The roads begin twisting and the architecture shrinks as my taxi snakes through the weathered shophouses of Singapore’s Chinatown. The historic neighborhood was almost demolished last decade to make way for more of the skyscrapers that sparkle in the distance on all sides. But these colorful remnants of a colonial past survived, and now they contain the city’s trendiest independent restaurants and designer boutiques, standing shoulder to shoulder with outdoor food courts that scent the air with curry and charred banana leaves. The taxi pulls up to Restaurant André, 41 Bukit Pasoh Road, a heritage house whose pristine white walls, blue door, and ancient olive tree set it apart from its neighbors. Continue reading →
The hostess is leading my party through the bar toward the dining room to our table, but I get sidetracked—mesmerized—by the wood-burning grill. It’s practically a bonfire, flames raging up through the iron grates, the aroma of wood smoke already beginning to infiltrate my cotton sweater. A cook in a white jacket calmly pokes at the logs, egging the flames even higher. He repositions a half-dozen skewers so that they’re just close enough to the blaze that they get nicely charred, but not so close that they go up in smoke.
The bar quickly fills with the musky scent and occasional high-pitched sizzle of lamb fat dripping onto the coals. The cook adds something else to the grill—little packages wrapped in banana leaves, and within an instant the air is infused with the exotic, tropical scent of scorched chlorophyll. Continue reading →
I was just in Singapore (yet again) working on an article for Robb Report, and I enjoyed a very, very tasty meal at My Humble House. My article in Robb will be published this summer. But for now, here’s a quick slide show of what went down so deliciously at lunch.
Restaurant André A colonial-era townhouse at the edge of Chinatown has been fashioned into a hushed, 30-seat temple of freestyle modern cuisine where chef André Chiang, who trained for 14 years under the best in France (Gagnaire, Robuchon, Troisgros, the Pourcel brothers), is now performing better than his famous mentors. The sublime set menu is filled with all sorts of luxuries: Ibérico ham, white truffles, black truffles, foie gras, Wagyu beef… 41 Bukit Pasoh Rd., +65.6534.8880 Continue reading →
No matter how well you think you know Singapore, unless you’ve traveled there recently you won’t recognize it. No longer just a stopover on the way to somewhere else, this tiny island nation (247 square miles; 5 million residents) in the South China Sea has emerged as one of Asia’s most vibrant destinations. And it’s not just the skyline that’s evolved. The very heartbeat of the city has changed—her pulse is racing. Literally. Two years ago, Formula 1 Grand Prix launched the circuit’s only night race on the downtown streets.
The city/state’s new attitude is perhaps best captured by Marina Bay Sands (10 Bayfront Ave., +65.6688.8888), a 57-story skyscraper whose massive triple towers share a single, spectacular rooftop Sky Park… Continue reading →
Here’s a quick note about a fantastic restaurant in Singapore serving modern Peranakan cuisine. Candlenut Kitchen is housed in an old Chinatown shop-house that’s been totally renovated and brought back to life with a very minimal and casual in design. The food is incredible. Continue reading →