Heritage Dining in the Lion City

Chef Florian Ridder in the kitchen at The Summerhouse Dining Room.

Chef Florian Ridder in the kitchen at The Summerhouse Dining Room.

Revamped colonial-era buildings set the stage for two of Singapore’s most tantalizing new restaurants.

The Summerhouse Dining Room

Ridder’s eggplant “panzanella.”

Ridder’s eggplant “panzanella.”

Helmed by talented young German chef Florian Ridder, 
The Summerhouse occupies one of a cluster of black-and-white colonial bungalows in The Oval, an emerging foodie enclave next to Seletar Airport in Singapore’s wooded northeastern reaches. Worth the schlep? Absolutely. The property itself, a veranda-wrapped former officer’s residence built as part of a Royal Air Force base in the 1930s, has been handsomely refurbished, while Ridder, previously the sous chef at Michelin-starred Alma by Juan Amador, is one of the city’s most promising culinary talents.

By day, he harvests herbs and vegetables from his sprawling kitchen garden while tending to the sandwich menu at Wildseed, an 
alfresco café at ground level. At dusk, he heads upstairs to the dining room to oversee six- and ten-course seasonal menus that showcase produce sourced from farms in Singapore and Malaysia. Tiger prawns fresh from a kelong (offshore fishing platform) are skillfully grilled and served with a dusting of burnt lemon powder, grated pistachio, and a refreshing drizzle of Thai basil sauce flavored with torched ginger flower, while a “panzanella”
of stewed Cameron Highlands eggplant is tossed with goat’s cheese and finished with a light tomato confit broth. For his bread service, Ridder naturally looks to his German heritage—rye bread seared 
in home-churned butter with a topping of house-made buttermilk (65/6262-1063).

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