Food Drink

FIRST LOOK: d’Arenberg’s South-East Asian Restaurant, Singapore Circus, now open

d’Arenberg is familiar with the unusual and nonsensical. For its next act, the winery has unveiled a new restaurant, bringing the surreal to the plate.

Photo credit: Ethan Chang and d’Arenberg.

d’Arenberg’s highly anticipated restaurant, Singapore Circus – with all its vibrant and bold eccentricities – has opened its doors, bringing a melting pot of South-East Asian cuisine to McLaren Vale.

Replacing the Cube Restaurant which closed in March 2020, Singapore Circus can be found on level three of the $15m building. Doing away with costly fine-dining degustations, Singapore Circus is now offering a fun, flavourful, and more affordable feed-me menu.

The new restaurant name and chosen cuisine can be linked back to Head Chef Jamie Steele’s personal experiences growing up in Singapore, finding inspiration from the hawker centres commonly found across the country.

“From my experience I believe Singapore is one of the best cities in the world for food. It has always historically been a central trading hub. It has always had people and cuisine from almost every culture in the world,” says Jamie.

“For me, though, the best of it all is the hawker centres. More often than not, you have craftsmen that have dedicated their life and trade to one or two dishes. Sometimes even over multiple generations. It is little wonder the food is so good.”

Newton Circus is one of the most famous hawker centres in Singapore, inspiring the name of the recently launched d’Arenberg destination. Jamie also made the point that a circus can also mean a meeting point or a convergence of roads – not just clowns and circus tricks.

“A circus is also loud, fun, colourful and exciting. It is orchestrated while being a sensory overload and a little chaotic all at the same time. Very much in line with the general vibe of the d’Arenberg Cube,” says Jamie.

Being under the banner of Singapore, Jamie says that they feel like the food can be “a blend of all the different Southeast Asian cuisines, as Singapore has always been”.

While there are a few must-try’s if you visit the new venue, Jamie says you can’t go past the whole duck cooked Balinese style, which is a nod to the traditional dish bebek betutu. Cooked in their duck oven, the dish is best shared as a group, but book in advance, as this dish will be in limited supply due to availability.

The mud crab is also a stand-out on the menu, which can be prepared with black pepper or chilli sauce, but for something warm and familiar, the venue also has the Singaporean classics such as laksa and chicken rice.

Jamie says it was important to him and the team to include classic dishes in the menu that you “would always find in Singapore” so everyone who may not have the opportunity to travel there personally can experience the food.

“I want a Singapore chilli crab with freshly fried man tou bans to be something that everyone can experience,” he said.

“I believe food connects everyone across all cultures. Break buns, roll your sleeves up and get covered in crab shell. We have bibs and finger bowls!”

Singapore Circus is now accepting bookings, open for lunch daily from 12 – 3pm. Click here to view the full menu.

To book, visit the website, phone (08) 8329 4888 or email [email protected].

Find d’Arenberg at 58 Osborn Road, McLaren Vale 5171.

For updates, follow Singapore Circus on Instagram.

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