Spa Esprit’s Cynthia Chua is opening her first Japanese restaurant in Singapore
By Jamie Nonis
In partnership with grow-your-own-food movement Edible Garden City, Chua is taking her farm-to-table concept first established with Open Farm Community (OFC) in Dempsey four years ago to the skies – to the rooftop of the revamped Funan mall.
Called Noka, the 75-seater, glass-walled sister restaurant to OFC will sit alongside a 5,000-sq-ft urban garden growing red chillies and mushrooms in a sheltered chamber, and many more species of vegetables, flowers and herbs, tended by their own farmers.
“I think the urban farm is a very interesting concept; to have a farm in the city that celebrates regional produce,” Chua told CNA Luxury. “People are becoming more conscious about what they eat. They now want very honest food where the focus on the produce is really, really important; to do less with it but let the produce shine,” she added.
Noka, which translates to ‘farmhouse’ in Japanese, will focus on extending the OFC concept to Japanese cuisine. “People love Japanese cuisine so we wanted to offer something familiar but interpreted in a way that opens up a world of discovery… Like using the culinary expertise of a Japanese chef to interpret local [ingredients] like kang kong,” she explained.