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Raffles Hotel to reopen with new restaurants

Chef Anne-Sophie Pic of three-Michelin-starred Anne-Sophie Pic - The Restaurant in France is opening a restaurant at the Raffles Hotel. To be called La Dame de Pic, the 50-seat restaurant in the main building of the hotel is her first foray into Asia.

It will offer diners a taste of Valence in south-east France, where her restaurant is located. The cooking, the hotel says, "reflects her search for aromatic complexity, combinations of flavours and powerful tastes that evoke emotions".

The 131-year-old hotel in Beach Road, which is closed for restoration and renovation work, is expected to reopen in the first quarter of next year.

There will be 10 new and refreshed restaurants and bars, with about 1,100 seats in all.

Also opening at the hotel is another restaurant by a famous French chef. Alain Ducasse will open BBR by Alain Ducasse in the hotel's 122-year-old Bar & Billiard Room. It will be a casual, 235-seat restaurant and bar serving Mediterranean food inspired by Portugal, Spain, Italy and France. It will also serve Sunday brunch.

Ducasse, 61, runs more than 20 restaurants in seven countries, including France, the United States and China.

The jewels of his Michelin-star-bedecked empire - his restaurants have earned 21 - are Le Louis XV - Alain Ducasse a l'Hotel de Paris in Monaco, Alain Ducasse Au Plaza Athenee in Paris and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in London, all with three Michelin stars.

Singaporean chef Jereme Leung, formerly executive chef of Jiang-Nan Chun at the Four Seasons hotel here, makes a homecoming by opening yi by Jereme Leung, a 120-seat contemporary Chinese restaurant on level 3 of the Raffles Arcade, serving Cantonese classics and adaptations of ancient Chinese dishes.

Hong Kong-born Leung, 46, started his culinary career at age 13. He also ran the Whampoa Club in Shanghai and Beijing. He now has a restaurant consultancy business, creating modern Chinese restaurants in hotels in China and the US, among other countries.

Joining the three new restaurants is Butcher's Block. The 70-seater, which will be located at the Raffles Arcade, showcases high-end meat stored in a glass meat cooler called The Vault, and cooked in an open kitchen.

Favourites such as the Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was concocted more than a century ago; and the Tiffin Room, which serves North Indian food, will return, as will the Writers Bar, for hotel residents and restaurant patrons; and alfresco all-day bar and lounge the Raffles Courtyard.

Ah Teng's Bakery will be renamed Ah Teng's Cafe, offering grab-and-go pastries, drinks and ice cream at the Raffles Gift Shop at the hotel's Seah Street entrance. Afternoon Tea at the hotel's lobby lounge will also make a comeback.

A hotel spokesman told The Straits Times that the history of the hotel was important in considering which restaurants would return, adding that the Tiffin Room and Long Bar, for example, hold fond memories for visitors and guests.

This was balanced with a need to push forward.

"A key consideration is to ensure that Raffles Singapore continues to stay at the forefront of the city's culinary scene and, as such, our three celebrity chef collaborations are a series of 'firsts' that the hotel will introduce when it reopens."

Chef Pic, 49, said of her new restaurant: "Like the Raffles, the Pic family's culinary heritage spans more than a century. Just like this beautiful hotel that will become one of our overseas residences, we are storytellers and constant seekers of excellence."

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