Now you see it, now you don’t – a play on classic Singaporean fare
Claim to fame: The chef’s innovative take on chili crab
Reason to go: The 14-course Experience menu, a culinary distillation of a typical Singaporean day, each course mimicking a typical regional meal – from breakfast and lunch, to afternoon tea and dinner.
To look out for: The trompe-l’oeil magic that happens when traditional flavors meet avant-garde reinvention
Hands down, Singapore’s most unique mall-based restaurant. Self-taught chef Han Li Guang takes familiar, local hawker-favorites and gives them a gastronomic facelift by brazenly fashioning them into dishes that make up a uniquely Singapore tasting menu.
Constantly, relentlessly pushing gastronomic boundaries, Han’s tasting menu is always evolving, invariably updated with new ideas that tickle the chef’s fancy. His bak chor mee, a popular street food dish of minced pork/fish ball noodles in black vinegar contains neither pork nor noodles, it does however, come with a healthy helping of seafood: sautéed sliced squid act as noodles and sliced scallops are a high-end stand in for the fried fishcake. In a nod to its original, the dish is punched up with black vinegar and sambal chili. This innovator-jester’s “chicken rice” delivers the classic flavors of Singapore’s most popular street food but again, without chicken or rice, instead it arrives as an emulsified ball of chicken broth and chicken fat alongside minced ginger, soy sauce on a mirror of chili sauce. Han doesn’t stop there though, his most cunning maneuver is his signature chili crab; a deep-fried, soft-shell crab flanked by a lick of piquant, deliriously tasty chilled crab ice cream, with a cloud of crab bisque on fried man tou (Chinese steamed bun) sand. No matter how progressive these courses seem, they are always underscored by a keen appreciation for Singapore’s heritage cuisine and its traditional aromas.
As mesmerizing and disorienting as Labyrinth’s food is, the dining room is an oddly structured, black-bathed space with two flexi-private rooms featuring plate glass floor-to-ceiling windows without views. The drinks menu is non-distinctive and features mainly old world wines.