Brasserie Astoria debuts a traditional brasserie experience by prolific Swedish chef Björn Frantzén – best known for the three-Michelin-star fine dining restaurant Zén. Set in the grand Victoria Concert Hall, the 100-seater restaurant is the Frantzén Group’s second and latest foray into Singapore. The first overseas outpost also mirrors the Stockholm flagship which both occupies a historical building with significant meaning in film and theatre.
Set to re-ignite the spirit of grand dining halls in Singapore, the restaurant boasts tableside service, flambé trolleys, dessert carts and Frantzén’s unique spin on classic brasserie fare. And you won’t need to fork out a fortune to dine here either. “Following the success of Zén, we are excited to bring the more casual and accessible dining experience with Brasserie Astoria to Singapore’s incredible dining scene,” shares Frantzén himself.
At the helm is Singaporean head chef (also Zén alum) Emil Cecil Ess who executes Frantzén’s vision to a tee. Diners can expect an extensive a la carte menu featuring international brasserie fare peppered with Nordic influence.
Think the butter-fried Råraka ($36), the Swedish answer to rosti, featuring crispy Agria potatoes as a base for orange-hued vendace roe and creme fraiche. Or the Toast Astoria ($32), a nod to the traditional Swedish Toast Skagen, that arrives stacked with moulds of Baltic prawns and Norwegian king crab with a touch of spice from wasabi aioli.
Mains come in large sharing formats and they are best enjoyed with company. Rustic French classics arrive on silver trays: think comforting bleurre blanc mussels ($42) laced with jalapeno aioli and pomme frites; and succulent grilled spring chicken ($90) doused in a moreish house sauce with a sweet and savoury macaroni pudding.
Though it is the whiskey-flambéed beef that steals the show. Guests are able to choose their preferred cut – between an Angus ($68) or a Wagyu ($110) – before the chefs begin the fire show by your table. It comes paired with accompaniments of Kampot and green pepper sauce and an irresistible side of roasted potatoes glazed with creamy Fourme d´Ambert (a type of blue cheese) sauce.
While the restaurant offers a voluminous wine list and a decent selection that goes by the glass, they are also shaking things up with cocktails inspired by Nordic and Asian influences. And if martinis are your poison, make sure to snag a seat by the gorgeous bar for a flawless pour of the freezing cold stiffer.