Chef Wan’s Kitchen is a new restaurant at the Esplanade Mall. The Esplanade Mall is the retail and f&b section of the Theatres by the Bay complex (also known as “the Durian”). It is a convenient place to go for a meal or drink just before or after catching a performance or concert at the Theatres by the Bay. The person behind the restaurant is celebrity Chef Redzuawan Ismail, also known as Chef Wan. Another Singapore restaurant associated with him, the halal Asian cuisine, buffet-style restaurant, 1 Market by Chef Wan at Plaza Singapura had closed in 2016. For more information on the 1 Market and reasons for the closure, read Straits Times article: 1 Market by Chef Wan closes its doors.
Chef Wan’s Kitchen menu.
Chef Wan’s Kitchen, Esplanade is a bright and modern place by day. We were there for lunch, attracted by their $15.90 set meal. The items in the menu seems quite diverse. There are Peranakan, Moroccan, Javanese and Spanish dishes in the menu which has big clear photos of the items. This is probably the only place in Singapore where we can find lontong, tom yum pumpkin soup, Portuguese baked cod, Moroccan chicken tagine under one roof.
We were there only for a quick lunch and settled for four variants of the set meal. Here are pictures of some pages from the Chef Wan’s Kitchen menu.
Here are the one-plate meals that we had: Fish Balado Set ($17.90), Beef Rendang Set ($17.90), Javanese Fried Chicken Set ($15.90) and Ayam Pencik Set ($15.90). There was an option to add on either a drink or a dessert for $3.
Each platter was essentially the same except for the meat item. The bright yellow coconut rice perked up the otherwise plain dish. The side items were hard boiled sambal egg, bergerdil, salad, achar and some thin crisps which I think are the Indonesia version of keropok (emping?).
Basically, these were similar items other than the main meat dish. It was generally agreed that the two chicken items were the best (Javanese Fried Chicken and Ayam Pencik), the beef rendang was next and the Fish Balado was the least liked item. Overall, the set meals reminded us of nasi padang. Although these were more refined versions, we were expecting more from Chef Wan’s Kitchen. Perhaps the a la carte items will provide a better dining experience.
The Calamansi Juice and Lemongrass Blend were nice and refreshing. As for the desserts, we tried the Chilled Coconut Custard and Steamed Jackfruit Custard. They were both average. The coconut custard was the better of the two.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Chef Wan’s Kitchen
8 Raffles Avenue
Opening Hours : 12-2:30 pm; 5:30-10 pm
Nearby MRT Stations: Esplanade, City Hall