Industry heavyweights share some of their favourite food trends of 2015 and give insight on what to expect for 2016.
LOH LIK PENG
Director of Unlisted Collection
Restaurants Under Group: Bincho, Burnt Ends, Cocotte, Ember, Esquina, Jing Seafood Restaurant, Long Play, Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant, Majestic Restaurant, Meatsmith, Pollen, Sorrel, The Market Grill, The Provision Shop, The Study and 5th Quarter.
The restaurateur and hotelier thinks the tapas trend is “like burgers, if done well it will always have a place”, likewise for the fast-growing trend of using sustainable ingredients. While he enjoyed most of the food trends in 2015, there were one too many churros and wanton noodles, and hopes to see the trend of gourmet burgers slow down.
WEE TENG WEN
Co-founder of The Lo & Behold Group
Restaurants Under Group: Extra Virgin Pizza, Loof, Odette, Overeasy, Tanjong Beach Club, The Black Swan and The White Rabbit.
Wee believes that consumers are more concerned with a holistic experience when dining out, predicting that industry collaborations are going to grow in popularity such as Singapore Cocktail Week. He also observes the shifting away of “being food-focused, to shining a spotlight on the people behind the food as well as the experience”. Other trends include “the rise of chicken as a celebrated modern casual dining staple” and a wave of diners looking for dishes simple, unpretentious and unadulterated.
BEPPE DE VITTO
Restaurateur of ilLido Group
Restaurants Under Group: Aura, ilLido At The Cliff, Osteria Art and &SONS Bacaro
The all-Italian restaurateur believes that 2016 will be a year that “everyday and simple foods like pizzas will be taken to a whole new level, and given a new spin through the emphasis of the ingredients and the origins”. Expanding the variety of ilLido’s concepts are part of his plans, such as introducing “trendy bars focused on restaurant-quality food”. As for the trends, healthy superfoods and vegetables will be in, while molecular gastronomy will slowly make an exit.
Founder & CEO of Spa Esprit Group
Restaurants Under Group: Bochinche, Common Man Coffee Roasters, Ding Ding, Forty Hands, House, Kiasu Espresso, Open Door Policy, Open Farm Community, Skinny Pizza, Tiong Bahru Bakery and Tippling Club.
Creativity gone into new eatery concepts is what Chua appreciates and believes will pop up this year. Restaurants such as Grain Traders and Maggie Joans are a few of these new wave of restaurants that she describes as a “small cozy set-up rather than big-format restaurants”. She adds that besides being original and intimate, “casual and fun dining is still what people want these days”.
Chef-owner of Odette
Unconcerned by the cafe trend, Odette’s chef believes that “honest and genuine food” is what works best as “whether it is $5 or $500, diners look for dining experiences that offer good value”. He believes that fine dining will be in again this year, together with vegetarian food and quality produce, whereas cocktail pairings, small-bite concepts and over complicated menus will make their exit.
Head chef of Bacchanalia
Brehm cites the arrival of the Michelin Guide in Singapore and the relocation of Asia’s 50 Best as the most significant events in 2015, and hopes these will bring “greater objectivity and understanding of quality, outside of marketing budgets”. He believes that food will become more “casual chic” in 2016, and greater emphasis will be placed on artisan craft such as brewing, ageing and fermentation.
Adapted from The Business Times, for the full story head to http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/lifestyle/food-drink/review-outlook-2015/culinary-milestones