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The Humble PIt
Photograph: The Humble PIt

The best private home dining and supper club experiences in Singapore

Gather your friends and savour a home-cooked meal at these private dining kitchens and supper clubs in Singapore

Nicole-Marie Ng
Pailin Boonlong
Written by
Nicole-Marie Ng
&
Pailin Boonlong
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Private home dining and secret supper clubs have been all the rage in Singapore over the past couple of years. Home cooks and professional chefs have been coming out of the woodwork to prepare meals for those lucky enough to snag a reservation. Some waiting lists stretch out for months, but your patience is well rewarded with some of the most novel and exciting dining experiences in the city – the bragging rights don't hurt either. Gather a group of friends – or make some new ones – around the table and let these chefs share their passion for cooking with you. 

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The Humble Pit
Photograph: The Humble Pit

The Humble Pit

True to its name, The Humble Pit serves up simple fare that’s cooked over the hot flames of a no-frills BBQ grill. And it’s all done on the roof terrace of a family home in Kovan. 

HOW IT’S LIKE Ultimately, the menu’s up to the whims of chef Eugene Sito – but whatever it is, there’ll be  open flames involved. At a cursory glance, it looks like he cooks up a storm for each dinner. Dishes are kept classic but with a hint of personal touch, with the likes of Sichuan saliva chicken, shoyu koji cured pork chop, and grilled Korean squid that’s brushed with reduced dashi. The same goes for his desserts, like his smoked Vietnamese dark chocolate ice cream. 

HOW TO BOOK The Humble Pit has a waitlist that spans a year, and they accept bookings up to groups of eight, with a minimum of four people. Dinner starts from $110/person with a $30 deposit at the time of booking. He typically holds these dinners on weekends since he spends his Mondays to Fridays working at his dad’s automation company. You can make your booking here through an online form.

Kolabo
Photograph: Pailin Boonlong

Kolabo

Kolabo isn’t quite like other private home dining venues. Its premise? A constantly changing lineup of chefs, all who have their fair share of experience. You might recognise some of their names: Lester Bongsy of Shan Private Dining, Angus Chow of Boroto and Sake Labo, and Jeremy Tan aka Sushi Tan.

HOW IT’S LIKE As Kolabo says “we believe in the power of collaboration”, and that’s because guest chefs are the premise of this dining space. We simply can’t predict what the next menu will look like. But if we were to go by previous meals, all dishes are strongly influenced by Japanese cuisine. Some chefs will have thinly-sliced seasonal sashimi as their piece de resistance, while others bring in more curious creations like a zesty lime chawanmushi or duck prosciutto. Take Sushi Tan’s sushi omakase – it features at least 16 courses, with a strong focus on seafood and crustaceans. 

HOW TO BOOK You can find all of Kolabo’s upcoming dining experiences here.

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Once Upon A Secret Supper

Once Upon A Secret Supper

Founded by Angie Ma 10 years ago while she was living in Melbourne, Once Upon A Secret Supper is unlike any of the other private dining experience currently available in Singapore. For one, instead of booking out the whole space, you’re only allowed two seats in order to encourage you to mix with the other guests and make some new friends. There's no fixed theme – the dinners happen every quarter and follow a different concept each time. Its most recent run, Secretos de Mexico, focused on the hidden flavours of the country. There's no permanent location or chef, in Angie reaches out to volunteer hosts who loan their homes for a night as well as cooks who are specialists in the cuisine selected for the specific theme.

WHAT IT’S LIKE Once Upon A Secret Supper's latest run was held in a beautiful resort home in the east of Singapore. At the front porch, a bartender from Proof & Company whipped up a Jalisco Punch, a spicy jalapeno cocktail made with tequila. She also gave us an education on the process of making mezcal and took us through a tasting flight during dinner. Mariachi music played in the background as we were treated to course after course of Mexican dishes from parrotfish ceviche and slow-cooked duck and mole poblanos to barbecued octopus and jicama salad.

The most notable dish was a platter of homemade tamales prepared by Maribel Colmenares and her mother. They used to run a tamales stall in Mexico before moving here and starting Tamales Mexicanos en Singapur. And where there’s food, there had to be wine. Sommelier Denise McCann paired the dishes with three glasses of Spanish wine to complement the spicy kick of the Mexican dishes.

HOW TO BOOK Angie and her team started Once Upon A Secret Supper out of a passion for food. It’s an outlet for their creativity so they never do the same dinner twice. You can sign up for their newsletter or follow them on Instagram (@once.upon.a.secret.supper) to find out when the next dinner is taking place. Prices range from $168 to $188 for a full tasting menu and drinks pairing.

The Ampang Kitchen

The Ampang Kitchen

You won’t find a more welcoming host than Raymond Leong, who’s happy to sit down and share more about Penang-style Peranakan food. The 72-year-old is Cantonese, but has always been intrigued by Nyonya food. After he retired, he embarked on an intensive cooking course at a small school in Kuala Lumpur. There, he learnt 74 recipes, which he still practises by catering for lunch and dinner parties.

WHAT IT'S LIKE Housed in a modern terrace, Ampang Kitchen's clean, minimalist dining room fits a minimum of eight people but can house a party of 28 if you're looking to throw a mini party. We recommend going for lunch, where there's a fixed set menu that includes Raymond's star dishes like the prawn noodle soup served with pork ribs and lard.

HOW TO BOOK Message Ampang Kitchen on Facebook, bookings (from $75 per person) are best made at least a month in advance. Alternatively, Ampang also has a takeaway and catering menu for those of you who'd rather dine in the privacy of your own home.

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Ben Fatto 95
Photo by: @benfatto_95

Ben Fatto 95

Created out of a longing to share the sheer variety of pasta types available with Singaporeans, Ben Fatto 95 shines a spotlight on creations you don’t usually find in our local Italian restaurants.

HOW IT'S LIKE Tuck into plates of pasta in all manner of shapes and sizes out on a gorgeous garden patio. “We always see the same shapes over and over again,” shares chef Yum Hwa, who used to be a line cook at Artichoke. “I think lesser-known pasta types deserve more air time, especially since Singaporeans have a carb-embracing diet.” His signature is a pocketed pasta folded around a filling of mascarpone and Grana Padano served simply with a butter sauce. There’s also the trofie al’ pesto, a handmade pasta dish that requires deft hand movements to get right.

HOW TO BOOK Message him on Instagram @benfatto_95 to make your booking.

Relish.SG
Photograph: Nicole-Marie Ng

Relish.SG

There is no home quite like chef Chris Choo and Dr Rose Sivam. The former is a historian, artist and explorer who has brought back many relics and timeless pieces to his home while the latter is a charismatic award-winning TV producer who has worked on shows like Phua Chu Kang and Growing Up. Step into their world with Relish.SG – a private dining experience that also lets you "Taste the World" as Chris prepares dishes that takes inspiration from India, Spain, Morocco and beyond.

HOW IT'S LIKE This isn't so much a restaurant experience as it is a historical and anthropological dinner that stretches your mind and fills your stomach. The home is a mini-museum, housing pieces like a 2000-year-old Buddha bust and a Ming dynasty vase. Dishes include Cantonese-style stir-fried duck, rendang that's a cross between a curry and jerky – focusing mainly of time-consuming recipes that you won't find in commercial kitchens. If you're lucky, you'll be treated to some after-dinner entertainment too, with guests performing acoustic renditions of The Beatles' greatest hits.

HOW TO BOOK Email Rose at rosesivam@pantheon.com.sg for more information or check out relish.sg for more information. They cook dinners for a minimum of four people but have also thrown themed parties for corporate events for a party of 52 at maximum capacity.

 

Other private dining experiences to check out

Fatfuku

Fatfuku

It’s not every day you get to sample dishes prepared by one of the city’s top food writers. Annette Tan has been reviewing restaurants for over 20 years and has now turned the tables by opening up her dishes to public criticism. Not that there’s anything negative to say, Annette’s Peranakan plates of crispy mee siam and wagyu beef cheek rendang have even the pickiest eater reaching out for more. Just make sure you come hungry as $95 per person gets you seven dishes best shared between five others.

fatfuku.com.

Tinoq's

Tinoq's

Fashion stylist and makeup artist by day, Tinoq Russell-Goh has worked with the likes of Constance Lau from Crazy Rich Asians. But come dinner time, he prepares a kampong-style spread inspired by the memories of his childhood. Expect a feast (from $100) of ngoh hiang, prawn noodles and other scrumptious Peranakan dishes served family-style.

Email tinoqrusselgoh@gmail.com for more details.

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Ownself Make Chef
Photo by: @ownselfmakechef

Ownself Make Chef

Shen Tan is no stranger to Singapore’s food scene, helming the kitchens of Wok & Barrel, Ujong and Revolution Coffee in the past. But the queen of nasi lemak has since taken a break from the biz so you need to book a table at Ownself Make Chef for a taste of her cooking. She regularly posts sneak peeks of upcoming dinners on her Instagram page (@ownselfmakechef). 

ownselfmakechef.wordpress.com.

Lucky House

Lucky House

Be prepared to wait if you want to dine at Lucky House. Reservations have to be made at least three months in advance even though chef Sam Wong is able to accommodate 10 people in his art room and 16 in the vintage room. Priced from $80, the Cantonese meal features comforting signatures like roast duck that’s marinated for two days and roasted over charcoal fire as well as a crayfish omelette packed with generous lumps of seafood.

facebook.com/Lucky-House-Cantonese-Private-Kitchen.

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One Kind House

One Kind House

Ng Swee Hiah is one of a kind. The 75-year-old spends her retirement days entertaining both tourists and locals that book a meal or cooking class ($99) through Airbnb Experiences. She makes duck egg kaya from scratch, a rare treat, and other classics like laksa and mee siam. She aims to bring the kampong spirit back to Singapore and leaves her gates unlocked – all are welcome to walk in and explore.

airbnb.co.uk/experiences/42827.

Lynnette's Kitchen
Photo by: @lynnettes_kitchen

Lynnette's Kitchen

Tok panjang at Lynnette’s Kitchen where a Peranakan feast awaits. The SSO violinist and Cultural Medallion recipient’s elegantly decorated living room can comfortably fit 16 guests, although you only need to find seven other friends to dine here. Dinners start from $100 per person, which gets you five sharing plates and one dessert. If you ask nicely enough, she might play the violin for you too.

lynnetteskitchen.com.

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