Much has been written about chef-owner Ivan Brehm’s brainchild, which opened on the second floor of an Amoy Street shophouse (sister restaurant Nouri) five months ago.
“We’re very much an in-between space: a restaurant, art gallery, R&D kitchen and vinyl library where we have over 3,000 records that cover everything from classic stuff like Ella Fitzgerald to also J-pop and Cantonese ballads,” says its resident art lead Jean Ng.
The fact that the space has a full-time art lead tells you that it’s 100 per cent committed to its anthropological approach to weaving disciplines together – never mind that so far its food is what has been written about most.
On-site art exhibitions change every three months with the next one – opening in February – exploring text-based art and the larger question of language and its roles in human interaction. Meanwhile, research undertaken on topics ranging from the origins of roti prata to the violent history behind the Japanese tempura is published on Appetite’s website (www.appetitesg.com).
While food is key, it’s but one component in supporting the overall vision of cross-cultural connections. As Ng notes, the latter is timely given the rise of nationalism globally in recent years. “At some point in time, our ancestors definitely have interacted and merged, and I think that holistic perspective is something that we need right now,” says Ng.
Ahead, she and Appetite’s general manager Kaushik Swaminathan delve more into how Appetite is helping to shape artistic tastes in more ways than one.