Ignatius Chan, proprietor of Iggy’s in Singapore, and two partners open a new US$1.6m restaurant in July.
The new venue is a ‘three-in-one’ concept, Chan (pictured) told Decanter.com – a ramen soup shop, a kaiseki restaurant and a wine bar.
Yoshiyuki – named after its head chef, Yoshiyuki Kashiwabara – consists of a bar focusing on wines, sake, shochu and whiskeys, and a kaiseki restaurant.
The ramen shop, Uma Uma, is located on a separate floor from Yoshiyuki, with a separate entrance and branding.
Together the three venues, just behind the Hilton hotel in Singapore where Iggy’s – one of the most celebrated restaurants in the city – has its home, will have some 100 places, including seats for 12 diners in the kaiseki.
Kaiseki, a spokeswoman for the restaurant said, is ‘the highest level of Japanese dining, which pays special attention to seasonal ingredients and presentation. It is the equivalent of a degustation menu in a fine dining restaurant.’
Yoshiyuki Kashiwabara trained in Saitama, Japan for 13 years and came to Singapore as chef to the former Japanese ambassador.
‘He is not well-known in Singapore now,’ Chan said of the kaiseki specialist, ‘but soon he will be very famous.’
The wine list, Chan said, is going to be ‘very focussed, predominantly Burgundy’, with great attention paid to the more affordable village wines.
‘People tend to find Burgundy a minefield when they go beyond the blue chip wines,’ the former multi-award-winning sommelier said, explaining that the list will have ‘affordable and interesting village wines and will go into depth in terms of vintages – there will be ten vintages of Lafarge Volnay, for example.’
Chan stressed that he aims to ‘structure the list to educate people, to demonstrate the differences in terroir, vintage, and different growers’.
And he is also introducing an intriguing new angle – ‘option wines’ – whereby diners buy wines blind, on price alone, and depending on how accurately they identify region, vintage and name, they will be given a sizeable discount. ‘I don’t know anywhere else that does this,’ he said.
The restaurant is a joint venture between Chan, Kashiwabara, and a third Japanese partner.
Written by Adam Lechmere