Restaurant Guy Savoy to bid adieu to MBS
ANOTHER star fell at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) when the integrated resort confirmed on Wednesday that Guy Savoy - its haute French restaurant venture with the Paris-based three-Michelin-starred chef - would cease operations from Feb 3.
But the premises will not remain empty for long. Come June or July, acclaimed Australian chef David Thompson will debut Long Chim, a Thai street-food dining concept that will be the first of several such eateries that he plans to open around the world.
MBS declined to comment on the reasons for the closure, except to say that it was a joint decision with Savoy. The closure follows that of Spanish restaurant Santi in 2012.
Unlike previously, when MBS had a direct stake in its celebrity-chef restaurants, the space will be leased out directly to Thompson and his partners, whom he declined to name.
This will be Thompson's first business in Singapore. Speaking to The Business Times from outside Bangkok where he is filming a TV series, he said: "Singapore is a food mecca with a very exciting dining scene. I have always liked Singapore and this opportunity arose."
The investment will be "considerable in both time and money", and he is not put off by the crowded dining scene. "We are not competing with anyone else - we are offering something different."
Meanwhile, Guy Savoy executive chef and restaurant manager Eric Bost described the closure as "frustrating and disappointing".
"We wanted to achieve great things and we have gotten good feedback in all this time we have been open."
Bost, who has been with the restaurant since its opening in May 2010, plans to return to France or his native United States to open his own eatery.
He said that most of the 14 kitchen staff and 13 service staff will be staying on with MBS, while a handful of management staff deployed previously to Singapore from the Guy Savoy group will be joining its other overseas outlets.
Those in the industry were not surprised to hear of Guy Savoy's closure. Chef-owner Emmanuel Stroobant of Saint Pierre restaurant noted that "the current trend in Singapore is for a more casual environment but with quality cuisine".
THE BUSINESS TIMES