Old-fashioned luxury takes center stage at Corduroy Palace


It’s 1980. A woman with a Farrah Fawcett bun walks into the restaurant wearing an oversized blazer – protruding shoulder pads, decorative buttons and all – to join the rest of her friends, before lighting a blunt in their booth while sipping a martini. Then your phone rings and you realize it’s 2021, and there’s no one dressed like that at Corduroy Palace.

The wine cellar is certainly nothing like what you would expect these days. You enter through an alley just off bustling Rue d’Amoy almost in secret, before passing through a silver door to a small take-out pizzeria – wasn’t that supposed to be a wine cellar? We have learned that Corduroy Palace shares the same entrance as Proper Slice BYGB, and you will enter through another door following the necessary check-in procedures.

The sweatshop is undeniably sexy; This is a mid-century modern design: think shiny burl wood tables, corduroy banquettes and Jørn Utzon concert pendants for Fritz Hansen that give the space a moody glow. No corner is left unattended when it comes to aesthetics – walk to the bathroom and you’ll even find Grand Maternity, a Picasso original, casually hanging on the wall.

In an age when nostalgia is glamorized, the windowless place serves as an escape from reality; a sentimental time portal to the past.

As with all Gibran Baydoun concepts, wine takes center stage. 10 neon-lit wine cellar doors flank the hallway, signaling a nod to an installation by mid-century artist Dan Flavin. The wine encyclopedia, ranging from classic, cult, natural and biodynamic wines, is all organized by price and starts at around S $ 100 a bottle. While you can always choose an intriguing etiquette for yourself, we recommend taking the advice of Head Sommelier Marcus Chen (formerly of Jaan by Kirk Westaway) or any other staff in the field, all of whom are trained sommeliers. and certified.

Dinner started when a staff member in a blazer brought us an ashtray of crisps which we could choose from while we waited. Then a bed of ice cream topped with partially peeled Jonah crab claws quickly arrived, served with scattered lime wedges and two glass dishes of sauce. Its presentation is almost intentionally old-fashioned, and that’s what we’re all here for.

For a joint that highlights old-fashioned luxury, it’s no surprise to find traditional extravagances like caviar on the menu. What is surprising, however, is that it is found dotted on a plate of xiao long bao, which we were told comes from local hawker stand You Peng, one of the team’s favorites in Singapore. It is then found on the back of our hands in the form of a caviar bump, completed by a shot of vodka for the most emblematic and complementary accords.

A fully loaded baked potato then comes to the table – topped with Oscietra caviar of course, what did you expect? – as an accompaniment to a beef rib steak weighing 300 g. The incredibly tender slice of meat is decadent; we can’t remember the last time we had a steak at a fine dining restaurant with a pool of its own gravy, but in keeping with the luxury theme of yesteryear, it fits right in.

Dinner ends with chocolate bananas, a sweet accompaniment to the dry rosé that we ravaged all night. Before you know it, you’ll be presenting your card to the waiters, too engrossed in soaking up the atmosphere before stumbling upon a glass of wine and a large hole in your wallet. But as 2Chainz once rapped, “It’s a vibe” – and sometimes that’s really all that matters, isn’t it?

PS Don’t forget to slip a free “The only love that exists is the love we make” condom from the glass container on the bathroom counter into your pocket before you go. Cheeky.

The Corduroy Palace is located at 110 Amoy Street, Gemmill Ln, # 01-02 (entrance behind, 069930). Look for the brown awning and go through the silver door.


About Michael Brafford

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