COL, a casually elegant neighborhood restaurant and bar, is the latest addition to vibrant Keong Saik’s eclectic dining scene. Opening on 21 October 2022, COL is a collaboration between Chef Colin Buchan and his wife Sophie Fitsall, with investment from 1880, where Colin will remain as Executive Chef. The new dining concept will serve up an outrageously delicious menu of unstuffy, refined fare by Chef-Owner Colin Buchan, celebrating seasonal eating and a relaxed style of dining. COL brings people together over the simple pleasures of good food and drinks in a friendly, lively atmosphere.
Inspired by the ubiquitous neighborhood restaurants and bars of London where Chef-Owner Colin Buchan earned his chef’s whites, and where Sophie cut her teeth as a luxury events manager with projects the likes of World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards and a first-of-its-kind private dinner with Heston Blumenthal, COL is an intimate gathering spot with distinctive dining spaces. The 50-seat restaurant occupies a beautiful 1400 square feet space on the ground floor of The Working Capitol, a pre-war biscuit factory turned coworking community, and is designed by Jin Seow of Jin Seow Studios, the creative eye behind several Calvin Klein and DKNY flagship stores and Edition Hotels.
COL’s interiors blend modern comfort and industrial cool with vintage accents for an effortlessly sophisticated and invitingly casual ambience. Its unassuming double swing doors open into a cozy, yet energetic entrance room, where the front bar takes centerstage. Behind the rich green marble bar countertop, fresh-pulled brews – of both caffeinated and hoppy varieties, with the former from
neighboring Ann Siang Hill’s Maxi Coffee Bar – flow from afternoon till late, while those desiring a stronger tipple can spring for palomas, negronis and other classic cocktails. Paired with oysters (and just a kiss of house-made preserved lemon mignonette) and a selection of elevated bar nibbles, the bustling bar is perfect for those wanting to slip in pre-dinner drinks and whet their appetites for the main event.
Saunter through the archway opening to the main dining area, and diners will be greeted with an industrial-cool space with a welcomingly lived-in look. Here, raw concrete flooring is warmed by chocolatey dark wood and leather banquettes in rich olive green and deep blue that encourage diners to lounge awhile in leisurely conversation and order another round – or two – of espresso martinis. Artworks personally hand-picked by Chef-Owner Colin and Sophie adorn the white walls, adding vibrancy to the room and talking points for conversations.
Situated on the right of the room is COL’s heart and soul, a gorgeous open kitchen resplendent in black stainless steel where an oven and wood-fired grill blazes merrily all day for diners’ viewing pleasure; all and sundry can watch the chefs work their magic. Cutting through the smorgasbord of delicious scents and sounds, an elegantly aged marble countertop spans the entire length of the kitchen, illuminated by suspended mid-century, modern industrial lamps. Completing the main dining space, mixed wood, Calcutta grey and vintage pink marble tables dot the room, catering to more intimate parties, whilst a beautiful second bar appeals to diners wanting a lively, casual meal and drinks bar-side.
At COL, its contemporary, ingredient-focused selection of reimagined classics and bold new flavors will encapsulate the sublime joy of sharing a delicious meal in good company. If anyone knows food, it’s Chef Owner Colin Buchan, who helms the COL kitchen alongside Head Chef Dennis Smit. Trained in the kitchens of Gordon Ramsay for over a decade, multiple Michelin-starred establishments, and David and Victoria Beckham’s residence as their private chef, Chef-Owner Colin is known by many in Singapore for his stunning food programming at 1880.
“After a career spanning London, Europe and Asia, my wife Sophie and I thought it was about time to open a restaurant in Singapore. We set out to create a cozy yet energetic restaurant that we would love to dine, drink, and have fun in. COL represents a new style of simple, accessible, and yet sophisticated dining where seasonality is key, and we are excited to be part of a new wave of approachable refined restaurants in Singapore,” said Chef-Owner Colin Buchan. “We are choosing to find the sweet spot between fine and casual dining whilst focusing on produce and skill. Bringing COL to life has been incredible for me, and I see it as the culmination of my culinary journey. My team and I cannot wait to share our take on modern European fare.”
Matched with Head Chef Dennis’ twenty years of global culinary experience in Michelin-starred restaurants and beyond, the powerhouse duo puts produce, skill, and fire on display with a European accented menu featuring seasonal ingredients and flavors, smoky wood-fired meat and seafood, and handcrafted pastas.
Signatures on the opening autumnal menu include starters for sharing, such as aromatic Nduja arancini with smoky muhammara dip (S$18) and grilled scallops served with an umami-rich, oceanic seaweed butter and a dollop of sweet and tangy grapefruit marmalade (S$24) complementing the fresh ocean flavors. Hearty mains include COL’s take on a classic tagliatelle al granchio – hand-rolled tagliatelle, each portion made fresh to order, with a sauce of fresh crab, piquant chilli butter and confit tomatoes (S$30) – and tender Iberico pork loin laced with lardo and finished with carrots, crushed apples, cider jus and mustard (S$46) for a layered taste experience.
From the grill, gorgeously marbled cuts of Sanchoku Wagyu OP Rib (500g for S$148) and Black Opal Wagyu Entrecôte (300g for S$98) are brushed with Wagyu beef fat and fire-cooked over binchotan for a beautiful sear and tender, juicy perfection. Other crowd-pleasers include the moreish saikyo miso roasted cauliflower in a pleasingly vegetal green sauce and garlic pangrattato (S$18). Finally, COLPOP, a thick bar of raspberry rose parfait on a stick, coated with Opalys white cocoa and raspberry ripple (S$17) and a meringue-topped zesty citrus curd mascarpone tart dusted with kaffir lime (S$16) bring the symphony of flavors to a satisfying conclusion.
To pair with its inventive menu, COL’s wine list was curated by Benjamin Hasko, one of two Master Sommeliers based in Singapore, and spotlights three categories of wines: classic wines that represent benchmark regions and styles with a sense of place, natural wines that highlight emerging styles with a minimalist approach, and new wave wines that defy expectations from classic or iconic regions.
Diners seeking creative libations will find classic craft cocktails with a COL twist the stars of the show at both the front and back bars, such as the Nero Negroni, Coconut Highball, and Chef-Owner Colin’s favourite, Bobby Burns, COL’s interpretation of an espresso martini.
At COL, warm hospitality, delectable flavours and a convivial setting are the orders of the day, and they come together to create a spectacular dining experience.
COL is located at 1 Keong Saik Rd., #01-05 The Working Capitol Building, Singapore 089109 and is open for dine-in and takeaway from 21 October 2022.
For reservations, please visit col.com.sg. Enquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or +65 9163 6247. For updates, follow @colsingapore on Instagram.
Operating hours: Tuesday to Saturday; the bar opens from 5pm and the restaurant from 6pm. Friday Lunch & Sat/Sun Brunch to launch mid-November.