For an insight into the current state of play of the Australian food, beverage and hospitality industry in Singapore we asked industry insider Emmanuel Benardos, Co-Group General Manager Restaurants Singapore for UNLISTED COLLECTION for his thoughts.
There has been a huge rise in interest of Australian products here in Singapore from vegetables, meat, dairy and seafood, plus need I mention great spirits, wine and beer as well. With a greater understanding relating to sourcing of produce, by not only chefs but also consumers, people are looking to ensure they purchase quality goods, not just in restaurants but
when shopping for home as well.
On top of this, we are now seeing great boutique/high quality grocery brands available from Australia and new ones entering every week, the newest of these stores leading the charge is Little Farms at Valley Point in River Valley.
Relating to restaurants, some of the best in Singapore have Aussies involved in some way and all of them have dynamic servers and food and drinks. As group general manager of Unlisted Collection we have 16 restaurants in Singapore and three boutique hotels, and three of our 16 restaurants have unmistakable Australian tones. The multi award winning Burnt Ends (Chef / Owner Dave Pynt) with its Modern Australian Barbeque, Cheek By Jowl (Chef Rishi Naleendra) as well as Salted and Hung (Chef Drew Nocente). Other great places with Aussies involved are: The Lokal (Chef/Owner Darren Farr), Lucha Loco and Super Loco (Chef / Owner Jason Jones), Whitegrass (Chef Sam Aisbett), not to forget The Grand Hyatt (Chef Lucas Glanville and Chef Sorren Lascelles). To round out this amazing list of talented hospitality professionals is restauranter Dan Ballis, with his three venues Maggie Joans, Gemmils and Moosehead.
The way chefs and our restaurants are using the great produce that we get so easily from Australia is causing a surge of interest amongst primary producers back home to create even better products to have stocked for consumption in Singapore. A lot of these producers would have never considered this an option some 10 to 15 years ago.
Another part of the “Aussification” of hospitality in Singapore is the introduction of a comfortable style of service, characterised by being attentive but with a distinct level of relaxation. Training this skill is second nature to Australians, and pairs well with the open minded way that chefs blend flavours and adopt new depth to repertoire with great ease.
The most exciting part of this is that Australian and international media have been looking more into the development of the food and beverage scene here in Singapore, creating exposure and very successful businesses for anyone involved.
Don’t think that all the success is going to restaurants only! We are seeing amazing sommeliers and cocktail bar tenders serving up delicious beverages in countless venues across the city as well.
In terms of up and coming trends, we are seeing concerns around environmental sustainability and food security gaining momentum. Australia is in a prime position to take advantage of this. From what we are seeing at the moment, I think there are only going to be more modern Australian restaurants on the scene in Singapore.
Needless to say, find a great restaurant or bar here in Singapore and you will probably find a server, manager, chef or investor that will greet you with a sturdy …. “g’day mate”.
-Author: Emmanuel Benardos, Co-Group General Manager Restaurants UNLISTED COLLECTION