Located along Amoy Street and just off Gemmill Lane, you will be forgiven if your first impression of Corduroy Palace isn’t a positive one.
With a giant green bin and a questionable backroad, no one would expect that you would find a stylish New York-style fine dining restaurant with rare wines, caviar topped xiao long baos and a Picasso original in its bathroom just behind its ugly steel door.
Corduroy Palace, which is the brainchild of Gibran Baydoun and the team behind the famous Lucali BYGB, is a restaurant you really need to take in layer by layer.
When you first open the door under the maroon awning, you will initially find yourself in the cramped and rustic Proper Slice BYGB which is a New York-styled pizza-by-the-slice joint.
If you trust the process and keep moving forward, you will go through a Prouvé-inspired pocket door that will bring you face to face with a glass block wall that leads down a narrow cherry wood-panelled hallway and straight into the dark embrace of the restaurant.
High-gloss burl wood tables and over 21 different vintage and antique rugs from three different countries will greet you as your eyes adjust to the dim lighting.
Of course, the lighting is just as luxurious. In fact, they are Jørn Utzon for Fritz Hansen concert pendants designed by Danish architect Utzon (yes, the guy famous for designing the Sydney opera house).
Take a seat at one of its seven large, oversized banquettes that have all been draped in original Pontoglio corduroy fabric and get ready for a gastronomic experience that you will be hard-pressed to forget easily.
We begin of course with its unorthodox and visionary wine hall, a first for Singapore and the main reason why you should be visiting Corduroy Palace. It features 10 wine coolers and allows guests to freely explore and select its own wines.
You have the option to speak to head sommelier and wine director Marcus Chen who was formerly from two-Michelin-starred Jaan by Kirk Westaway and a finalist of the World Gourmet Awards’ Rising Sommelier of the Year Award or, you can opt to use its Rdif technology to get tasting notes and photos instantly.
Its selection features over 300 bottles that have been meticulously curated by Chen and features rare wines from interesting regions, familiar favourites and pretty much everything in between to suit any palate, mood, occasion or budget.
With natural and biodynamic wines placed side by side with classic and cult wines, you will be spoilt for choice with bottles that are intended to be drunk immediately.
If wine is not your poison of choice, visit the bar which is helmed by head bartender Nina Kong for some midcentury classics that feature gins and vermouths. With no cocktail list, the sky is really the limit here.