In cased you missed it, KOKS, the Two Michelin-Star restaurant will be landing in Singapore for a four-week residency.
Held at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, the culinary experience will be led by KOKS’ Executive Chef Poul Andrias Ziska. If you haven’t booked a seat yet, we have bad news for you because the dinner slots for KOKS’ Singapore residency are sold out. However, there are still a handful of places available for lunch on selected days available (for now).
The exceptional reception for this dining experience was to be expected. After all KOKS, the ‘World’s Most Remote Restaurant’, is typically fully booked six months in advance. Since KOKS’ bold opening in 2011, the ultimate sense of adventure has led international diners on the long journey to its current home in Leynavatn in the Faroe Islands, located between Iceland and Norway. The breathtakingly rugged, stark, and wild North Atlantic landscape of these remote islands have birthed culinary traditions so unlike any other, that they lend an incomparable ethos to KOKS.
New Nordic Cuisine
Known for serving new Nordic cuisine inspired by the finest sustainably sourced Faroese produce, KOKS places a strong emphasis on traditional techniques such as fermentation. The restaurant can serve no more than twenty-six diners a night, and it only opens nine months, from March to November, in a year. The season is usually fully booked soon after the bookings are released early January every year.
This once-in-a-lifetime experience is now closer at hand for us here ins Singapore as core members of KOKS team will decamp from Leynavatn to set up a four-week residency in Grand Hyatt Singapore from 23 January to 18 February 2022.
Diners in Singapore can expect a fully representative KOKS dining experience as Executive Chef Poul Andrias Ziska will be flying to Singapore with six other core kitchen team and front of house ahead of the residency to prepare the set-up and execute every service over the duration of the residency.
Ahead of KOKS’ residency in Singapore, we speak to the Executive Chef to find out more about what diners can expect during this four-week culinary adventure.
How would you define New Nordic Cuisine?
It is difficult to define the meaning of New Nordic Cuisine but basically, there is a set of philosophy and principles that chefs or restaurants follow when it comes to the cuisine. Minimalism, for example, are usually tied to New Nordic Cuisine and especially in a Faroese restaurant.
At KOKS, we try to source and utilise what we can from around the island, finding the best produce and then bringing it to the dinner table. Though we are in the Nordic region, I like to think of KOKS as a Faroese restaurant instead.
To what do you attribute to its growing popularity?
We attribute the popularity to its difference in food and taste compared to other cuisines. At KOKS, we differ from other Nordic restaurants as we work closely with partners to serve high-quality products straight from sea to table, and our unique cooking methods like fermentation produces unique flavours, hence our popularity.
What can local diners expect from this residency here?
We will be bringing various of our signature ingredients like Horse Mussel, Langoustine and Codfish, and traditional Faroes ingredients to create an unforgettable culinary experience. We want to also showcase our daily lives on Faroes Island while incorporating culture and ingredients from Singapore, so we hope that diners can come with an open mind!
I want people, when dining in KOKS, to experience the Faroe Islands as much as possible but obviously this would be different in Singapore, but still we want people to experience the islands which is why we are bringing produce and ingredients from Faroe Islands. We hope people will remember this part when dining in the pop-up in Singapore and look forward to our take on the ingredients that we find in Singapore as well. Hopefully, they would want to visit the Faroe Islands after dining in the KOKS pop-up in Singapore.
As a chef what would you recommend diners try from the menu?
Our menu will be a 12-course menu, so allow us to take care of you. However, you can look forward to some of our star dishes like Langoustine roll, Horse mussel with Grilled Broccoli, and Cod Filet with Fermented Cabbage!
How many of your culinary team will be with you on this adventure?
It will be 7 people in total, including myself, the head sommelier, restaurant manager, and 2 sous chefs.
What’s the hardest part about orchestrating a dining experience like this practically halfway across the world?
Personally, it is the logistics arrangement. We have done a few pop-ups before, and we are very confident that we can pull this off without a hitch. But it is always nerve-racking to be transporting goods halfway across the world – are they going to arrive in pristine condition, the shape you want them to be, or are they going to arrive on time? It is all this uncertainty that is tough and nerve-racking.
Were there things you were not able to create due to logistics issues?
No. We know the concept of the dishes that we will be doing in Singapore, and we will ensure the availability of those Faroese ingredients for those dishes. In the case that we do not have those ingredients, we still have dishes made with local ingredients, and as professional chefs, we will brainstorm with the available ingredients – it will be fun.
(Images: Mr Claes Bech-Poulsen)