Spotlight Series: SKAI Restaurant & Bar
Welcome back to another Spotlight Series, where we sneak behind the scenes of Singapore’s best restaurants, cafés and bars to chat about the hospitality industry. From fine-dining establishments and Japanese yakitori bars to trendy mini-golf restaurant concepts and cool pizza joints – we love to share stories from within the city’s diverse food community.
This time around we’re venturing high above the clouds to talk to Leonardo Lopez, the Operations Manager behind one of Singapore’s greatest rooftop destinations: SKAI Restaurant and Bar.
Located on the 70th floor of Swissôtel The Stamford, SKAI is famous not only for its heavenly venue and iconic city views, but a faultless offering of first-class service and culinary magic.
Skai Restaurant and Bar Leonardo Lopez, Operations Manager
What inspired you to choose this line of work?
My journey into food & beverage started purely by chance. When I arrived in Singapore a few years ago looking for opportunities, I saw an ad in The Straits Times for “guest service agent”. It was a walk-in interview. I went and got the job without realising it was a waiter position. After a short few months, I fell in love with the industry.
My former managers saw my potential and drove me to do more. Their recognition, my passion for the role I had, and the sense of fulfilment I experienced as I grew in my career certainly motivated me to keep learning and developing.
My former managers played a big part in my growth and they will always be a source of inspiration.
Is there a dish on your menu that you’re most proud of and is there a story behind it?
The Wylarah Wagyu Beef is a dish you can only find at SKAI in Singapore. The beef steak holds a special personal meaning for me as it was my father’s favourite dish and we usually cooked it together during special occasions.
What are your food trend predictions for the coming years?
The focus will be on healthy food and mindful eating, with an emphasis on sustainable and ethical food sources.
If you could sit down for a meal at your restaurant with any two people in the world, who would you choose and why?
Easy answer: my wife and my mum. There’s no doubt about that. For me, they are the two most important women in the world, whom I spend most of life with.
What would you like SKAI diners to remember about their experience?
I’d like SKAI to be remembered for the rapport between the colleagues that in turn gives our guests a wonderful experience every time. I believe that good team camaraderie is the strongest foundation in a restaurant. I want our customers to talk about the great family-like culture that makes that restaurant different and so welcoming. We never distinguish between “front of the house” and “back of the house”. It has always been one SKAI team.
What would you say is the key to your restaurant’s success?
Our team as a whole is the major ingredient to our restaurant’s success. By valuing one another and always communicating, our execution is impeccable.
SKAI Bar & Restaurant 2 Stamford Road Swissôtel, Level 70 The Stamford, Singapore Mon – Sun: 12pm – 5pm, 6pm – 10pm