modern Japanese restaurant and bar iKO in Neil Road. Having done consulting work for the eatery since January this year, Ong has taken a step up to take over the reins of the restaurant, which will relaunch in early August. Expect dishes that meld Japanese and European produce and cooking techniques, served alongside sake.
Besides the chef pop-up by Virgilio Martínez and Pía León of Central in Peru, which was recently named No. 2 of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants (from 5 August to 30 October), Jaan is hosting its last chef collaboration before it closes temporarily for a two-month renovation from 14 August.
Chef Kirk Westaway will join forces with fellow British chef Adam Handling of one-Michelin-starred Frog in London for a four-hands dinner on 9 and 10 August. Handling’s signature dish is a bread served with chicken skin butter and liver pâté, which has a backstory linked to his sister, who would only eat roast chicken for Sunday lunch.
On August 17 & 18, farm-to-table Kappo restaurant Oumi, which is part of the 1-Arden Food Forest by the 1-Group, will host a six-hands dinner featuring guest chef Michael Ryan of 2-hat awarded Provenance in Beechworth, Victoria, Australia. Ryan is known for his contemporary Australian approach to Japanese cuisine, which are inspired by his more than 30 visits to the Japan and the culinary tours he conducted in Tokyo, which were amalgamated into the ‘Only in Tokyo’ chef’s guidebook.
Chef Arun Mathur of India-based luxury hotel company The Oberoi Group will hold a five-day guest chef event at Melt Cafe in Mandarin Oriental Singapore from 17 August. The buffet restaurant, which is known for its Indian food station, will feature Mathur’s Indian specialties.
On the flipside, two Singapore chefs are jetting to Bangkok for a long-awaited eight-hands dinner with their Thai chef-buddies on 9 to 10 August. Chef Han Liguang of Labyrinth and Chef Jason Tan of Restaurant Euphoria are reuniting with Le Du’s Chef Tonn and Kyo Bar’s pastry chef Dej Kewkacha for the collaboration at contemporary Thai restaurant Le Du.
Two-Michelin-starred French fine-dining restaurant Saint Pierre is upping its wine game by appointing veteran wine educator Tan Ying Hsien as its wine consultant and advisor. Tan is one of the 3 people in Singapore to be certified as a Master of Wine, the most prestigious wine qualification in the world. He is the first Singaporean to pass the notoriously difficult wine exam.
The wine speaker, judge and writer, who also runs Taberna Wine Academy, will help curate the restaurant’s list of over 2,300 bottles that mostly belong to the realm of classic French wines, and provide training for the restaurant sommelier and staff through blind tastings and thematic tutorials. Tan is working with chef-owner Emmanuel Stroobant on how the wines can best pair with Saint Pierre’s modern French cuisine with an Asian accent.