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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Chef Wan to open buffet eatery here

The 500-seat restaurant in Plaza Singapura will serve a halal buffet of South-east Asian cuisine.
The Straits Times - September 6, 2012
By: Eunice Quek
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Chef Wan to open buffet eatery here Chef Wan (above) and an artist’s impression of his restaurant. -- PHOTOS: FOOD JUNCTION, MSTAR

Famous Malaysian celebrity chef Redzuawan Ismail, better known as Chef Wan, will open a 500-seat halal buffet restaurant at Plaza Singapura by early November.

Called 1 Market By Chef Wan, the restaurant is a collaboration with Food Junction Holdings, which owns a chain of food courts and Mediterranean restaurant Medzs at Orchard Central.

The 11,000 sq ft food arena will feature South-east Asian cuisine with dishes from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia - all made with his recipes.

The 56-year-old tells Life! that the project, his first restaurant venture, has been in the works since last year.

"It is one of my dreams to open a restaurant in Singapore. Plaza Singapura is situated in the centre of Orchard Road and it is a good venue to showcase my fare to locals and tourists," he says.

The 1 in the name refers to his nickname Wan.

He adds: "This is the only restaurant where you can find authentic food from my own recipes."

He is coy about the menu, but says: "I am excited to showcase my fare with recipes from my extensive travels around South-east Asia."

Some dishes he is known for include Minang-style chicken with coconut milk, savoury vegetable coconut curry and a hearty Pekan beef curry.

Prices for the buffet have not been fixed yet.

The Malaysian food ambassador, with more than 25 years in the industry, is popular with TV viewers for his antics and bubbly personality on his cooking shows. He is also a cookbook author.

Wan was born in Singapore and moved to Kuala Lumpur at the age of three.

Though trained as an accountant, the father of two left the profession in 1982 to study cooking in New York and San Francisco. His son, Nadzri, 29, is a chef, while his daughter Serina, 28, is an actress and TV presenter.

For 14 years, Wan worked on cruise ships and as a private chef in the United States before he returned to Malaysia in the mid-1990s. He also travels frequently to cook at various events, including the Asian Masters at Grand Hyatt hotel last November, organised by Singapore Press Holdings' subsidiary Sphere Exhibits.

Fans of the flamboyant chef can also look forward to watching him in action at 1 Market's cooking studio. There will be a deli where people can buy his bottled spices.

And if this concept proves successful, he will look into rolling out similar eateries in South-east Asia.

He is the second celebrity chef to work with Food Junction Holdings. In November last year, it brought in Michelin- starred chef Laurent Peugeot to open Japanese-French restaurant LP+Tetsu at Tanglin Mall.

Other Food Junction restaurants in the pipeline include a crab restaurant at Sentosa called The Boxing Crab, and an upmarket restaurant in the financial district which will feature two Michelin- starred chefs.

Chef Wan's restaurant will be located on the fourth floor of Plaza Singapura.

Work is ongoing to integrate the mall with the building next door, The Atrium @ Orchard. The new, expanded Plaza Singapura should be completed by the fourth quarter of this year.

Visitors can look forward to other new food and beverage concepts, slated to open by next month.

They include Hifumi Japanese Restaurant, which serves healthy, home-style Japanese dishes; Japanese izakaya restaurant Tsukada Nojo; and Hoshino, an artisanal coffee place by Japanese coffee chain Doutor Coffee.

“I am excited to showcase my fare with recipes from my extensive travels around South-east Asia.”


Chef Wan and an artist’s impression of his restaurant

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