PS. Cafe group expands to Martin Road

SINGAPORE - PSGourmet, the group behind the popular PS. Cafes, will be opening two restaurants at residential development Martin No. 38 in Martin Road.

The group will be opening a second offshoot of its Asian restaurant Chopsuey Cafe, and PS. Cafe Petit, a gourmet takeaway and retail shop that offers items such as pizzas, burgers and hearty salads.

These restaurants are expected to open in May or June. They take over the space vacated by restaurants Bomba and Kha.

Spanish restaurant Bomba and Thai restaurant Kha, run by the Epicure Group, a subsidiary of boutique hotel company JIA Holding; and bakery Baker And Cook by New Zealand baker and patissier Dean Brettschneider, are now closed. Bomba closed last week, while Kha and Baker And Cook closed last Thursday.

PSGourmet, which has four PS. Cafe outlets - in Harding Road, Paragon, Palais Renaissance and Ann Siang Hill - a Chopsuey Cafe in Dempsey Hill, and a PS. Cafe Petit in Tiong Bahru, is owned by the partners of fashion and retail group Project Shop.

The group opened its first cafe PS. Cafe - short for Project Shop Cafe - in Paragon in 1999. The cafe opened 10 years after friends Peter Teo and Philip Chin, who are both Singaporeans, and Richard Chamberlain, a Briton who is a permanent resident here, founded Project Shop, a brand known for its T-shirts with quirky Singapore motifs and slogans, and its range of bags and accessories.

A spokesman for PSGourmet says Martin No. 38's developer, SC Global, had approached the group about the opening of food and beverage outlets five years ago, before the building was ready.

He adds: "We started a dialogue with SC Global, but the timing was not right for us.

"It came back to us last year when the Epicure Group decided to vacate the space. We've always liked the location and its possibilities, and now have concepts to fill it."

On how the group decided on Chopsuey Cafe and a PS. Cafe Petit for the space, he says: "We were looking to expand our two latest concepts and found that they complemented each other well. The 6,000 sq ft space also allows us to house them in a single location.

"The space is unconventionally large, and offers a great deal of flexibility. It allows us to open different concepts under one roof to maximise manpower and resources."

The first Chopsuey Cafe opened in Dempsey Hill last year, and serves dishes such as Crispy Duck Pow! Pockets ($17) - soft white buns filled with shredded duck confit and pulled roasted duck, served with a warmed sweet bean sauce; and General Tso's Chicken Drumlets ($21).

Its offshoot in Martin Road will seat 70 people and offer a similar menu that will include an array of traditional and more innovative dim sum, and new interpretations of Western-influenced Chinese dishes.

The new PS. Cafe Petit, unlike the Tiong Bahru outlet which opened in mid-2012, will be much larger and have seating space for 50 to 60 diners.

The all-day cafe will offer dishes such as a seafood marina pizza ($32), with blue swimmer crab, prawn, squid and mussels; pasta bowls (from $23); and paninis ($14). There will also be a range of desserts and 12 ice-cream flavours, and 18 wines by the glass.

Expect to spend about $70 a head at Chopsuey, and $35 a head at PS. Cafe Petit.

Design-wise, its spokesman says diners can look forward to "something different that still retains the PS. Cafe DNA", but interpreted through "a modernist's lens".

The group is probably most well known for its stand-alone PS. Cafe outlet in Harding Road, which it opened in December 2005. It had converted an old canteen into a stunning space with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, set amid the lush greenery of the Dempsey Hill area off Napier Road.

The spokesman says: "We feel that our combination of concepts at Martin No. 38 will provide new options to customers in the neighbourhood, and will also attract a wide range of guests from outside the immediate area."

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