A Michelin-starred restaurant proudly rooted in Singaporean traditions, Labyrinth invites to an extraordinary culinary experience. This refined eatery located in the Esplanade Mall reinvents familiar local dishes, introducing them to the arena of contemporary sustainable Singaporean dining.
The former banker and self-taught chef Han Li Guang is known for his original take on classic favorites that evoke memories of old-day Singapore. Chef Han’s main inspiration is his own childhood, and the restaurant pays tribute to his beloved grandmother whose traditional recipes he grew up with. At Labyrinth, the modernized form of the heritage Singaporean cuisine is in the spotlight. In an otherwise dark interior, lamps are adjusted at every meal to cast light directly onto the plates, hence allowing the dish itself to take center stage.
Chef Han refers to his interpretation of traditional dishes as the “new expression of Singaporean cuisine”. The “ang moh” chicken rice, for example, is a nostalgic throwback to the days when his grandmother made the Singaporean staple using the white sauce, to the delight of the British family she worked for. Chef Han’s version takes on the shape of a delicate dumpling made from home-milled rice flour, stuffed with braised chicken, and paired with the grandma’s chili sauce.
Labyrinth’s menu bursts with plenty of other unconventional flavor and texture combinations that are as much a feast for the eyes as for the palate. One of the dishes to look forward to is deep-fried chili crab, local and wild-caught, served with a scoop of chili crab ice cream and ribbons of egg white. A dessert named Pasar Malam (literally “night market”) combines corn spun into cotton candy, locally sourced goat’s milk butter, and egg popcorn sprinkled with gula jawa coconut palm sugar.
Labyrinth has a contemporary take on traditional drinks too, with many local cocktail adaptations, and even the alcoholic version of Milo Dinosaur, the popular Singaporean malt drink topped with chocolate malt powder.
Han believes that to stay true to its roots, Singaporean cuisine must rely on hyper-local ingredients. He is dedicated to supporting small agricultural businesses and maintains a close dialogue with farmers, striving to understand what processes and knowledge go into growing the produce. His suppliers include Hay’s Dairy Farm, Nippon Koi Farm, and Stingless Honey Bee Farm. The urban farm Edible Garden City provides Labyrinth with over 20 herbs, flowers, and vegetables, and even grows sweet corn exclusively for the restaurant. Labyrinth is the first restaurant in Singapore where 90 percent of the food on the menu is locally sourced.
Sustainability and social responsibility towards the environment, food, producers, and customers are the very cornerstones of Han’s business. Through his inventive take on traditional dishes, he shows in no uncertain terms that Singapore, often considered a country with no output on agriculture, has a lot to offer when it comes to the authentic local cuisine.