Nordic kaiseki with French accents in destination shophouse


On the Pass

Tristin Farmer

A strong pedigree: Zén is the Singapore stablemate of the much-vaunted Stockholm restaurant Frantzén – hence the name – which features prominently on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

On the menu: Frantzén’s trademark cuisine is described by founder Bjorn Frantzén as “Nordic kaiseki with French perfume”. Expect snacks of beer-poached crustacean with trout roe topped with dill-scented sour cream as well as crispy potato roll crowned with Vendace roe, red onion rings and dill, followed by a parade of eight mains headlined by the signature “French Toast”, a grand tradition.

And to drink? Extensive wines and a bevy of Japanese sake. If you’d rather stay sober, the stellar jus pairing is not to he missed, not least the floral and fruity juice of oxidized apple with Oolong tea and subu arare that arrives with the fish course

Point of distinction: The dining format. Zen offers a clutch of distinct spaces proffering different experiences: a kitchen where you tuck into snacks and sip aperitifs; a dining room on the second floor for main courses; the living room on the upper floor for digestif and desserts. Unlike the counter-style seating in Stockholm, Singapore’s offers more privacy by way of individual tables.

About the chef: Look out for Scotland-born, Singapore-based executive chef Tristin Farmer, who trained at restaurants led by Gordon Ramsay and Jason Atherton in London, Hong Kong and Dubai.