Restaurants moving

Master chef Koichiro Oshino at Shinji by Kanesaka at Raffles Hotel Arcade.
Master chef Koichiro Oshino at Shinji by Kanesaka at Raffles Hotel Arcade.PHOTO: ST FILE

Three months after being awarded one Michelin star in the guide's inaugural edition, sushi restaurant Shinji by Kanesaka was told to move out of Raffles Hotel.

The 129-year-old hotel in Beach Road is being revamped. Tenants were given until Jan 15 to vacate, but they have since worked out an arrangement with the hotel to leave by Feb 12.

Shinji will serve its last meal on Feb 4 and, on March 2, open at its new home at Carlton Hotel, across the street. The restaurant will take over the space vacated by the hotel's Gravity Bar.


Mrs Joni Ong, 56, Shinji's managing director, says the total space of 4,200 sq ft is too big for the restaurant. So, Shinji will take up 2,500 sq ft, while the rest of the space will house a bar.

She says: "We are not suddenly opening a Shinji bar. But it will have a Japanese influence - with sake and whisky - on top of the usual bar drinks."

It is business as usual at Shinji at The St Regis Hotel, which also has one Michelin star.

At Mandarin Gallery, one-Michelin-starred French restaurant Beni will open by the end of the month. It closed in April and swopped locations with its sister restaurant, Hashida Sushi. Hashida Sushi re-opened in July and Beni takes over its former premises on the second floor of the mall. Instead of dark interiors and counter seating in its previous incarnation, Beni's general manager Antoine Capelli, 31, says the revamped restaurant will feature lighter colour tones. It can now seat 24 diners - up from previously seating only 15 diners at the counter - at a chef's counter and in two private rooms.

One-Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant Candlenut opened at Como Dempsey at Dempsey Hill last Tuesday to a bustling dinner service. Its chef-owner, Mr Malcolm Lee, 32, observed many walk-in customers and his reservation list is filling up fast. The 92-seat restaurant - including a private room for eight diners - is now under Como Lifestyle, a subsidiary of Singapore fashion doyenne Christina Ong's Club 21. Candlenut is now open seven days a week. When the restaurant was at Dorsett Residences, it was closed on Sundays. A la carte menus - which include the signature buah keluak, chap chye and kueh pie tee - are available for lunch and dinner.

Two zi char restaurants on the Bib Gourmand list are also moving. New Ubin Seafood's move has been delayed by renovation works on its new premises, so its last day at Sin Ming Industrial Estate is Nov 13. It will re-open by Nov 16 at its new 6,200 sq ft space at Lam Soon Industrial Building in Hillview Avenue.

There are also changes for JB Ah Meng. Its last day of operations in Geylang Lorong 23 is Dec 15. It will move to a shophouse in 534 Geylang Road on Jan 1. Half of the new unit will be air-conditioned. Popular dishes such as white pepper crab and san luo meehoon, will remain on the menu.

Eunice Quek and Kenneth Goh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 06, 2016, with the headline 'Restaurants moving'. Print Edition | Subscribe