So you’ve run the gamut of Singapore’s Michelin-starred, celebrity chef-led restaurants, and have been feeling figuratively starved of new top-tier options for a while now. The shuttering of Robuchon’s twin restaurants, rest his kind soul, and Andre Chiang’s abrupt departure from the Singapore scene further whittled down the list.
Fret not. Come 2019, the refurbished Raffles Hotel will take on about as much star power as the premises can hold as two of the world’s most famous and decorated chefs set up outposts here.
Alain Ducasse, whose eponymous restaurant in The Dorchester, London holds down three Michelin stars, announced in November last year his intent to perch a new concept in what’s considered the earliest nest of French gastronomy on the island. Today it was revealed that the French chef-restaurateur will be taking over the hotel’s venerated Bar & Billiard Room with an outdoor sharing and grill concept named, simply, BBR by Alain Ducasse. No prizes for figuring out the acronym.
Expect a culinary flight along the Mediterranean coast as Ducasse tackles Spanish, Portugese, Italian and French cuisines in a single location. As before, the BBR will offer Sunday brunch spreads.
In another corner of the ring: Anne-Sophie Pic, helmswoman of three-starred Maison Pic in France, and two-starred Restaurant Anne-Sophie Pic in Switzerland, and soon La Dame de Pic in Raffles Hotel.
Pic famously edged out heavyweights Elena Arzak and Nadia Santini to clinch the inaugural (and mildly controversial) World’s Best Female Chef award on the 2011 edition of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. She’s also the fourth female chef to pin down three stars (reclaiming the third for Maison Pic after it dipped for a time).
Details given on Pic’s La Dame were sketchy – but one can infer contemporary French cuisine (pigeon, dover sole, beetroot; the usual suspects) shaped by a keen emphasis on novel pairings (dashi and coffee, alongside Rhone reds? Sign us up). Pastels and natural textures such as wood and leather will define the purportedly chic space, which takes over the restaurant’s main dining room.
Also announced were the addition of Cantonese restaurant yi by chef Jereme Leung, a haven for meat lovers at The Butcher’s Block, and refurbs for Tiffin Room and Long Bar. Fans of the Raffles Afternoon Tea can continue to enjoy the experience in the refurbished Grand Lobby, though we’d be in two minds about lounging for hours in what could be a very open and accessible space. Those who were hoping (irrationally) that Shinji by Kanesaka would shore up its two oversubscribed operations with a reopening at Raffles (it moved to Carlton years ago) can officially retire the notion – there’s no mention of the Michelin-starred omakase restaurant.
The hotel itself is set for a Q1 2019 reopening.