Fancy dining in an oversized "bird cage" pavilion surrounded by lush greenery while suspended four storeys from the ground, with natural light streaming all around you? Make a reservation soon, for these are the choicest spots in the house at the newly reopened PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay. Don't forget your phone either as there will be plenty of Instagrammable opportunities once you get there. Here's a round-up of the best seats and treats you'll find at the city's latest go-to venue.
A wide choice for the discerning tippler
Nestled in a garden oasis on level four with world-class architecture as its backdrop, the Atrium Lounge offers plenty of Insta-worthy spaces that inspire conversations and encourage interactions. Families and friends in groups of four or fewer can cosy up in one of two intimate pavilions, while a party twice that size can mingle freely - as soon as Covid-19 restrictions allow - in a larger one. Inspired by the verdant surroundings, the culinary team dreamed up an afternoon tea to match the enchanting setting. Its nature-inspired afternoon tea is a picnic basket filled with a mix of sweet and savoury bites, including an edible "flower pot" with Oreo cookie crumble as the "soil" and fricassee made with chicken and forest mushroom, topped with home-grown herbs which will soon come from the hotel's own farm. Savour these canapes with a selection of gourmet teas or freshly brewed barista coffee.
As the afternoon turns into evening, watch the pavilions light up like oversized lanterns in a magical forest. It's hard to miss the Atrium Lounge bar, which is encased by the largest pavilion of all and is the undisputed jewel in the crown that is the atrium space. Here, you'll find a curated selection of more than 90 whiskies: from big names to small-batch distilleries in Scotland, Canada, India, Japan, and more. Whether you're a fan of smoky and peaty Scotch or sweet and oaky bourbons, new head mixologist Francis Gerard Carag is sure to find something that will suit you, and the palate of every connoisseur - or curious explorer.
Stealing the show from the whisky collection may well be the new cocktails that Carag has created for the hotel's reopening - check out Pavilion Nest, a delicious concoction of rum, liqueur, pineapple and fragrant pandan. Many of the new creations on the menu are named after iconic spaces in the hotel. Try Atrium Garden, or Sky Bridge Highball - the latter so named because of the sky bridge that stretches across the atrium. At four storeys high, the immersive treetop walk provides an exhilarating experience, so calling it a highball is a stroke of genius. Guests who don't drink alcohol are also catered for with a range of mocktails, like Grapefruit and Tonic and Strawberry Mojito Shrub, which will also feature home-grown garnishes from the hotel's own herb and vegetable farm once it is up and running in January.
A fresh take on farm-to-table dining
Formerly known as AquaMarine, this all-day dining restaurant has been renamed Peppermint, with offerings as fresh and bold as its moniker suggests. While you may not find peppermint growing in every corner, there will be plenty of greens to feast your senses on with the outlet's focus on farm-to-table cuisine. Indulge with peace of mind knowing that most of the seafood on your plate is either sourced from Singapore fish farms or sustainable suppliers overseas, and that a healthy proportion of the vegetables - eggplant, sweet potato leaves and xiao bai cai - are grown locally. Conscious diners will find plenty of options to chow down on here, like the signature pan-seared sustainable barramundi with honey soya emulsion and cauliflower rice.
To sample all that Peppermint has to offer, try the new a la carte buffet. Featuring a smorgasbord of international and local delights like Singapore laksa with seafood and wok-fried beef ribs with coffee sauce to chilli crab cakes and lamb parmentier, each dish is prepared a la minute at the open display kitchen and served to you at the comfort of your table. In a few months' time, diners can step on to the terrace just outside the restaurant and take a stroll through a vibrant and fragrant urban garden. Aromatic curry leaf, pandan, sage, rosemary and oregano will be just some of the edibles grown, alongside edible chive and red leaf begonia flowers, for garnishing cocktails, flavouring dishes and infusing beverages. By choosing to nurture seasonal produce, the hotel gardeners ensure that only the choicest picks from Mother Nature will be harvested and served to guests.
Says Chef Chan Tuck Wai, executive chef of Peppermint, "It's every chef's dream to work with the freshest, locally produced ingredients. Having our own urban farm at Peppermint is therefore a dream come true for me!"
A new spin on an old favourite
Peach Blossoms needs no introduction, and neither does dim sum, which is synonymous with Cantonese cuisine. Put the two together, add a dose of culinary magic from rising star Chef Edward Chong, and we have a winning combination.
To celebrate the reopening of Peach Blossoms, Chef Chong created exquisite new items for its dim sum menu, including Seafood Dumpling In Lobster Broth and Dim Sum Artistry, a handcrafted trio of delectable dumplings paired with flying fish roe. The dim sum repertoire is outstanding, not just in its quantity, but also in the level of meticulous craftsmanship involved, craftsmanship that brings forth layers of surprising flavours in each and every item. Take radish and shrimp for instance. Usually found in pan-fried radish cake, the version at Peach Blossoms has both ingredients stuffed into a flaky puff pastry. In another masterpiece, the humble yam is ground by hand into a silky smooth paste before being wrapped around crab meat, then deep-fried and given an indulgent topping of a baby abalone.
Not one to shy away from experimenting with recipes, Chef Chong has also added a few new innovative dishes to the menu, like Kurobuta Rib Smoked With Sugar Cane and Baked Alaska With Lychee And Wolfberries. Crowd favourites such as 120-day Angus Beef Tomahawk and Braised Fish Paste Noodles With King Prawn And Ikura (salmon roe) continue to be mainstays at the restaurant.
"I want to show people that Chinese cuisine has evolved and can continue to stay relevant to a bigger and younger audience. By creating an immersive culinary experience, while staying grounded in the principles of Chinese cooking, I will take diners on a gastronomic discovery into a whole new world of Chinese dining," says Chef Chong. It is clear that with Chong at the helm of Peach Blossoms, the restaurant will only grow from strength to strength as it continues on its journey to redefine Chinese dining.
Just as PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay breathes fresh air into the Marina Bay precinct, so too are its refreshing culinary offerings injecting new life into the dining scene. From the freshest farm-picked produce to sophisticated cocktails to classics reinterpreted, the distinct offerings of Peppermint, Atrium Lounge and Peach Blossoms will satisfy the palates of both fans and foodies alike.