Fresh bites and cocktails with a zing at Yotel's revamped restaurant-bar
The hype: A year after its grand opening here, luxury airport hotel chain Yotel Singapore has completely revamped its sole dining concept—replacing the healthy rice bowls of Grains & Hops with elevated small plates and a daring cocktail menu in for its new concept Komyuniti.
The vibe: The co-working-style space itself remains the same, as does the initial ethos of communal dining; “Komyuniti” is how the Japanese write ‘community’. Airy and colourful in the day, the restaurant assumes a different air at night—sensual but still welcoming—which will be handy given the new nightlife-focused menu.
The food: Unpegged to a single cuisine, Head Chef Mark Tai presents an 18-dish menu of small and big plates. It’s best sampled with a large group of friends, as portions can be small. Start with Mama’s Tomato Soup ($9), a creamy appetiser served in three dainty cups; and the Salmon Poke ($13), featuring marinated salmon cubes in house-made sauce, enjoyed on the side of fried onion crackers.
Komyuniti’s star dishes has to be its meats, expertly executed despite the minute presentation. You’ll want to try the Cheeseburger Sliders ($18) and Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($13)—the latter, cornmeal-crusted to perfection and served with sweet potato mash and succotash—easily surpasses many reputable fried chicken joints in town. The Roasted Pork Belly ($19) is also great, juicy with a generous cut of crackling skin; while the Slow Roasted Duck Breast ($20) is a tender find. From the three desserts available, we give our vote to the homey Apple Walnut Cake ($10) with salted caramel and brandy cream; the moist Caramelised Banana Cake ($10) with toasted barley ice cream is a close second.
The drinks: A shame that they’ve done away with the selection of craft beers (the ‘hops’ in Grains & Hops), but in its place is an adventurous cocktail menu that is the restaurant’s biggest draw. Skip the classics and opt for one of Bar Manager As’ad Isnin’s creations instead, categorised into Sours, Tropical, and Bittersweet flavours. From the Sours, get the KOMpliment ($18), the Yotel signature drink with butterfly pea flower-infused gin, hibiscus perfume and frothy egg white; the perfect palate opener to begin your meal. We also tried the Chaussettes ($18), a concoction of truffle vodka, cheese syrup, grated parmesan and truffle oil—not for the faint of heart.
You can’t go wrong with a Tropical cocktail, especially when they’re this well-shaken—the Tiki Chin Chin ($18) with its vanilla-infused gin, aromatic bitters, cinnamon and pineapple foam is an instant crowd-pleaser; while the spicy Tropic Thunder ($18) takes spiced rum one step further with curry-banana syrup and fruity additions. End off with the sinful Fat Roger ($18), a Bittersweet cocktail with fat-washed bourbon, cacao-herb liqueur, chocolate bitters and smoked ham, to make you feel like you need to hit the gym right after.
Why you’ll be back: Located right in Orchard, you don’t have to look far for a fuss-free night of inventive cocktails that don’t break the $20 mark. Yotel has done a commendable job in doing a complete 180 with its concept; and we dare say we’ve found a winner in the fried chicken