28 April 2022

Private Dining Singapore: 10 Experiences Way Better Than Restaurants

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Joel Conceicao A long-suffering Arsenal fan who will most likely reincarnate as a Himalayan goat.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to dine in a space with just the chef? Here are private dining experiences you need to try:

 

Private dining in Singapore was already a thing many years ago. Then COVID happened. And what was mainly a trendy fad for people in the know got catapulted into the mainstream. Private dining became a safe space. Whereas you got crowds and queues at restaurants, dining in a stranger’s home offered a sweet mix of intimacy and exclusivity. No interruptions, no chasing you off to make way for more customers, no fuss. If you are looking to hold intimate gatherings with your loved ones or have a romantic date night out, here are ten private dining experiences better than restaurants:

Dine at a hole-in-the-wall industrial space
Dine at a hole-in-the-wall industrial space
  • Private Dining
  • Private/Exclusive
  • Pelago Exclusive
  • Couples
  • Group Travellers
  • Hidden Gem

Helmed by former Burnt Ends alumni David Low, Cloud Nine is a chic and cosy little space wildly different from its nondescript industrial surroundings. Besides being a total hidden gem (and a little hard to find, but that adds to the charm), David is a pro at whipping up a myriad of global flavours that he skilfully adapts to each diner’s taste buds. As you tuck into some seriously delicious fare here, check out the meticulously hand-carved cloud lights, a nod to David’s wabi-sabi sensibilities.

Dine at a magical rooftop home in Lavender
Dine at a magical rooftop home in Lavender
  • Hidden Gem
  • Private Dining
  • Couples
  • Group Travellers

Hidden gems don’t usually stay hidden for very long. For good reason, of course. The Proud Potato Peeler’s home may be a well-kept secret now for private dining enthusiasts. But perhaps for not much longer. Before getting those fairy tale vibes at his enchanting place, you first must make your way to a random tyre shop. Locate the vending machine before climbing a few flights of stairs. Once you find the entrance to his home, and this charming Greek-Turkish chef will greet you before he goes right into the zone of whipping up hearty Mediterranean dishes inspired by his grandmothers.

Align your chakra with plant-based food
Align your chakra with plant-based food
  • Hidden Gem
  • Private Dining

You are what you eat, yes. But how you eat matters. Get in touch with your inner self and unlock the healing properties of your chakra with a mindful dining session at Omm Home. Feast on a medley of plant-based dishes by Linda Hao, a fashion designer and yoga instructor. Bohemian to the core, her beautiful hippy home is the perfect place to ground your body, mind, and soul to find your zen. And, also to understand more about how we eat and the sort of things you put in your body.

Chow down on finger-lickin’ Peranakan fare
Chow down on finger-lickin’ Peranakan fare
  • Heritage
  • Group Travellers
  • Couples
  • Private Dining

Peranakan food is perfect for sharing. There’s no such thing as one person having their own plate. To enjoy the richness and diversity of this mouth-watering cuisine, you must share multiple dishes with others. And is there any better sharing food than seafood? One of the best private dining places to feast on authentic Peranakan fare is at The Seafood Shack. Don’t be shy to get your fingers dirty. It’s the best way to chow down on the delicious seafood here, like the succulent crab gulai, a curried crab with sweet and tender chunks of juicy flesh.

Savour nose-to-tail dining at a chef’s home
Savour nose-to-tail dining at a chef’s home
  • Group Travellers
  • Private Dining
  • Pelago Exclusive
  • Private/Exclusive
  • Local Favourite

Nose-to-tail dining is as literal as it sounds. Basically, it is a cooking style where chefs use as much of an animal as possible on their menu. You can experience these unique flavours with a seven-course menu at The Rivervale Pig, the cosy, minimalist home of Chef Edd. Start your evening right by sipping sake or wine at the balcony. Or head on over to the kitchen and chat about anything with Edd. As for the food itself, expect bold and flavourful fusion dishes spanning cuisines from Korean to European.

Have a tipple with omakase-led cocktails
Have a tipple with omakase-led cocktails
  • Group Travellers
  • Couples
  • Private Dining
  • Pelago Exclusive

Private dining is usually food-heavy. Omakase dinners are also all the rage with private dining chefs (omakase is a traditional Japanese style of dining where the chef prepares a meal based on produce and seasonality). Try out the cocktail version of omakase at Section D, a hyper-local home bar run by a self-taught journalist and his wife, the chief storyteller of the bar. Here, you can browse their fascinating spirits collection while learning how they make infusions, syrups, garnishes, and liqueurs using refined bar techniques.

Get your fill of Neo-Bistro cuisine, carte blanche-style
Get your fill of Neo-Bistro cuisine, carte blanche-style
  • Group Travellers
  • Private Dining
  • Pelago Exclusive
  • Hidden Gem
  • Local Favourite
  • Private/Exclusive

It’s rare that bread takes centre stage during a meal. Usually, it’s the meats that steal the show. Not at Chez Kai, a private dining outfit by Chef Yeo Kai Siang. A supremely talented young chef, Kai Siang was inspired by the Parisian culinary trend of Neo-Bistro cuisine. He makes his bread from scratch, to elevate it to more than just staple food. You can try his homemade ferments and ice creams while the rest of his six-course menu features fresh and seasonal ingredients prepared with French techniques and Teochew influences.

Try out Thai-fusion food at a private kitchen
Try out Thai-fusion food at a private kitchen
  • Private Dining
  • Group Travellers
  • Hidden Gem
  • Instagram-worthy
  • Local Favourite
  • Pelago Exclusive

Thai food needs no introduction to the world. But one chef in Sengkang is looking to repurpose the flavours of one of the world’s most popular cuisines in his image. Enter Chef Dom, a former hairstylist. He now uses his skilled fingers in another way, by dishing out a hearty and exhilarating medley of Thai and Peranakan food. Head to his humble abode to sample puffed rice crackers with pork dip, Thai-inspired sliders, and the star of the show – a massive Thai-influenced seafood paella.

Taste the world’s flavours with a chef-historian
Taste the world’s flavours with a chef-historian
  • Couples
  • Group Travellers
  • Hidden Gem
  • Private Dining
  • Local Favourite

One of the more unique private dining experiences in Singapore, you can dine at a house that’s part museum with artifacts from all over the globe. Welcome to the home of chef-historian Chris Choo and creator of legendary local sitcom Phua Chu Kang, Dr. Rose Sivam. Before your dinner, check out the museum-quality antiques, like a 2000-year-old Buddha bust before sitting down for your culinary journey through sumptuous classic dishes like chutneys, shakshouka’s, lamb karahi, and lamb tagine.

Enjoy al fresco dining at a whimsical outdoor space
Enjoy al fresco dining at a whimsical outdoor space
  • Hidden Gem
  • Private Dining
  • Pelago Exclusive

Tucked away in the peaceful neighbourhood of Seletar Hills, KeeHive is a place with a lot of heart. Artificial bees and grass may furnish the outdoor courtyard, but this is one place that feels anything but fake. Chef Bernard, the brainchild of the space, is a self-taught private chef inspired by his travels in Southeast Asia. And his spacious home is where you can enjoy familiar flavours with elegant twists. Say hi to his adorable kids and his friendly family that goes the extra mile to make you feel welcome.

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