7 of the world’s greatest chefs took centrestage last night at Marina Bay Sands. To mark the start of the Grand Opening Festivities of the Integrated Resort, the media were treated to the first-ever celebrity chef dine-around gourmet tour. Six celebrity chef restaurants, over 12000 dishes rolled out to tickle the tastebuds of over 300 media personnel in 3 spectacular hours.
Each of the seven celebrity chef restaurants offer a diverse and delectable spread from the casual yet refined Pizzeria and Pastas, traditional French bistro cooking infused with American flavours, the finest cuts of beef around, a Mediterranean flavour with influences of different Asian cultures, one of the finest haute-cuisine establishments worldwide, European based yet Japanese influenced menu and the taste of Modern and unique Asia.
With a hallmark of impressive gastronomic cuisines under one roof, Marina Bay Sands is well set to propel Singapore further on the global food map and as the city for fun, food, and leisure. The Dine-Around which the media were treated to is an experiential dinner that showcases the breadth and depth of the restaurants.
And with just slightly over three hours to cover 6 exquisite restaurants, this is one night for the media where each culinary maestro presents their signatures to best reflect their style and personality.
CUT By Wolfgang Puck
It was definitely a delightful experience visiting CUT by Wolfgang Puck. Maybe its because its already 6.30pm and I was already hungry for dinner even with the Japanese Curry Rice I had for lunch and the McWings Meal Upsized I had for tea while waiting for the event to start.
Wolfgang did a little quick introduction to the various cuts of meats available at CUT. And for the night, the Trio of Sirloin Skewers were served.
Neatly cut into tasting portions, the sirloin was cooked Medium Rare with the meat being wonderfully juicy with a crisp browned skin all about, and a sprinkling of salt and cracked black pepper to bring out the deep flavours within.
For starters, there is the Hokkaido Scallop Tartae, Wasabi-Kosho Ponzu. Crisp, refreshing flavours binded with the firm texture of the scallops, these were very light and an easy palate opener.
The Steak Tartare at CUT is my first visit towards the realm of raw beef. And it was very good. Clean tastes all around, the flavours were bright and cherry, reminiscent of a juicy steak sweetened by the natural earth.
And the Kobe Sliders were really nicely done and presented. For this dish, sauces need not play an important role here as it is the meat that really stands out. The buns and any toppings are just complements to that chunk of beefy, juicy, medium rare kobe goodness. And when I mean juicy, it really is juicy.
The Banana Cream Tarts were exceptionally heavenly. Served up warm, the banana flavour was delicate and smooth throughout. It was bite size and a wholesome experience which just make you go “Mmmm” as the gentle sweetness quenches the savoury flavours.
More desserts to sweeten up the visit!
Main Dining Room
Opens From :
Sunday – Thursday
6pm – 10pm
Friday – Saturday
5.30pm – 11pm
CUT Bar and Lounge
Dress Code : Business Casual
db Bistro Moderne
Up next, Daniel Boulud and his team at db Bistro Moderne.
An exciting array of food seems to be promised here and with that baby suckling piglet being presented in all its glory on a mini buffet table, mmmm =) The Butternut Squash Soup was silky, velvety with a bright cherry yellow colour that seemed like the sun gleaming at you. Slight savoury flavours follow after the light sweet taste.
I knew I simply had to try out the spread laid at the mini buffet. Daniel had stuffed the porcine with meats, nuts and herbs such that when sliced, it looks too delicious to be eaten. The skin was very crispy with a nice layer of thin fat marbling the edges before digging straight in to the stuffed interior. The slices of salami by the side were good too!
And as I’ve heard, this is the DB Burger. Hailed as “world famous”, this is the premium take on the regular American burger and is a signature item on the restaurant’s burger list. Very juicy medium rare meat patty is accompanied by drizzles of sauerkraut, ketchup, between a crisp toasted bun. Simplicity at its best, it was a wholesome serving popped in one go.
The Quail Ballotine en Croute, Pistachios, Foie Gras is also a thumbs up for me. The nutty meaty flavours combined with the smooth textured layers were an instant hit. And the foie gras was a nice touch to the dish as it rounded off the tastes to a nice note.
Crispy thin base topped with a generous layer of cheese and baked.
|db Bistro Moderne|
Opens from :
Lunch : 12pm-2.30pm
Dinner : 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Reservations : 6688 8525
Osteria & Pizzeria Mozza
I was really excited when I read in the press release we were going to visit Mario Batali to enjoy his pizza creations. I am rather a pizza fan, and I appreciate mostly everything from the humble Margherita to the more fanciful Squid Ink pizza.
And first on the menu is the Funghi Pizza. Very generous, generous portions of sliced mushrooms, these were bountifully scattered atop a bed of cheese and baked. Look out for the thin fluffy crust that is crispy and not too filling. Sweet!
The Fennel Sausage Pizza was rather decent, though I would have loved more sausage to go with my pizza. But I guess if Mario did that, the thin pizza crust would be unable to hold it all up when lifted.
I love a good Margherita, but somehow I felt that the one I had at Mozza could do with a tiny bit lesser of salt in the tomato paste. Otherwise it would have been too delightful and I would have been guilty of finishing an entire Margherita to myself.
This was one dishes that though I do not know the name I have to talk about it. I suppose if the next time I were to order it, I would have to describe how it tastes like, its texture and ingredients to the service staff first. Essentially a sliced round of suckling pig, the layers within were alternated between meat and fat. Scrumptious, the sauce too did a good effort in quelling strong flavours but bringing out the essentials. And the top of greens were a nice touch to lighten the entire experience.
The Chicken Liver Bruschetta on the other hand is an acquired favourite. If you love Chicken liver, or perhaps all things pate, you would enjoy this. The chicken liver is naturally flavourful in its own right, and it has been generously mixed with herbs and spring onions to lighten the palate. A streak of bacon to the top adds natural saltiness that blends in nicely with the soft topping and a crispy toasted slice of bread.
And for little bites there were Fried Cauliflower and Leeks Topped with Cheese. Interesting, yes.
And for dessert there is the Butterscotch Budino. For as far as butterscotch flavours go, this little cup leaves a strong lasting sweet hearty taste with flavours sharply contrasted here and there with granules of coarse salt.
It just so happens that there was a group of students from the Culinary Institute of America who were visiting Pizzeria Mozza.
|Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza|
Osteria Mozza :
Dress Code : Business Casual
To what I last know, Waku Ghin has a long reservation list. And perhaps its partly due to the limited seats of 20 odd in the restaurant at any one time. Because of this increased sense of exclusiveness, I was contemplating an impressive presentation from Chef Tetsuya Wakuda. The press release tickled tastebuds with the names of “Like Oysters” Scallops with Ginger and Rice Vinegar Olive Oil and Marinated Botan Ebi with Sea Urchin and Oscietre Caviar.
To start off the round in the restaurant, I knew I was going to be delighted with the Marinated Botan Ebi with Sea Urchin and Oscietre Caviar. Even with each piece a tasting portion, I greatly enjoyed each selection. The botan ebi provided the textures of crunch harmoniously with the smooth silky sea urchin and the topping of Oscietre Caviar with each egg bursting in salty goodness with every bite. Think of sweet flavours from the sea in smooth fashion all delicate for the palate.
The “Like Oysters” Scallops with Ginger and Rice Vinegar Olive Oil is aptly named as such because the entire dish recreates the experience of eating oysters but with the use of scallops, ginger and rice vinegar olive oil. Served in quaint slurping dishes, one tastes the slightly sweet and sharp acidic vinegar paired with the smooth olive oil. And the scallops were presented very finely to a firm crisp bite yet with all the softness from its freshness. The dishes flavour is almost identical to that of fresh oysters and that is probably the best allusion this dish can get.
Waku Ghin has three separate private rooms each fitted with their own teppanyaki outfit. First for the night, there was the Braised Canadian Lobster with Fresh Tarragon.
Look at all that lobsters fresh for preparation.
Waku Ghin’s chef explaining the process as the dish is created.
Maybe I wasn’t entirely impressed with the flavours because of the very small portion, as I feel this is one dish that has to be enjoyed in its entirety. Still, I could discern a lasting savoury sea taste that strives to sparkle hand in hand with the crunchy lobster.
The “Usuayaki” Grilled Japanese Wagyu Sirloin with Fresh Wasabi, Citrus Soy and Radish garnered the most attention from the media with nearly everyone jostling for a plate each time a fresh batch was created.
Each slice is carefully portioned out such that the evenness in texture is not compromised and with it being Usuyaki styled or very thinly sliced, each was a dish in itself.
The wagyu is skillfully fried individually.
And quickly sliced with an exceptionally sharp knife.
Final touches of freshly grated wasabi (the real kind) and topped with a sauce of citrus soy and radish.
Voila, the “Usuyaki” Grilled Japanese Wagyu Sirloin with Fresh Wasabi, Citrus Soy and Radish. And its easy to see why this dish has captivated so many audiences from the media. The wagyu simply melts in the mouth in tender goodness finished out with the shine of slight umaminess from the crisp skin. The fresh wasabi contrasts the flavour well with a slight spicy variety and lightens the palate. Four thumbs up if I could have four thumbs.
I didn’t particularly fancy the Steamed John Dory with Slow Cooked Witlof, Aonori, Buckwheat as perhaps I am not entirely appreciative of the way this dish tastes.
I would take a neutral stance to this creation as while the dory is very good with its sweetness enhanced by the umaminess from the stock of chicken, the slight bitterness from the witlof is perhaps an acquired taste.
Opens From :
Mon – Sun
6pm – 10.30pm
Dress Code : Smart Casual
Guy Savoy is clearly one Master Chef whom I would like to learn a few skills from. His creations focuses strongly on bringing out the flavours of each ingredient such that a familiar piece is surprisingly tasty in a whole new way.
For starters I would never imagine the Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup, Toasted Mushroom Brioche and Black Truffle Butter would carry such a deep heavenly aroma. Each creamy sip beckons an onslaught of warm hearty flavours that enshroud the palate to the last sip which leaves a certain sense of lasting and longing.
And then there was the Roasted Monkfish with Shallot Confit and Potato “Maxim”.
And of course the “Cocotte” of Foie Gras with Radish Salad and Jus. Nothing too exceptionally fancy here, all ingredients are set to bring out the creaminess of the Foie Gras with its nice crisp skin. I thoroughly enjoyed this, as once the first bite sinks in, the startling flavours are all set to overwhelm you, in a very nice way.
Chocolate Fondant with Layered Praline and Chicory Cream
Opens From :
3pm – 10.45pm
Dress Code : Formal Elegant
The experience to SANTI last night was cancelled for many and myself, but I was fortunate to be introduced to the world of Mediterranean and Catalan cuisine late last year with the launch of the Tapas bar in the restaurant. It was a peek into what was to be a gastronomic tapas and dining experience, all from the skills and finesse from a chef who self taught himself. Santi’s creations are a legacy in their own right, and I am sure that the continued flavours and dining experience would be like how Santi wanted his guests to savour each meal. He will be sorely missed by all.
The quest for produce is the basis of my cuisine, together with imagination and the simplicity of those who strive for perfection
– Santi Santamaria (2010)
Opens From :
6.30pm – 10.30pm
6.30pm – 11pm
Dress Code :
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Sky on 57
Though the night was a Dine Around amongst almost all the Celebrity Chef restaurants, Justin Quek’s Sky on 57 was not opened to the media for the night as it was said to be booked for a private engagement. Sky on 57 are strongly Asian fusion dishes with many influences from Justin’s French culinary roots.
The ingredients are centered towards bringing out the delicate flavours and a balance struck throughout the meal. Each ingredient is meant to complement the other in its entirety.
The masterpieces which Justin has created aims not to only attract local tastebuds but is also a good starter for foreign guests who are not entirely accustomed to the full bodied flavours and fieriness most Asian cuisine have. It is an apt introduction into the complex world of Asian gastronomic delights.
All in all, the dining experience at Sky on 57 is not solely the food alone, as it is the panoramic landscape of being perched at the 57th floor overlooking the Singapore urban skyline together with the service and impression of dining amongst the sky which serves as the complete package.
Celebrity Chef Justin Quek and the Late Santi Santamaria engaging in cheerful conversation during last year’s Media conference.
And as I would like to add : 7 Celebrity Chef Restaurants, 3 Spectacular Hours to Dine, 8 Hours to edit the photos and create this Blog Post. Fantastic =)
|Sky on 57|
Opens From :
Breakfast 7am – 10.30am
Lunch 12pm – 2.30pm
Dinner 6pm – 10.30pm (minimum charge of $80++ per person applies)
Bar 11am – Midnight (minimum charge of $30++ per person from 5pm – Midnight, for outside tables house rules apply if weather permits)
Dress Code : Smart Casual
Many thanks to Yanni from Edelman for the invitation.