Capitol Theatre is next foodie draw

The site of the historic Capitol Theatre boasts a four-storey retail mall with exciting food choices, some of which are already open

The historic Capitol Theatre, which has been under redevelopment, will be home to a slew of new food and beverage outlets by June.

The 542,000 sq ft space in North Bridge Road comprises three conservation buildings - Capitol Theatre, Capitol Building and Stamford House. A new building, a four-storey retail mall called Capitol Piazza, will be part of the complex and it is connected to City Hall MRT station.

The integrated development, built by Capitol Investment Holdings, a consortium backed by Pontiac Land Group and Perennial Real Estate Holdings, includes residential development Eden Residences Capitol and luxury hotel The Patina Capitol.

Construction is ongoing. Many restaurants and shops are still hoarded up, but it is shaping up to be a draw for foodies.

Some places are already open for business. There is casual pizzeria Spizza Mercato (B2-52) by The Senso Group, which includes a gourmet retail section. Swiss chocolate brand Teuscher Chocolates (02-31), Once Upon A Milkshake and The Rosti Farm are opened too.

One of the biggest new-to-market brands to open is famed roast duck specialist Four Seasons from Bayswater, London. The 150-seat restaurant (02-27/28/29) was brought in by the Royal China Group, which owns Chinese restaurant Royal China at Raffles Singapore.

Royal China Group's general manager Raman Lam says: "We've been trying to bring in Four Seasons for a long time, but we wanted to find a good place. The menu is the same as in London. We've a chef who has been with us for more than 10 years to roast the ducks."

The ducks are from Holland and Bangkok, and he says they will "taste even better" than the British ducks used in the London flagship. Prices start at $22 for a serving of the roast duck.

He is well aware of Hong Kong-style restaurant London Fat Duck, slated to open next month at Scotts Square in Orchard Road.

The joint venture between the Fei Siong and Akashi groups will also serve the roast duck made popular by Four Seasons in London. Mr Lam shows SundayLife! a photo of the London Fat Duck restaurant hoarding and says: "They are trying to copy our identity."

Akashi director Mervin Goh says: "I don't see them as competition as the market is not that small and we are not located in the same area. It's not just about the duck, it's the technique. Local diners have grown up eating duck and they can pick their favourite."

He will also have a presence at Capitol and is opening a 3,200 sq ft modern sake bar-restaurant called Kazu (01-84). It will be helmed by American chef Dan Segall, former executive chef of Ku De Ta.

Another prominent name opening is famed Parisian tearoom Angelina (01-82), famous for its pudding-like hot chocolate and the classic Mont Blanc dessert made of pureed sweetened chestnuts and whipped cream.

The franchise is brought in by Re Global Hospitality, a family business with a focus on retail and hospitality in India and the United Arab Emirates. Brands that it operates include British retailer WH Smith. This is its first venture in Singapore.

Mr Aditya Talwar of Re Global Hospitality says: "Over the years, Angelina has sought to expand its presence globally. It has been in Japan for 30 years and expanded into China and the UAE last year. Singapore is a very appealing market with an international and well-travelled population, and hence a logical next step for its expansion."

The 60-seat dessert salon, modelled after Angelina's flagship outlet at the famed Rue de Rivoli in Paris, is slated to open by the end of next month and will have all-day dining and a pastry take-away section.

Other restaurants include Dazzling Cafe from Taiwan (01-85), Tap Craft Beer Bar (01-88/90), casual eatery 1933 (01-83), and modern Italian restaurant Equilibrium (01-86).

The 100-seat Equilibrium is by the owners of Italian restaurants Supply & Demand at Orchardgateway and Esplanade mall. It is scheduled to open in June.

The BreadTalk Group is behind 1933, which features local dishes such as Hainanese chicken rice and pork chop.

The group will also open a 12,000 sq ft multi- concept restaurant, Palette (B1-20 to B1-27), there.

The 400-seat casual restaurant with Euro-Peranakan interiors, features home-grown brands such as Balestier Bak Kut Teh and Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant, as well as Ah Koong Restaurant, a noodle shop from Johor Baru, and Hok Kee, a wonton and beef noodle specialist from Hong Kong.

The Ponte Group, which owns Erwin's Gastrobar and LeVel 33 at the Marina Bay Financial Centre, will open Austrian restaurant-bar Kaiserhaus (02-06 and 03-06) at Capitol Theatre. It will sell traditional Austrian pastries and beer, as well as Viennese coffee.

Other brands include Pho Tai Vietnamese Restaurant (B2-54) as well as familiar names such as Oriole Coffee + Bar (02-20/21), Hoshino Coffee (B2-55), Llao Llao (B2-29), Bounce Smoothie Bar (B2-28), Casa Italia (B2-30) and Ma Maison (B2-51).

euniceq@sph.com.sg