10 restaurants to impress clients when you really want to win that deal
High-brow to low-key, these establishments provide all the right elements while you work on making your own good impression.
When working to strike a deal, you can’t take your associate to just any restaurant. You need someplace fancy – or just fancy enough, depending on their appetite for understatement or ostentation. You need a place that’s comfortable, relaxed, and with great food that’ll make everyone feel that those hours spent over the dining table was worth the time. These are 10 of our dependable go-tos.
Diminutive and charming, Braci is one of those jewel-box restaurants that your associates would no doubt tell their friends and other associates about. Its tiny 20-seater dining room tucked away on the fifth floor of a narrow Boat Quay shophouse serves remarkably creative modern Italian fare that is impressive without being showy.
Charismatic Chef De Cuisine Mirko Febbrile parses rare and seasonal ingredients from owner Beppe De Vito’s native Puglia into superb dishes like char-grilled pork with burnt apple and turnip tips, and a dusky-fleshed pigeon with persimmon and walnuts.
JAAN BY KIRK WESTAWAY
Sure, there are plenty of restaurants that offer a bird’s eye view of the city from a very tall perch, but none quite as medalled as the Michelin-starred Jaan by Kirk Westaway.
Since introducing his Reinventing British menu, Westaway has ushered a new and vaunted identity for this long-time establishment and earned his name on the billing. Expect lovely British-inspired snacks like the best fish and chips tartlet you’ll ever taste, and inventive seasonal menus featuring top-notch produce from his motherland. Four-course set lunches start from S$98, while the eight-course dinner menu is priced at S$268.
Arguably the prettiest Chinese restaurant in the city, Jade charms with its inviting eponymous hues and wallpaper printed with birds that are native to Singapore. Dim sum staples are abundant and well made, as are more interesting dishes like honey-glazed cod with pickled cabbage.
Excellent plant-based options abound too – be sure to try the braised vegan meat with mushrooms, peach gum and sesame soy sauce on rice – making this a great place to take clients with differing diets.
JIANG NAN CHUN
A beautifully appointed dining room with generously comfortable armchairs and mannered service, this Cantonese restaurant at The Four Seasons Singapore is suited for hours of lingering.
Nibble on mesquite wood-fired roasted Peking served with caviar, no less, and tuck into elegantly wrought dim sum and roast meats. The classical cuisine is rooted in the tenets of food-as-nourishment, yet with impressive modern nuances that allow for the conversation to shift between the business at hand and the food. The Wine by the Glass programme means each diner can drink their own wine of choice while teetotallers have a well-crafted tea list to pick from.
This fine-dining stalwart remains a discreet yet splashy place for well-heeled customers to impress with the perfect amount of class and immaculately executed haute French cuisine. Its spare-no-expense dinner menus feature the best of French produce sourced by Culinary Director Sebastian Lepinoy, so expect plenty of caviar, truffles, Challans duck, and Normandy lobster in its S$505 degustation menu.
A smaller four-course menu goes for S$325, but one should always expect much more than just a quartet of dishes. Every meal here is preceded by an impressive bread trolley service and an exquisite array of snacks before culminating in an ice cream trolley that will coax the kid out of even the most serious executives.
Its pedigree as Asia’s Best Restaurant 2019 should do all the impressing you need, along with its historical location, refined service and tables set well apart that conversations remain private.
Chef-owner Julien Royer and his team consistently stun with splendid preparations and presentations of modern French fare built around exceptional boutique produce. Four-course weekday lunches start from S$168, while the eight-course dinner menu will set your corporate expense account back S$358 per head. All menus are bookended with finely detailed snacks and mignardises that are simply delightful.
Everyone’s a sceptic when they first hear about Preludio’s “themed chapters” around which the restaurant works and cooks. The fact that the theme since it opened in late 2018 has been “monochromatic” has raised eyebrows even higher.
But anyone who’s dined at the restaurant typically emerges a convert thanks to chef-owner Fernando Arevalo and his team’s ability to parse this vision into delightfully delectable dishes.
This month, the theme shifts to “time”, which its publicity material states “is distilled into personal interpretations – a moment, date, age, process, duration, passage, ancestry and lineage”. It sounds like a far broader scope to work with, which can only mean the even better things on the menu.
Among the most underrated of fine Indian restaurants in Singapore, Rang Mahal’s grandly appointed lofty interiors entice with a certain regal charm. The classic North Indian fare it serves is smartly reimagined for its luxury setting with careful and time-honoured preparations presented with a touch of whimsy.
The result: Dishes like a playful take on a roomali papad, here presented as an oversized crispbread topped with lentil crisps, tomatoes and chillies, and a tandoori fondue comprising assorted chicken kebabs and a cheese tomato makhni dipping sauce.
Squirrelled away in Downtown Gallery, this underrated gem is helmed by chef Taro Takayama whose resume includes stints at three-star Michelin restaurants in Osaka and a tenure as Master Chef at the residence of the Japanese Ambassador to Singapore.
The kappo meals he serves pay polished homage to the seasonality of Edo-style cuisine. Each dish, from slivers of aged sashimi to crisp monaka (domed wafers) filled with silky foie and apple puree, is artful, balanced and dependably delicious. Lunch sets start from S$72 while dinner menus are available at S$190 or S$280.
THE BLACK SWAN
Handsome marble and gilded Great Gatsby-inspired interiors and its location in the heart of the CBD make The Black Swan a great space for business dining with just the right twists.
Anyone can find something to eat here, whether it’s a steak, a deftly cooked fish, or beautifully charred wedge of sugarloaf cabbage. Yet there are plenty of things that make the experience unique – like the waste-minimising ethos that yields shockingly delicious treats like a broccoli and pine nut hummus made with broccoli stems and carrot leaves, which would typically find their destiny in a bin.
Meanwhile, unconventional cuts from the chophouse section, such as a Mishima Reserve Wagyu Ultra Flat Iron MBS 8+, help steer the conversation towards the joys of unexpectedly great food when negotiations take a tense turn.