Lost in a culinary maze

Welcome to Labyrinth, an avant garde, “think outside the box,” Singapore restaurant that leads diners on a gastronomical adventure like no other.


What’s in a name? At Labyrinth, an intimate restaurant housed within a conservation shop-house on Singapore’s Neil Road, evidently a lot. Labyrinth welcomes foodies to a modern gastronomical adventure and extraordinary culinary maze, led by young local chef and owner, Han LG. The “lab” part further highlights Labyrinth’s concept of being an exploratory culinary laboratory focused on constant innovation. 

Diners can lick their lips in anticipation of an unforgettable, fine-dining (yet refreshingly affordable) experience, with a self-proclaimed “Singaporean experimental cuisine” that challenges common culinary perceptions both in taste and visuals. What amounts to an open-box culinary think tank helmed by Chef Han with a reconstructive “DNA cooking” concept, Labyrinth reinterprets and reconstructs classic international and local culinary creations – familiar flavours with a twist – without the creativity and innovation being bound to purely eastern or western cuisine genres. Dishes are inspired not just by indigenous ingredients, but by traditional eating rituals and interactions that drive a specific cuisine and, while playing with textures, temperatures and visual deceptions, local flavours are kept authentic. “We don’t want to just deconstruct a dish,” explains Chef Han. “We take them apart, but then reconstruct them in a way that the original elements of the dish are still preserved in order to connect with the local market.”

With the help of a band of food-obsessed buddies, Labyrinth was born out of Singaporean Han’s passion for cooking and a creative streak that thrives on challenging the norm. Having quit his former corporate banker life and being mainly self-taught (although he undertook stints as an apprentice chef under Michelin-starred, internationally renowned chefs, such as Mauro Colagreco of Mirazur, France), the stimulation of Chef Han’s background has been fed by travelling the globe, dining in top-notch acclaimed restaurants that include The Fat Duck and Gordon Ramsay’s Maze in the UK and traditional recipes, local cultures and scientific cooking techniques picked up on his gourmet-led travels. Back home, Han is a stickler for working with locally sourced, fresh produce, preparing everything from scratch – even down to fruit chips made from dehydrated fresh fruit. One of Han’s many ways to show his respect to his Singapore heritage, each morning he personally selects meats from trusted hawkers in a Shinfu wet market that was long patronized by his grandmother. 

Labyrinth’s dinner-only menus showcase both local and international cuisines reconstructed in a way to push boundaries, yet simultaneously rein them in. On a never-ending quest for culinary perfection, each well-researched dish is technical and precise, with a focus on creating dishes that arouse the basic taste sensations of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savoury, and a rounded, holistic balance of flavours. 

The dining arrangement of 15 seats wrapped around an open kitchen allows diners to witness up-close the cutting-edge dishes being meticulously assembled by this dynamic kitchen team.   

The Signature Menu features Chef’s die-hard signature dishes, while the Heritage tasting menu references those with more of a leaning towards local hawker fare. The Divine House’s signature Chili Crab presents a playful twist on an iconic Singaporean dish; here, elegantly presented with a piquant chili crab ice-cream, tempura-style soft shell crab and seaweed fronds on a bed of mantou “sand” hit with a luxuriant dollop of sturgeon caviar. 

A clever take on another much-loved Chinese classic, Labryrinth’s version of Siew Yoke Fan (“fan” means “rice” in Chinese) is served as a melt-in-the-mouth tender slab of local roasted pork, set on risotto cooked in a tasty tonkatsu broth, with deep-fried seaweed and pork scratchings –  topped with an almost ethereal, sous vide-cooked quail’s egg. With another signature dish, Pineapple Fried Rice, again, expect the unexpected; this traditional wok-fried dish comes served cold here as a pineapple sorbet, with rice crispies and aromatic turmeric Zabaglione.   

Even dessert creations don’t escape Chef Han’s culinary genius; signatures like Soft Boiled Eggs and Teh Tarik manage to throw diners’ off their common perception of Singapore’s familiar local breakfast.

 “We’re not going to be the kind of place you only eat at once a year,” declares Chef Han and with these sensational modern interpretations, he’s right. We will all be returning again – a lot. 

Siew Yoke Fan

Siew Yoke Fan 

Cantonese Crispy Roast Pork Belly (Siew Yoke, or Yuk) is an iconic dish in both Singapore and Hong Kong, readily available in both Chinese restaurants and hawker centres. The traditional Chinese version is quality pork belly roasted at a high temperature with seasoning to achieve a crispy “crackling skin” and a contrasting juicy, tender meat – invariably served with char siew sauce. Trust Labyrinth to put its own unique stamp on a classic yet humble regional dish.

Previous articleTHE KITCHEN TABLE
Next articlePrego