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Jiwa Singapura Quickly Closes After Just 10 Months in Tysons

The region’s first fine-dining Singaporean restaurant didn’t pan out

A grand floral art installation suspends from a 30-foot ceiling in Jiwa’s main dining room.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Smack dab in the middle of the holiday shopping season, there’s suddenly a gaping hole inside Tysons Galleria. Chef Pepe Moncayo’s sprawling Singaporean stunner Jiwa Singapura, which opened to much anticipation in mid-February, made a surprise and swift exit on Monday, December 4.

Jiwa’s fish otah (mackerel, shirasu, lime).
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Glam Jiwa Singapura showcased items like chicken satay, wok-fried noodles, chili crab, and other high-end spins on street foods in a sleek setting with room for 170 inside and 80 across a year-round terrace (2011 International Drive, McLean, Virginia). The inability to draw enough business suggests mall-goers may prefer to fuel up at a food court rather than a fancy sit-down restaurant.

“With a heavy heart, we are sad to share that Jiwa Singapura will be closing in its current location at Tysons Corner, effective [Monday, December 4] — but we are looking forward to bringing the Singaporean food and culture to another location in the future,” per a statement from Moncayo.

The opulent homage to the Singapore city-state Moncayo called home for a decade built upon the success of his Spanish kaiseki spot Cranes in Penn Quarter, which opened in early 2020 and just lost its Michelin star last month. The hope is to reopen Jiwa Singapura somewhere in D.C., starting with a pop-up test run out of Cranes’ sake lounge.

Cendol (red bean ice cream, coconut ice, pandan noodles, gula melaka syrup, coconut cream).
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Chili Crab (snow crab, chili sauce, mantou bun).
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Unlike the unusual task of melding Spanish and Japanese tropes at Cranes, its Northern Virginia sibling Jiwa Singapura gave the Barcelona native an already-developed cuisine to work with.

“Singapore is a melting pot of culinary culture like Indian, Malay, Chinese, and also European invasions that came throughout history,” Moncayo told Eater this year, adding “honestly, there are so many [dishes] to do.”

Too many, perhaps. The multi-page menu was split into sections for street foods, hawker classics, and Jiwa signatures, plus pandan-fueled desserts, cocktails, sake, and wine. In June, Jiwa expanded hours and offerings with the addition of an eight-course tasting menu, lunch, and a “Satay Hour” happy hour.

“We are incredibly grateful to our guests and especially our talented, wonderful team who supported us throughout this journey. Thank you all and hope to see you soon,” reads the closing statement from Moncayo.

Complex cocktails included “The Singapore Girl” (cucumber-infused gin, ginger, lemon, ube air).
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Jiwa’s 10-seat bar area includes a handful of high-top tables. //3877 put together the whole look.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC