Maggie Joan’s

Maggie Joan's is opened by Moosehead Kitchen + Bar's Daniel Ballis (far right) and his college mate Darren Micallef.
Maggie Joan's is opened by Moosehead Kitchen + Bar's Daniel Ballis (right) and his college mate Darren Micallef.PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

WHERE: 110 Amoy Street, 01-01, entrance from Gemmill Lane

OPENING: Mid to late next month

Perpendicular to Gemmill Lane is a row of doors and they are the back entrances to a row of shops along Amoy Street.

One of these doors will be the front entrance to new restaurant Maggie Joan's, run by Moosehead Kitchen + Bar's Daniel Ballis, 28, and his college mate Darren Micallef, 31, who is relocating from Sydney.

The space is the back part of what was once a Taiwanese porridge restaurant. Mr Ballis says the space is too large for the restaurant they are planning and the landlord agreed to rent out the front part of the space, which faces Amoy Street, as office space and to rent them the back part, separated by a soundproof wall.

About 1,000 sq ft of the 1,500 sq ft space will be the 50-seat restaurant and the remaining space might be turned into a bar.

The restaurant is named after Mr Ballis' grandmothers.

"They are both rapt," he says. "They feel like celebrities."

He adds that the food will be modern Mediterranean.

Unlike Moosehead, with its sharing plates, the new restaurant will have a menu of entrees, main courses and desserts. Dinner will be in the region of $80 to $100 a person.

"It is fine, but not fine-dining," Mr Ballis says.

The secret entrance at the back of the building might well work in their favour.

Mr Micallef says that in Sydney and Melbourne, restaurants with hidden entrances in laneways and back alleys have a cachet.

"The restaurant is hard to find, but you take your friends and show them something they haven't seen before," he says.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2015, with the headline '(No headline) - HYGEM24D'. Print Edition | Subscribe