Labyrinth takes diners through Singaporean cuisine with a nine-course menu with elevated, avante garde plates of icons like chilli crab, mee pok and soft boiled eggs
It’s no secret that Singaporeans take their food seriously; few things spark off lively discussions like recommendations for good hawker food or the best local restaurants in the city. If you’re looking for a dining gem that marries the best of both worlds, prepare your tastebuds for a one-of-a-kind adventure with restaurant Labyrinth, newly relocated at the swish Esplanade Mall. Elegantly furnished with subdued lighting and deep, plush colours, the sophisticated resto aims to surprise diners with its Neo-Sin cuisine: familiar, local flavours presented in unexpected ways, thanks to the use of food science and modern technology. Here’s what we can promise: The new tasting menu – a 9-course adventure designed to take diners on “A Day in the Life of a Singaporean”($168, $228 with wine pairing) – will impress even the most cynical foodie. Fair warning (from Chef Han himself): What you see is not what you get.
The Experience menu begins with a quartet of street snacks, usually enjoyed during Breakfast – we particularly loved the Kaya Butter represented in a macaron and Rojak in a yew char kway puff filled with sauce. The morning meal continues with the innovative ‘Mee Pok’ – a faux noodle made with squid, fish cake made from scallops and minced meat from powdered anchovy and tapioca powder.
The lunch courses offer diners three ingenious creations combining clever reconstructions of textures, surface appearances and textures. What we adored was the famed Labyrinth Chilli Crab – an absolute treat for the tastebuds with its combination of crispy Soft Shell Crab, feisty chilli crab ice cream and moreish mantou crumbs. Our recommended dinner choice is the Beef Hor Fun (the alternative is Hokkien Mee made with Egg Yolk Noodle and Boston Lobster). In Chef Han’s signature imaginative style, the hor fun is made of turnip and radish, served up with melt-in-your-mouth Japanese Wagyu beef.
No matter how stuffed you are by this stage, do save room for the closing dish and star of the show: the signature SG Breakfast. While it looks like your typical local brekkie, dessert fiends will delight at the replacement of familiar savoury flavours by sweet ones. We’re still dreaming about the creamy mounds of panna cotta filled with mango ‘yolks’ (the soft boiled eggs), with an option of sugary ‘soya sauce’ and ‘pepper’ made from almond powder.
Labyrinth, Esplanade Mall, #02-23, 8 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039802, p.6223 4098. Open Mon-Thu 12pm-3pm, 530pm-1130pm, Sat-Sun 530pm-1130pm.