Coriander Leaf re-opens 15 June 2015

coriander leaf chef de cuisine

So, in the middle of 2014, when I was changing jobs, and was about to sign a contract with one company, an old acquaintance asked me out for coffee. By the end of that coffee, she had offered me a job, and surprisingly, within a week, I had accepted.

I’ve always had a really varied resume, to put it mildly. I’ve been at different times, and sometimes concurrently, a journalist, photographer, magazine editor, illustrator, not-for-profit organisation administrator, arts administrator and civil servant, public relations and marketing consultant, F&B consultant, blogger… to name a few (too many). But now, for the first time, I’ve become a restaurateur. As of September last year, I stepped into the leadership role to restructure and reinvent a local restaurant and bar group.

coriander leaf uni and scrambled egg

The flagship brand in our group is Coriander Leaf, a 14 year old Asian restaurant and cooking school. I’m thrilled to let all of you know that as of Monday, 15 June 2015, we’re opening the doors to the new Coriander Leaf, a project that our founder, Chef Samia Ahad, our new management team (made up of some of the coolest and quirkiest people I’ve ever worked with) and I are all really proud of.

Since this is “my” restaurant, I am not going to tell you guys and gals how good the food is. I can’t because I am totally biased. What I can do is describe the project a bit.

coriander leaf beef brisket

Coriander Leaf started life at the Gallery Hotel. It moved a few years after it opened to Clarke Quay and remained there for a decade. Chef Samia’s menu was (and in many ways still is) devoted to showcasing her favourite dishes from across Asia, ranging from Turkey and Lebanon all the way across the continent to Japan and Indonesia. In addition to running a successful restaurant, Chef Samia ran a cooking school in which she taught passionate amateurs and also in which she ran her very popular corporate team buildings. She was so good at the latter that for the last half decade, she’s been conducting approximately 300 team buildings annually.

coriander leaf restaurant interiorThe new Coriander Leaf, located on the second floor of the building closest to Raffles City (look for El Mero Mero — we’re above it) in Chijmes, has a brand new style. It’s a very consciously contemporary design aesthetic that we feel is sophisticated without being stuffy. Our goal was to design a restaurant that would appeal to different demographics — young hipster foodies and older patrons alike. I could honestly ramble on about all of the interior finishings but by then, most of you would have stopped reading. So instead, I will just point out one design piece in particular that I love, which is a large wall in our main dining room on which we have reproduced a custom artwork that we commissioned respected contemporary painter Eric Chan to create for us. I absolutely love what he came up with, a large part of which you can see in the image below.

coriander leaf eric chan mural

In addition to revamping Coriander Leaf’s look, my team and I have also given the menu an overhaul. Working with Chef Samia and our new Chef de Cuisine Iskander Latiff, we have dived deep into Asia’s culinary histories. Our menu now draws from the widest possible range of nationalities — Filipino, Turkish, Indian, Pakistani, Nepali, Korean, Malay, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and more. The result, we feel, is a truly regional menu that showcases the very best dishes, flavours, spices, sauces, cooking methods and ingredients from across our region.

coriander leaf prawn salad

We have also decided to serve our food in small (sharing) plates, not so much because we believe in following trends but because through the offering of smaller portions of our food, you will be able to try more things. We have also built and categorised our menu based not on geographical origin but on flavour profiles (specifically Fresh, Familiar, Spicy, Umami and Sweet). By doing this, we hope it helps customers define meals that have greater balance and that are bereft of preconceived biases towards or against certain countries’ cuisines.

coriander leaf kitchen

Our main dining room can seat over 40 guests, at tables as well as at an ‘L’ shaped counter facing our open kitchen (pictured above). We also have a private dining room that can seat up to 24 diners. Our cooking school, in which we will continue the Coriander Leaf tradition of offering classes for passionate home cooks and team building programs for corporates, can also be converted into a private dining space for up to 50 guests.

I hope to see all of you at our establishment. Come let me and my colleagues know what works and what we can improve upon. Thank you (in advance) for your support.

Coriander Leaf
#02-01 Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street
Singapore 187996

For a reservation, please click here. Thanks again!

All food photos in this post were taken by the wonderfully talented Dionna and Sean from Studio Oooze. I took the other shots. 

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his two kids!

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3 Comments

  1. Jack 22 June 2015

    Hi ChubbyHubby,

    hope to see more on this hibernating blog. I was at the restaurant over the weekend with my wife. I think I must be the most badly dressed customer you had the whole weekend. We were wondering around and found this new locale of Coriander Leaf and just popped in.

    Just want to drop a note to say that we were very impressed with the service and the food. The wine list was interesting as well. Would love to have more wines by glasses selections. (Btw, my wife’s glass of Chianti was off but your excellent staff replaced it.)

    Some more things to work out as this is a new re-opening but we will be returning to taste more of the menu. Btw, how often do you plan to refresh it?

    Congrats and all the best!

    • Aun 22 June 2015 — Post Author

      Jack, thanks so much for visiting. I would also like to be able offer more of our wines by the glass. Will work on that. We’ll be refreshing the menu every quarter, with new additions to the menu. Plus, our lunch menu, which will launch in a month, will offer noodle and rice bowls. Thanks again.

  2. Sky 24 June 2015

    Absolutely loved Coriander Leaf when you were in Clarke Quay. Will visit you at Chijmes. I’m actually interested in reading the interior design of the restaurant… another post on this please 😉

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