Date Night: Araya at The Mondrian celebrates native South American with biodiversity and the best of fusion

Singapore’s first South American fine-dining restaurant is led by Michelin-starred chef Francisco Araya and pastry chef Fernanda Guerrero

Chefs Francisco Araya (left) and Fernando Guerrero

What’s it like at Araya?

This is Singapore’s first South American fine-dining restaurant, led by Michelin-starred chef Francisco Araya (Borago, elBulli annd 81 Restaurant) and pastry chef Fernanda Guerrero (Alegre and Napa Wine Bar & Kitchen), partners at work and in life. Tucked inside The Mondrian, it’s an intimate 30-seater that celebrates their native South America with soulful, contemporary flavours. Only a tasting menu is available, with the option to make it vegetarian and vegetarian only.

What should one order?

Dinner is S$298, and it focuses on Chilean South Pacific cuisine, featuring indigenous ingredients from South America and even Japan. Think corn, Andean potatoes and Chilean cherries. “We are committed to showcasing biodiversity, not only in the sense of the ingredients available within South America, but also in how other cultures have had a lasting influence on how we cook and eat,” says chef Araya.

The menu, which can be tweaked for vegetarians, highlights the techniques and ingredients brought in to South America by different groups of people, from Spanish conquistadors to the Arabic and Japanese immigrants. Expect the best of fusion like traditional Brazilian Moqueca elevated with Japanese kinki, and scallop ceviche cured with shio koji before getting bathed in a tiger’s milk sorbet. Other highlights include the Wagyu Picaña, char-grilled to a rich flavour and crusty exterior, and the koji-marinated Pyrenees pigeon that’s smoked, seared and served with aged Ecuador cacao. 

To top it off, add S$180 to pair the meal with adventurous wines from the Americas or S$280 for Old World varietals.

Pigeon. Photo by Araya

What else is there to know?

There’s a secret sliding door that leads to a private dining room, equipped with a mural of the Andes and a long table made from Chilean malachite. A delicate porcelain light oversees the space like a cloud, draping the room in seductive light, making it the perfect space to enjoy the meal in bliss. It seats as many as 10, and is available with a minimum spend of S$4,000.

Mondrian Singapore Duxton,
83 Neil Road, 01-08
Singapore 089813
Tel: +65 8870 0871