COVID-19 closures: 10 F&B establishments in Singapore we will miss

·8-min read

Many restaurants in Singapore have succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic, with dozens of closures in the last few weeks as a result of Circuit Breaker measures. This means we won’t be able to eat at some of our favourite places any more. Here are ten F&B establishments we’ll miss.

By: Alexandra Lin and Reta Lee

Operation Dagger

Operation Dagger
Operation Dagger

After seven years as one of the world’s most celebrated bars, Operation Dagger will close the doors to its Ann Siang Hill basement home this Saturday (31 October).

In its stead, the team is launching The Dagger Lab as a pop-up at Straits Clan from 1st December. The Dagger Lab’s sole purpose is to experiment on a new concept and new format for when Operation Dagger re-emerges.

With its “home base” located in the Attic of Straits Clan, The Dagger Lab will give guests the opportunity to experiment with a whole range of new drinks and flavour profiles developed by Head Bartender Thomas Girard and his award-winning team.

Ben Jones, founder of Operation Dagger, adds: “In the last seven years, Operation Dagger has taken its place on the world stage as one of the most avant-garde and experiential bars in Asia. As one door closes, another opens; we are excited to be partnering with Straits Clan to give The Dagger Lab the creative space and freedom to do something really different and exciting, culminating in the next phase of evolution for Operation Dagger next year.”

Picnic

(PHOTO: Picnic)
(PHOTO: Picnic)

The communal dining space at Wisma Atria has shut down for good at Wisma Atria. The multi-restaurant establishment has closed down end of October after four years in business. The space used to house brands Omakase Burger and Supergreek, which have since moved to Orchard Central to set up their flagship stores.

Firebake

East Coast is losing a gem; Firebake is a bakehouse and restaurant that houses Singapore’s first-ever full-scale woodfire bread oven has closed down. The restaurant is the brainchild of veteran food & beverage consultant Konstantino Blokbergen, that is dedicated to the craft of sourdough bread making using European historical methods. Their sourdough bakes are made with organic flours from Australia, Canada and Europe and undergo a 12 to 24 hours slow fermentation process.

In their Instagram post updated today (27 August), a statement reads: “It has been a joy serving you as your Katong community woodfired bakehouse and restaurant since 2017. It is with a heavy heart that we announce Firebake has closed its operations permanently.”

“It has been an honour to ‘break bread” with you, and to be part of the Katong community. We have enjoyed being your village baker. Thank you for your support over the last years. Our woodfire may be extinguished for now, but the fire will continue to radiate strongly in our hearts. Thank you for being part of our journey.”

Neon Pigeon

Tuna Donburi. (PHOTO: Neon Pigeon)
Tuna Donburi. (PHOTO: Neon Pigeon)

After a five-year run on Keong Saik Road, Neon Pigeon, a modern urban Japanese izakaya operated by local hospitality group The Dandy Collection, announced today (29 June) it will run its final service on Saturday, 11 July 2020.

The group will now turn their attention to creating Neon Pigeon 2.0, which will be the next iteration of the iconic brand, a media statement reads.

“We are thankful for the many great memories and friendships that we have forged at Neon Pigeon over the years. This is not farewell, but rather a ‘see you on the other side’, as we work on a new iteration of Neon Pigeon 2.0 that we will introduce when the time is right,” said Rohit Roopchand, co-founder of The Dandy Collection.

A farewell collaboration will be happening from 1 to 11 July 2020, during which Neon Pigeon will be selling signature beers from Heart of Darkness, the Vietnamese craft beer pub that will be taking over the space.

Diners can make their enquiries and place orders for the Neon Pigeon House Party at info@neonpigeonsg.com or call +65 6222 3623.

Antoinette

Helmed by award-winning Chef Pang Kok Keong, who has won the coveted Pastry Chef of the Year title in the 2007, 2009 and 2010 instalments of the World Gourmet Summit, Antoinette is your quintessential Parisian pâtisserie, restaurant, and salon du thé that pays homage to Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France.

Sad to say, the 9-year-old Antoinette will shut both their Penhas Road and Millenia Walk outlets, including the online store, with operations slated to end on 30th June 2020.

For fans of Chef Pang, don’t fret as he isn’t going anywhere; he will be opening a casual stall called Pang’s Hakka Noodles by end of July.

Chef Kenjiro Hashida. (PHOTO: Hashida)
Chef Kenjiro Hashida. (PHOTO: Hashida)

Hashida

Kenjiro ‘Hatch’ Hashida made a splash on Singapore’s Japanese dining scene when he opened his eponymous sushi restaurant in Mandarin Gallery and subsequently in River Valley. He brought an authentic feel of Tokyo with his classy Edomae sushi and omakase, while his fun-loving personality made him a favourite of local sushi lovers.

But Hashida will be best remembered for the giant slabs of prime tuna that he would bring out at every service, dramatically carving precious slices of gleaming, oily otoro and serving it individually to eager diners. But we may not see the last of ‘Hatch’ yet so here’s hoping Hashida re-appears in Singapore again in the near future to feed us delicious morsels again.

Chef Vianney Massot. (PHOTO: Vianney Massot Restaurant)
Chef Vianney Massot. (PHOTO: Vianney Massot Restaurant)

Vianney Massot Restaurant

The Robuchon-trained chef made his debut at the two Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Resorts World Sentosa before it closed and he moved to Hong Kong Street to helm the former Bacchanalia restaurant in 2018.

Before long, he replaced the name with his own, and earned one Michelin-star for his elegant fine dining French cuisine. The intimate, smartly-decorated, restaurant was a showcase for Chef Massot’s technical skills, which he displayed with elaborately detailed dishes like his foie gras symphony amuse bouche comprising a layer of foie gras mousse on top of jellied consommé and meticulously decorated with very fine dots of corn purée.

The best part was that it was complimentary with every meal, along with an impressive range of homemade French breads.

In an Instagram post dated 16 June, the team at Vianney Massot Restaurant updated with a statement that they are in the midst of finding a new address: “With our lease up for renewal in July, we made the difficult decision to cease operations temporarily while we look for a new home. In a post-COVID-19 world, the intimate space that we occupied at Hongkong St is no longer compatible with our vision of what Vianney Massot Restaurant can be. “

“Although we are excited about the opportunity of finding a new address, we will deeply miss the memories we created with you at Hongkong Street. The last two years have been an extraordinary experience for all of us, and we couldn’t have done it without your patronage and support!”

(PHOTO: Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar)
(PHOTO: Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar)

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar

A collective sigh might have followed the closure of Maggie Joan’s, a cosy mod-Australian bistro squeezed into a bunker-like space behind an Amoy Street shophouse. There, you would be treated to chef Zach Elliott-Crenn’s breezy cooking which combined seasonal ingredients with modern flair.

We’ll certainly miss the butternut financiers with cheese and macadamia filling, smoked carrot tartare, corn ravioli and other hits from the former head chef of the famed Portland restaurant in the UK.

Not to mention a cool range of cocktails you could enjoy inside or alfresco in the back alley with its gritty cool ambience. Chef Elliott-Crenn only managed to cook for a while till the pandemic happened, but at least we got to enjoy it while it lasted.

The Botanic

Modern Australian cooking with a healthy focus was what made The Botanic an unexpected hit when it opened in Raffles City shopping centre. Even though expectations are low for restaurants in a mall, Botanic‘s head chef Shannon Binnie made sure that they served good quality ingredients throughout.

You could enjoy vegetarian dishes without thinking you were missing out on real food, as he dished out an excellent guacamole and even a meat-free scotch egg that you could wolf down without knowing any better.

Even non-vegetarians could enjoy whole roasted fish or smoked sambal wagyu brisket. The garden-inspired decor, too, made it a cheerful place to hang out. Sadly, not anymore.

Salt Grill & Sky Bar

The view is definitely something we’ll miss about this fine dining restaurant that stood above Orchard Road on the 55th and 56th level of ION Orchard. It started out as a collaboration with Australian celebrity chef Luke Mangan, and until it closed in April, it was helmed by fellow Aussie chef Jake Kowalewski.

Besides its panoramic view of the city skyline, this restaurant was a place to sample some of the best quality Australian seafood and grass-fed meat in luxurious surroundings.

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