New restaurants in Singapore 2020: Grammi, Lucali BYGB, Miss Vanda, Kotuwa
In the name of food
What would be dubbed as the harshest climate for the F&B scene — alongside many other new businesses — has also turned out to be a pivoting break of change and innovation. It's a new avenue to buckle up for, as restaurants and hawker vendors have started to evolved alongside the hardship and challenges with new models and concepts configurated within — like DIY kits and turning gourmet foods into instant hot meals. Amongst all that, there are new players that have entered the scene, albeit by some names that you might find familiar, which have emerged fiercely despite of the challenging climate. Below, more options to whet your takeout appetite.
Who: Brooklyn's famed pizza hideout Lucali's creator Mark lacono joins hands with hospitality pioneer Gibran Baydoun to bring forth the delicious pies onto our shores.
The lowdown: Humble food pared against rustic interiors. That's the spirit of Lucali in Brooklyn, which will reside in Singapore's Lucali BYGB. Here's something for anticipation: The iconic 'Lucali pie' is made out of tradition and meticulous craft — from its consistent 18-inch size down to a secret 'four-hour tomato sauce' passed down from lacono's grandmother's recipe. While the legendary pies are saved for dine-ins in the future (just to protect that sacred first bite out of the oven), check out their delivery menu which comprises of a standout meatloaf and a healthy selection of handmade pastas.
Who: Beppe de Vitto, most famously known for the chef and founder behind ilLido Group, that owns 1-Michelin Braci, Amo, and most recently, Restaurant Art, has launched an online-exclusive concept, Grammi.
The lowdown: A wide range of Italian-Mediterranean food at an accessible price point, which ranges from grocery items, ready-to-eat, to drink staples. It's a new sister brand that dabbles in e-commerce wholeheartedly, while chiming in new flavours and creations that have yet to be seen from the ilLido Group.
Who: 1-Michelin Labryinth's LG Han has altered his approach to mind-melding local cuisine into a slightly more casual direction. Due to COVID-19, the sister brand, Miss Vanda has launched online, with delivery and pick-up services available.
The lowdown: Less smokeshows and theatrical plating, more hearty plates that resemble our local fare. Expect creations like har cheong chicken wings, Hainanese kaya, and a wagyu cheese baked beef fat truffle fried rice.
Who: Rishi Naleendra's third restaurant, Kotuwa has made headlines since its announcement — with a deliverance of Sri-Lankan fare to our city's multi-cultural food scene. While it wasn't the ceremonious launch that everyone anticipated, most of us were just glad we didn't have to wait till Phase 2 of the circuit breaker to get our first dibs on Kotuwa's menu.
The lowdown: The spice and tenacity of Sri Lankan flavours executed by Naleendra, who has been trained in Australia's kitchens. Even then, there's no confusion with the authenticity of every bite here. Our favourite has to be the lamb curry and calamari stir fried in chili butter.