As guest spots pick up around restaurants in Singapore, an optimistic sign for the F&B industry, Flutes Restaurant at the National Museum gets in on the action. Organised by Chef Residence, the same folks who recently brought in KOKS at Grand Hyatt, the four-week pop-up in April will feature host Tom Sellers, chef patron of two Michelin-starred Restaurant Story in London.
One of the youngest chefs in the UK to get a Michelin star at age 26, Sellers learnt the ropes from some of the top names in the fine dining industry including Tom Aikens, Thomas Keller and René Redzepi. We speak to him ahead of his first Asian pop-up.
Why did you choose to come to Singapore for the first Asian residency?
I’ve always seen Singapore as an exciting, culturally diverse country and, therefore, when I was presented with this opportunity and the chance to come to this part of the world, we were excited to commit to the project.
What kind of research have you done to prepare for this?
We have friends all over the globe, including a few chefs in Singapore whom we have spoken to about flavors and trends in the local market. We are also working very closely alongside the Flutes’ team to create an experience that will be enjoyed by their customers.
How much of the menu will be tweaked exclusively for the residency?
The menu is a mix of signature dishes from our London restaurant and some new dishes that are influenced from our surroundings and local flavours. Some of the signature dishes people can expect to see are our Rabbit Sandwich, Paddington Bear & Custard, and Caviar dish.
What dishes can Singaporean diners enjoy from the residency here?
The menu takes a similar format to our menu at Restaurant Story in London. We start with some snacks and then go into the main part of the menu, finishing with sweet treats. Some new takes have taken influence from Asian flavors that we’re excited for guests to experience.
How will you be translating the museum’s history into the courses?
Being located inside such an iconic building, we have, of course, taken into consideration the setting and will create something special!
What are you excited to do when you arrive here?
I am really excited to get out and explore the city, go to the early morning fish market and taste all the different street food.
How has the fine dining industry been like in London since Covid began?
Our industry worldwide was hit extremely hard by Covid, and we’re still experiencing knock-on effects, including staffing problems and late cancellations. We’re extremely lucky to have incredible guests and supporters that have been there with us every step of the way, and we have been very busy since we re-opened. We’ve seen a big increase in the lunch trade and I hope the trend continues.
As a trailblazer, are you working on anything new at the moment? What is it?
We have lots of exciting projects in the pipeline – most of which I’m not currently allowed to disclose information on at this stage. What I can say is that we’re building a second floor at Restaurant Story due to open in late Autumn 2022. This is going to allow us to continue elevating our guest experience!
Photos from Restaurant Story.