The vibrant Keong Saik Road, known once for being a prominent red-light district here in Singapore, is now more famous for its slew of vibrant restaurants and bars and now plays home to the new Luxe Singapore. While the original Luxe from Sydney is famous as a café brand with gourmet roasted coffees and baked goods, the Singapore Luxe signals a new focus on contemporary Australian dining with a touch of Asian inspiration thanks to Chef Chui Lee Luk.
At 3,000 square feet, Luxe Singapore occupies part of The Working Capitol’s ground floor shophouse area, filling the space with a minimalistic yet elegant Scandanavian style. The interior, designed by Victoria Hampshire, is divided into a cozy pre-drinks area, a large bar setting and a dining space.
Related: 10 best gourmet burgers in Singapore
With light wooden furnishing and flooring highlighted by touches of copper, contrasted with white washed walls (painted with seven layers for texture, we’re told), the interiors make us feel like we’d just stepped into a relaxed, Bondi Beach establishment.
Chef Chui’s menu, while not extensive, is inspired by an impressive culinary and cultural background. Singapore-born of Malaysian descent, Chui was raised in Australia and started her career working with well-known names in the industry including Annabel Savill, Kylie Kwong, Dany Chouet and Tim Pak Poy.
At Luxe Singapore, she uses an almost home-cooking style approach to traditional Aussie fare using the best locally-sourced ingredients for an added Southeast Asian flavour. You can start your meal with some gorgeous parmesan doughnuts (S$12) or Keong Saik fried chicken (S$18) with chilli padi aioli, but we’d also recommend the burrata (S$16) served with cabbage relish and grilled broccoli. There’s very few places in Singapore which serve such soft and creamy burrata, truly living up to its Italian definition of ‘buttery’.
Meat lovers can choose between the succulent Luxe grass-fed beef burger (S$28) or the 250g Angus ribeye ($45) served with Cafe de Paris butter and fries. A lighter option would be the wild weed pie (S$24), sporting a beautifully flaky pastry filled with spinach and served with a side of fennel slaw.
Our favourite was definitely the golden brown sausage roll filled with pork and fennel (S$18), typically eaten by school children at lunch or alongside meat pies at an Aussie cricket game. Here, the handmade crispy and buttery pastry with a side of roasted tomato sauce brings a little Aussie tradition to the sophisticated restaurant and will be one item we’ll definitely be coming back for.
While we adored Chui’s special XO sauce which uses dried French sausages in place of scallops and prawns, the grilled octopus (S$21) was a little on the tough side. The grilled barramundi (S$36) on the other hand, had wonderfully tender flesh, complemented by a tangy rojak flower butter.
If you love to eat as much as we do, you’re probably already quite stuffed but don’t miss the kaya-filled pandan madeleines (S$8) for a light but sweet end to your meal. If the runny coconut jam isn’t quite enough of a sugar fix, opt for the chocolate indulgence ($14) which is exactly as the name suggests.
There are a few minor kinks to iron out but we’re largely impressed by the Luxe group’s first overseas venture – a warm yet sophisticated dining experience with outstanding service. We’re looking forward to seeing what else Chef Chui brings from down under and how she continues, adding her own personal touch.
Luxe Singapore, 1 Keong Saik Street, #01-04, Singapore 089109, www.facebook.com/LuxeLovesSG
This post was originally published on Lifestyle Asia, Luxe Singapore: Australian food with local flair on 6th July, 2015