More than the traditional run-of-the-mill hotel, Hotel G Singapore prides itself on being an affordable yet on-trend option for the design, food and style-conscious traveller. Zara Horner discovers that philosophy permeates throughout the city’s newest property.
Hotel G is a brand of Asia’s lifestyle-hospitality management group GCP Hospitality a member of Gaw Capital Group.
With offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Bangkok, Singapore, San Francisco and Yangon, GCP Hospitality is the sector arm of Gaw Capital Partners a private equity fund management company which says it is “focused on reviving under-utilised real estate, predominantly in Asia-Pacific, London and the US.”
The G brand has properties in Bangkok, Pattaya, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, a Yangon hotel is set to open in Q4 this year, and the latest opening is Hotel G Singapore.
Trendy communal spaces, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, high speed Wi-Fi and art displays dotted all over are helping to secure the hotel a reputation as something of a hotspot.
The objective is “a more holistic experience… more of a neighbourhood hangout as opposed to just a standalone hotel offering.”
To expand on the hotel’s aim of connecting people through culinary delights, two dining concepts have been designed to cater to both travellers and locals. And behind both is a newly designed and outfitted commercial kitchen.
Behind the scenes
Theory says that commercial kitchens have to be designed to handle the events that occur in food preparation in sequential order.
Executive chef and general manager of R&B Lab Group, Sylvain Royer explains how realistic that was when designing the layout for the Hotel G kitchen.
“When we designed the layout first of all we looked at the operation, type of cooking and equipment required, after that we all agreed on the design and vibe to be given to the decoration.
“We approached the design of our kitchen by first studying the flow and scale of our operations, taking into consideration the various cooking styles and equipment required.
“We then layered on a design aesthetic and vibe that would complement the overall look and feel of the restaurant.”
Deliveries and storage are key components of making a commercial kitchen operation run smoothly, here Royer says he and his team studied a few schema and ‘dry ran’ situations to achieve the best design layout.
“We realised it would be best to have our kitchen over two floors. We ran various scenarios to stress test the workload capacity of the layout. Ultimately, we decided to split kitchen operations into two areas to provide our guests with a view of part of the food preparation process via our open kitchen while the bulk of the heavy work is done at our main kitchen on-site.”
Even though preparation flow, pick-up area/s and clearing are essential to the process they are often over-looked in the kitchen design. At the new Hotel G Singapore kitchen Royer was adamant this wouldn’t occur.
“We took into consideration our food offerings within the space, HACCP practices, and potential sources of cross contamination in and out. We concurrently determined the type of food and dishes we would offer within the space with how to negate cross contamination and disruption to service.”
The hotel’s newly opened 25 Degrees Burgers & Liquor Bar is billed as “an American West Coast burger and liquor bar”. Named after the precise temperature difference between a raw and well-done hamburger, the diner offers five gourmet burgers, including a ‘craft your own’ option and vegetarian option. The 40-seat venue features dark panelled wood walls accented with vintage photographs reminiscent of Old Hollywood, a slightly rugged décor with striking red patterned wallpaper and bricked window openings.
Meanwhile Ginett Restaurant & Wine Bar is a contemporary space offering some of the finest French wines in the city, an all-day small plates and gourmet sharing dishes menu. The décor features high ceilings, an open mezzanine with private working spaces, booths, a communal table with power points for connectivity so the table can be used for work or even meetings, and a marble-topped bar.
Maximum use of space and its functionality are premium in the design of a commercial kitchen.
“We worked with some of the best kitchen consultants on the market,” Royer says. “We knew what equipment we wanted and they knew how to fit them all in the space.
“We worked with experts to maximise the use of space and optimise functionality and tapped into the whole team’s industry knowledge and equipment experience to deliver the best design.”
Unlike other areas of a property it is nearly impossible to repair or redesign mistakes in the kitchen. It is therefore essential to get things like electrical wiring, drainage, water supply, and gas right from the get-go.
“Hotel G hotels have been operating for several years,” Royer explains. “Due to our experience, we know what we want by studying many sketches and are certain of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to kitchen design.”
Studying ergonomics to minimise movement of staff – which reduces risk of accidents and is time saving – energy efficiency, equipment type, size and placement, plus the size of the kitchen were all part of numerous plans over the 12 months it took to design the kitchen, Royer says.
“And plenty of revisions to separate the wheat from the chaff. Ultimately, we kept the best ideas that came up, bounced ideas off the kitchen staff to get their input and executed the final plans to a T.”
Royer thinks it’s imperative chefs are involved in the kitchen design from day one. “Our design and construction teams were very open to our input to ensure that they delivered a conducive work environment for our kitchen staff.”