A Food Journey Through Taste, Comfort, Discovery

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Daniel Ballis is a bold restaurateur. The Gen-Y millennial has three brands under his belt within merely a few years. We catch up with the straight-talking Melbournian to find out more.

By ShuQi Liu

Daniel Ballis is a tall and lanky third-culture kid from Melbourne, Australia. Driven to achieve success in the F&B scene, Daniel has a passion to create and deliver new concepts in Singapore. Moosehead, Gemmills and Maggie Joan’s are gem finds situated in old shophouses along Telok Ayer and Club Streets.

The bold restaurateur has a penchant for Asian culture. I inquire about the charm about these locales, and he replies: “There’s a rich history that resonates in these shophouses. You can feel the soul of the shop. They aren’t perfect, and that’s beautiful. Like the F&B scene in Singapore, they continue to evolve over time.”

Daniel Ballis: Dad (co-owner Glen Ballis) and I are Greek Australians, so we try to input Mediterranean influences into each outlet, like encouraging diners to share their food, creating a convivial atmosphere, and selecting colourful ingredients for our F&B.  

Gemmills:

Maggie Joan’s:

Moosehead:

Ultimately, these restaurants are a reflection of the places we’d want to dine at, as we constantly travel to discover and experience new cultures. These restaurant vibes portray the personalities and energies of the people who work in them. From the kitchen to the dining room, our staff play a key role in creating that energy and feeling for people to enjoy themselves.

DB: We are a bit like gypsies – never staying too long in one place. I spent much of my childhood in Asia. In a sense, Asia is a part of me. After studying in Sydney, I began to work, and redirected myself to return to Asia. When an opportunity came up, I didn’t hesitate to move to Singapore.

DB: I was very close to playing golf on a full-time basis.

DB: Why are you not driving a Porsche yet?

  1. When I was young… My first job was at an ice-cream shop. I had no idea but had a lot of fun!
  2. While most people will find this terrifying… I’m an adventurous diner and will eat whatever is offered to me.
  3. Eating out in Singapore is… Hard. There are so many great choices! The restaurant scene is much like the country – a melting pot of cultures, flavours and big ideas.
  4. An unforgettable dining experience has… Incredible taste, service and perfect company. It’s a “F***, that’s delicious!” moment.
  5. If I could have a meal with someone dead or alive… I would bring all my family together and eat one of the restaurants.

Check out Daniel’s restaurants via the links above and make a reservation during this festive season!

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