“The only love there is, is the love we make…”
This is the mantra for Corduroy Palace, a new fine dining concept by Gibran Baydoun of Lucali BYGB fame. Inspired by the song, The Love We Make by Prince, this will be the first music to greet you as you step into the hidden restaurant.
Corduroy Palace started with the idea of a space that transcends time. Described as “A space where the best memories are made. A space created outside of trends. A place you just end up, good days or bad, that fills you up, in more ways than one.”
From hospitality expert Baydoun and the team who brought us Lucali BYGB comes Corduroy Palace, a quirky and unorthodox wine hall and dining room made for mid-afternoon drinks that linger on into unexpected late-night bacchanals.
The Midtown Manhattan-style joint is designed to be as cosy as it is opulent—just as its name suggests, from the connotation of the words, “Corduroy” and “Palace” respectively.
The experience is akin to leaping into a magic rabbit hole of sorts, like Alice, foraging into Wonderland. You enter the venue via the back entrance, presented as Proper Slice, a small takeout-only pizza joint that sells pizzas for real:
Once inside, you will find yourself in a glamorous hideout serving impressive wines and indulgent eats, a drastic difference from the presentation outside.
The attention to details is meticulous, right from the music that greets you upon entering, all the way to the food presentation and the design of the menu, right down to how you order and enjoy your food and drinks.
You could call it an unorthodox wine hall, midtown Manhattan dining room or, in our opinion, a tiny marvel hidden away in the back alley of Gemmill Lane in the CBD that will unravel a different experience for everyone. It is a fun little hangout place for a private dining experience with someone close.
One of the key highlights is their carefully curated display of wines and liquors. These are all displayed upfront in bright, neon cellars for guests to look at and purchase directly by the bottle to enjoy in the restaurant. They do not sell wine by the glasses here, instead you pick a bottle, enjoy it during your meal and then have the option to bring it home after.
The menu is presented like a narrative, making the dining experience more fun:
Inside the dimly lit restaurant, if you pay attention, it is claimed that there are over 21 different vintage rugs and famed contemporary art pieces, including a Picasso original adorning the interior, for an added touch of sophistication.
If you and your guests find it hard to down a whole bottle of wine, you can consider ordering a glass of cocktail instead to enjoy with your meal.
Our meal started with the Downing’s Dozen (S$95) – described as a tribute to Thomas Downing’s Oyster House on Wall Street in the 1800’s. A freed slave, he introduced New York to eating oysters in luxury instead of the basement. The selection includes a dozen of L’Antilope Oysters from Normandy, France.
This was followed by Canned Fish (S$25), from Spain and Portugal. You get to select from a daily collection of tinned and canned fish, served with appropriate accoutrements and bread.
Next, we enjoyed some decadent caviar, served on our hand directly to be licked off. Prices start from S$150 for 50g. But you can enjoy it in bumps off your hand at S$20 a pop when a trolley is wheeled to your table for your selection.
A minestrone soup:
Another highlight, The Prime Rib (S$150 for 300g) – seasoned and roasted in-house and serrved with Au Jus, horseradish and a completely loaded baked potato with caviar.
This is a very large portion and is sufficient for sharing. Did I mention you get to pick the colour of your steak knife for no pragmatic reason at all? Fun!
End the meal with a Selection of Cheeese, featuring cheeses from Le Maison Mons by Laurent Mons in Saint Haon le Chatel, France. The selection changes often and seasonally. The whole selection will be presented to you, tableside, and you can order 5 choices for S$50 or 7 for S$75.
Corduroy Palace is really a place for memories and experiences. Obviously, prices lean toward the high side, for an experiential, fine dining experience, yet in a casual, fun setting. See the contrast?
Make a reservation for special occasions.
Corduroy Palace is open at #01-02 10 Amoy St., Gemmill Ln. Reservations can be made here.