After the much-awaited National Gallery Singapore was finally open to the public last week, you might be wondering – modern art aside, what’s there to eat? Listed below are six restaurants plus a café housed within the former City Hall and Supreme Court, which will be feeding the stream of hungry museum-goers. And if you’re planning a visit, don’t forget your brolly! Even the recent thunderstorms are keen to check out Singapore’s latest iconic destination.
City Hall Wing
Most of us instinctively think of Violet Oon when it comes to Peranakan cuisine, so it makes absolute sense that she opens a restaurant in this iconic museum. National Kitchen by Violet Oon celebrates Singapore’s fine flavours through dishes like Chicken Lemak ($17), Cod in Creamy Laksa Sauce ($34), ($15) and Hakka Abacus Beads ($16), available for both lunch and dinner. For desserts, sink into traditional nyonya laced pancake Roti Jala with Gula Melaka and Banana Sauce ($10), Pulut Hitam with Coconut Ice Cream and a Pineapple Upside Down Cake ($12) topped with butterscotch sauce. Light bites for dining at the Veranda, as well as a "Lunch on the go" menu, where each dish is accompanied with a house drink, are also offered. National Kitchen by Violet Oon, #02-01 (Image: Violet Oon’s Official Website)
If nothing makes you happier than hearty double boiled soups, roasts and dim sum, then fine dining Cantonese restaurant YÀN is the place for you. The kitchen is helmed by Master Chef Chan Kung Lai, who was born and raised in Hong Kong. Of the whopping 15 signature dishes on the menu, some must-tries include the Signature Crispy Roast Suckling Pig served in three ways, Fried Live Prawns with Crispy Noodle Ball and Hong Kong’s famous Typhoon Shelter Crab. The latter stars a black bean sauce soaked overnight with minced garlic, giving the dish a punch more of flavour. YÀN, #05-02 (Image: YÀN)
Stylish rooftop cocktail bar Smoke & Mirrors brings the drinking experience to a whole new level with theatrical elements and modern techniques in the mix. The signature cocktail menu comprises 15 intriguing signature cocktails from three sections: Provenance, Collection and Classics. Just like art exhibitions, the Collection section refreshes seasonally and its cocktails are inspired directly by art on display at the gallery. Accompany your tipples with comforting bar bites like Homemade Crispy Roast Pork Belly or Crab Claws with a spicy chilli dip (pictured). Smoke & Mirrors, #06-01 (Image: Smoke & Mirrors)
For Italian cuisine lovers, add Beppe De Vito’s third restaurant, Aura, to your list. The modern multi-concept dining establishment houses a 90-seater Italian restaurant that offers refined versions of classic Italian dishes using the finest and freshest seasonal produce. Highlights include Scallops Crudo with Truffle and Smoked Quail Eggs ($23, pictured) and Tagliolini with Scampi and Avruga Caviar ($38), with over 500 wine labels to swoon over. The rooftop level above is where you’ll find Aura Sky Lounge, where you can choose to sit at the Salad Bar for a Mediterranean lunch buffet for $18++, have a decadent European hi-tea set at the Tea Lounge on weekday afternoons or hit up the Lounge Bar come sunset for a tipple or two. Aura, #05-03 (Image: Aura) For coffee and retail therapy, there's also Gallery & Co. on the first floor.
Supreme Court Wing
Odette, a collaboration between Chef-Owner Julien Royer – previously from JAAN – and The Lo & Behold Group, is quite possibly one of the most anticipated restaurants of the year and is named in tribute to Royer’s grandmother. What you can expect on the plates here is modern French food that revolves around seasonal and artisanal produce. Some highlights include his North Highlands Beef Tartare and flame-grilled à la minute Hokkaido Saba from the four and six-course lunch menu. For dinner, the six and eight-course menus feature dishes like Challans Guinea Fowl (pictured) served two ways with a celeriac risotto and Choconuts Gallery, a variation on the classic shortbread style cookie from Normandy. Note: Vegetarian options will be available as well. The restaurant is closed on Sundays. Odette, #01-04 (Image: Odette)
Previously located at Duxton Hill, SAHA Signature Indian Restaurant & Bar is slated to open in the second week of December with modern Indian cuisine starring rather eclectic flavours in tow. Watch this space for more updates! SAHA Signature Indian Restaurant & Bar, #01-02/03 (Image: SAHA Signature Indian Restaurant & Bar Facebook Page) See also: Best Restaurants in City Hall Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Singapore
Written by Peh Yi Wen Top Image: National Gallery Singapore Facebook Page