As the birthplace of one of the best-known cocktails in the world and the first hotel in the city to hire a French chef, Raffles Singapore has a long history of serving up top dining and imbibing experiences.

Since it first opened in 1887, the hotel has attracted writers, actors, royalty and dignitaries, and is a firm favourite amongst both luxury travellers and day trippers, the latter lining up at Long Bar to sample the famous Singapore Sling.

Despite maintaining its popularity over the years, the recent restoration – a property-wide project led by Champalimaud Design ­– was an opportunity to overhaul the F&B programme, revitalising the current offer and introducing new chefs, concepts and cuisines.

“Raffles Singapore has always been at the forefront of the F&B scene,” says Frederic Serol, Executive Assistant Manager of Food & Beverage. “With the restoration, our ultimate aim was to offer a diverse selection of well-crafted culinary experiences that continue to engage, excite and delight our discerning guests, including the local community.”

Serol joined the hotel in 2019, bringing with him 20 years of experience in managing fine dining restaurants. He has led eateries in London and Jakarta, and played a crucial role in the opening of The Middle House in Shanghai, planning and developing the F&B venues.

At Raffles, Serol oversees the management and operations of all restaurants and bars including iconic establishments such as Tiffin Room and Long Bar, as well as new concepts La Dame de Pic, BBR by Alain Ducasse, Butcher’s Block and Yi by Jereme Leung.

So how did the hotel come to select its stellar line-up?

“Selecting the right chef partner for our restaurants is very important,” says Serol. “It is not just about the level of success the chef has achieved, it is also about personality. Anne-Sophie Pic is feminine, elegant and graceful, which complements Raffles Singapore and the La Dame de Pic space; Alain Ducasse, who is known for his dynamism and creative energy, is a perfect fit for the Bar & Billiards Room with its storied heritage and lively social space evolving today as BBR by Alain Ducasse; and Singapore-born Jereme Leung is innovative while respectful of heritage and his first restaurant opening in Singapore with Yi by Jereme Leung tells of a beautiful homecoming.”

The design teams behind the spaces are equally acclaimed, with Jouin Manku responsible for the Mediterranean-style interiors at BBR by Alain Ducasse; and Aedas bringing a Chinese aesthetic to Yi by Jereme Leung.


At Long Bar – one of the oldest establishments in Singapore – a light refresh retains the time-worn ambiance with interiors inspired by Malayan plantation life in 1920s.

“Long Bar has a charming heritage and elegance that is unlike any other bar in Singapore,” notes Serol. “A vibrant, welcoming atmosphere greets each guest while the unique and unusual practice of tossing peanuts shells onto the floor, a habit developed by the Malayan plantation owners who used to frequent the bar in the 1900s, continues to today.”

Of course, it’s the Singapore Sling that primarily draws the crowds. The gin-based cocktail – widely regarded as the national drink – is a fruity mix of pineapple juice, lime juice, curaçao and Bénédictine, with grenadine and cherry liqueur giving the pink hue.

“The Singapore Sling is probably the most recognised creation from Singapore,” says Secol. “Having been created at Long Bar in 1915 by Hainanese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, it is closely intertwined with Raffles’ history, identity and inevitably, business. We serve over 1,000 Singapore Slings every day; no visit to Raffles is complete without it.”

Words: Catherine Martin
Photography: Courtesy of Raffles Singapore