One of the three imposing doormen at the entrance to Raffles
Checking into Raffles is an uplifting experience. When you pull up the gravel driveway outside the white wedding cake of a hotel in the heart of Singapore, you’re greeted by a toweringly tall sikh doorman, bearded and turbaned and wearing an imposing sashed uniform. He ushers you into the lobby, all cool marble flooring and fluted columns that reach up three lofty storeys. There is none of the hubbub of other hotels – only guests or “residents” are allowed inside – so the atmosphere is reassuringly calm and rarified. To borrow from Holly Golightly, you feel as though nothing bad could ever happen at Raffles.
Raffles 1915 gin by Sipsmith
[UPDATE: The Long Bar at Raffles Singapore is closed from today for refurbishment until 2018 but Singapore Slings will be continue to be served at the hotel’s Bar and Billiard Room during 2017.]
Take equal measures of quality and tradition, add a dash of modernity and a splash of serendipity, and you have the perfect recipe to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Raffles Hotel’s Singapore Sling.
The gin-based cocktail is said to have been invented at Raffles, Singapore by barman Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915. By chance Sam Galsworthy, the co-founder of Sipsmith artisan gin, visited the iconic hotel and requested a meeting with the F&B director the year before the landmark anniversary. And Galsworthy happens to be a descendant of Sir Stamford Raffles – the British statesman who founded Singapore and after whom the hotel was named.
The Michelin Guide Singapore launches July 21st 2016
When it comes to the Michelin Guide and Asia, anything is possible, just look at the Hong Kong edition. But here’s who we’d like to see gain stars in the inaugural Singapore red book published on July 21st:
Cheryl Koh and Sebastien Lepinoy at Les Amis, Singapore
[UPDATE: Les Amis was awarded two Michelin stars in the inaugural Singapore guide on July 21st 2016].
With Les Amis in Singapore listed as Asia’s 12th Best Restaurant last night and Cheryl Koh announced as Asia’s Best Pastry Chef 2016, here’s a look at the restaurant’s heritage:
Fans of French fine dining restaurant Cepage in Hong Kong will still be able to enjoy the cooking of head chef Sebastien Lepinoy and pastry chef Cheryl Koh even though the Michelin starred restaurant is now closed. They’ll just have to visit Singapore.
The culinary pair have been lured to the Lion City to head up Cepage’s sister establishment Les Amis. Both restaurants share the same enticing formula of sophisticated food and slick service mixed with an unstuffy atmosphere; a recipe that has made Les Amis as popular with food writers in the region as it is with regular customers.