Jake Kellie

Born on the Central Coast in Australia, Jake Kellie has cooked in heavyweight kitchens around the world including The Ledbury in London, The Fat Duck in Bray and, most recently, Singapore barbecue restaurant Burnt Ends where he was head chef for almost three years. Despite being just 28 years old, Kellie has compiled an impressive international CV that includes stages and guest dinners around the world as well as finishing runner-up at the 2018 San Pellegrino Young Chef finals. Working in Singapore didn’t just give him access to ingredients from all over the world, but a diverse spread of food options ranging from high to low.

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My Favourite Restaurant In Singapore

My favourite restaurant in Singapore at the moment is Hashida, a super-intimate Japanese restaurant. I went there on New Year’s Eve and had one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. It was stunning. Super tasty, and the seafood was unbelievably fresh. Hatch (chef Kenjiro Hashida), who’s the chef there, is a legend and he’ll always have a chat or share a glass of Champagne or sake with you. It’s really fun vibes. His signature is toro (super fatty tuna belly), it’s so delicious. He carves it off the belly, lightly warms it over charcoal until the fat starts to melt, and then you just eat it like sushi with a nice bit of rice and a little bit of soy on top. It’s fucking delicious. That’s one of the joys of being in Singapore. We’re exposed to all the different fresh seafood you can get from Japan.  Another thing at Hashida I hadn’t seen in Singapore was Hatch pulling out fresh ikura (salmon roe) that was still in the egg sack. It was crazy.

A Reliable Middle Ground Option

A place that I go to all the time for a good feed is Cheek Bistro. It’s a place you can go without worrying that you’ll break the bank: you can just go for a casual bit of steak, a side [dish], crush a bottle of wine, and happy days. Singapore’s really hard, I find. You can go to certain places that are casual, but you’ve still gotta spend a shit tonne of money. That middle ground is really hard, but I think Cheek is the perfect example of where a diner can go and enjoy a lovely meal, get really good service and really good food. Their wine list is really amazing too.  

Supper At The End Of The Week

There’s a place called Oriental Chinese Restaurant, that’s open till 5am, that we eat at pretty much every Saturday after work for a late-night supper. We’ll just go and crush like eight or 10 plates of food, have a laugh and a beer. They specialise in food from Dong Bei (in China’s north-east), so we’ll get things like these super-spicy pork ribs and eggplant; egg white omelette with braised tomatoes, fried garlic shoots and meat and chive dumplings.

Noodles And Fried Dumplings

There’s also a hawker I go to called Ji Ji Wonton. That’s pretty local and not too far from where I live so I go there a fair bit and crush a bowl of noodles and some fried dumplings.

Where I Go To Drink

When it comes to bars, I think we’re really spoiled for choice in Singapore. Atlas is definitely one of my favourites. The building is absolutely stunning. Every time I walk in, I’m dumbfounded by how beautiful it is. If I’m feeling a bit rowdy and want to get on it, I go to Employees Only. It’s very much a hospo bar and a good place to go for a cheeky Negroni on the way home. The music is super loud, the drinks are really good, and the hospitality there is great, they really look after you.

Where I Go To Drink (The Sunday Edit)

On a Sunday, if I’m feeling up for it, there’s a really Aussie place called Boomerang. It’s a sports bar, and I can go there and watch the footy and have a few beers. At Manhattan Bar they do a Sunday brunch, which is dangerous. It starts at 12 and ends at 3pm. To get your money’s worth, you’ve got to get there at 12. Oh man, I went there at the start of the year and let’s just say it was a great Sunday spent. Manhattan’s quite big so they have different booths where you can make your own smoothie or do your own Bloody Mary. They also have normal classic cocktails as well, so yeah, it’s good fun.  

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