COCONUTS HOT SPOT — The NCO Club, for the uninitiated, sits within the majestic South Beach development. A slice of history designed by Shanghai-based British firm Palmer & Turner and officially opened in 1952, it’s now one of the rare heritage buildings in Singapore with features like mosaic tiling, glass blocks, and terrazzo dadoes.
Formerly known as the NAAFI Britannia Club in its glory days before it was gazetted for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the clubhouse used to attract visitors with facilities such as a drinking tavern, billiard room, and dance floor. But since going through multiple name changes, the complex is now re-opening as The NCO Club, a lifestyle and entertainment space featuring four concepts that will all make their debut by June this year.
On the ground floor, by the lounge area, you’ll find the Stags’ Room, a cozy venue displaying vintage wines from Australia and America in collaboration with Penfolds and Stags’ Leap. Think of it as a sophisticated space where you can sip on a glass of red in comfortable privacy.
If you’re all about indulging in the finer things of life, Fish Pool could be your new go-to spot. The champagne, caviar, and oyster bar — done up in partnership with Louis Roederer — takes the term “feature wall” to a whole other level, with an Olympic-depth pool that will spotlight the occasional performances (mermaids, perhaps?) for your entertainment.
Then there’s Cool Cats, the live music speakeasy-inspired venue where you can unwind in style and leave your work worries behind after the second or third cocktail. Oh, and those constantly on the lookout for an events space can keep in mind The Britannia Room, a third-floor space that accommodates about 50 people for an intimate gathering.
But the central highlight here is the elegant Madame Fan, a culinary concept that’s all kinds of opulent and decadent. It’s got the atmosphere of old-school glamor, paired with a modern take on traditional Chinese cuisine from a kitchen helmed by Alan Yau of UK chain Wagamama fame, embellished with Art Deco-inspired elements and a stage spotlighting jazz performances on weekends.
The posh restaurant may be a 222-seater, but its main dining room — filled with velvety soft chairs and flecked with red, black, and gold tones — is where you’ll want to see and be seen (it’s also where the band plays). When special occasions arise, however, the private or VIP rooms are just as extravagant — or you could also hang out by the fancy bar for a drink or two.
Besides Madame Fan’s selection of dim sum classics, the menu’s signatures include a nourishing Double Boiled Four Treasure Soup with sea cucumber, fish maw, dried scallop, and crab meat, as well as several flavorful noodle dishes such as Drunken Crab Rice Noodle, Taiwan Noodle with La La Clams, and Lobster Cantonese with Ginger, Spring Onion and Wonton Noodle.
Admittedly, the food at your usual favorite Chinese restaurant could be just as good (or, dare we say, even better) — but what will attract the crowds (and perhaps keep them coming back for more) is the luxurious dining experience at Madame Fan. After all, it’s not very often that you get to nibble on bites of dim sum with live jazz melodies tinkling away in the background.
The NCO Club is at 32 Beach Rd. Madame Fan, Fish Pool, and Stags’ Room will open on Apr 23; Cool Cats will open in early June.