Creating Singaporeâ€™s next F&B institution is Aura, located in an institution itself, the newly-minted National Gallery which was formerly the City Hall and Supreme Court.
While The National Gallery will open November 24, Aura has lifted its curtains on a four-in-one dining destination, giving event planners a new venue to salivate over. It is the only F&B outlet in the commanding building, whose grand, historic architecture, especially when lit at night, will wow clients even before they even so much as step into the place.
We made an impromptu visit for drinks at the Aura Sky Lounge at around 10.30pm recently and, take our word for it, the all-embracing, magical views of the Padang and Marina Bay skyline from the outdoor terrace on this rooftop (Level 6) alone makes this a must for any planner who wants to give his or her group an uplifting vision of what this tiny country, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has achieved. The outdoor space reminds us of the likes of a crowded SEVVA in Hong Kong â€“ itâ€™s so â€˜inâ€™, so exhilarating, so trendy.
The whole Sky Lounge can easily seat 300pax. You can hire the whole space; if not, it holds three potential areas to fit groups or parties of all sizes and all occasions: Raw Bar (11.30-14.30 daily), which offers a free flow buffet of Mediterranean food for only S$18++ (US$13++)per pax; Tea Lounge (14.30-17:00 daily), which offers classic European hi-tea; and Lounge Bar (17:00 to 01:00 daily), which offers after-work drinks and deluxe bar grub.
On Level 5 is Aura Restaurant, a 90-seat Italian restaurant led by Beppi de Vito, who has also just opened ilLido Bali and Osteria Art Singapore. A quick glimpse at Aura Restaurant shows a beautiful venue. Alas, we did not eat there that night and could not vouch for its taste, however from what we know of de Vitoâ€™s outlets, expect reasonable prices and homely recipes in a world-class venue.
A press release said every dish in unique only to Aura (and not de Vitoâ€™s other restaurants) and guests are encouraged to share dishes in a casual family style so typical of Singapore eating-out. There is also a wine list of over 500 different labels, old world wines and arguably one of the cityâ€™s best collection of Italian heavyweights.
Aura Restaurant is opened daily from 12:00-14:30 and from 18:30-22.30. A four-course dinner set menu is priced at S$68++ per person, just to give an idea of pricing.
For reservations, call (65) 6866-1977 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Aura is also on www.facebook.com/aura.nationalgallery.