Tysons Galleria’s newest restaurant blends the best of Singapore’s street-food culture with high-end dining.
Michelin-starred chef Pepe Moncayo opened Jiwa Singapura earlier this month, bringing some of the Asian city-state’s boldest, most nuanced flavors to DC.
Jiwa Singapura’s menu is inspired by one of the most vibrant culinary scenes in the world, highlighting diverse flavors and cultural influences. The menu features reimagined Singaporean dishes with nods to the family recipes of Singapore native and Moncayo’s wife, Aishah Moncayo.
Moncayo reinterprets iconic street-food staples like chicken satay with peanut sauce, curry puffs and roti prata.
Chili crab on a mantou bun
Expect signature dishes like Hainanese chicken rice, laksa made with shrimp, fried tofu and noodles, chili crab on a mantou bun, and whole fish tiga rasa served with a sweet and sour sauce.
For dessert, Moncayo presents the vast flavors of Asia in dishes like seri muka (salted coconut rice and pandan custard), kuih bingka (cassava cake and caramelized coconut), and cedol (red bean ice cream, coconut ice, pandan noodles, gula melaka syrup and coconut cream).
Ice cream loti
One of Jiwa’s signature cocktails, ‘If Merlions Could Talk,’ honors the official mascot of Singapore – a creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. The cocktail features rum, apple brandy, pandan, and a housemade orgeat cream, and is a tribute to Singapore’s beach vibes and city sophistication, layering Asian flavors with global spirits.
The ‘If Merlions Could Talk’ cocktail
//3877 designed the space, blending the modern buildings of Singapore with traditional patterns. Guests are welcomed by a mirrored ceiling and layered lighting pendant in the reception area, leading to an expansive main dining room, complete with 30-foot high ceilings.
An impressive floral art installation, reminiscent of classic Singaporean art, draws the eyes of guests in the main dining room.
Guests may catch a glimpse of Moncayo in the open kitchen. The open concept provides engaging views of chefs preparing dishes in a thoughtful sensory experience.
The restaurant’s terrace grants guests access to outdoor dining throughout the year, becoming fully enclosed during colder months and opening in warmer weather.
Moncayo brings his 10 years of experience cooking and living in Singapore and his love of the island nation to the eclectic restaurant.
The Spanish-born chef cooked his way through Barcelona’s most famed, Michelin-starred restaurants before moving to Singapore in 2010. He opened his first solo restaurant, Bam!, in 2013.
Moncayo and his family moved to Washington, D.C. to open Cranes, an acclaimed Spanish kaiseki in the Penn Quarter. In the three years since its opening, Cranes has gathered numerous awards and earned a coveted Michelin star.
Through all of Moncayo’s world travels, Singapore remains dear to his heart. It’s where he met his wife, had his children, and deepened his love for cooking and the art of hospitality, according to the press release.
Moncayo feels Singapore is his “home, forever,” and he’s excited to share it with the D.C. community.
Jiwa Singapura is located at 2100 International Drive, 3rd floor Mezzanine , McLean, VA 22102.
Photography by: Scott Suchman