The Spirited Singapore team rounds up some of the biggest news in Singapore’s drinks, dining, travel, and hospitality scenes this January.
As expected 2024 started out explosively for Singapore’s gastronomic landscape with a slew of new openings and reopenings of bars and restaurants across town including the inaugural debuts of some big names from global culinary scene in the Lion City.
But that’s not all. For seasoned or aspiring travellers we’ve also curated some interesting travel and hospitality news including some hotel openings in the region in our first Spirited dispatch this year.
Jigger & Pony Group collaborates with The Union Group for new Jakarta cocktail bar, Cosmo Pony
Cocktail hounds have one more watering hole to hit in Jakarta when a new cocktail bar opens up in the Indonesia capital later this year. Cosmo Pony, by Singapore’s Jigger & Pony Group and Indonesia’s The Union Group (which runs Union and The Cocktail Club), is set to open in Grand Hyatt Jakarta as the latter’s first overseas expansion. But what we really want to know is, when will Jigger & Pony open My Little Pony?
Wynn Macau to host inaugural Wynn Signature Chinese Wine Awards
Yet another sign that Chinese wines are on the rise, Las Vegas-style luxury resort Wynn Macau will be hosting the first-ever Wynn Signature Chinese Wine Awards on 1-5 March 2024. The new wine awards look to celebrate the excellence of wines made in China acorss 28 different categories, with a judging panel fronted by Eddie McDougall (better known as The Flying Winemaker) and three highly accredited Master of Wines as vice-chairs: Fongyee Walker MW, Gus Zhu MW and Andrew Caillard MW.
ProWine Singapore returns this April
The Singapore edition of international trade fair for wines and spirits ProWein will take place from 23 to 26 April 2024 at Singapore Expo, alongside Food & Hotel Asia. Trade visitors are expected to be able to explore a wide range of wines and spirits from across the world, while learning about ongoing and upcoming trends to impact the industry. Highlights include ‘ProWine Zero’, which explores no-and-low alcoholic wines, spirits, and craft drinks; ‘ProSpirits’ focusing on innovative and finest spirits from around the world; a ‘Champagne Lounge’. as well as a ‘Discovery Bar’ for tasting new-style alcoholic beverages. Registration is now open.
Vinexpo Asia heads to Hong Kong for its 2024 Asia edition
Mega wine trade exhibition Vinexpo Asia, held in Hong Kong since 1998 until it was held in Singapore last year after a four-year absence, returns to Hong Kong this year. Vinexpo Asia 2024 will run from 28 to 30 May 2024 at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, and is expected to feature over 1,000 exhibitors as it again gathers producers and the greater wine trade together to grow the region’s booming wine and spirits market.
Drinks & Dining
Art di Daniele Sperindio gets double billing
Contemporary Italian restaurant Art di Daniele Sperindio – whose innovative chef Daniele Sperindio we named Favourite F&B or Hospitality Personality in 2023 – has been awarded the Gambero Rosso “Ristorante dell’Anno” for Best Italian Restaurant in the World 2024, as well as Solania Award in 50 Top Italy 2024 for its outstanding Italian culinary excellence. If you haven’t yet visited, chances are reservations may not be as easy to land this year. Procrastination sucks.
Hong Kong’s award-winning Zuicho Kappo lands in Singapore
Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred Zuicho has established an outpost here at Mandarin Oriental Singapore. Headed by Chef Kenji Takahashi, WA Creations-owned Zuicho Singapore will offer various kappo-centric omakase menu options showcasing dishescrafted using a diverse range of cooking methods that change monthly based on the distinct four seasons of Japan. Reservations are now open.
Revolver fires up a new private dining space
Our favourite fire-centric progressive Indian restaurant Revolver has introduced a private dining experience in its new ‘Private Experience Room’, converted from what used to be modern Asian cocktail bar Barood. Here Revolver puts out a new dining format called ‘The Spread’, a fully customisable feast offering Revolver’s most popular dishes as a combination of individual portions and large format plates meant to be shared. Make your reservations here.
Damian D’Silva takes up limited culinary residency at 67 Pall Mall Singapore
Founder of Rempapa and beloved judge on Masterchef Singapore, Damian D’Silva, has taken up a three-month kitchen residency at 67 Pall Mall Singapore for the wine club’s third Resident Chef Series. The “grandfather of heritage cuisine” will be introducing a monthly selection of traditional Chinese, Peranakan, Eurasian, Indian, and Malay flavours to 67 Pall Mall’s tables to shine the spotlight on Singapore’s multi-cultural culinary heritage with dishes like babi masak gragoh, lamb gulai, and sotong masak hitam. Chef D’Silva’s chef residency at 67 Pall Mall Singapore runs till end-March 2024.
Multi-hyphenate culinary space AIR set to open in Dempsey Hill
Singapore’s vibrant dining scene gets a breath of fresh air with impending opening of AIR, an expansive multi-concept space combining a farm-to-table restaurant, cooking academy, R&D kitchen and an edible garden. Headed by famed Chefs Matthew Orlando and Will Goldfarb – who were behind Copenhagen’s lauded but now-defunct Amass and Bali’s Room 4 Dessert respectively – AIR will begin accepting reservations from 31 January.
Last Word celebrates its 2nd anniversary
Japanese-inspired cocktail bar Last Word celebrates its 2nd anniversary this January, and will be unveiling an all-new and extensive retro-themed cocktail and food menu. Expect to see 30 cocktails, each of which harkens to different phase throughout cocktail history, such as the ‘Golden Era’, ‘Prohibition Era’, ‘Years of Indulgence’, ‘The Dark Ages’, and ‘Cocktail Revival’.
Michelin-starred Chef Tristan Farmer to leave Singapore
Chef Tristan Farmer has left three Michelin-starred Zén and the Frantzén Group to join Culinary Arts Group – the hospitality group behind concepts such as Revolver, Hamamoto, and Araya – as culinary director and chef partner. Farmer is set to spearhead Culinary Arts Group’s foray into the Middle East with an offshoot of modern Indian restaurant Revolver, as well as his own inaugural – and as yet unnamed – restaurant, in Dubai.
MO BAR returns to Singapore’s cocktail scene
Newly-renovated MO BAR has unveiled a new look and cocktail menu with the completion of Mandarin Oriental Singapore’s recent refurbishment. The award-winning hotel cocktail lounge sees new head bartender Charlie Kim introduce its fifth menu ‘Blue Print’, which draws local inspiration for cocktails such as Kopi Siew Tai, a Singapore twist on Irish Coffee, and Elysium, a zero waste take on the Martini.
Conrad Singapore Orchard officially reopens following refurbishment
Conrad Singapore Orchard – what used to be Regent Hotel Singapore – throws opens its doors after extensive reinvention and refurbishment. Now more contemporary yet still embracing its striking original design by legendary architect John Portman, the refreshed property offers 445 newly-imagined guest rooms that blend refined residential living and botanical-inspired design. Conrad Singapore Orchard retains all of its 10 restaurant and bar concepts, including award-winning cocktail bar Manhattan, Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant Summer Palace, signature Italian restaurant Basilico, and all-day casual cafe Dolcetto.
Mondrian Hong Kong opens up in Tsim Sha Tsui
Mondrian Hong Kong has officially opened in the heart of the Fragrant Harbour’s vibrant Tsim Sha Tsui district. A partnership between Hong Kong’s Peterson Group and luxury lifestyle hospitality brand Mondrian, this 324-room property – which includes 12 two-bay suites – offers sweeping Victoria Harbour and island skyline views, and also houses its own cocktail bar, Avoca, as well as world’s most famous butcher Dario Cecchini’s latest Asian outpost, the steakhouse Carna.
The Tokyo EDITION Ginza opens a new chapter in Tokyo hospitality
Tokyo’s snazzy district of Ginza gets another swanky new hotel with the soft opening of The Tokyo EDITION Ginza, a 86-key property with rooms – including ten expansive suites – spread across 14 floors. The new hotel houses a Japanese-tinged modern brasserie and a multitude of innovative bar concepts, including Japan’s only punch-focused cocktail bar and Ginza’s first natural wine bar.
Preferred Travel Group names The Fullerton Hotel Singapore as its Top Hotel in Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa
Hotel operator Preferred Travel Group recently released the winners of its sixth annual ‘I Prefer’ Members’ Choice Awards, revealing that The Fullerton Hotel Singapore topped the category for its members’ most preferred hotel in Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa, which pipped The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore for the win. Woodstock Inn & Resort in Vermont, United States topped its contemporaries in North America, while Jamaica’s Half Moon came up tops for the Caribbean, Central, and South America. In Europe, NJV Athens Plaza in Greece was the category winner.
Lotte Duty Free’s at Changi Airport Terminal 3 Departure Central Duplex Store officially reopens
Lotte Duty Free announced the complete launch of all its 19 stores at Changi Airport with the recent grand reopening of its Terminal 3 Departure Central Duplex Store. The renovated complex now offers premium shop-in-shop experiences including the first-ever The House of Suntory Boutique, a robotic bartender, and even a lifestyle lounge on its upper deck where travellers can rest, relax, and recharge. And hopefully buy a duty-free bottle on their way out of Singapore.
Cathay Pacific taps big Hong Kong foodie names for exclusive inflight dining collaborations
Hong Kong’s national carrier Cathay Pacific has announced a newly curated menu in collaboration with various famous names in the Hong Kong F&B scene to elevate its inflight dining experience. Partners include Michelin-starred Louise and Duddell’s, Mak’s Noodles, Veda, and many others, offering a gamut of choices and options that cater to vegetarian and vegan diets, and has even tapped DarkSide in Rosewood Hong Kong for specialty cocktails in flight.
La Maison du Whisky brings in Johnny Drum
La Maison du Whisky (LMdW) Asia Pacific has been appointed by Kentucky-based Willett Distillery as exclusive distributor for its Johnny Drum Private Stock line of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey in Singapore and selected territories across Southeast Asia. LMdW expects the new 94 proof expression to make a splash in Singapore’s cocktail scene, particularly as a quality base bourbon for the likes of Mint Juleps and Whiskey Sours.
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