Three Michelin-starred Nordic restaurant Frantzén in Sweden will open a sister restaurant in Singapore come 21 November.
Called Zén, the Scandinavian fine-dining restaurant will take over a three-storey shophouse space in Bukit Pasoh Road that was vacated by the renowned nouvelle French restaurant, Andre in February this year.
Zén is a partnership between Swedish chef and restaurateur Björn Frantzén and Unlisted Collection, a Singapore hospitality group which runs more than 10 restaurants including one Michelin-starred Nouri and Burnt Ends in The Lion City. Zén will be the group’s first foray into Nordic cuisine.
The food at Restaurant Frantzén, which is Sweden's first and only three-Michelin-starred restaurant, revolves around the use of Nordic produce. It is coupled with Frantzén’s background in classic French cooking and influences from Asian and Japanese cuisines.
Loh Lik Peng, founder of Unlisted Collection, says Frantzén approached his group last October after news emerged that Restaurant Andre would be closing for good after eight years. He says: “Restaurant Frantzén is a good fit to take over such an iconic fine-dining space. There are a couple of places in Singapore that do high-end French and Italian cuisine, but not for Nordic cuisine.” He adds that the group contemplated with two other restaurants that were also vying to take over the coveted restaurant space in Bukit Pasoh Road.
Noting that Nordic cuisine is still relatively under the radar in Singapore, Loh says: “Diners here love diversity and are curious to learn about new cuisines. As long as you do the food well, people will come.”
Loh says that “one of the best meals” that he had was at Restaurant Frantzén in Stockholm last June. He recalls: “The flavours of the dishes were clean and refreshing with less use of sauces and the dishes showcased good techniques."
While Nordic cuisine features the use of many locally sourced ingredients, how will the flavours translate in a restaurant in Singapore? “While Frantzén is respectful to the traditions of Nordic cuisine, he will also incorporate ingredients from Asia too.”
To ensure that the quality of food is consistent here, Restaurant Frantzén’s executive chef Marcus Jernmark will oversee the operations of Zén in its opening period. The restaurant will be headed by head chef Tristin Farmer, who has worked at Maze by Gordon Ramsay in London, Aberdeen Street Social in Hong Kong and Marina Social in Dubai.
Zén is Frantzén's third overseas venture — he also runs Frantzen's Kitchen and The Flying Elk in Hong Kong.
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