Bacchanalia re-opens at 39 Hong Kong Street in mid-August, 2015
An intimate kitchen inspired by the world
The acclaimed Singapore restaurant Bacchanalia, formerly located in the historical Masonic Hall on Coleman Street, is preparing to open a fresh, evolved version of the same restaurant on up-and-coming Hong Kong Street.
Reducing the dining room from 120 covers to 36 covers, the new Bacchanalia will offer a vastly improved dining experience from the old.
An ambitious layout will decrease the barriers between the guests, the staff and the food, creating a more light-hearted and festive ambience. A deeper and more responsible approach to sourcing will make it one of Singapore’s most sustainable restaurants.
Occupying an elongated open plan shop house, the Hong Kong Street restaurant has no walls between the multiple kitchen counters and dining tables, reducing the distinction between guests, servers and chefs.
Guests will be walked through the kitchen before being seated for their meal, helping to create informality and allowing guests to actively engage with the cooking.
“The size of the Masonic Hall on Coleman Street and distance between kitchen and dining room affected our ability to directly interact with guests”, says Bacchanalia’s head chef Ivan Brehm.
“The new Bacchanalia is a living room, dining room and kitchen all in one. It closes the gap between guests and the kitchen, people and food, making the experience more akin to a dinner party in your own house and more aligned with our belief that great restaurants should be about connected and shared experiences”.
Brehm, who was born in Brazil and worked at the Fat Duck the UK, Mugaritz in Spain and Per Se in the USA before taking the helm of Bacchanalia, together with sous chef Mark Ebbels, has been overseeing all elements of the design and ambience for the new venue.
“This new space validates our work as chefs”, says Australian born Ebbels who previously worked as a development chef for Heston Blumenthal. “It’s the missing piece in the jigsaw.”
Designed by Singapore based Distillery, the new Bacchanalia will be outfitted in leather, wood, stainless steel and granite, with collectibles and images of irregular shaped vegetables adorning the walls.
Many of these vegetables, by nature of their unevenness usually discarded from supermarket shelves, but here symbolizing grace and beauty, are at the heart of the two chef’s approach towards product and nature.
A dramatic light feature with some of the 400 hand blown globes gracing the ceiling at Coleman Street will be the only design element to move with the restaurant.
In line with the work Brehm and Ebbels started at Coleman Street, the food at Hong Kong Street will continue to reflect a strong commitment to sourcing and cutting edge cooking methods to create new flavour combinations and reinterpret traditions.
Taking responsible sourcing one step further than the original Coleman Street venue, the majority of ingredients will be obtained from local producers.
These include a range of heirloom herbs and vegetables from Bacchanalia’s organic farm in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands, rare tropical fruits from Penang, garnish herbs and flowers from the restaurant’s back yard garden and local fish and seafood from an aquaponics farm in Singapore.
Pairing these ingredients with techniques from around the world, the new Bacchanalia will present novel new dishes like pickled Japanese sardine with sweet corn, spring onion purée and chickpea cream and Tiberian Harvest snapper carpaccio with Penang mace and Sichuan leaf dressing.
They are innovative dishes best described as modern cuisine from the crossroads of cooking.
Two tasting menus and a small a la carte menu will be offered for dinner: the seven course incorporating favourites from the original Bacchanalia on Coleman Street with dishes using exclusive products that are only available for a limited time. Bacchanalia will also offer set and a la carte menus for lunch.
Drinks will include select wines from unique vineyards, craft beers and ciders, artisanal spirits, single origin coffees as well as a short but elite selection of loose leaf teas sourced by Brehm.
Bacchanalia will offer a seven-course communal chef’s table every Thursday seating up to 12 guests. “The chef’s table is designed to encourage connection”, says Brehm. “We hope people will be open to this new experiences”.
The new Bacchanalia: Fine dining for the open minded.
KitchenAid Chef of the Year 2015, World Gourmet Summit
Indoguna Best Restaurant 2015, World Gourmet Summit
Eurocave Old World Wine List of the Year 2015, World Gourmet Summit
The Peak Gourmet and Travel, Best New Restaurant 2014, Western Category
San Pellegrino Best New Restaurant 2014, World Gourmet Summit
About Ivan Brehm, head chef: Inheriting his love for cooking from his grandmothers, both who were exceptional cooks, Ivan has spent most of his life in a kitchen. Born in Brazil and schooled in the USA, Ivan worked at Per Se, Marguritz and the Fat Duck before taking the helm of Bacchanalia, where he oversees a kitchen inspired by his multi-cultural upbringing and worldly view.
About Mark Ebbels, sous chef: Born in Toolangi in the Yarra Valley in Australia, Mark developed methodical and uncompromising attention to detail as a culinary consultant and development chef for Heston Blumenthal before joining Bacchanalia. Here he manages research, development and the quality of the produce.