Singapore restaurant industry news 2022

As Singapore’s restaurant scene embarks on a slow and steady path to recovery, momentum has been building up with a slate of restaurant openings that you can add to your to-eat list this month.

Famed overseas chefs are starting to reappear here with the recent opening of casual Italian restaurant Fiamma in Capella Hotel by Italian-Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco of three-Michelin-starred Mirazur and three-Michelin-starred farm-to-table restaurant SingleThread commences its month-long residency at the Basque Kitchen by Aitor at The Fullerton Waterboat House today.

Here’re other restaurant news in our monthly column that you should save stomach space for.

New Restaurants & Concepts  

Peru’s fine-dining power couple Virgilio Martínez and Pía León to debut chef pop-up in Singapore

Pía León (left) and Virgilio Martínez (right). (Photo: The Mandala Club)

The dust of its second chef pop-up featuring Gaggan Anand, has barely settled, but private members club Mandala Club has announced its third pop-up of its Mandala Masters programme. Hailing from Peru are the culinary world’s power couple Virgilio Martínez and Pía León, who runs restaurants Central, Kjolle and MIL in Peru. Modern Peruvian restaurant Central is a regular fixture on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

For their debut appearance in Singapore, Martínez and Leon will present a Singapore-exclusive concept, MASL (Meters Above Sea Level), which aims to present the chefs’ signature interpretation of Peru’s vastly biodiverse landscapes and ecosystems that have ingredients grown in a diverse range of attitude,  to local diners. Instead of Mandala Club, this pop-up will be held at Italian fine-dining restaurant Art at National Gallery Singapore, from 5 August to 30 October. Prices start from $320++ for a 8-course lunch. Ticket sales to the general public start on 6 July here

Get to know Singapore produce better at Maison Shūko

Crocodile & Crackers (Photo: Maison Shuko)

The Zouk Group has opened Maison Shuko, a cosy dining concept carved up from its clubbing enclave in Clarke Quay. The 8-seater space serves modern Asian cuisine with French influences by a trio of Singapore chefs, Angus Chow, Jeremmy Chiam and Justin Foo. Dishes in the 8-course menu features crocodile meat from Long Kuang Hung Crocodile Farm tossed in a zesty larb-style dressing and deep-fried frog legs from Jurong Frog Farm with papaya sorbet. Besides the dishes, feast your eyes on a short film that shares about the provenance of the ingredients used. Many of them are from local farms such as Ah Hua Kelong and Hay Dairies Farm.

European cuisine with creative Asian twists at Sonder

Chef Joe Leong’s take on spring onion pesto risotto with chicken roulade and pickled cucumber crowned with a ginger tuile (Photo: Kenneth SZ Goh)

Tucked away in Henderson Industrial estate is a curious appearance of Sonder, a Euro-Asian restaurant by chef Joe Leong. He used to be the pastry chef at V-Zug Gourmet Academy, and has worked at V-Dining and Tippling Club. Stepping up from his pastry roots, Leong is helming his first full-fledged restaurant in a partnership with the founders of Stuttgart Blackforest Boutique S-Café, which is known for its German food and blackforest cake.

The 35-seat restaurant serves ‘Euro-Asian’ cuisine that reflects his Thai and Chinese heritage and his stints in modern European restaurants. Dishes in its two dinner tasting menus include the steamed Atlantic Cod with Red Curry Sorbet — a hot and cold play on Thai red curry; spring onion pesto risotto with chicken roulade and pickled cucumber crowned with a ginger tuile — his take on chicken rice, and of course, desserts such as lemon meringue tart and apple crumble encapsulated in its fruit format. From 2pm to 5pm, Sonder also sells breads and pastries such as rye sourdough and curry baguette. It will also serve lunch from lunch later this month. More information here

Event to watch

Announcement of Michelin Guide Singapore 2022 results 

The Michelin Guide Singapore Award ceremony in 2019. (Photo: Michelin Guide)

Every year, chefs in Singapore hold their bated breath for the announcement of the starred restaurant list by the Michelin Guide. This year, those who have made the list can get a chance to party in person at a gala dinner and in-person ceremony at Marina Bay Sands on 12 July.

As a teaser, the Guide has been releasing new additions to the Singapore list every month since April this year. From what has been announced, some restaurants have earned their spots in the Michelin Guide — though it remains to be seen which accolade they have won (Star, Bib Gourmand or Green stars). New additions include Burnt Ends (It relocated to Dempsey Road last year), Nae:um, Claudine, Hamamoto, Reve, Osteria BBR by Alain Ducasse and Sushi Masaaki have earned spots in this year’s edition of the guide. Watch this space for more updates. 

(Related: Hawker Chan continues chopping on — Michelin star or not)

Restaurant Revamps 

Nouri turns 5 with a new menu and refreshed space

The Raw & The Cooked (Photo: Shaun Liew)

Coinciding with chef Ivan Brehm’s decade-long stay in Singapore, one Michelin-starred Nouri will officially open its refreshed space on 6 July with a new Crossroads Cooking menu that also marks the restaurant’s fifth anniversary. For the new menu, Brehm has decided to dial back on the storytelling component by allowing diners to decide how much or little information they want to receive on the dishes. He believes that this would spark more conversation on the food at the dining table.

The inventive chef is also exploring patterns found in raw, cooked and fermented food as well as tracing historical moments in culinary tradition in the new 9-course dinner menu. New dishes include The Raw & The Cooked that consists of carabinero crudo, tamarillo, spiced prawn floss and finger lime cooked coral.

Go meat-free at Casserole 

Riding on the rise of alternative meat, Casserole, a restaurant at Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa, has switched to an entirely meat-free menu. A considerable part of its menu feature plant-based dishes from plant and cell-based meat brands such as Impossible Foods, Green Rebel Foods, OnlyEg, Tindle, KARANA and more. The Masala Dosa, a fermented rice pancake is topped with potato masala and shredded egg made from plant-based egg substitute by OnlyEg; the banana leaf dry braised rendang is made from Green Rebel Foods, and get grilled satay made from mushrooms and served with a vegan peanut sauce. More information here

Goodbye Yoshi, Hello Kiyose 

Long-time keiseki restaurant Yoshi has been rebranded to Kiyose in its same location in the basement level of Forum The Shopping Mall.  The restaurant, which is run by IKI Concepts, also has a new head chef Shimpei Taniguchi, who presents a new slate of dishes in the restaurant’s omakase menus. For its value-for-money lunch omakase set ($128++), expect dishes like seasonal sashimi, ebi tempura ankake and a claypot rice cooked with Japanese mountain vegetables. More information here

Chef Appointments 

Italian Chef Mirko Febbrile joins The Lo & Behold Group

After helming one Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Braci, its former executive chef Mirko Febbrile has joined homegrown restaurant company, The Lo & Behold Group as a chef-partner. We can only hope that this is a prelude to an Italian concept by the group, which recently relocated The Coconut Club to an all-day restaurant space in Beach Road. 

New chef-patron with Michelin star pedigree for Ocean Restaurant 

Olivier Bellin, chef patron of Ocean Restaurant. (Photo: Resorts World Sentosa)

Ocean Restaurant in Resorts World Sentosa starts a new chapter with a new chef-patron, Olivier Bellin, chef-owner of two Michelin-starred L’Auberge des Glazicks in Brittany, France. He has come up with a new menu for the restaurant, which has a focus on seafood and sustainability — a fitting combination given its location in the S.E.A Aquarium. The new menus feature responsibly sourced seafood, local produce and house-grown herbs.

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