Celebrity chefs add flavor to culinary refresh

SINGAPORE—With more than 130 years in operation, Raffles Singapore has always strived to remain up to date with its offerings. As part of a “careful and sensitive restoration,” scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of this year, the hotel is revising its culinary offerings by collaborating with a number of celebrity chefs.

“For more than 100 years, Raffles Singapore has been at the pinnacle of the city’s dining scene, elevating Singapore’s culinary landscape with its dynamic F&B lineups,” said Christian Westbeld, general manager of Raffles Singapore. “With the restoration, the curation of our diversified and bold dining concepts was a careful process, and each new restaurant concept has been carefully selected to enhance the famed ‘Raffles Experience’ for discerning travelers and the local community. This being a key consideration, our three celebrity chef collaborations are a series of culinary ‘firsts’ that Raffles Singapore will be introducing when our iconic hotel reopens.”

The hotel partnered with the celebrity chefs because of what they will bring to the concepts. “Continuing with our tradition and commitment to provide the highest level of service, we wanted to partner with chefs who have a reputation of delivering unique and exceptional culinary experiences around the world, and who could create new and distinct culinary experiences in Singapore,” he said. “We are delighted that celebrity chefs like Alain Ducasse, Anne-Sophie Pic and Jereme Leung have chosen to partner with Raffles Singapore to present these new dining concepts that befit one of the world’s landmark hotels, each of whom are culinary pioneers in their own right.” 

Ducasse is updating the hotel’s Bar & Billiard Room (BBR) to create BBR by Alain Ducasse. The location will be his first Mediterranean sharing and grill concept.

“Alain Ducasse’s dynamic and modern concept will transform our beloved Bar & Billiard Room, while ensuring that the establishment continues to be the social space of choice for travelers and the local community,” said Westbeld. “The 122-year-old restaurant, which started as a club during British colonial rule, will evolve with a vibrant ambiance and a lively bar scene that is fun, laid-back and perfect for social gatherings.”

Pic, a third-generation Michelin-starred chef, will be opening La Dame de Pic, her first restaurant in Asia. “Just like Raffles Singapore, Anne-Sophie Pic’s family culinary heritage spans over a century,” said Westbeld. “As the first and only female chef with three Michelin stars in France, Anne-Sophie is also a constant seeker of excellence. A dining experience at La Dame de Pic at Raffles Singapore will allow guests to discover her unique culinary identity, which reflects her search for aromatic complexity, combinations of flavors and powerful tastes that evoke emotions.”

Jereme Leung, a native of Singapore, is set to open a contemporary Chinese restaurant, yì by Jereme Leung, which will be located on the third level of the newly restored Raffles Arcade. “From Cantonese classics to adaptations of China’s ancient delicacies, Jereme will be using single-sourced and seasonal ingredients with a contemporary approach,” said Westbeld. “We are most excited that Jereme will also orchestrate our Chinese Banquet offerings.”

In addition to the celebrity chef-led venues, Raffles Singapore is adding and updating other concepts under the supervision of Executive Chef Pierre Burgade. Butcher’s Block will be a steakhouse with single-sourced meats, showcased in The Vault, a glass meat cooler next to the open kitchen where the chef’s butcher block is and where meats will be prepared.

Tiffin Room has been a part of the hotel’s history since 1892. “Tiffin Room will continue to celebrate the heritage and flavors of North India with our resident Indian chef, but in a restored interior setting that includes re-stained wooden floorboards, intricately patterned wood and mirror wall paneling and colorful Tiffin boxes on display,” said Westbeld.

Long Bar is home to the iconic Singapore Sling, which was first created there in 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boon, one of Raffles’ bartenders.

“[It] will continue to serve our iconic Singapore Sling, but in a refreshed and restored setting with plantation-inspired decor,” he said. “Our iconic Writers Bar will be expanded to a full bar with bespoke craft cocktails, wines and spirits, while continuing to pay tribute to the famous writers that have come through our hotel in its history. Additionally, the classic Raffles Afternoon Tea experience has found a new home in our iconic Grand Lobby,” he said. HB

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