The English House: Marco-Pierre White opens his first restaurant in Singapore
The English House isn't your average opulent restaurant. From the patio entrance, it's hard to see what lies beneath it until you're greeted by a Sikh doorman who assertively asks: "Are you going to The English House?"
To which, the answer should always be yes. After all, this is celebrity British chef Marco-Pierre White's grand restaurant debut in Singapore. The man who mentored successful chefs like Gordon Ramsey and Mario Batali. The English House stands as a labour of love (spanning three years) of White's efforts in converting two adjoining shophouses on Mohammed Sultan Road. You might also recognise it as the now-defunct Madam Wong.
"It was derelict for years. What survived were the outside walls and the structural walls inside. Everything else had been gutted," recalls White.
These buildings are over a century old, and now have a veritable lifespan ahead. The English House is a restaurant with rooms — essentially housing a boutique hotel upstairs, which will only be open in 2019.
To White, preserving and respecting the history of the building was top priority — resulting in a one-of-a-kind restaurant and bar interior, marrying the best of Straits Chinese (we spy some furniture from a kopitiam) and classic Singapore shophouse design elements in a charming space. Of course, inside you'll also find subtle whimsical English touches representing White's culture. Walls are adorned with White's personal collection art and objet d'art, including individually autographed Terry O'Neill photographs.
On the menu, you'll find modern British grub in place of food gastronomy. We're talking honest classics like lamb shepherd's pie and oxtail en croute. "I think food should be food. Generous, hearty, delicious," White says. "I'm not in the business of gastronomy, I'm in the business of selling a night out. And I want The English House to be a place where the atmosphere, service and food come together, creating a memorable experience."
The English House is now open for business.
28 Mohammed Sultan Rd, Tel: 6545 4055