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Posts tagged ‘Loh Lik Peng’

Best Boutique Hotels in Singapore


Rooftop bar and pool at Naumi



[UPDATE: South Beach is now a JW Marriott hotel and Hotel Vagabond is now a Starwood Tribute Hotel]


Naumi’s draw is its hideaway feel. The hotel sports a very intimate yet ultra-luxe feel, with soft lighting, designer furnishings, high thread count sheets, and Apple TV. While the standard rooms are compact they are cleverly designed so don’t feel cramped.

Or splash out for a suite which come in two designs one inspired to Coco Chanel in tasteful monochrome, the other a homage to Andy Warhol with a more in your face pop art theme.


Chanel inspired room at Naumi

The rooftop swimming pool, complete with cabana recliners and cocoon couches, is a hidden gem accessible only to guests. The pool is tiny so you don’t really get a workout doing laps, but that’s not really the point.

41 Seah Street, Singapore, tel +65 6403 6000


The Salon at Hotel Vagabond

Hotel Vagabond
The newest kid on Singapore’s boutique block designed by Jacques Garcia of Hotel Costes, Paris fame. As such it’s a little bit of Paris in Singapore, or more specifically in Little India slash Kampong Glam.

Centre stage is the alluring ground floor public space, all dark lighting and red velvet drapes, comprising a bar segueing into a Salon and restaurant. At 5th Quarter restaurant, chef Drew Nocente, focuses on smoking, curing and pickling on his clever menu. [UPDATE: Drew has now left and opened his own restaurant in Singapore, Salted and Hung.]

Art is predominant here from the rhino check in desk and the elephant seemingly crashing through the lobby wall to the video installations in the loos and the lift.


Hotel Vagabond, Singapore

The 41 rooms are similarly maximalist but on the right side of taste: every space of wall crammed with pictures and richly hand painted screens.

39 Syed Alwi Road; +65 6291 6677

The Club, Singapore

The Club

The Club
This handsome colonial building with white façade accented by bright red shutters is found on the corner of bar and restaurant mecca, Club Street.

Fresh from a refurb, the design mixes period features with on trend Mad Men-esque retro furnishings. Think jewel coloured velvets, 60s style chairs, and dark grey and navy painted panels – reminiscent of British stately homes like Downton Abbey.

The Club bed room.jpg

The hotel’s hub is Mr and Mrs Maxwell, a loungey restaurant space that serves as an old day diner and local hang out spot.

Up on the roof is Tiger’s Milk, the Lion City’s first Peruvian bar. Come for the Piscos, the cerviche and the skewers.

28 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069708 Tel: +65 6808 2188

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Lobby at Wanderlust


What happens when you bring together four homegrown creative firms and give them free reign to put together a hotel?

Each design team was given an entire floor of this former 1920s schoolhouse to transform. The result is succinctly captured in 29 unique rooms collectively known as Wanderlust.

The lobby is a wacky combination of vintage ads, shades of cement gray, wildly colored furnishings and exposed beams and air ducts for that intentionally unintentional look.

Whimsical Loft_Typewriter.jpg

Leaving the funkiest for last, the top Creature Comforts floor features Whimsical, split level loft rooms feature designs from monsters to typewriters (above) and spaceships.

The hotel’s Cocotte restaurant is also well regarded for rustic French food.

Wanderlust Hotel; 2 Dickson Road; +65 6396 3322

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The New Majestic

[UPDATE: The New Majestic has now closed.]
With the same owner as Wanderlust, New Majestic shares plenty of the nonconformist design attitude of its sister property – this time in Chinatown.

Housed in a conservation shop house, the interiors are impeccably put together with clean lines, stark white walls and floors, and a mix of vintage and designer furniture scattered throughout.

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Aqua room at the New Majestic

Each of the 30 rooms, some with private gardens or verandahs, are custom-designed to give an individual personality. These range from oversized murals and seemingly suspended mattresses to glass-enclosed bathtub as a centerpiece. The Attic suites feature loft space beds and twin cast iron bathtubs.

There’s a slip of a lap pool in the atrium. But be warned – it features portholes that are visible in the hotel’s (modern Cantonese) restaurant.

31-37 Bukit Pasoh Road; +65 6511 4700

TheSouthBeach_Global Village 2 [Highres]

Lobby at The South Beach

The South Beach

A new addition to Beach Road, opposite the venerable Raffles Hotel, is this Norman Foster designed showstopper with interiors by Philippe Starck.

The hotel is actually comprised of a skyscraper plus historic colonial low rises at ground level. And while there are some 650 rooms and suites, the place is overwhelmingly boutique in feel. If you judge “boutique” by ambience rather than size, and here at Chopstix we do.

Doing away with the traditional reception, you’ll be checked in at one of several freestanding desks – each one itself a work of art and overhung by a unique chandelier.

Rooms are bright and contemporary (if you like chintz, don’t book here) and the minimalist bathrooms come with Japanese style loos.

TheSouthBeach_Showcase You, King [Highres].jpg

Icing on the cake is the 18 floor sky garden with a wrap around view of Singapore’s skyline and contemporary rocking chairs from which to drink it all in. Speaking of which, there’s also a swimming pool, gym and bar with a view up here.

30 Beach Road; +65 6818 1888

Star crazy in Singapore as Michelin comes to town

The Michelin Guide Singapore will launch in 2016

The Michelin Guide Singapore will launch on July 21st 2016

Gastro tourists may want to book flights to Singapore from mid July 2016. A Singapore edition of the hallowed restaurant guide, Michelin, will be published on July 21st and announced at a ceremony open to the public for the first time.

The revered little red book began life in France in 1900 as a hotel and restaurant guide for motorists – hence the link with a tyre company. A century later, chefs vie for one, two or – the pinnacle – three Michelin stars and foodies flock to the restaurants that have them.

Originally focused on Europe, there are now 25 guides across the world including New York, San Francisco, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Michael Ellis, international director of the Michelin Guides

Michael Ellis, international director of the Michelin Guides

A Michelin star, or three, all but guarantees an increase in customers for restaurants. “There are tourists who plan their entire vacations around where they are going to eat and I think we play a strong role in that,” says Michael Ellis, international director of the Michelin Guides. He adds that Michelin is often solicited by governments to launch in their cities, a sure sign of how important the guide is perceived in driving tourism.

“We think it will put Singapore’s restaurants on a worldwide platform and help draw more visitors,” confirms Melissa Ow, deputy chief executive of Singapore Tourism Board. So the country can expect a flurry of foodie tourists and elite business travellers as well as curious locals.

“In a place like this, with so much visibility to restaurants and such a hungry community of foodies it will have an impact,” says Ivan Brehm, head chef at top Singapore restaurant, Bacchanalia and an alumnus of the three Michelin starred Fat Duck in the UK.

A dish at Bacchanalia, Singapore

A dish at Bacchanalia, Singapore

Chef Ivan Brehm at Bacchanalia Singapore

Chef Ivan Brehm at Bacchanalia Singapore

“I also think a Michelin Guide will help level things out. A lot of restaurants in Singapore survive for factors other than their food and to have someone objective evaluating things like consistency, taste, creativity, outside of an establishment’s marketing efforts and wagyu usage seems refreshing,” says Brehm.

Hopefully that will discourage the gimmicky themes and over reliance on super premium ingredients in the city-state.

With its heritage in classic French cooking, Michelin has been criticized by the foodie community in Hong Kong for not understanding the local cuisine (among other things previously written about by Chopstix). In Singapore it faces a diverse mix of Chinese, Malaysian, Peranakan (a mix of Chinese and Malay) and Indonesian food as well as restaurants by internationally famous chefs including the much Michelin starred Joel Robuchon who has two restaurants at RW Sentosa, a partner of the Michelin Guide Singapore.

A dish at Joel Robuchon Singapore

A dish at Joel Robuchon Singapore

“It’s the same in Tokyo as well as Hong Kong,” says restaurateur Loh Lik Peng, the backer behind acclaimed chefs Dave Pynt, Jason Atherton (a Gordon Ramsay protogee) and Andre Chiang’s restaurants in Singapore. “I’m not really sure what the reviewers from France will make of our local restaurants and sze char [‘cook and fry’] street food.” [UPDATE: Jason Atherton has since parted ways with Loh Lik Peng restaurants in Singapore]

In the latest Hong Kong guide, Michelin has included a section on street food. With hawker stalls being so prevalent in the Lion City they may well do the same for Singapore.

“We don’t try to second guess our inspectors but with the hawker food scene being so vibrant here I would be surprised if it didn’t feature strongly in the guide,” says Ellis who admits to being a fan of local signature dish, Chilli Crab.

Street food experts though question how hawker fare can be assessed by international inspectors. And fine dining chef Brehm says: “Michelin should, in my opinion, stay clear from the coffee shop and hawker stall culture. These run deep in the make up of Singaporean society and any unnecessary polemic could undermine the guide’s overall relevance.”


Are you sure this is a good idea? – Michelin will launch a Singapore guide in 2016

Previously, its been mooted, the Michelin Guide has not launched in Singapore because the market was not big enough. Peng believes it’s still a relatively small pool: “I think [the Michelin inspectors] will need to ensure the right quality to maintain credibility so the top end restaurants able to command three stars might be a small number.”



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