FIRE – A Sky-High Experience of Argentina’s Culinary Heritage


Few restaurants in Singapore focus on Argentina’s cuisine. FIRE is one of them. This is not the only reason why dining there feels special, as I found out during a recent lunch there.

In the early months of 2021, 1-GROUP unveiled 1-ATICO, a luxe multi-concept dining space on level 55 and 56 of ION Orchard. To get there, you check in at the concierge-style counter in the mall, proceed to the well-hidden elevator that whisks you to over 218m up and step out into a venue that features floor-to-ceiling windows and a spectacular view of the city’s main shopping belt. This exclusive journey is your gateway to one of three distinct experiences–be it ATICO Lounge, Japanese-Peruvian restaurant FLNT or FIRE, my destination on this day.

One of many spots at FIRE which gives you a panoramic view of Orchard Road. Photo © Fen Chia.

This first impression and the bright and spacious atmosphere truly gives the ‘wow’ factor, especially if you have never visited the previous tenant of the space, Salt Grill & Sky Bar. Although the sun’s warmth does come through quite strongly in the day (sit at the inner tables if you prefer), one can imagine how striking the city lights would be at night. Either way, it is a very charming venue for a date or just for drinks, and we just had to have a cocktail. Of course, my first drink here had to be one of those which featured a Latin American element–yerba mate, a herbal tea which contains caffeine and antioxidants.

Altair (pisco, elderflower liqueur, yerba mate, orange tea, mango syrup lemon and soda) and Suppai (strawberry puree, fresh mint, valencia orange juice and lemon). And more of that view! Photo © Fen Chia.

FIRE’s menu is steered by Argentinian chef-advisor Soledad Nardelli. The three-course set lunch, from a reasonable S$58 (glass of additional red/white/prosecco at S$15) with that stunning view, is a good sneak peak at those unfamiliar with food from the land of tango.

For starters, we chose a vegetarian option of Caramelised Artichoke Mash, pumpkin seed, smoked paprika in olive oil, having learnt that Argentina is among the world’s top producers of artichokes. Frequently cited as a superfood for its antioxidants and nutrients, the rich and creamy artichoke paired perfectly with the flat bread. We were also served an excellent Onion Thyme Bread, a warm and flaky croissant-like roll that I used to mop up the accompanying French butter. 

Caramelised Artichoke Mash with Flat Bread. Photo © Fen Chia.

The signature onion thyme bread roll and butter that I also enjoyed at other 1-Group eateries. Photo © Fen Chia.

We also tried the Tiger Prawn and Smoked Mud Crab Salad (supplement S$12), a refreshing and Instagrammable mix of sweet prawn and crab meat, cucumber, lettuce, shallots and citrus vinaigrette, topped with flowers. The other options for appetisers are Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Cheese (vegetarian) and a Caramelised Corn and Onion Soup made from beef stock.

Argentina is racially and ethnically diverse due to historical factors which lends its cuisine multicultural influences. I could see and taste a little of the mediterranean healthy diet, perhaps a legacy of the huge wave of migration from Italy and Spain in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Tiger Prawn and Smoked Mud Crab Salad. Photo © Fen Chia.

Moving on to the ‘plato principal’ or main course, one option we chose was the Grilled Spice-Marinated Free Range Baby Chicken, a tasty poultry accompanied by truffle potato puree, charred corn, green chimichurri-a versatile Argentinian condiment based on fresh herbs like parsley, olive oil, garlic and other vegetables. While free-range chicken may seem less tender because it is muscular, it is notably lower in fat, juicier and higher in nutrient contents. Other non-red meat options for the set lunch include barramundi and butternut squash risotto for the vegetarians.

Grilled Spice-Marinated Free Range Baby Chicken. Photo © Fen Chia.

Our next choice of open-grilled beef was a nod to the ‘asado’ (barbecue) experience that FIRE offers through many options of barbecued meats, though we chose this partly also to try red chimichurri. The Parilla Grilled Morgan Ranch Striploin MS 6-7 (supplement S$30) was done just right to my liking, not overly pink, though I wish it carried a bit more fat.

For beef lovers, there is another suitable option in the set–the Sanchoku F1 Wagyu Hanging Tender (supplement S$20). The red chimichurri accompanies most of the red meat options on the menu. I liked it even better than the green as it was richer with more oil and flavours from the peppers and paprika, which renders it closer to the chilli-tuned Asian palate. It occurred to me to experiment with making chimichurri at home as the components are readily available here.

Parrilla Grilled US Morgan Ranch Striploin MS 6-7. Photo © Fen Chia.

We concluded the meal with the two desserts available, a warm cake with molten dark chocolate and a pastry with dulce de leche, accompanied by a Gianduja chocolate sorbet and orange segments. Dulce de leche is a confection popular in Latin America. By heating sugar and milk over an extended period of time, the mixture becomes a thick milk jam or sauce that can be used as a topping for pancakes, crepes, or even bread.

I’m generally not one for desserts, and these were indeed on the sweeter side. Come for the food and manage your expectations for the ‘postres’ as the a la carte menu too has limited options – a flan, chocolate tarte and poached quince.

Panqueque con Dulce de leche. Photo © Fen Chia.

Warm Dark Chocolate Fondant. Photo © Fen Chia.

FIRE is definitely a place you would want to visit for a well-priced and executed set lunch that comes with good service and a sensational view. It’s also a place that will definitely score you brownie points for that first date or business pitch with your client. It is also an opportunity to dip your toes into Argentina’s cuisine. You may want to try FIRE’s a la carte menu and items that are more quintessentially Argentina like empanadas. And while you’re at it, why not also check out the neighbouring FLNT and Lounge concepts that make up 1-ATICO as a lifestyle venue?

2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard Level 55
Singapore 238801

Operating Hours: Daily 12pm-3pm (last order at 2.30pm) and 6pm-10.30pm (last order at 9.30pm)

Set lunch on weekdays only. Reservations recommended.


About Author

When not checking out new hotels or restaurants, Singapore-based writer Fen spends her time reading obsessively about and travelling to destinations with unpronounceable names. She also can't stop getting sentimental about vanishing trades and documenting them for posterity.

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