usually innovations and trends in the fields of retail and hospitality are launched or picked up in singapore first before they're adopted in other capitals in southeast asia. but these past few years things have been looking up for neighbouring indonesia, and the newly found prosperity has led to a thorough transformation of the capital jakarta's retail and hospitality scene. while foreign brands have arrived in great numbers, savvy local entrepreneurs have emerged, making their mark with appealing concepts that cater to a young demographic with modern lifestyle and mind-set. in a previous post we talked about three buns, an innovative, new burger restaurant in south jakarta with a high cool factor.
while this diner has already gained a large following, the concept has now been introduced in singapore, albeit in a more eclectic and clustered format and with a different name. called potato head folk, the new venture occupies four floors of a 1930s art deco-style building in the heart of chinatown. the ground and second floors are home to three buns, the hamburger restaurant. while the ground floor has a laid-back ambiance and offers takeaway, the second floor features various seating arrangements with table service, set in an inviting living room setting. this space has been designed and decorated in collab with renowned sydney-based artist david bromley, featuring walls covered with whimsical bird and butterfly paintings in bromley’s signature style.
the approach is artisanal as many of the furnishings here and throughout potato head folk are original designs and handmade on bali. it's very much the potato head folk's showcase, as a special performance and exhibition program will be launched shortly that engages with both local creatives and those from across the planet. the burgers served are all concoctions of adam penney, a british chef who can easily be labeled as a true connoisseur of this dish. the menu lists a wide selection of gourmet burgers and classic side dishes, demonstrating penney’s passion for the highest quality meat combined with homemade sauces and fresh ingredients. all but one are named after iconic hip-hop songs: the four floors is named after the new venue and debutes here in singapore.
on the third floor studio 1939 is situated. an intimate, glamour-infused bar, the decor is once again courtesy of david bromley who mixed traditional chinese heritage pieces and vintage props with modern artworks, all against a backdrop of exposed walls. as a sophisticated watering hole, studio 1939 serves a different, eclectic menu of ingredients personally selected and discovered over the years by members of the potato head folk corporate family in jakarta. mind you, many delicacies will be available exclusively in singapore and the menu will change regularly. the cocktail list has been drafted by expert mixologist list dre masso and his team, and features both classics and signature creations. and obviously in a place like this, a range of fine wines are also available.
last but certainly not least there's the rooftop, a lush tropical hideaway on - yes, indeed - the building's very own rooftop. dotted with fragrant herbs, exotic flowers and tropical plants, it's one of the few of such places in the neighbourhood and comes with sweeping city views. the rooftop also hosts exclusive folk gatherings, regular al fresco dinners, featuring special guest chefs from singapore and abroad, specially imported ingredients and unusual gigs. with a stylish setting for almost any mood and occasion, what's not to love about potato head folk? exactly. location: 36 keong saik road [chinatown].