15 Stamford by Alvin Leung
The self-styled Demon Chef takes on Asian comfort food at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore
Best known for his three Michelin-starred Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, Alvin Leung’s 15 Stamford in Singapore is a big move away extreme molecular gastronomy territory, and into the area of homey comfort food with an elevated touch.
The hype: Best known for his three Michelin-starred Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, Alvin Leung’s 15 Stamford in Singapore is a big move away extreme molecular gastronomy territory, and into the area of homey comfort food with an elevated touch.
The vibe: You’ll find the 150-seater 15 Stamford on the first floor of The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, that in turn resides within the iconic Capitol Building and Stamford House. It retains much of the conserved buildings’ neoclassical styles, then given a luxurious Asian-inspired touch thanks to the work of the late designer Jaya Ibrahim.
The food: While Asian is the common thread in 15 Stamford’s menu, Leung has obviously given local cuisine prominence here, as homage to the historic location the restaurant sits in – which is a good thing. It speaks of his consideration to the type and style of food best catered to the locale’s target diner.
The star mains are all distinctively Singapore-inspired. You’ll find items like Singapore Laksa ($32), a large bowl of lemak gravy with thick rice noodles snipped into short strands so that you’re able to eat it with just a spoon (like how Katong Laksa does it). What justifies the cost is the use of housemade dried shrimp oil and floss, a side bowl of tiger prawns tempura, and the inclusion of Jasmine tea-smoked onsen quail eggs that bursts in one bite.
An inkling of Leung’s genius can be seen in his take on the Bak Kut Teh ($38). Don’t expect a hearty bowl of herbal or peppery soup here. Rather, it’s actually a chargrilled pork chop served on a plate with compressed watermelon, angelica and BBQ sauce. The watermelon feels out of place, but is perhaps added to counter the dryness of the meat, and it works.
Then there is the Bone-in Beef Short Ribs Rendang ($68), again a dry version, though no less delicious than the stew we’re accustomed to. Easily the best thing on the menu, the meat is perfectly tender thanks to a three-day sous vide process, while the sauce is thick, flavourful and balances sweet and spicy notes well. A preserved cabbage salad on the side helps cut through the heaviness.
Before diving into the above smoky and saucy dishes, you’ll want to begin with the lighter starters. Plates of scallop or hamachi sashimi dressed in different seasonings are sound choices, but try the Asian fusion delight that is the Bluefin Tuna Tartare in Gochujang Sauce served in Nori Taco ($18). It’s a smart dish, and essentially a kueh pie tee cup with raw tuna cubes in it.
The drinks: Order a cocktail from adjacent The Bar at 15 Stamford, which has a good selection of rum, or sift through a massive wine list from Capitol Kempinski’s cellars.
Why you’ll be back: It’s satisfying comfort food and not gracefully plated fine cuisine on the menu. Come here for refined versions of food we’re all familiar with while basking in the hospitality of a luxury hotel.
|Address:||15 Stamford by Alvin Leung, The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, 15 Stamford Rd., Singapore, 178906 Singapore|
|Area:||Central, City Hall|
|Open since:||December, 2018|
|Opening hours:||daily noon-3pm, 6-10:30pm|
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