It was real exciting to finally visit Marina Bay Sands’ first ever Epicurean Market. Featuring all the celebrity chef restaurants, classic cuisines and specialty gourmet fares found in the hotel and around Singapore, this is one market place that promises to give a glimpse of the exquisite fare that the chefs pride themselves on when serving their guests. Apart from it being just an exhibition with plenty of food to buy and go around, the market also features Master classes conducted by chefs, wine experts and trade presenters. So learn the secrets behind creating that special dish, or immerse yourself in an experience in discovering how to make the perfect chocolate fondant at home. The market runs its final opening today, and popping by for a visit might kick off this year to a great start in your personal quests in the culinary scene.
The Chinese Lunar New Year decorations up in Marina Bay Sands. Classy, I must add.
The celebrity chefs
I arrived at the market sometime after 5pm. A very good crowd with lots of queues at each of the celebrity chef counters. Luckily the line moved pretty quick when it came to my turn.
The Celebrity Chef zone
First stop: Restaurant Guy Savoy
Chef Guy could not make it to the exhibition this time round, so here we have Executive Chef Eric Bost fronting the booth, ensuring the specialties of the restaurant are always, special.
Glad to meet Chef Eric again. Now here’s a shot with Guy smiling at us. Ahhh
The restaurant’s specialty is the Artichoke and Black Truffle soup with a portion of Toasted Mushroom Brioche, smeared with some black truffle butter. Exceptionally fragrant as always, the combination of crisp brioche with thick and earthy broth is a heavenly combination. I also hear that the restaurant has an executive Power 2/3 course lunch sets at reasonable prices. You might want to check that out if you are in the area on a weekday.
The Grapefruit Terrine with Tea sauce – Tangy, gelatinous with bright flavours of citrus from the citrus complemented well with the sweet sauce by the side.
Huge Black Truffles!
And I present to you…butter cases…and salt cases..and pepper cases. Exquisite designs that is almost a signature.
I had the good fortune to meet Chef Justin once again, and he gamely posed for me.
The cod with miso was exceptional. Flaky oily meat with a nice touch of sweetness and miso saltiness embracing the top. However, trying the dishes here at the market is starkly different from dining at the restaurant. Although its the same dish, the ambience plays a key role in dramatizing the perceived impression of flavours. Just imagine enjoying this on level 57, overlooking Singapore.
Beef Kway Teow – Warm and satisfying with the notes of beef so delicate that it just enjoyable drinking the broth.
I didn’t see Chef Tetsuya today so this picture will have to do.
Botan Shrimp with Caviar
CUT had its booth smelling all awesome with the searing of beef, coupled with the audalicious sizzle of oil splattering. Before I knew it, I was in the queue ordering sliders and steak.
The meat, fresh, and all out for display.
The beef sliders, mini burgers in their own right, had a very savoury beef patty topped with good cheese, onion and tomato. The bun was crisp and it was all gone in a mouthful.
Though the real deal had to come from the steak itself. Simple, with full focus on the meat. I could have done with a slightly bigger portion though.
To add to the flair of the marketplace, masterclasses are conducted continuously throughout the day. I visited The Gin Series where three mixology experts from CUT, Mozza and db Bistro Moderne share the secrets behind their cocktail recipes.
For this year, Marina Bay Sands is launching Raising The Bar: A Mixologist Series at db Bistro; Sky on 57; Waku Ghin; CUT; Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza and Fuse. Each restaurant will present the secrets and tricks towards creating that perfect cocktail through video on the Marina Bay Sands facebook page. Each month presents an exclusive cocktail at a special price to guests who have a Raising The Bar card. Collect three stamps from three restaurants and stand a chance to win a MBS Mixologist Toolbox in April and July.
Before this article comes to an end, take a short pictorial trip with me as I show you the sights I’ve seen at this market!
Special mention goes to Nanyang Cafe 1983 Buah Long Long drink. The sour fruit used to be a popular snack when our parents were younger. And the cafe has now pressed them into a tangy drink, mixed with a sweetness that hints of sour plum sugar. Exceptionally refreshing, I must visit the cafes one day to immerse in a historical memory.
The Marina Bay Sands Epicurean Market is open today for its final viewing till 8pm. General admission tickets cost $59 with a $30 Epicurean Market set of vouchers to spend with. I thought it was a worthwhile experience to see a gourmet’s feast in a single sitting. Maybe next time, the venue would be held outdoors by the waterfront under cool airy tents to bring in a true market experience.