The new DUO Towers might be looming over Parkview Square with its sparkly contemporary facade housing luxury boutique hotel Andaz Singapore, offices and residences, but food is one thing you’d be sure to find here. Aside from the lunch options on the ground floor, consider heading up the level 25, where a all-new culinary hub Alley on 25 hugs the lobby of the hotel. Take a seat in one of the seven “shophouse” concepts in the sky that include five restaurants, a bar, and a lounge.
Each shophouse focuses on a method of food preparation, from oven-baked grub at The Green Oven (yes, it features an actual green-hued oven) and wok-fried Sichuan favourites at Auntie’s Wok & Steam, to cold cuts and desserts over at Icehaus and hot plate sets at Plancha’Lah! Among them all, however, the largest has to be Smoke & Pepper, where a large Asian-inspired barbecue sits in an open-concept kitchen in the centre of the restaurant. It was here we tucked into the familiar flavours of Thailand and Indonesia, in the form of freshly grilled and succulent bites paired with refreshing sides.
The sweet and sour Shredded Green Papaya and Pumpkin Salad ($9++) was an energising opener. Featuring a mix of snake beans and garlic, as well as a generous douse of lime-palm sugar dressing, the salad worked as a great palate cleanser between the grilled offerings. The Crispy Kipfler Potatoes ($9++) is a dinner exclusive widely favoured by guests since the restaurant’s inception. Coated with a house blend of espelette pepper and parmesan, the crisp potato slices are orange and really addictive.
On the dishes from the grill, the table favourite was the Black Angus Beef Skewers ($28++), coated in soy-mirin glaze and served with shishito peppers and organic jasmine rice. Kept hot with a smouldering charcoal under the mini grill brought to your table, the beef chunks are thick and tender even without the miso-based sauce that comes with the dish. Together with the smoky shishito peppers charred just right and soft bed of rice to soak up all the juice, the skewers are a must-have at any table.
The poultry offerings were not to be scoffed at either, as we found out from the Half Corn-fed Spring Chicken ($20++), marinated in tamarind, honey and soy, and plated with a side of jasmine rice.
While most dishes on the menu are meant to be shared, lunch offerings at Alley on 25 includes the Spiced Fish Burger ($17++) with Asian slaw and sriracha mayonnaise. The spiced fish patty is reminiscent of the local otah (grilled fish cake), with the slaw of red cabbage, carrots and sesame seeds serving as a good balance with the slight spice. And you can’t have a burger without the necessary fries, of which the dollop of mayonnaise served at the side goes fantastically well with.
Ending off the meal with dessert opens up a plethora of options, as each restaurant has their own pair of sweet treats for you to pick. And while you can’t cross order from all seven concepts, it takes no trouble at all to head to a different space and settle in for some post-meal coffee. We hopped over to Icehaus for the Andaz Chendol Pop ($10++), born from the collaboration between the brand and chef Bjorn Shen of Neh Neh Pop, as well as the Pandan Chiffon Cake ($14++) with a unique Andaz twist. The pop – a pandan-white chocolate shell with toasted coconut shreds containing coconut and salted gula melaka cream and a red bean centre – was a pleasant creamy experience, while the spongey chiffon was coated with a thick, sweet pandan glaze to change up the well-loved favourite.
While not being able to cross-order on Alley at 25 might be a hassle for some, there are options aplenty at each concept to have a full, diverse meal within its confines. If you have some time, don’t miss out the lounge and bar that make up the rest of the “shophouses” – the Sunroom lounge is perfect for relaxing and small bites, while you can sample all kinds of cocktail blends, drinks and the Singapore-exclusive Andaz Pale Ale at Bar Square.
Smoke & Pepper at Alley on 25 is located at 5 Fraser Street, Level 25 Andaz Singapore, Singapore, 189354, p. +65 6408 1288. Opens Tue-Sat 12pm – 2.30pm, 6 pm – 10 pm. Closed Sun-Mon.