Chef Johanne Siy of Lolla shares her favourite dining spots
Because F&B insiders know best
These days I'm busy with R&D for the spring/summer menu at Lolla. These days I rarely have time to eat out, but when I do, I usually go to visit friends at their joints or something low-key over a bottle of vino.
A hawker stall I would queue for is One Prawn Noodle in Golden Mile Food Center. I love how the broth is packed with so much flavor and the toppings are super fresh. Gwyneth Ang who heads the stall is a beast.
I'm a regular at Maxwell Food Center.
When I need to eat clean, I eat sushi.
My favourite bar in Singapore is Wine RVLT. It's very unpretentious and fun! The founders are industry veterans so the natural wine selection is very well-curated. The kitchen headed by chef Sunny Leong is churning out some really cool and delicious plates.
An underrated restaurant is Meta on Keong Saik Road. It's always been well-regarded, but I think they've levelled up even more. Chef Sun and his team are really killing it.
My guilty pleasure is anything noodly. I am a bottomless pit when it comes to noodles and pasta. They're just so comforting.
My go-to supper spot is JB Ah Meng in Geylang, but mostly my couch at home. If it's not too late, then Kok Sen on Keong Saik.
For weekend brunch with friends, I am usually MIA as I usually work lunch service at Lolla.
The best place to get a meal with seafood are the hole-in-the-wall joints around Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo and Hokkaido Fish Market. In Singapore, I've heard a lot of good things about Naked Finn, but haven't had the chance to go. That's on my list. When it's hairy crab season, I try to go to all the restaurants that serve it.
For special occasions, I would either go to Odette or Burnt Ends for western fare. For family gatherings, we head to Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck or Summer Pavilion.
My all-time favourite restaurant is the now defunct Faviken in Jamtland, Sweden. It was ahead of its time, so unique and in the middle of nowhere. The whole journey going to that place builds the anticipation for the meal. When you actually get there, even with your expectations so elevated from everything you've heard, you are still blown away by the level of cooking, the produce, the team, and the entire experience.
My favourite farm in Singapore is Farm Delight. I've known Edmund from my days at Restaurant Andre when he was just starting out. His produce is pesticide-free and grown in a very eco-friendly manner. I think he really filled a gap in the F&B sector in Singapore.
I grew up eating my mom's cooking, which is simple Chinese-Filipino fare — a bit austere because she is a total health nut. Think minimal fat, low-sodium, and oatmeal-for-breakfast-everyday fare. So I kind of rebelled when I moved out of the house when I was 16 and ate the complete opposite. As a result I gained 30 pounds in the freshman year in university versus the usual 15.
For dining with family, I normally cook. We see each other so rarely that I want to at least share what I love to do with them when I actually get to see them.
The food scene in Singapore is vibrant, diverse and full of potential. It's only just at its infancy.