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Dining Out 5 minutes 28 March 2019

What To Eat At Jewel Changi Airport

In exclusive interviews to the Michelin Guide Digital, chefs and restauranteurs share why they have decided to open eateries in the much-anticipated shopping complex.

new opening airport Singapore

It may be less than two weeks before Jewel Changi Airport, the iconic shopping complex in the airport, officially opens its doors on April 17, but foodies can look forward to a cornucopia of dining options — with or without their passports.

The 137,000 square-metre facility, which is situated next to Terminal 1, features a stunning centrepiece, a 40 metre-tall Rain Vortex, that is touted as the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, a sprawling 14,000 square-metre Canopy Park filled with verdant hedge mazes and sky nets, where visitors can walk more than 25 metres above the ground.

Besides these awe-inspiring facilities, Jewel Changi Airport is living up to Singapore’s status as a food hub. Out of the 280 retail shops in the 10-storey glass-and-steel futuristic dome-shaped building, about 40 percent are food and beverage outlets.

In exclusive interviews with The MICHELIN Guide Digital, three chefs and restaurateurs share that they hope to tap on Jewel Changi Airport’s location and reputation as a family-friendly hang-out area to reach out to the high volume of tourists from around the world and to also introduce more travel-friendly food products. 

One of them is the spokesperson at YUN NANS, a Yunnan restaurant chain which is opening its first overseas outlet in Jewel after running more than 150 outlets across China. 

(from left) Mr Reuben Chua and Mr Tommy Lu of YUN NANS with dishes cooked with ingredients grown in the mountainous region of Yunnan in China.
(from left) Mr Reuben Chua and Mr Tommy Lu of YUN NANS with dishes cooked with ingredients grown in the mountainous region of Yunnan in China.

The 88-seat restaurant, which is also known as “yun hai yao” in Chinese, specialises in using ingredients that are cultivated up to 6,000 metres above sea level in Yunnan’s highlands in China.

Ingredients to note include wild mushrooms, preserved vegetables and black truffle. Its signature dishes include steam pot chicken soup, which diners can enjoy in two ways. They can first sip on the chicken soup which has been pressure-steamed for three hours in customised earthenware pots. Then, they season the chicken with condiments such as green peppercorns, beansprouts, chillies and mala sauce. Other favourites are stir-fried wild porcini mushrooms with dried chillies and beef stew. About 20% of the menu comprises new dishes such as truffle rice noodles in prawn broth and salt-grilled salmon head.


READ ALSO: Jewel Changi Airport: Eateries With The Coolest Facelifts


The interiors of YUN NANS is inspired by the mountainous region of Yunnan in China.
The interiors of YUN NANS is inspired by the mountainous region of Yunnan in China.

Mr Tommy Lu, chief executive officer of YUN NANS, says that Singapore makes an ideal location to make the chain's overseas debut as he feels that the little-known Chinese cuisine will sit well with a Chinese-majority local population. It took his team a year to scout for a location for the shop. He says: “This location is iconic and will help to showcase Yunnan cuisine and ingredients to a global audience. I also hope to use the Singapore outpost as a springboard and model to expand into the South-east Asian market.”

Chef Daniel Chavez of Tonito, a Latin American restaurant in Jewel Changi Airport. (Photo: Kenneth Goh)
Chef Daniel Chavez of Tonito, a Latin American restaurant in Jewel Changi Airport. (Photo: Kenneth Goh)

Chef Daniel Chavez of Spanish restaurant OLA Cocina Del Mar and Tono Cevicheria will roll out a new family-friendly concept, Tonito in Jewel Changi Airport. The Latin-American restaurant hopes to introduce to diners cuisine from countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Cuba.

On the menu are sandwiches such as Pan Chon Chorizo (chorizo sandwich with sweet potato strips) , Pan con Chicharron (pork belly sandwich) and anticucho skewers served with chimichurri. Tacos and quesadilla will also be on the menu.


READ ALSO: 9 Places To Get Food Souvenirs From Jewel Changi Airport

Latin American sandwiches, skewers and tacos at Tonito.
Latin American sandwiches, skewers and tacos at Tonito.

Chavez was initially skeptical when he was offered an opportunity to open an eatery in Jewel Changi Airport but soon changed his mind when he saw the potential of the location to reach out to a wider audience. And it helps that his restaurant has a prime vantage point of the Rain Vortex.

The Peru-born chef says: “Latin American cuisine has often been mixed up with cuisines such as Tex-Mex, but with the culture gaining popularity around the world, it is a good platform to showcase our culture and food.” He is making Tonito a family-friendly restaurant with cheerful colours dominating the space, complete with a visually-arresting row of animal figurines that line the counter.


READ ALSO: 5 Questions With Shake Shack’s Mark Rosati On Getting Creative With Burgers

The signature roast duck and buns Kam's Roast come in travel-friendly packaging at its first airport store.
The signature roast duck and buns Kam's Roast come in travel-friendly packaging at its first airport store.

For Kam’s Roast, the Singapore outpost of one-Michelin-starred Kam’s Roast Goose in Hong Kong, it will open its first airport outlet at Jewel Changi Airport. Kam’s Roast’s signature roast duck, which weighs up to 3kg, can be packed as a hand-carried item that can be checked in.

The duck is wrapped in parchment paper and cling film before being placed in a box. Its cured sausages and buns will also come in travel-friendly packaging. David Ooi, operations manager of Kam’s Roast, says: “We want to open in an airport as about 30% of our customers at the Pacific Plaza outlet are tourists. Most of them are from Indonesia and the Philippines, who frequently takeaway our roast duck and roast pork.”

Besides three restaurants, here is a roundup of the exciting dining options at Jewel Changi Airport that you need to know and save stomach space for.

Shang Social is Shangri-La Hotel's first standalone restaurant in Singapore. (Photo: Shang Social)
Shang Social is Shangri-La Hotel's first standalone restaurant in Singapore. (Photo: Shang Social)

Made-In-Singapore Food Brands

A smorgasbord of food brands will fly the Singapore flag high. Tiger Street Lab by the local brewery will open its first flagship store here with Singapore flavours-infused beers with zichar fare from Michelin Plate Kek Eng Kee Seafood Restaurant.

Luxury hotel Shangri-La Singapore will launch its first standalone restaurant, Shang Social. It will serve classic and modern renditions of dishes from Cantonese, Huaiyang and Sichuan cuisines by executive Chinese chef Mok Kit Keung.

Violet Oon Singapore will open its fifth and largest restaurant yet. It serves new dishes from a live charcoal grill and its retail line of cookies and sweets by Singapore cooking doyenne, Violet Oon. Long-time Swiss roll specialist Rich & Good Cake Shop in Kandahar Street will start its long-awaited second outlet too, rolling out Swiss rolls in beloved flavours such as kaya, durian, orange and mango. Homegrown shoe company Pazzion will introduce its cafe-rum-retail concept, Pazzion Cafe. Up-and-coming chef Koh Han Jie will co-helm  El Fuego by Collin’s, the first European eatery run by the Western food hawker stall chain.

Michelin-Plate gelato parlour Birds Of Paradise will have botanical-inspired gelato in thyme-infused cones. Bib Gourmand-lauded Ka-Soh Restaurant will open its casual outpost Faa Di By Ka-Soh in a food court.

Other local food brands making an appearance include Aloha Poke, Jumbo Seafood, Arteastiq Bistro, d’Good Cafe, Jack’s Place, Song Fa Bak Kuet Teh, Tanuki, The World Is Flat, Mao Shan Wang Cafe,  O’Tah by Lee Wee & Brothers, Teochew restaurant Swatow Seafood, Pow Sing, which is known for its chicken rice and zichar dishes, and White Restaurant, which is famed for its wok hei redolent white noodles from its original restaurant in Sembawang.

The Paradise Group has three restaurants opening here — Paradise Classic, LeNu and Beauty In The Pot. Hawker fast food joint by No Signboard Seafood will also launch an outlet here.

A Pink Fish outlet in Oslo, Norway (Photo: Pink Fish)
A Pink Fish outlet in Oslo, Norway (Photo: Pink Fish)

Exciting New-To-Market Brands

Besides Latin American restaurant Tonito, there are many new-to-market eateries in Jewel Changi Airport. Swiss chocolatier Läderach, which was founded in 1962, opens its first shop in Singapore, offering an innovative range of chocolate pralines and truffles.

Trendy Norwegian fast food chain Pink Fish serves salmon in salads, wraps, burgers, soups and curries. The chain is founded by chef Geir Skeie who made a splash in the culinary world when he clinched the top prize at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or World Finals in 2009. Boston dessert chain Emack & Bolio’s, which is known for its zany ice cream, chocolates and ice cream, will tickle the fantasies of those with a sweet tooth. 

On the Asian front, adding to YUN NANS is Sama Sama which will offer rich Indonesian cuisine. Bubble tea fans can add another place to get their fix with chic Taiwanese bubble tea chain The Alley making it Singapore debut. Japan Railways Group will open JW 360° (Japan Way 360°), which offers a menu inspired by the four seasons in the Land of the Rising Sun. Get tipple-happy over their wide range of sake and Japanese wines.


RELATED: Norway's Chef Geir Skeie Is On A Mission To Make Salmon Hip

The ShackBurger with crinkle cut fries (Picture: Evan Sung)
The ShackBurger with crinkle cut fries (Picture: Evan Sung)

Global Showstoppers

Prepare to make a bee line for New York burger joint Shake Shack, which will make its Singapore and South-east Asian debut. Its Singapore menu will include the signature ShackBurger, a cheeseburger that has grilled Angus beef patty and greens sandwiched between two potato buns, Shack-cago Dog, a beef hot dog bun and of course, its crinkle-cut fries.

American fast food chain A&W makes a nostalgic comeback to Singapore after 16 years with its Coney Dogs, curly fries and root beer. Famed London restaurant chain Burger & Lobster will serve beef burgers and Atlantic lobsters to delight surf and turf fans.

Lady M will debut its line of bonbons at its Jewel Changi Airport outlet. (Photo: Lady M)
Lady M will debut its line of bonbons at its Jewel Changi Airport outlet. (Photo: Lady M)

Overseas Brands Expand

New York dessert patisserie Lady M will open its fifth outlet in Singapore, which will be its first airport outlet in the Lion City. The brand will debut its line of bonbons here. Japanese confectionery Cafe Morozoff will have its first dine-in space after opening two takeaway counters here.

Ramen restaurant Tsuta, which has a Michelin star in Tokyo, will also open its third outpost here. Other brands from Japan expanding here include Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory, Naganuma Ice Co from Hokkaido, Eggs ‘N Things and Muji Cafe & Meal.

Rumours Bar & Grill from Bali, which has an outlet in Holland Village, will open its second outlet here, complete with a bespoke cocktail bar. 

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