Chef Andrew Walsh and boutique design firm WEIJENBERG collaborate on a new dining project in the heart of Singapore's Chinatown.
WEIJENBERG, the firm behind the design of Chef Jason Atherton’s The Library and The Study at No. 47 Keong Saik Road in Singapore, is back with yet another design project in the neighbourhood, this time at No. 21 with CURE, a fine dining boutique restaurant helmed by Chef Andrew Walsh of Esquina notoriety.
CURE’s dining concept is all about “no frills but very good food. The menu changes every month depending on the produce of the season,” explains Camiel Weijenberg, Founder and Director of WEIJENBERG. “Walsh wanted [the focus] to be about the food,” he adds.
Camiel deliberately avoided the industrial aesthetic, which he felt had already been overly used in the interiors scene, and would have taken attention away from the food. Instead, the emphasis was placed on clean, architectural lines that would complement the menu.
Despite the space being small, Camiel chose to go with muted earthy tones such as greys and bronze, as well as soft lighting. While he admits that the choice was “quite risky in a way”, it also served to enhance the intimate vibe that Walsh desired. At the same time, he points out that the use of reflective paint helps to bring natural light into the space during the day.
Upon entering CURE, guests will see a 26-seater dining space and a bar on the right. The use of warm wood finishes is a trademark of Camiel’s, who has a foundation in carpentry. The choice of oak for both the dining tables and the chef’s worktop also serves to enhance the sense of connection with the chef.
Eyes are quickly drawn to the back of the restaurant, which features a private dining booth encased in a striking emerald green wall inspired by cabinets found in old Chinese medicine shops – a reference to its locale. Patrons seated at the private booth also have exclusive viewing access to the kitchen, and can thus enjoy a close interaction with the chef.
Overall, the design respects the natural heritage and refined detailing of the shophouse space, and creates a warm interior that promotes a sense of closeness between chef and guest.