Fine Dining

Rediscovering hawker food at Labyrinth

There is something which I as a European have hard time adapting to and that is Michelin star restaurants in shopping malls. Walking through a shopping mall simply doesn’t put me the right mood for enjoying world class cusine, but culture and traditions are different. Labyrinth is situated in a mall, but luckily the fact that It is located in a busy mall is easily forgotten once food arrives at your table.

At Labyrith those snacks arrived quickly and all was forgotten. Eating at Labyrith is like eating at a elevated hawker restaurant so naturally all the accessories to fit a hawker meal is right there with the first couple of snacks from roti to a delicious chicken wing stuffed with baby abalone and coin prata. 

From here it got a bit more technical with a rainbow yusheng sashimi with variations of pickles and a refreshing snow with kafir lime. A super refreshing dish with lots of acidity and a bit of sourness. This was definently my kind of dish.

Chawamushi is not exactly a traditional hawker dish but I don’t care when it’s this delicious. Mangelica pork stock gave nice depth to the dish.

Chili crab is one of the most popular hawker dishes. This version paid tribute to it but it also changed it completely. It was served with a chili tomato ice cream. The lover temperature brought out the flavors as the chili didn’t overpower the rest of the rest. All in all just very refined and delicious.

Shellfish from Hokkaido is probably the best in the world so seeing a BIG Hokkaido scallop in front of me brought a smile on my face. It was served with minced pork and a bit of chili. The smoke and the chili was unexpected but a perfect match to the delicate scallop.

Before moving on to the main dish they would serve a Potong and ginger flower popsicle. You could consider this a gimmick but the flavors were spot on. I especially enjoyed the floral flavor that a few pink peppercorn gave to the dish.

Now it its not chili crab that is the number one hawker dish it is definitely chicken rice which naturally would be the main dish. I only tried chicken rice twice in hawker centers. Usually served exactly how you would expected. A piece of chicken and rice. So depending on your view point this opens up the possibilities to interpret this by including other flavor elements or if you are strict it can only have chicken and rice. At Labyrinth they took the wider interpretation and included a stuffing and the elevated presentation gave associations to France. The sides of chili took me back to Singapore though. Naturally the rice is equally important and just a bit of soccarat lifted the experience. 

For the first dessert even the look of the beautiful bowl put a smile on my face. So did the refreshing coconut and tangerine peel ice cream.

Corn is a vegetable often used in Michelin star restaurants for dessert as it allows you to mix salty and sweet elements all from one ingredient. To build more complexity both brown butter and caviar was added. A dish that was technically very well executed, the presentation was impressive and the flavor was spot on. A perfect ending to a great meal.

I always love restaurants that have a purpose and a story to tell. At Labyrinth that purpose is to rediscover hawker food and Singaporean traditions. Without being an expert in neither I can from my own point of view say that they succeeded. I felt a connection to everything on the plate and its execution and presentation was impressive. They use very high quality ingredients where all of the shellfish was from Japan and when combined with great techniques and flavors the result is every bit as good as you could hope for. 

I can therefore strongly recommend a visit to Labyrinth to anybody visiting Singapore. 

Practical information 

Location: Singapore

Menu: 10 course tasting menu ($250)

Head chef: LG Han


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