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Small’s: Bjorn Shen’s latest eatery in Singapore is tiny but will feature his wildest food ideas

Small’s: Bjorn Shen’s latest eatery in Singapore is tiny but will feature his wildest food ideas

A little experiment

Text: Amelia Chia


Big things come in small packages — that certainly rings true for Bjorn Shen's latest brilliant venture, Small's. If that moniker doesn't cast an accurate representation of the size we're talking about, Small's is literally a space that seats four people at a chef's counter. It is here, in his tiny man-cave as Shen calls it, that some of his best creative juices flow.

Small's is located within Shen's famously popular flagship restaurant, Artichoke. What was once his office is now an experimental work studio where he will create, mix together, and whip up nifty food concepts thrice a week for a willing quartet. Nicknamed "the room of bad ideas", Small's is the perfect hidey-hole for those who love fresh flavours and inspired ideas from far and wide. His first idea? Pizza omakase, a spoof on pizza experiences in the 1980s and 1990s, where old-school diners like Shakey's and Pizza Hut were all the rage. Think a heady concoction of garlic bread, hot wings, meatballs, stuffed crusts, and cookies — presented in an elevated, modern-day context.

Small's is located within Shen's 100-seat restaurant, Artichoke

Expect a fantastic high-hydration Neopolitan-style dough that's aged for a minimum of four days for flavour development, and intriguing produce from Shen's fisherman friend in Lombok. Shen will take the lucky four through an uninterrupted show-and-tell as he shares his stories, his love for food, and unusual, small-batch ingredients and processes. Come hungry, as each pizza omakase experience will deliver several little dishes, a bunch of pizzas in various forms, and a couple of desserts, with a total of 10 to 12 dishes to share amongst four people.

This private dining experience goes so far as to incorporate personal touches by Shen, such as a long pendant light (that glows in white and purple), multiple Borats, and a dynamic playlist that reflects his mood. Guests will also dine off handmade tableware by his sister-in-law and flatware from his grandparents.

Shen's pizza sandwich

If retro-style pizza and snacks aren't quite up your alley, Shen has grand plans for the future in order to keep up with his constant stream of ideas. He surmises: "I know for a fact that my life wouldn't be complete if I didn't attempt a chicken nugget and champagne bar, or a cold noodle slurp shop."

We definitely want in on this tasty magic.

Small's will be open to guests from 1 February 2020. Reservations can be made here.

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