Award-winning chef Clayton Wells opens Blackwattle in Singapore
Best of Sydney
Chef Clayton Wells is no stranger in the culinary scene. In fact, the man has earned quite the reputation as head chef and owner of restaurant Automata back in Sydney. Having gained critical acclaim for his experiential, freestyle methods of cooking, his dishes often display bold flavours and take inspiration from his global travel experiences, while working at some of Europe and Australia's best restaurants.
An important thing to note? Everything on the menu is intermittently swapped out, and never stay in the menu long enough to become classics. If someone was to tell him to keep a particular dish on a menu, Wells would take it off in a heartbeat. Call it crazy but it is what enables the creative process in his restaurant.
Now, the Aussie chef has set his sights on Singapore, and in collaboration with Unlisted Collection, opened Blackwattle — his first overseas establishment outside of Australia, which takes occupancy at a two-storey shophouse on Amoy Street. "Singapore has such a thriving food scene; we have been here a lot over the years and with our connection to Unlisted Connection, it was an easy decision to open up here in Singapore," explains Wells. The Australian chef will be hustling between both restaurants while Chef Joeri Timmermans, who was previously sous chef at Automata, will be helming the kitchen as head chef at Blackwattle.
Taking reference from Sydney's Automata, Blackwattle will echo the same culinary DNA and operate as a creative powerhouse. The difference will lie in the produce used. For instance, expect locally sourced ingredients like ginger flowers, Indian gooseberries, and hibiscus flowers.
His favourite dish at the moment? A grilled fremantle octopus, seared and stacked above a jus of squid ink, XO chilli sauce and red vinegar — a myriad of flavours that we lapped up within minutes.
If you're seeking moreish bites, dig into their main course of grilled beef tri-tip, seared medium rare with a Japanese tamari sauce. The piquant slab of meat was accompanied with burnt carrots and wood ear mushrooms, which added a crunchy relief to balance out the richness from the beef.
In the case of Blackwattle, everything is worthy of a shout-out — from the hearty mains to the inventive snacks. Be sure not to leave without ordering their warm bun with cream, a housemade bread roll of whole wheat organic flour, accompanied with butter that's been whipped with anchovies and chicken jus. Like the rest of the items on the menu, you won't be able to find this creation anywhere else. We suggest heading there stat, before it falls out of the chef's favour.
97 Amoy Street, Tel: 6224 2232
Opening hours: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm