This is quite a restaurant like no others.
While “Mod-Sin” cuisine is gaining traction, perhaps this is a restaurant that can be described as “Mod-Asian”.
15 Stamford by Alvin Leung is conceptualised by the maverick celebrity chef Alvin Leung, unveiled at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore.
Known for his 3 Michelin-starred restaurant Bo Innovation in Hong Kong and creative spin on food, Chef Alvin Leung positions 15 Stamford as a venue where he serves his take on Southeast Asian food while maintaining its flavours and DNA.
The menu showcases a multi-faceted hybrid of several recipes from his journeys around Asia, paying tribute to cuisines from Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
So while most of the dishes should taste more or less familiar, there are components that are unconventional and may excite your taste-buds once again.
While Bo Innovation is known for molecular dining, there is nothing too “X-Treme” here, but creative dishes of quite substantial portions.
What you can expect include the Singapore Chilli Crab inspired dish of Whole Alaskan King Crab in Chilli Crab Sauce and served with Cornbread; Whole Boston Lobster with Mangosteen, Tomato and Spicy Thai Dressing; and Hokkaido Scallop with Adobo Butter and Ginger which pays tribute to the iconic Filipino dish Adobo.
Here are other recommended dishes from 15 Stamford by Alvin Leung:
Singapore Laksa with Jasmine Tea-smoked Onsen Quail Eggs, Housemade Dried Shrimp Oil, Shrimp Floss and Charcoal-Grilled Tiger Prawns ($32)
A generous portion of Laksa made Katong-style, where the thick beehoon rice noodles are cut into shorter bite-sized strands so the dish can be eaten with a spoon alone sans chopsticks or fork.
The creamy coconut-based lemak broth made with house-made rempah, is further enhanced with special dried shrimp and sprinkling of dried shrimp floss.
I would recommend having this hot straight after it is served, so that you can better taste that light crisp from the floss.
There are two other selling points of the Laksa: the 3 pieces of onsen quail eggs in which you can savour some subtle Jasmine tea fragrance; and 2 large char-grilled Tiger Prawns with appealing smokiness.
Chargrilled “Bak Kut Teh” Pork Chop with Compressed Watermelon, Angelica, Barbecue Sauce ($38)
Unlike the peppery Teochew-style Bak Kut Teh, Chef Alvin’s rendition of this grilled dish is more on the herbal Malaysian variety.
It also deliberately lacks the soup this local dish is known to have.
The large slab of bone-in pork chop is marinated over 8 different herbal spices for 12 hours, and chargrilled until tender.
Accompanied with blocks of compressed watermelon soaked in a fragrant angelica syrup, the grilled steak comes with a serving of sweet house-made barbecue sauce that reminded me of a more fragrant dark sauce often accompanied with the dish.
Because of the way it is presented, you can enjoy this like a Western-style pork chop, but obviously infused with recognisable Asian flavours.
Bone in Beef Short Ribs Rendang served with Cabbage Salad ($68)
Of all the food served, I thought that the element of surprise was the strongest for this.
The Malaysia-inspired dish features bone-in US beef ribs that has been cooked sous vide for 72 hours, long enough to bring out the beef’s ultimate tenderness and flavour.
Marinated in a sweet rendang sauce reminiscent of the stew, I say let those flavours linger in your mouth.
Served with a house-made pink preserved cabbage salad that is like an Asian version of the German sauerkraut, and topped with fried scallions.
Bluefin Tuna Tartare in Gochujang Sauce served with Son-in-Law Egg ($36)
Recently, I tried Chef Alvin Leung’s lesser-known modern Korean concept Bib n Hops in Hong Kong, and was impressed with the interpretation of several of the dishes.
Therefore I was glad to see a couple of Korean-inspired food items here, such as this Bluefin Tuna Tartare.
Served as a starter and part of the bar menu, this dish comprising of soft cubes of raw Bluefin tuna is an interplay of textures and flavours.
Providing some heat (but not that much) is the house-made gochujang (Korean red chilli paste) to balance off the chilled fish meat.
This spicy appetiser is topped with a runny “son-in-law egg”.
Son-in-law egg? It’s also known as “kai loug kheuh” in Thailand, boosting crisp golden exterior, creamy centre sizzled in rich, sweet and sour caramel-like sauce.
Three-style Corn, Heirloom Tomatoes and Cucumbers in Hong Kong “Pat Chun” Sweet Vinegar ($18)
It is not often you find popcorn in a salad. This unique salad combines three types of corn – smoky charred butter corn, tender ears of baby corn, and crunchy popcorn.
The syrupy dressing used is a ba zhen or “eight treasures” vinaigrette, based on the Hong Kong popular “Pat Chun” sweet vinegar.
Tossed into the mix are peeled heirloom cherry tomatoes and pieces of juicy cucumber, which go well with the dry, chewy popcorn.
Hokkaido Scallop with Salted Plum and Shiso
A Japanese Scallop Sashimi starter that looks like a mini-garden, garnished with Japanese green shiso leaves, chives and Japanese sesame oil.
There is an reinvigorating factor with the addition of special salted plum sauce.
Hamachi with Calamansi Ponzu and Roasted Sesame
Hamachi sashimi tossed in calamansi ponzu sauce, finished off with calamansi gel and fried garlic chips for extra crunch.
Mango Pomelo Sago with Coconut Snow ($16)
A classic Cantonese dessert gets molecularized when the traditional trio of mango, pomelo and sago meet nitrogen coconut ice.
Inspired by the Asian “Ice Kachang”, the thick and rich fruit base carries a hint of citrus from the addition of refreshing yuzu, and capped to a heap with coconut snow.
15 Stamford is a modern 150-seater restaurant, with a private room that can accommodate up to 12 persons.
There are various sections that you can dine at; some that faces the open-kitchen, circular booth seats that can accommodate groups for a more intimate session; and long tables for a get-together with family and friends.
The interiors blends with the beautifully conserved architecture of Stamford House. There was that strong Art Deco elegance and decadence, yet with Asian elements in the details.
A beautiful space.
15 Stamford by Alvin Leung
The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, 15 Stamford Road, Singapore 178906
Tel: +65 6715 6871
Opening hours: Lunch 12:00pm – 3:00pm, Dinner 6pm to 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore.