Amidst the hubbub and constant construction going on at Orchard Road, you may or may not have noticed a new hotel that’s sprung up about 2 months ago. Tucked away behind the Shaw Centre away from the noise pollution of the main road, YOTEL is the newest kid on the hotel block to set up shop in Singapore.
YOTEL was started by Simon Woodroffe, the same man who created the successful sushi chain overseas YO! Sushi, when he sat in a first class cabin on a plane, and wanted to replicate that in a hotel setting. Having found success as a premier airport hotel in countries like Paris and London, and a full fledged one in New York and Boston, YOTEL finally makes its Asian debut as it finds its way to our shores, complete with their signature purple theme and fuss-free check in process, not to mention two adorable robots who’ll help out with guest services!
Recently, we were invited to YOTEL Singapore’s very own restaurant for a tasting session. Named Grains and Hops, it’s easy to guess what the restaurant serves. Grains and Hops specializes in creating grain-based dishes, offering up everything from basmati rice to garlic quinoa for patrons to create their own unique platters. They’ve even managed to incorporate them into their starters and desserts, something we’ll get into later. As for the ‘Hops’ part of their name, well, the restaurant happens to serve their very own Grains & Hops brew, a pale ale complete with a local touch in its aroma of jasmine green tea to go with its slight citrus scent and malty backbone, perfectly paired with the restaurant’s Asian rice bowls.
At the tasting we started off with innovative appetizers, such as their Coconut Curry Carrot Soup with Seasonal Rice Croutons and their Ham and Cheese Arancini Dumplings, cleverly incorporating grains in unique ways. Of course, not every dish used rice, and we enjoyed the strong taste of the Marmite Chicken Pops drenched in their homemade marmite sauce, while retaining a crispy exterior.
But as we all know, starters are just dishes to warm you up for the main course, and we were not disappointed by the sharing platter of skewers we were served. We had a taste of the Grilled Salmon, Grilled Angus Beef and Roasted Kurobuta Pork Collar, served with sambal mayo, honey mustard, spicy honey garlic and marmite sauces. Besides the freshness of the beef and pork, we were particularly taken with the salmon, which was well cooked on the outside, while still retaining a raw shade of pink on the inside, something few restaurants do so well nowadays. These skewers were served with a bowl of Purple Sticky Rice and Basmati Rice, and went very well with the sauces that came with them.
Finally, we were pleasantly surprised by how even the desserts served contained grains, in line with the restaurant’s theme. Never would we have expected a popsicle to include grains of rice frozen into it, in the Peach & Berries Rice Popsicle, while the incredibly rich, decadent slab of Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispies was the perfect way to end off a meal for anyone with a sweet tooth.
If you’re visiting Singapore and want a great central location to head back to after catching a theatre show, you should definitely be considering YOTEL as a potential option. This is luxury living with all the amenities you could want at an affordable price. A truly unique concept, Grains and Hops naturally fits right in with the hotel’s boutique feel, and you can count on them to pour you a tasty glass of pale ale to cheers to as you celebrate snagging a good deal and a perfect night’s stay at Singapore’s newest hotel chain.
Grains and Hops
Where: YOTEL Singapore, Level 10, 366 Orchard Road, 238904
When: Sun-Thur, 6.30am-11pm, Fri-Sat, 6.30am-12am.
Book Now or call +65 6866 8067