Restaurant Air: A dining destination by Matthew Orlando and Will Goldfarb opens in Dempsey this 31 January 2024

By Hannah Choo 13 January, 2024
restaurant air

Founded by chefs Matthew Orlando and Will Goldfarb, and entrepreneur Ronald Akili, Air strives to be the perfect multi-hyphenate—a restaurant, cooking school, farm and research lab

Editor’s note: For more Date Night stories, click here.

restaurant air
Air is sprawled across 3,700 square metres of land in Dempsey. Photo by Air

The ideal of any given dining destination isn’t just to be great, but to be there. It’s meant to be reliable, to cover all the bases, whether you need a meal to satiate, a moment to rest, or a space to learn something new.

A new restaurant opening in Dempsey Hill plans to be just that. Founded by chefs Matthew Orlando (Amass, Copenhagen) and Will Goldfarb (Room4Dessert, Ubud), and entrepreneur Ronald Akili (Potato Head), Air strives to be the perfect multi-hyphenate—a restaurant, cooking school, farm and research lab.

Situated behind Long Beach, an old-timey seafood restaurant, it has found a home in an old barracks complex that previously served as a clubhouse for civil servants. Casually sprawled across 3,700 square metres of land, it aims to inspire thought about food without being preachy. Air, which stands for ‘awareness, impact and responsibility‘, hopes to be a little less talk and a lot more action. Finally, a place to dine in peace without getting our ears talked off.

The restaurant takes up both storeys, with 45 seats on the ground floor facing the lawn and another 45 on the second floor overlooking it. On a good day, one may dine outdoors, whether on the extended terrace on the ground floor or the lawn itself, where coffee, pastries (made by Le Matin) and snacks are offered.

The kitchen itself is led by Orlando. As the chef who ran René Redzepi’s Noma and one of the world’s most sustainable restaurants (his now-defunct Amass had a good run), food here is expected to be unpredictable and remarkable: Crispy Oyster Mushrooms with Sarawak pepper emulsion and pickled chilli; Grilled Squid Salad with shaved vegetables and charred coconut; and a Whole Coral Grouper that comprises a fish head rillette with emping chips, grouper confit with a green onion and black garlic vinaigrette, and fish bones pressure-cooked into noodles.

restaurant air
Vanilla Bean and Coconut Ice Cream, with pandan oil and Kaluga caviar. Photo by Air

For dessert, one could indulge in Vanilla Bean and Coconut Ice Cream, served with a drizzle of pandan oil and dollop of caviar. But staying true to its sustainability theme is Reincarnated “Chocolate”, where chocolate is made with cocoa husks, cascara and coconut flesh, sans the cocoa beans—a textbook example of what they do at Air. To know more, the research space, where chefs experiment and have fun with food, welcomes anyone to come watch and talk shop, while the cooking school will host classes and various programmes in the months to come.

The restaurant opens this 31 January 2024. Book now.

25B Dempsey Road
Singapore 249918
Tel: +65 8320 6184

Featured photo by Air