The doctors are in at Spectre, an upcoming restaurant and bar based around mental health.
The venue wants people to feel better through a prescription of comfort food, nourishing ingredients, and holistic practices. A little alcohol doesn’t hurt, either.
Slated to open in June this year, Spectre is having a pop-up at Ghostwriter from now until May 31 2023, where they are serving select dishes and drinks from their first menu.
Things to know about Spectre – the restaurant and bar which is based around mental health
The concept was created by MasterChef Singapore finalist and performing artist, Inch Chua, as well as Beam Suntory regional brand ambassador and bar consultant, Andrew Pang. Pang also has a background in psychology, which he wanted to bring to Spectre. “I didn’t want my mum to think I wasted my studies,” he quipped.
Spectre‘s wellness aspect is most evident at the start. Guests are encouraged to jot down some thoughts or stresses on a piece of paper, which is then burned to symbolise renewal.
The rest of it unfolds quietly in seemingly familiar food. Watermelon sashimi mimics tuna’s savouriness by marinating the fruit in soy sauce, tahini, and tomato purée. Cantonese-style beef and daikon radish stew features much more of the latter with a topping of meat and melted brie, plus the zest of an orange slice and ascorbic acid powder. “It’s your daily dose of vitamin C,” Chua said.
It plays out similarly in the cocktails. Cheng tng inspires a drink of the same time, featuring booze-soaked white fungus, lychee, and red date garnished on top of a bourbon and rum blend. Christmas in May puts people in the holiday spirit with a comforting mulled wine.
Spectre does not have everything polished yet. Dishes like sambal stingray, which is made without prawns for people allergic to shellfish, lacked body, and sweet sherry overpowered the other ingredients in the Retrospect cocktail.
The permanent restaurant, which will be in Tanjong Pagar, has plans to outfit itself as a vintage apothecary bar that embodies “kintsugi,” a Japanese practice of repairing broken items and a metaphor for embracing imperfections.
Spectre also wants their people to be equally healthy. Pang is aiming for a four-day workweek, and staff who attend training courses outside of work will be compensated. Now, how do we get our own employers to do that?
Spectre pop-up at Ghostwriter
Now until May 31 2023
2nd floor, 98 Club Street, Singapore 069467
(Hero and feature images credits: @wearenatm / Instagram)