When it comes to restaurants, an interior that reflects the food and beverage concept is crucial to the experience. Vicki Williams looks at Skai in Singapore to make her point.

The restaurant industry is highly competitive, especially in locations such as Singapore. As a dining destination, the city offers a plethora of choices. To stay at the top, it is important to stay on-trend, or even be a trend leader, introducing a concept that will remain the talk of the town. To do this it has to feature a design and ambience that is striking and unique, but this also needs to be complemented by exquisite food, fantastic and innovative drinks and great service.

Delivering all of this, plus killer views, as AHCT learns, is the recently opened Skai. Situated on the 70th floor of Singapore’s acclaimed Swissotel The Stamford, the 130 person space is not just a contemporary grill and bar, Skai is a lifestyle and social dining destination.

The Design

The design of Skai is one of the firsts clues that guests will notice that this is a place for people to be social, while also feeling at home — which itself is one of the most social of places to be. For example, the large bookshelf and the art and design books it holds. Inviting diners to linger over learning, while reflecting the social dining destination ethos.

Nature is also a key design element, with inspiration from the simplicity and minimalism of both the modern Japanese and Nordic aesthetic, to create a grand residence ambience. This translates to light maple wood, vertical lines and design features, organic textures, juxtaposed with soft furnishings in hues that reflect an underlying homage to nature, while also adding warmth to the space. There is also a wide variety of seating options to suit all types of gatherings and occasions. This all combines to give a sophisticated ambience that is both striking and invitingly relaxed.

The large space, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows to highlight the stunning views (both in the day and at night), bring a bright and airy feeling. The room is also divided into different areas, including the cocktail bar, which also has the effect of making it feel warm and inviting.

The lighting is also a striking feature and varies depending on which section of the space the guest is enjoying.

It is further accented by potted plants, much as a grand home would be — again giving the space a sense of a social destination, and more than just a restaurant and bar. There are also large potted trees that hark to nature, while merging the inside with the nature outside.

There is attention to detail, at every corner, all of which, sits elegantly in the underlying respect for, and promotion of the beauty of nature itself.

The Food & Drinks

Of course it is not just enough to have a stunning design, to be the most coveted new dining destination in Singapore, the food and drinks offered must also be stunning, and be complementary to the design. On the food side the overall theme is finely crafted progressive dishes, using premium ingredients with the lightness of Japanese touches. Additionally, to meld with the social aspect of the experience the stunning dishes are designed to be shared.

“Seating up to 130 guests, the venue provides casual lounge-style dining with a residential design aesthetic to give a sense of modern living. Paired with genuine, friendly service, it makes the perfect social setting to suit all occasions,” says a spokesperson.

Signature dishes include Loch Fine smoked salmon fillets paired harmoniously with King crab, wakame and shellfish broth; and a range of artisanal beef from Australia, America, Japan and Ireland expertly grilled in the Josper Charcoal oven. Desserts are also outstanding here, created by an award-winning pastry chef, including the sensory journey that is the Caramelised soy bean cheese cake with miso fudge, citrus jelly and lemon sorbet.

According to the hotel, “The other partner in this duel lifestyle concept is the vibrant craft cocktail bar, inspired by Mother Nature, the pioneering concept weaves organic elements from different altitudes into a thoughtfully curated programme of bespoke cocktail offerings.”

Within each of the four altitude elements (sea level, tropical rainforest, desert and alpine) are distinctive flavours that are a big departure from conventional offerings. Each beautifully presented cocktail also has sensorial elements that will be transportive to that particular altitude. In essence the entire cocktail offering is another strong reminder of the progressive nature of the entire concept.

For example, the sea inspired Samphire cocktail is a harmonious mix of London Dry gin, Noilly Pratt, samphire, oyster leaf and citrus oils. While one of the tropical offerings is Camu Camu, a nod to the lushness of the Amazon rainforest and is a blend of Pisco, soursop syrup, lime and camu camu powder. Additionally these innovative creations can be expertly paired with equally innovative bar snacks.

Overall, from its design through to the food and beverage offerings SKAI takes the wine and dine experience to whole new social heights.