Table for one in Dior. Credit: Stefan Khoo

The pandemic has hit the F&B sector hard. Yet, in the past two years, Singapore has also seen the birth of some of our most spectacular restaurants that drive across the point that we aren’t just a global food city, but an excellent one.

READ MORE: Why Singapore’s Michelin-Starred Chefs Are Opening Wine And Cocktail Bars

From eclectic bistros big on personality to a French fine-dining institution housed in a heritage church building, these joints are bold in both concept and taste, suffused with the warmth and thoughtfulness of a good friend no matter the setting. And, of course, their interiors are stunning, making them destinations to see and be seen at, and compel one to get all dressed up – even if it’s for a table of one.

Credit:Stefan Khoo

Cotton tweed jacket; acetate sunglasses; metal choker with resin and strass; metal necklace; and leather flap bag, Chanel

Such is the case for Corduroy Palace at Ann Siang Hill. This usually dim and sexy six-table “wine hall and dining room” has been drawing the in-crowd steadily since it opened last September. Its regulars include models, editors and other creative industry insiders of the uptown ilk, but everything else says everyone is invited.

READ MORE: Talking Homeware And Dining-In In Style With This Fashionable Foodie

Cue the XL-sized, high-meets-low culinary inventions (you already know about the caviar-topped xiao long bao, so how about its tinned sardines or Cordon Bleu?), and its equally brassy playlist guaranteed to get one moving in the Pontoglio corduroy-fitted booths.

Credit:Stefan Khoo

A sampling of some of the most popular dishes at Corduroy Palace.

Says founder and CEO Gibran Baydoun: “We took our time and focused on discreet details because to some, coming here will be a lavish night out while to others, we’re that neighbourhood watering hole that you can tuck in at 2pm, sink into a stunning bottle of wine, then stay and let the night take you where it goes.” He tells us more below.

ON THE EXPERIENCE CORDUROY PALACE HOPES TO BRING TO GUESTS

“Corduroy Palace embodies the spirit and energy of a uniquely New York joint, as if a grand midtown ballroom and a downtown dive bar had a live child. It’s dark, sexy, lush that starts jazzy and swanky and evolves nightly with a grooving fun vibe towards the end.”

Credit:Stefan Khoo

Cordon Bleu

ON HOW THE DESIGN OF THE SPACE ADDS TO THE EXPERIENCE

“We decided to take a genuinely authentic approach to design with touches such as Fritz Hansen furniture, custom banquets done in Pontiglio corduroy, Jon Utzon-designed lighting, and an over-the-top eclectic art collection featuring classics by Gerhard Richter and Picasso mixed with new young street artists like Tyrrell Winston and local photographer Ethan Lai.

ON THE CROWD FAVOURITES

“The prime rib and fully loaded baked potato are by far the most popular dishes – the potatoes are handpicked in Idaho and topped with Osetra caviar. Other standouts are the xiao long bao and canned fish.”

Photography Stefan Khoo, assisted by Alif Styling Damian Huang, assisted by Tatiyana Emylia Hair EC Tan/1tto+Lim Makeup Sarah Tan, assisted by Vanessa Drea Coordination Noelle Loh, assisted by Gordon Ng Model Wu Xiaodan/Mannequin

A version of this article first appeared in the May 2022 Taste Edition of FEMALE