Born in Brooklyn to a family of restaurateurs and raised in the Caribbean, Joshua Adjodha is no stranger to global cuisine and the F&B industry. When fate brought him to Singapore, he wound up meeting Kilo founder Javier, and the rest, as they say, is history. Now as the co-founder of Kilo Concepts and Grain Traders, Joshua’s got a full plate developing dishes, cocktails, and menus for the brand and working on concept and brand development. He recently took time out of his busy schedule to give us the lowdown on what’s new and exciting with Kilo and the man behind the scenes.
Urban Journey: Why the move to Duxton?
Joshua Adjodha: Kilo Kitchen moving into Duxton reunites it with sister property, Kilo Lounge. This also means that guests can enjoy a cohesive Kilo experience – what this means is an ideal night out, with great modern comfort food, fresh cocktails and vibrant after-hours experience. We can expect a lot more synergies between the two properties – be it special promotions for the Lounge after dining at the Kitchen, or simply more shared experiences.
UJ: Why did you choose to open in Jakarta? Tell us a bit about the F&B scene there.
JA: Kilo’s first overseas endeavour was Kilo Bali, situated in the vibrant Seminyak district. It opened in September 2014 – distinguished by its signature Kilo minimalist architecture, marble finishings and concrete, and its signature dishes – with new specials created with local ingredients.
Kilo Jakarta will be our second overseas property, which just saw its grand opening on 12 January!
With the success of Kilo Bali, we noticed that a large part of our clientele from the past two years were tourists from Jakarta. They love and support what we do and would always ask us when we plan to set up shop in Jakarta.
We were looking to expand Kilo into Jakarta three years ago, but the timing just didn’t feel right then. It wasn’t until last year when we knew for certain that we wanted to be in Jakarta, and it boiled down to whether we could find the right space, and thankfully enough, we found one. Jakarta is a vibrant and bustling city – we hope to add to the fabric there as we did in Singapore for the F&B and entertainment scene.
In Jakarta, we aim to bring the full Kilo experience to the Gunawarman area. On the ground level we have our restaurant that features elements from all past Kilo Kitchens with some elevated touches. In the basement you will find Kilo Lounge, which design-wise will be reminiscent of the original Kilo Lounge at 66 Kampong Bugis which will always be dear to my heart.
UJ: What can we expect from the group as a whole this year?
JA: When we first opened Kilo Lounge in the same building as Kilo Kitchen in our original Kampong Bugis location, we realised how much people enjoyed the all-encompassing experience of dining with us at Kilo Kitchen and taking our shady lift a few floors up to Kilo Lounge to party with us. We hope that we can achieve the same experience with our move into Duxton, where the new Kilo Kitchen is now just a stone’s throw away from the lounge.
Our next step is to integrate the Kilo brand with our new neighbourhood, so you can expect block parties, markets and collaborations with our neighbours in the Duxton and Tanjong Pagar community this year.
As for the brands under the Kilo umbrella, we are looking to expand beyond Singapore and into Asia and Europe.
UJ: What was your favourite Kilo moment of 2018 overall?
JA: It has to be the re-opening of Kilo Kitchen on Duxton. After the original Kilo being in Kallang for 7 plus years, it was amazing to be able to breathe new life into the brand in a new space while doing the original justice. Seeing how receptive people were to the change has been my most fulfilling moment of 2018.
UJ: Words to live by?
JA: Get rich or die trying – 50 Cent.
UJ: What or who inspires you?
JA: I’m more inspired by movements more than I am by people, whether it be in organised music and community focused events, or culinary trends or direction, I draw a lot of inspiration from various movements.
7. Where are we going to find you in 5 years?
JA: Hopefully building the first Kilo Boutique hotel that encompasses our love for design, culture, food and music and houses all our Kilo Brands under one roof.
8. Share with us one of your goals for 2019.
JA: To continue to strengthen our brands and secure a location for our first European outlet in Amsterdam for Kilo Kitchen.
9. Your current 3 favourite spots to eat and drink at in Singapore.