Singapore | Classy Asian Dining Concepts for the Crazy Rich Asian in You
Luxury restaurants aren’t just for Crazy Rich Asians – we have curated a list of our favorite classy Asian dining concepts for our THM readers.
We caught the movie ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ recently – needless to say we were utterly captivated and floored by the glam. For those of you who relate, and are dreaming of experiencing a day in the lives of the extravagant Young family, here are five restaurants that serve Asian food worthy of their expensive taste.
If you’re venturing into the history-rich city area of Singapore for a touristic experience reminiscent of the country’s colonial past, cap off the heritage trail with a visit to the National Kitchen by Violet Oon, located at Singapore’s National Gallery. Unveiled in 2015, the elegant restaurant is situated on the second level of what used to be known as Singapore City Hall, now revamped to form part of Singapore’s National Gallery. Treat your eyes to an expansive view of the city skyline embellished by the likes of Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade, and the Singapore Flyer, as you feast on national favorites.
Quench your thirst with National Kitchen’s drinks; for a refreshing non-alcoholic fix, try their house sodas, all of which are infused with Asian flavors such as ginger, lemongrass, gula melaka, and lime. We strongly recommend the Singapore Island Iced Tea for a refreshing and aesthetically pleasing twist to the typical iced tea. Start off your meal with small bites to share across the table. Try the Satay, the Tau Hui Goreng, and the Kuay Pie Tee, to get the ball rolling. The peanut sauce that accompanied the Satay is rich and flavorful. The chicken was grilled to perfection, being neither dry nor overly chewy. Word of warning: Do NOT leave the National Kitchen without trying their Beef Rendang! Expect world-class service and elevated local fare from the hospitable, light-hearted servers at National Kitchen.
For millennia, the title of “Empress” has symbolized beauty and grace, and drawn gasps of reverence and awe. Empress at the Asian Civilisations Museum wholeheartedly embodies such sophistication and even brings a delicious new meaning to the age-old title. Situated along the iconic Singapore River, minutes away from island city’s central business district, this award-winning Asian restaurant is known for Chinese cuisine with a contemporary flair that elevates authentic flavors.
Empress serves up Chinese cuisine that is grounded by tradition and elevated by experience. Start your meal with the Triple Roast Platter, a selection of delicious char siew (sweet barbecued pork), crackling roast pork and sweet and sour ribs. Indulge in the deliciously rich Teapot Soup– thick chicken broth infused with pumpkin presented in an oriental teapot, with seafood dumplings and crispy spring rolls on the side to complement. For those who prefer a lighter taste, opt for the Double-boiled Superior Soup in Young Coconut, which marries the sweetness of the coconut with the savory prawn for a delicious harmony. With unpretentious traditional flavors juxtaposed against a majestic contemporary setting, Empress is the place to go for a hedonistic dining experience unlike any other.
Recently launched Rizu, a Japanese concept dining experience, is the new kid on the block in upbeat Duxton Hill. The name Rizu is an interesting blend of the words ‘Ri’, representative of a prized gemstone Lapis Lazuli which signifies good luck, and ‘Zu’ which translates to joy and the use of precious gems. Put together, Rizu reflects a state of mind – treating food like a treasured jewel and delivering only the best of experiences to its guests.
Owner and native Japanese Hisamizu Takahashi believe in letting the food speak for itself – the restaurant imports seafood weekly to ensure freshness, and prepares them with meticulousness. The Ikedukuri – intricately plated live fish sashimi consisting of lobster, abalone and geoduck – is a must-order for sashimi aficionados. Signature rolls Crunchy Spicy Tuna Roll and Eel & Foie Gras Roll are also not to be missed. Complement your sushi and sashimi with one of 100 sake choices available – you can even select your own sake cup (they’re all specially sourced from all around Japan!) to fit your mood and taste.
With its menu of neo-Singaporean cuisine, Labyrinth uses food to breathe life into the Singapore story, defining Singaporean cuisine on its own terms while pushing the boundaries of culinary innovation. Located in the Esplanade Mall, right in the bustling heart of the Lion City, Labyrinth fuses heritage with modernity. Red and white accents are peppered throughout the restaurant, while orchids bloom from sleek glass vases. This is Labyrinth at its essence- sophisticated while unapologetically Singaporean.
Labyrinth takes guests on a gastronomical adventure through sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami, pushing the limits and challenging perceptions. Helmed by Chef-Owner LG Han, the menu at the one Michelin-starred restaurant is familiar yet inventive– iconic Singaporean dishes are expressed in a new light with different techniques, imaginative presentations and refined yet authentic flavors. Enjoy flavourful Chicken Rice in a dumpling prepared with house-made rice flour using traditional techniques, or a seafood rendition of Bak Chor Mee (minced meat noodles) featuring unique squid meat “noodles” and minced meat made from anchovies and onion powder. Indulge in a rich and creamy Har Cheong Porridge with a deep-fried Tiger Prawn– the epitome of umami. With its artful take on Singaporean favorites, Labyrinth aims to draw a connection between traditional and modern, culminating in a holistic dining experience that celebrates flavors enhanced by emotion.
Xin Divine re-introduces Chinese cuisine in an innovative yet authentic way that intrigues and impresses the discerning palette. Nestled in Duxton Hill, Singapore, in a cozy two-story shop house, Xin Divine differentiates itself with familiar Chinese dishes re-invented using European culinary methods that will surely win your heart and belly. The restaurant’s cozy ambiance brings in natural sunlight in the day with pastel hues and modern decor that will be perfect for any occasion.
Food at Xin Divine tastes as divine as it looks. Top picks include the Xin Divine Szechuan Style Tortellini which many recognize as a spicy dish with a twist. With minced kurobuta pork and chives in handmade wanton skin to resemble the Italian pasta, it is then drenched in a generous broth of Szechuan chilli, ginger and Zhejiang vinegar that packs in enough flavor with the right amount of spiciness to enjoy this delightful dish. There is also the Chinese Wine (Nu Er Hong) Shark Bone Soup that deserves a thumbs up from us. As soups are an essential part of the Cantonese cuisine, this dish is lovingly brewed for six to eight hours with shark bone soup, Chinese cabbage, and baby abalone. An unpretentious, modern yet still traditional restaurant, Xin Divine will win the hearts of fans who enjoy Chinese cuisine and many more who loves a great meal.
Photography courtesy of respective outlets
Cover photo credited to Cegoh from Pixabay
Written by Sarah Gan and Tammiann How