For many, the advent of the new year signals time for a soft reboot — chronological permission, if you will, to recuperate, refocus, and recharge for the novel possibilities presented by the passing of a calendar year.
It’s no wonder that many businesses, including those in the culinary world, use the holiday downtime as a springboard to launch bold and exciting concepts, each jostling for space in Singapore’s crowded foodie scene.
Read on to learn more about some of the brightest gastronomical stars on the horizon.
Roia: Modern French flair with a focus on storytelling
E.J.H Corner House, a colonial-era black and white bungalow that used to house one-Michelin-starred Corner House before its closure earlier last June, is now home to Roia — a modern French fine dining concept inspired by the river Roya, which runs through both France and Italy.
The 30-seat restaurant is headed by Kolkata-born chef Priyam Chaterjee, a rising star in the culinary world and the youngest and first chef of Indian heritage to receive the French knighthood, Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole.
While the menu boasts influences from across the globe, the execution is anchored on French techniques that chef Chaterjee has honed during his culinary experiences in Europe — along with inflexions of botanicals and herbs found right on the grounds of the UNESCO-recognised Botanic Gardens.
1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens. roia.sg.
Sospiri: Italian conviviality drawing inspiration from Beppe De Vito’s favourite Pugliese dessert
Opening soon under the auspices of Italian chef-restaurateur Beppe De Vito’s ilLido Group (behind such concepts as Amo and one-Michelin-starred Braci) is a chic restaurant-bar concept perched on the seventh floor of IOI Central Boulevard Towers in the Central Business District.
Its name, Sospiri, literally translates to sighs in Italian, though it’s usually used in reference to pillowy soft glazed sponge cakes stuffed with pastry cream — a childhood favourite of the Puglia-born chef, who is said to have spent many afternoons cooking the indulgent southern Italian dessert as a young boy.
That’s not to say that only Italian influences from that region will be present at Sospiri, as the restaurant-bar is designed “as a social destination where the best culinary influences from all parts of Italy come together”. Expect convivial plates, pasta, and antipasto to be shared over hearty conversation in the heart of the city.
#07-02/03, IOI Central Boulevard Towers, 2 Central Boulevard
Baia: Bespoke cocktails and rare spirits with a view at Baia
Another new concept to be opened by the ilLido Group is Baia, a bar and wedding venue on the Esplanade Mall’s greenery-filled roof terrace. It’s a bucolic escape from the bustle of the surrounding city area, with excellent panoramic views of Marina Bay to boot — a fitting place for a lifestyle destination, meaning bay in Italian, that also happens to be the name for a resort city beloved by the ancient Roman aristocracy.
The concept seats almost 300 people, split between an indoor and outdoor space, providing a comprehensive bar programme focusing on cocktails and rare spirits.
The wine list is said to be equally weighty, with a selection of vino from both the old world and the new, along with bottles sourced from wineries that practise organic and biodynamic farming.
#04-01, Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Avenue.
Moss Cross Tokyo Singapore
The Japanese-run Cross Group, which operates five restaurants in Tokyo, Fukuoka, Okinawa, and more, will unveil its first overseas outlet on January 17 right here in Singapore’s Capri by Fraser, China Square hotel.
Moss Cross Tokyo Singapore — which will be helmed by executive chef Akihiro Masuyama, the man overseeing all other Cross Group properties — is an omakase joint centred around wakon-yosai, meaning “Japanese spirit, Western cuisine”.
Expect a suitably eclectic culinary journey that straddles the line between Japanese and Western ingredients and techniques, presented as meticulously crafted small bites in their signature Shokado-9 omakase menu.
181 South Bridge Road, Level 2, Capri by Fraser China Square. moss-singapore.com