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Three dishes you must order at Po, The Warehouse Hotel’s flagship restaurant

Victoria Lim 17 January 2017

Helmed by mod-Sin cuisine creator and chef-owner of Wild Rocket, Po restaurant is Willin Low’s clever take on local dishes.

Nestled on the bank of Robertson Quay is the newest kid on the block, The Warehouse Hotel. Once a godown and disco spot, it has been transformed by The Lo & Behold Group into a modern boutique hotel with 37 rooms.

The property also houses a Singapore-inspired restaurant, Po, which is spearheaded by mod-Sin creator and Wild Rocket (ranked number 38 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list) chef-owner Willin Low. Executive chef William Lim, who used to work at Violet Oon’s National Kitchen, leads the kitchen brigade.

Decor-wise, the spacious 52-seater restaurant sports a soothing, neutral colour palette and chic rattan chairs, setting a comfortable stage to experience Low’s modern spin on local fare. Po’s menu pays a nostalgic nod to Singapore’s culinary culture, where each dish references a humble classic. “Po is a place where it reminds you of your friend’s place, and where the mum or popo (grandmother) spares no expenses to make sure you have the best,” says Low.

The star on the menu and the dish you should not leave the restaurant without trying is the wrap-it-yourself Popiah. Low went to great lengths to create the best possible version, spending years culling recipes from several grandmothers (including his own) and mothers before he came up with his own. One particular recipe took him 20 years before he could get his hands on it. There are three options:  Classic Platter ($28), Prawn Platter ($38 with tiger prawns) and Fresh Flower Crab Platter ($58).  The ingredients are braised over four hours, resulting in a popiah filling that is rich in umami.  Well worth the splurge.

Other crowd-pleasers include the Charcoal-Grilled Iberico Satay ($20), tangy Barramundi Salad ($19), and the Malay classic, rendang cooked with spiced-braised veal and served with belinjau crackers ($35). Our favourite is the former. Marinated for 12 hours in a secret spice blend concocted by Lim, you get three giant skewers of Iberico pork that are soft and succulent. The flavour is further enhanced when you dip the meat into the accompanying spicy peanut sauce and freshly grated pineapple dip.

Another must-try classic is the fast disappearing zhi bao ji or paper wrapped chicken. You’ll feel right at home as you tuck into Po’s lip-smacking version, the Paper Spring Chicken ($49). Stuffed with glutinous rice, dried scallops, Chinese sausages and mushrooms, the whole chicken is then baked for two hours. The smell that wafts through the air as the server unwraps the baking paper at your table will trigger your hunger hormones. The portion is great for two to three persons. 

Cocktail buffs are in for a treat. At the Warehouse Hotel’s Lobby Bar, you may sample a piece of the building’s rich past with their tipple menu. Kick-start the night with a 19th-century Spice Trade-inspired Whisky Houston ($20), a smooth concoction of whisky, toffee, molasses, barley, coconut water, nutmeg and of course, spiced bitters. Fruity, flirty concoctions like Kaya Lumpur ($19) – which comprises pineapple rum, kaya, fresh basil, citrus soda – are inspired from The Warehouse Hotel’s days of carousing (The Warehouse Disco).

320 Havelock Road. Tel: 6828 0007

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