Best & Worst 2018 - New Restaurants

From left: Vendace Roe From Kalix from restaurant Zen; Oven Roasted "Forty Garlic" Chicken from restaurant Atout; and Grilled Whole Fish from Fat Chap.
Vendace Roe From Kalix from restaurant Zen; Oven Roasted "Forty Garlic" Chicken from restaurant Atout; and Grilled Whole Fish from Fat Chap (above).PHOTO: ATOUT, FAT CHAP, ZEN
Vendace Roe From Kalix from restaurant Zen (above); Oven Roasted "Forty Garlic" Chicken from restaurant Atout; and Grilled Whole Fish from Fat Chap.
Vendace Roe From Kalix from restaurant Zen (above); Oven Roasted "Forty Garlic" Chicken from restaurant Atout; and Grilled Whole Fish from Fat Chap.PHOTO: ATOUT, FAT CHAP, ZEN
Vendace Roe From Kalix from restaurant Zen; Oven Roasted "Forty Garlic" Chicken from restaurant Atout (above); and Grilled Whole Fish from Fat Chap.
Vendace Roe From Kalix from restaurant Zen; Oven Roasted "Forty Garlic" Chicken from restaurant Atout (above); and Grilled Whole Fish from Fat Chap. PHOTO: ATOUT, FAT CHAP, ZEN

What is exceptional about this month-old restaurant by Swedish chef Bjorn Frantzen is not so much the food, good as it is, but the whole dining experience - from the rock music to the table-side plating to the easy camaraderie among the staff, who often tease one another as they serve. Few four-hour dinners pass by so pleasantly - until you are faced with the $450 bill. And that's for one person.

For me, French restaurants are usually for special occasions, but I will happily go back any time for chef Patrick Heuberger's rustic French dishes.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 23, 2018, with the headline 'Best & Worst 2018 - New Restaurants'. Print Edition | Subscribe