Eat this: Singapulah & Arôme, serving up Singaporean street food and baked goods

This new restaurant will offer Singaporean dishes it claims aren’t available elsewhere in the UK.

24 October 2019
asianbakerybrunchchefsrestaurant openingstreet food
Bak Chor Mee
  • The Gist: Traditional Singaporean street food and patisserie with an Asian twist
  • The Chefs: Lynette Zheng and Alix Andre
  • Location: 15 Frith Street, London W1D 4RF
  • Food in 5 words: Experimental days and authentic nights
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How did we get here?

It’s the latest venture from restauranteur Ellen Chew, who is bringing her heritage to the UK.

A bakery by day and Singaporean restaurant by night, the concept has been developed alongside head chefs Lynette Zheng and Alix Andre. Chew has a number of successful ventures she already owns, including Chinatown’s Rasa Sayang, Lobos Tapas in London Bridge and Soho, and Bicester Village’s Shan Shui restaurant and Simply Noodles kiosk.

Arôme, the bakery, will operate a retail area with 12 covers during the day and in early evening the space will be repurposed, replicating the makeshift nature of Singaporean hawker centres to create a 50-cover restaurant.

It joins other bakery-restaurant sites, including at Flor, Jolene and Officina 00.

Chargrilled satay

What’s different about it?

“Singapulah will serve authentic Singaporean dishes not found anywhere in the UK,” explained Chew. “We will not compromise or alter the menu based on the local palate. It is important for us to be a destination that represents true Singaporean culture, a platform for both the cuisine and arts, in a traditional and modern reflection of our city and island-nation.”

Singapulah’s head chef is Singaporean Zheng, who has curated a menu of classic hawker dishes, such as chwee kueh: steamed rice cakes that are topped with preserved radish. Zheng will also partner with Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant’s Singaporean spot Willin Low to bring Roxy Laksa to the UK for the first time.

“Its recipe is different from others which are very strong, spicy, punchy and rich. I find this laksa more feminine and balanced. You still get all the notes of laksa but it’s lighter,” Low has previously said of the Roxy Laksa, which is a family recipe that was originally sold from a pushcart.

Roxy Laksa

Other dishes on the Singapulah menu will include chargrilled satay, deep-fried prawn paste chicken and hokkien mee.

Head chef of Arôme is French baker and maître pâtissiere Andre, who was classically trained at Ladurée and later at Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester. Later, he joined Alan Yau at Yauatcha, Rainer Becker at Roka and also held several positions with the MARC restaurant group.

Andre then spent time in Singapore after marrying a Singaporean, where his interest in East Asian flavours developed. Arôme will be Alix’s first standalone showcase of creations that combine his passion for respecting traditional patissière techniques while incorporating Asian flavours.

His collection of breads and savoury and sweet pastries include Gulu Melaka (a sago pudding that uses pandan) Coconut Bun, Laksa Tomato Coriander Roll and Calamansi Lime Tart.

Arôme's signature dish will be Arôme Milk Bread Toast: a caramelised milk loaf similar to both French toast and candied bread.

Singapulah will open first in November, followed by Arôme later in the month.

You’ve got to try…

Bak Chor Mee, a much-loved noodle dish found in hawker centres all around Singapore. The dish roughly translates to minced pork noodles and generally comes with thin yellow egg noodles, soup, meatballs, braised mushrooms, soft minced pork, pig’s liver and crispy fried shallots.

Food Spark has previously noted the increased exploration of Asian noodles, from laksa to udon.

Sparkie also likes…

The weekend brunch menu’s classic breakfast dish Kaya Toast, a spread made with sugar, eggs, coconut milk and pandan. It’s a dish that Food Spark identified earlier this year as having the potential to bring something to new to hungry brunch goers.

Go if…

You want to dig in to some unexplored Asian favourites.

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