It's not every day a global brand establishes a fancy new testbed in Singapore, and certainly not every day for said venture to be a customer experience complete with joyrides and a star-backed restaurant. So when Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center Singapore (HMGICS for short) unveiled Na Oh, our keen anticipation is justified.

Add restauranteur Corey Lee, the world's first Korean chef to earn three Michelin Stars and whose casual Korean fare SAN HO WON in San Francisco earned a star in its first year, to the equation and you bet appetites are whet.

The ambience

Every design element is created by Korean artisans.

Amidst the sleek, modern surfaces and machinery of the building's interior, Na Oh distinguishes itself with softer materials like cotton and wood, instantly signaling the domestic ties we attribute to dining.

The 40-seater is pretty well spaced. High ceilings and full glass walls flood the area with natural light... subsequently giving relatively juxtaposing views to the surrounding Jurong West estate. Another contrast comes from the kitchen, where the admittedly sublime corner is quietly adorned with Korean craft and glimpses of staff movement.

But on to the bit you're more excited about.

The food

The seasonal menu presents a hansik four-course, with the option to choose your fighter Jinjitsang; the traditional meal that is your main. The difference is that while served with a variety of sides in classic Korean fashion, the banchan match uniquely to each dish.

All three Jinjitsang deliver. Perhaps the most straightforward of the lineup is the Golden Queen Rice and Butterfish Gamasot, but the quality of the fish shows in its tender texture that nicely complements fragrant charred rice.

The Samgyetang is not foreign to most locals who make repeat pilgrimage to Korea. Here however, it is more of a hassle-free encounter with the chicken already removed from the soup and primed for picking. Even then, not much picking is required when the perfectly prepped meat peels easily from the bone.

The Pyongyang-Style Cold Noodles may be a rarer find in Singapore. The non-chewy buckwheat staple topped with uncharacteristically raw beef loin result in a delicious and unexpected treat for Naengmyeon-lovers.

Whatever your choice, do yourself a favour and order the Cheongju (clarified Makgeolli) to pair.

Special ingredients

Though the mains be doing the most, starters hardly pale in comparison. Take your induction for example. Homemade Tofu with Aged Soy Sauce. As Chef Corey Lee points out, tofu is a dish familiar to all Asians, but it's the aged soy sauce that takes the stage.

"Honestly, how many of us have tried real, naturally-made soy sauce?" Lee raises the question with the fact that it's a highly uncommon product these days. Due to its instability, the versions we consume are often diluted with alcohol, preservatives or alternative components.

Which is why this 100 percent soybean construct is practically an artisanal ingredient; one he brought with him all the way from San Francisco so all diners here to get the chance to taste.

It's literally written at the base of your menu: Na Oh only uses jang fermented using traditional methods and naturally aged. You can actually see them stored in large clay jars at the restaurant's entrance as a set up you would understandably mistake for a cool aesthetic display.

The other two courses source their selection of greens directly from HMGICS' own smart farm. You wouldn't have missed the double-storey vertical garden on your way in, but you would be surprised to know that it has the capacity for 30kg of daily produce. The variety of ice plant, Swiss chard, kale, and more truly possess a crisp that's testifies of their freshness.

Now, the good news is that menu is priced at a worthy SGD78 per pax. The bad news is that you may try your luck getting a spot with dinner fully booked for the month ahead, and only tight slots available for lunch.

Besides Na Oh


Do allocate more time to your trip down to the hub because not only is it an excursion—cue Journey to the West puns—HMGICS also offers an 80-minute CX Discovery Tour that's completely free to the public.

Guests get to attempt harvesting at the smart farm, witness the same robotics and automation technology used to make the cars tend to the garden, as well as taste the crops. Also, take a 3D VR tour of the advanced automated manufacturing operating within HMGICS itself.

Lastly and probably the fan favourite, get a ride on the 618-meter rooftop Skytrack. You'll be seated in a locally produced Hyundai IONIQ 5 with a professional driver (sadly you don't get to be behind the wheel, nor is the robotaxi commissioned for this). Our top tip is to sit behind the driver for the best experience, and stop by the rad, eco-themed gift shop before you leave.

Na Oh opens Wednesday to Sunday and is located at Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center Singapore (HMGICS), 2 Bulim Link Singapore 649674. Reservations for Na Oh and the Discovery Tour are to be made separately.

There's plenty of mystery and hearsay shrouding what is possibly Apple's biggest creation thus far. It's also no exaggeration to say that the billion-dollar Project Titan has experienced multiple iterations. With it, sheer speculation that has seen resurgence time and again throughout its decade of development.

Imagined rendition. CNBC

The Apple Car right now

Presently, the biggest change is pushing back the launch from 2026 to 2028 (earliest), further begging the question of its relevance then. Especially when what was initially planned to be a fully autonomous EV (Level 5) has since scaled down to partial automation (Level 2+: informal term for an advanced Level 2).

Features include braking/accelerating support and lane centering, which sounds far from showstopping if you ask me. No pedals, no steering wheels, and a central dashboard for controls may have sounded futuristic 10 years ago. Now it describes something not too far from a Tesla.

Which is essentially what the latter is, isn't it? Taking the sleek, minimalist approach that Apple is famous for and apply it to a vehicle, in both aesthetic and interface. Self-driving capabilities wise, Tesla's Autopilot currently falls under—you guessed it—Level 2.

CarPlay iOS. APPLE

Is it a matter of ambition quelled by tardiness?

It's hard not to see the Apple Car framed as being too late to the table. Robotaxi Waymo by Google's Alphabet is whizzing away. Sony and Honda are collaborating on Afeela. And of course, Chinese rivals Huawei and Xiaomi recently announcing their skin in the EV game with Luxeed S7 and SU7 respectively (what's with the obsession with seven?).

In an era where all products are created with the intent to surpass the competition, more so in tech, and more so in EV (just look at how all prototype demo videos highlight performance superiority to fellow players); how would Apple's fantasy drive add value to consumers' lives?

And in an era where branding is king, would a release like this, amid diminishing popularity of the once monopolising iPhone, have quite the opposite effect the conglomerate is going for? The last thing you want to do with high expectations is to disappoint.

...but who knows. With the way tech is going these days, I may just be eating my words in four years time.

Straight outta sci-fi. TESLA

It's been four years but I don't think anyone can forget how the Tesla Cybertruck had its windows smashed during its concept reveal. Twice. It was a glorious moment for the Meme-ternet. Complete with the perfect quote, "Oh my f—ing God, well. Maybe that was a little too hard."

Fast forward to last Thursday; where the same man, Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen, repeats the throw, albeit with visibly less gusto and a much softer weapon of choice. Surprise, surprise. Unlike in 2019, the window prevailed.

So why does the vehicle, produced two years behind schedule and at almost double the initial projected price, have its performance as the main source of scrutiny? Why, with a body like that, a face like that, would how it maneuvers the road become the fixation of its creation?

One could argue it's precisely because of the price point. The top-shelf of the three announced models (Cyberbeast) goes at est. USD 99,990. The lowest rear-wheel drive variant is only available in 2025, which could only mean prices are liable to inflate. So it's fair to want to know if function matches form.

Moody. TESLA

The Tesla Cybertruck Experience

We won't get into the full specs of the plug-powered wagon when all that information can easily be found on its main site. One highlighted aspect—miles per charge (since we're talking about an American vehicle currently only available in the US)—is not exactly outdoing the market competition at 250 for the base model.

Though it supposedly excelled at well, being a truck. Being pelted by bullets. It was also cool to see the (strategically shot) premium model beating a Porsche 911 while towing another Porsche 911.

Early reviewers have also praised its smooth drive, thanks to the variable steering ratio. Basically, with features like the same turning radius as a Model S at low speed while being comparably much larger; virtually allowing big turns in one hand movement, the truck handles more like a sedan.

But c'mon. With fancy interface graphics, minimalistic touch-screen operations, toggles like "cheetah mode", can we all admit acquiring the Tesla Cybertruck or anything in its vein is obviously like scoring the latest hype collaboration—more about how it looks on you.

Wait till Cyberpunk 2077 gets a load of this logo. TESLA

What It Says About You

When a vehicle looks like the dream car of a man child if he had the money and resources to construct it (oh wait), it's safe to say buyers are not making the purchase because they need it for practical reasons. One tagline even says "Built for ANY PLANET", as opposed to "terrain". Very on-brand for the Mars-obsessed SpaceX founder, who has mentioned Blade Runner when discussing the truck's distinct appearance.

Equipped with clean aesthetics and sleek user experience, it's akin to what Apple did with phones and computers: Change the game when you show that good design is not a pipe dream. That it is possible to fashion a truck in the image of a Bond car (the submarine-esque Lotus Esprit), an iconic luxury automobile (Lamborghini Countach), and—dare we believe—a stealth aircraft (Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk).

If the engineering team had to live through the massive headache that is to mold notoriously difficult stainless steel into a viable exoskeleton amongst many other challenges, should consumers' biggest concern really be how it moves?

Smart move. TESLA

We're talking about a company that turned a public embarrassment into a means for profit. Yes, Tesla sold decals of its broken-glass window, specially designed to fit the truck's odd window dimensions (major plus points if the stickers were accurate to 2019's greatest hits, pun intended).

Perhaps it's because we're not the ones forking out all that cash. We can afford to be a bit more blasé about the capabilities as a spectator. But let's be real on what a vehicle like this—and should any ever come to own one—really exists for: Being a damn statement.

Marvel at the Tesla Cybertruck.