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Argentina is all the gossip in Singapore's Chinatown..

Friday 09th February, 2018
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Bochinche, the word for 'gossip' in Latin American Spanish, has been conceived as a casual, lively yet sophisticated space where chef Diego Jacquet’s (formerly of world-renowned El Bulli and owner of Casa Malevo and Zoilo in London) knack for combining bold flavours with quality ingredients takes centre stage.

Offering a Latin American vibe with a South East Asian twist, Viewport Studio wanted to bring to mind the traditional turn-of-the-century European styling of a typical Argentinian café, but with a nod to the eccentric quirkiness of its location on one of Chinatown's most vibrant streets. The studio have created a bespoke wallpaper designed around the existing Bochinche logo to provide an eclectic backdrop to the dark wood architecture palette. "We wanted to embrace the grown-up style of traditional Buenos Aires café culture," explains Viewport Studio's Ian Macready, "while also making it playful and accessible. On the walls we have hung a series of surreal but contemporary Spanish art in gilt frames, inspired by Argentina's vibrant street art scene, to help set the tone for the overall dining experience of Bochinche."

Viewport Studio have worked with the traditional shophouse architecture of the narrow space to cleverly accommodate the bar and restaurant within defined zones, placing a bar counter to the left of the entrance area and beyond, an arrangement of loose tables and chairs which define the main dining area. A third guest dining experience has been created through the formation of an exposed kitchen area with counter seating placed directly in front, allowing diners a full and uninterrupted view of the kitchen theatre.

A considered use of materials help to define these different zones, with the polish of the marble surfaces serving as a contrast to the dark wood panels and textured rattan cladding on the front of the kitchen counter, itself a subtle nod to South East Asia amongst more traditional South American materials. The flooring throughout is a black and white chequer board tile, and overhead, a disparate collection of vintage cherub lights illuminate and add visual interest to the space. Custom designed bar and kitchen counter stools in racing green leather line these two areas, while vintage chairs and tables occupy the middle zone of loose furniture. Throughout the restaurant vintage sideboards and cabinets provide storage and display of Argentinian Merlot wines.

Photography: Darren Soh