Dining at the new Raffles Hotel Singapore restaurant: Osteria BBR by Alain Ducasse

Osteria BBR by Alain Ducasse

Celebrating 135 years this month, the famed Raffles Hotel Singapore continues to evolve,  including its latest dining offering, Osteria BBR by Alain Ducasse.

Celebrating 135 years of operation of 16 September, 2022 Raffles Hotel Singapore is one of the world’s most legendary hotels.

During a recent visit, I met with the hotel’s resident historian, Leslie Danker, who has worked at the hotel for an impressive 50 years – he even has a cocktail named in his honour. Of the 12 general managers to have worked at the hotel since its opening, Leslie has served under eight of them.

Sitting with Leslie in the bright and airy foyer, where he still leads tours almost every day for hotel guests, he shares with passion the history behind the storied hotel.

Declared a National Monument on 4 March, 1987, Raffles Hotel Singapore has hosted royalty, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Albert II of Monaco; celebrities, including Elizabeth Taylor and Ava Gardner; musicians such as Bono; athletes; and countless heads of state.

One of the world’s most famous hotel cocktails was created here in 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, who noticed that it wasn’t fair that women were not allowed to drink – so he invented a feminine-style cocktail, the Singapore Sling. At the hotel’s peak before the start of Covid, more than 1000 of these concoctions were sold each day in the Long Bar.

In recent years, the hotel has undergone a relaunch following an extensive and sensitive redesign, opening once more with refreshed interiors in August, 2019.

Dining at OSTERIA BBR by Alain Ducasse

In 2021, the hotels’ iconic Bar & Billiard Room (BBR) was transformed into a new modern Italian eatery, OSTERIA BBR by Alain Ducasse, with concept and menus created by the highly-acclaimed Michelin-starred chef – his first restaurant in Singapore. He currently has 32 restaurants spanning nine countries.

“I could not dream of a better location than the landmark Raffles Hotel Singapore to bring the Ducasse restaurant experience for the first time to Singapore,” said Ducasse.

“OSTERIA BBR by Alain Ducasse is inspired by my experiences in Italy and discoveries of Italian culinary traditions, and I’m delighted to share my approach to authentic Italian cuisine with guests in Singapore, bringing a myriad of dining and bar experiences to the historic Bar & Billiard Room every day.”

The Bar & Billiard Room was first created in 1896. The ‘BBR’ is retained in the name OSTERIA BBR by Alain Ducasse.

The updated restaurant was designed in collaboration with Paris-based firm Jouin Manku. I loved the red banquettes and dining chairs, the beautiful floor tiles, the curves of the bar, the light streaming in from the original windows that overlook lush greenery, and the action we could witness in the large, open kitchen as we dined on succulent octopus, Mazara del Vallo red prawn tartare; tiramisu; and a signature baba with limoncello and silky smooth whipped cream.

My visit was for lunch during the week and the restaurant was comfortably buzzing with locals and visitors alike. On Sundays, the classic Raffles Sunday Brunch hosted here makes this one of Singapore’s most indulgent places to be, where guests can dine on fresh oysters, lobster salad, smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and Kristal caviar, and a fine selection of Italian cold cuts.

Osteria BBR by Alain Ducasse

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