Singapore might've planted the flag in Sydney, thanks to Singaporean hotelier Loh Lik Peng's Old Clare Hotel and developer Stanley Quek's Kensington Street restaurants, but the opening of a branch of Automata proves it's still a two-way street.
Chef Clayton Wells has quickly established Automata, his two-star in inner-city Chippendale, as one of the most talked-about contemporary restaurants in the country. Now he's set to open Blackwattle in Singapore in September with Loh Lik Peng, his partner at Automata. In an old shop-house on Amoy Street, a buzzy stretch of Chinatown larded with cocktail bars and international eateries, the restaurant will seat around 50 across two levels of dining and will include a small bar area.
Wells isn't sure what he'll serve yet - "I'm still getting my head around the produce and supply chains; everything here comes from somewhere else" - but says that fans of Automata's food won't be disappointed. "I love the food we're doing in Sydney right now and I think it'll work quite well in Singapore." As in Australia, the main event will be a set five-course menu, but the Singapore restaurant will open five days for lunch and complement the prix fixe with an à la carte offer.