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New dining concepts
Perhaps one of the more anticipated openings this year, Restaurant Euphoria is the new culinary playground of Jason Tan, ex-head chef of the Michelin-starred Corner House.
He will be staking out his territory in Tras Street with an elevated version of the 'Gastro-Botanica' cuisine he created at the Botanic Gardens restaurant. But this time, there won't be any owner to tell him what to do, as Euphoria is his own baby, financed by him and his Canada-based business partner Arissa Wang.
About S$1 million has gone into the fine dining restaurant which also represents a steep learning curve for the chef as he evolves into a restaurateur and entrepreneur. Euphoria will be the flagship restaurant of JTAW Design, his newly formed culinary design studio.
The biggest leap for him was learning about "budget and time management, where I have to be extremely disciplined", says Chef Tan. "In addition to overseeing the construction, I also had to focus on developing my new Gastro-botanica 2.0 cuisine."
What can diners expect?
First up will be his signature Cévennes onion dish, titled 'My favourite vegetable' and served "in a new artful presentation". And, of course, "botanical elements will take on an even more prominent role in the fundamental flavour creation that forms the backbone of my cuisine."
Slated to open at the end of this month or early November, the restaurant will launch with dinner first, and then lunch at the end of November.
- Restaurant Euphoria is at 76 Tras Street
Beppe De Vito's new Italian steakhouse takes over the former Aura premises in the National Gallery and promises a stylish, feminine flair like its name suggests, while serving up the likes of bistecca Fiorentina and a multitude of seafood appetisers, pastas and more.
"It's inspired by the summery Italian steakhouses in Tuscany where you start with a lot of seafood followed by a big piece of meat," says chef De Vito. "It'll be family style, but with a cool vibe. We start with seafood, and we're doing a lot of cured fish. Think king salmon that's cured and lightly smoked, fatty swordfish belly and striped jack in a drunken marinade, Italian style. We're planning to serve Caesar salad at the table, and later on even preparing classic cocktails tableside as well. It's fun, not stuffy, with a bit of showmanship."
As for the meats, "we'll have large cuts like the Fiorentina but from Australia," he adds. "But we also have American, Irish and Japanese cuts." There's of course, pasta in the form of Cacio & Pepe and cappelleti with lobster and an uni emulsion.
- For reservations, call 8787-0977
Yet another head chef of a Michelin-starred restaurant strikes out on his own. Manjunath Mural, who served up classic Indian food at The Song of India will open Adda next month, offering his own perspective of his heritage cuisine. His partners are the Genie Collective Group, which runs Beirut Grill, Kebabs Factory and nightclub, Magic Carpet.
"I've wanted to create my own concept for a long time," says Chef Mural of his decision to leave The Song of India. "My passion has always been to share the stories behind the rich and diverse regional Indian dishes and I'm always thinking how to achieve this in new and meaningful ways."
He found a common thread between himself and the Genie Collective, which had in mind a similar concept "to present Indian cuisine in a new, trendy and fun way."
Adda, he says, is Indian slang for "getting together in the 'hood' " - a place for people to gather and make merry. "We're starting with a curated menu of 25 dishes -- half classic and half modern Indian. One of the dishes is Cohcin Paratha Quesadillas, but instead of a tortilla, I use paratha as the wrap instead. Another is a butter chicken pie, where I present butter chicken in a pot pie."
The restaurant will be located next to Magic Carpet at the Diner's Club building in Beach Road, with 70 seats in a 2,000 sq ft space. Before it opens, he's already whetting diners' appetites with a range of mithai or Indian sweets which are available online.
"Of course, there's pressure when you start something after leaving a Michelin-starred restaurant," he says. "But as a chef, we should have the courage to step forward and push our own boundaries."
- To order the mithai, go to mithaiadda.com. For more details, go to thespiceadda.com.
A group of eco-conscious individuals who came together by chance to change the way we shop for farm produce. That's the core of Bootle's - a new online grocer/kitchen that aims to bring sustainable, ethically sourced produce at down to earth prices.
It's headed by UK native Ben Scott, who hails from a family of farmers, flour millers and bakers in Belfast and Liverpool, where his great grandfather started the family bakery in a town called Bootle.
Hence the name of the store, which stocks a variety of super fresh vegetables, fruit and meat. It's also the first to bring in chilled - not frozen - free range chicken parts from Australia which are plump, tender and tasty. Free range pork is also available and both are fed a non-GMO diet.
Vegetables and fruit are sourced from family farmers and owner-managed businesses. Everything is either chemical free and, if not, farmed responsibly with minimal use of pesticides. Bootle's works with farms in Cameron Highlands, South Africa and Australia, as well as its own indoor farm in Singapore which grows organic microgreens. You'll find everything from heirloom tomatoes to pumpkins at reasonable prices. When its store fully opens, there will be a full butchery, fishmonger, coffee barista section and Asian and Western kitchens preparing Asian and Western takeaway meals, led by executive chef Alysia Chan, previously of the Black Swan.
- 733 Havelock Road. Tel: 9875-2091. bootles.market
Chef Chan's Private Dine
Imagine having your own private chef cooking a special meal for you and your friends in the privacy of your very own black and white bungalow.
Well, sort of. The owners of Ki-sho and Buona Terra restaurants have quietly launched a pop-up private dining experience at Scotts27 - an elegant black and white colonial bungalow that's part of a unique cluster on Scotts Road.
It's so exclusive that only one table of up to five guests is served for lunch or dinner, and the sole chef at the helm will devise special menus for you to choose from beforehand. However, he's not Chef Chan but Chef Wong, who used to work under the acclaimed chef at the original restaurant in Odeon Tower. So you can expect some familiar favourites like the signature crispy roast chicken. Other dishes to tempt you include lobster ee fu noodles, double-boiled eel soup and savoury scallop and cured meat fried rice. Coupled with the thrill of living in a colonial bungalow - if only for a while.
- For reservations, call 6737-0895 or 9387-2691
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