New chef for new Whitegrass

Chef Takuya Yamashita (above) is formerly from Tokyo’s one-Michelin-starred Ciel et Sol.
Chef Takuya Yamashita (above) is formerly from Tokyo’s one-Michelin-starred Ciel et Sol.PHOTOS: WHITEGRASS
Menu highlights at the new Whitegrass include Lamb Loin (above), with capsicum, aubergine and zucchini.
Menu highlights at the new Whitegrass include Lamb Loin (above), with capsicum, aubergine and zucchini. PHOTOS: WHITEGRASS

The restaurant at Chijmes, which closed in December, has reopened with a new Japanese chef at its helm

After its closure in December last year, Whitegrass restaurant at Chijmes marks a fresh start in the same location with a new head chef.

Whitegrass first opened in 2016 as a modern Australian fine-dining restaurant, run by Australian chef-owner Sam Aisbett, and earned one Michelin star in 2017 and last year.

Japanese chef Takuya Yamashita, 32, formerly from Tokyo's one-Michelin-starred Ciel et Sol, now helms Whitegrass and showcases classic French fare with a modern Japanese spin.

The 40-seat restaurant - which reopened yesterday - will provide only dinner service for a start. It offers a five-course dinner at $168 and an eight-course one at $228.

Menu highlights include Oyster, sourced from the Hyogo prefecture and served with Granny Smith apple puree, baby zucchini and nasturtium leaves; Lamb Loin, with capsicum, aubergine and zucchini; and Bresse Pigeon, a roulade of French pigeon and foie gras wrapped in Savoy cabbage and served with pomme puree.

In an interview with The Straits Times last year on the closure, chef Aisbett had said he was looking to open a smaller restaurant this year.

Under his watch, Whitegrass earned one Michelin star in 2017, which it retained last year. It fell off the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list this year, after debuting at No. 50 last year.

Datin Karen H'ng, owner of Whitegrass since it opened, says: "Chef Takuya's joining marks a significant milestone for us. We are confident Whitegrass will continue to scale new heights."

Chef Yamashita, born in the Nara prefecture, adds: "I am excited to embark on this journey with Whitegrass and look forward to honouring the age-old traditions of the passionate producers who, like me, share a great respect for the beautiful bounty of ingredients nature has to offer."

• Whitegrass at 01-26/27 Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street is open from 6 to 9pm (Tuesdays to Saturdays) and closed on Sundays and Mondays. For more information, call 6837-0402 or go to www.whitegrass.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline 'New chef for new Whitegrass'. Print Edition | Subscribe