COVID-19 closures: 7 restaurants in Singapore we will miss

Many restaurants in Singapore have succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic, with dozens of closures in the last few weeks as a result of Circuit Breaker measures. This means we won’t be able to eat at some of our favourite places any more. Here are seven restaurants we’ll miss.

By: Alexandra Lin and Reta Lee

Neon Pigeon

Tuna Donburi. (PHOTO: Neon Pigeon)

After a five-year run on Keong Saik Road, Neon Pigeon, a modern urban Japanese izakaya operated by local hospitality group The Dandy Collection, announced today (29 June) it will run its final service on Saturday, 11 July 2020.

The group will now turn their attention to creating Neon Pigeon 2.0, which will be the next iteration of the iconic brand, a media statement reads.

“We are thankful for the many great memories and friendships that we have forged at Neon Pigeon over the years. This is not farewell, but rather a ‘see you on the other side’, as we work on a new iteration of Neon Pigeon 2.0 that we will introduce when the time is right,” said Rohit Roopchand, co-founder of The Dandy Collection.

A farewell collaboration will be happening from 1 to 11 July 2020, during which Neon Pigeon will be selling signature beers from Heart of Darkness, the Vietnamese craft beer pub that will be taking over the space.

Diners can make their enquiries and place orders for the Neon Pigeon House Party at info@neonpigeonsg.com or call +65 6222 3623.    

Antoinette

Helmed by award-winning Chef Pang Kok Keong, who has won the coveted Pastry Chef of the Year title in the 2007, 2009 and 2010 instalments of the World Gourmet Summit, Antoinette is your quintessential Parisian pâtisserie, restaurant, and salon du thé that pays homage to Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France.

Sad to say, the 9-year-old Antoinette will shut both their Penhas Road and Millenia Walk outlets, including the online store, with operations slated to end on 30th June 2020.

For fans of Chef Pang, don’t fret as he isn’t going anywhere; he will be opening a casual stall called Pang’s Hakka Noodles by end of July.

Chef Kenjiro Hashida. (PHOTO: Hashida)

Hashida 

Kenjiro ‘Hatch’ Hashida made a splash on Singapore’s Japanese dining scene when he opened his eponymous sushi restaurant in Mandarin Gallery and subsequently in River Valley. He brought an authentic feel of Tokyo with his classy Edomae sushi and omakase, while his fun-loving personality made him a favourite of local sushi lovers.

But Hashida will be best remembered for the giant slabs of prime tuna that he would bring out at every service, dramatically carving precious slices of gleaming, oily otoro and serving it individually to eager diners. But we may not see the last of ‘Hatch’ yet so here’s hoping Hashida re-appears in Singapore again in the near future to feed us delicious morsels again.

Chef Vianney Massot. (PHOTO: Vianney Massot Restaurant)

Vianney Massot Restaurant

The Robuchon-trained chef made his debut at the two Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Resorts World Sentosa before it closed and he moved to Hong Kong Street to helm the former Bacchanalia restaurant in 2018.

Before long, he replaced the name with his own, and earned one Michelin-star for his elegant fine dining French cuisine. The intimate, smartly-decorated, restaurant was a showcase for Chef Massot’s technical skills, which he displayed with elaborately detailed dishes like his foie gras symphony amuse bouche comprising a layer of foie gras mousse on top of jellied consommé and meticulously decorated with very fine dots of corn purée.

The best part was that it was complimentary with every meal, along with an impressive range of homemade French breads. 

In an Instagram post dated 16 June, the team at Vianney Massot Restaurant updated with a statement that they are in the midst of finding a new address: “With our lease up for renewal in July, we made the difficult decision to cease operations temporarily while we look for a new home. In a post-COVID-19 world, the intimate space that we occupied at Hongkong St is no longer compatible with our vision of what Vianney Massot Restaurant can be. “

“Although we are excited about the opportunity of finding a new address, we will deeply miss the memories we created with you at Hongkong Street. The last two years have been an extraordinary experience for all of us, and we couldn’t have done it without your patronage and support!”

(PHOTO: Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar)

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar

A collective sigh might have followed the closure of Maggie Joan’s, a cosy mod-Australian bistro squeezed into a bunker-like space behind an Amoy Street shophouse. There, you would be treated to chef Zach Elliott-Crenn’s breezy cooking which combined seasonal ingredients with modern flair.

We’ll certainly miss the butternut financiers with cheese and macadamia filling, smoked carrot tartare, corn ravioli and other hits from the former head chef of the famed Portland restaurant in the UK.

Not to mention a cool range of cocktails you could enjoy inside or alfresco in the back alley with its gritty cool ambience. Chef Elliott-Crenn only managed to cook for a while till the pandemic happened, but at least we got to enjoy it while it lasted. 

The Botanic

Modern Australian cooking with a healthy focus was what made The Botanic an unexpected hit when it opened in Raffles City shopping centre. Even though expectations are low for restaurants in a mall, Botanic‘s head chef Shannon Binnie made sure that they served good quality ingredients throughout.

You could enjoy vegetarian dishes without thinking you were missing out on real food, as he dished out an excellent guacamole and even a meat-free scotch egg that you could wolf down without knowing any better.

Even non-vegetarians could enjoy whole roasted fish or smoked sambal wagyu brisket. The garden-inspired decor, too, made it a cheerful place to hang out. Sadly, not anymore.

Salt Grill & Sky Bar 

The view is definitely something we’ll miss about this fine dining restaurant that stood above Orchard Road on the 55th and 56th level of ION Orchard. It started out as a collaboration with Australian celebrity chef Luke Mangan, and until it closed in April, it was helmed by fellow Aussie chef Jake Kowalewski.

Besides its panoramic view of the city skyline, this restaurant was a place to sample some of the best quality Australian seafood and grass-fed meat in luxurious surroundings.

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