Singapore Trip Report 14-20th February
Flew in to Singapore Monday afternoon and headed in to stay at The Raffles. Had a full list of dining experiences lined up and I couldn't wait to get started.
14th Dinner - Raffles Grill
Being by myself in a romantic restaurant on Valentines Day felt slightly awkward to begin with, but I was here for the food so who cares. Constructed my own 6 course degustation off the ala carte menu and set to work. Great food. The beef tournedos rossini was the the highlight for me. Also a special shout out to sommelier Dhareej Bhatia who matched each course superbly and then walked me through his astonishing array of Armangac. Truly a highlight of the trip with a 1944 distilled, 2010 bottled Bas Armangac finishing the night off in style.
15th Lunch - Iggy's
Woke up feeling slightly the worse for wear after my adventures the previous evening but soldiered on to Iggy's. Sitting at the bar overlooking the kitchen was great. The 3 course set menu for lunch was solid but not spectacular. The desert was probably the standout, a chocolate creation of high quality. I'm not sure why this restaurant rated so highly in the 'Top 50' awards. The food wasn't bad but I thought it could easily be matched or even bettered elsewhere.
15th Dinner - Cut by Wolfgang Puck
Looking forward to this as I'm a steak man. Bonus when I got there. Turns out all the celebrity chefs from the Marina Bay Sands were in town as it was the official opening of the complex! Got to meet Wolfgang and score an autograph and photo. The food was good upmarket steakhouse fare. The 3 steak main course I had highlighted 3 of the different steaks on the menu with the Japanese wagyu, of course, being the best. Melted like butter. The chocolate souffle for desert didn't really hurt either.
16th Lunch - Les Amis
Lovely little restaurant tucked away on a surprisingly busy side street. Lovely selection on the menu. The double boiled beef broth was very tasty. The veal though was superb. Lovely and moist, full of taste. they even brought the bone out for you to gnaw on and get very last bit of meat and marrow. Great restaurant.
16th Dinner - Fifty Three
Walked past the place twice before I was certain it was the restaurant. Very unobtrusive building and discreet signage. The dining room has a somewhat spartan feel to it but the food definitely makes up for it. A great degustation with good matched wines. The main of pork belly and black ginger paste was probably the best. The G&T surprise at the end was great. A fantastic, fun restaurant that everyone should try.
17th Lunch - Gunthers
Whilst perusing the lunch menu the wait staff informed that the degustation could be tailored to any requirement I wanted. I just had to set a price limit and they could set me up. I agreed and set a price higher then a normal lunch degustation (but short of insanity). I also requested that the menu be kept a surprise so that I could be delighted by each new creation. What followed was a 3hr delight of the senses as each course, with matched wines, brought new sensations. I think it was about 10 courses but the wine has clouded my memory. All dishes were great but the signature cold angel hair pasta with caviar was the standout. Definitely a recipe to try and knock off at home. Stumbled back to the hotel after this one and spent the rest of the arvo lounging by the pool in preparation for....
17th Dinner - Waku Ghin
Wonderful idea with the small dining area facing the cooktop. The early dishes were light and full of flavour. When the chef came out to prepare the next few courses it was a real treat. The wagyu beef was a delight to eat with the freshly grated wasabi. The real torture was sitting and watching as he cooked it. Another bonus with Tetsuya Wakuda himself dropping in for a chat. Another photo and autograph for the file! A world class restaurant that I thoroughly enjoyed.
18th Lunch - I'd left lunch today clear to head out to a hawker centre but I was still recovering from the day before. So I recuperated in my hotel room by ordering hainanese rice chicken and satay from the room service menu. Not the greatest way to 'experience' Singapore street food to be sure but it was all I had in the tank. The rice chicken was well poached with the sauces a good accompaniment. I have always had a weakness for satay and scoffed these down. Sorry to all those who will hit me up for not tasting the 'real' Singapore but... well I was hungover.
18th Dinner - Guy Savoy
An elegant dining room looking across the water to the downtown area. Great looking menu but who could resist the seasonal Black Truffle Tasting Menu? Wonderful progression of flavours with the turbot a highlight. Well coooked fish in a truffle infused broth. Heaven. Met Guy Savoy but at the end of the night when I tried to get a photo and autograph he had already departed! Nevertheless, I was allowed to enter the kitchen and meet Chef Eric who runs the place. A great meal.
19th Lunch - DB Bistro Moderne
What a great place for brunch/lunch. A true example of a modern bistro as the name suggests. The eggs benedict (a good comparison test for any bistro) were delightful. The DB burger was a beast. A thin fillet of steak wrapped around some ribs and then filled in with foie gras. Wow! The profiteroles with warm chocolate were a great finisher. A really nice place that I could have wasted the rest of the day in.
19th Dinner - The Tippling Club
This was sadly meant to be Santi. But due to his unfortunate passing the restaurant was closed. I had really been looking forward to dining here but what can you do. After a cheeky attempt to get into Restaurant Andre by utilising the concierge staff at The Raffles failed (I always knew deep down it would) I went with my back up The Tippling Club. This was a really fun place to hang out on my last night in town. Great food, fun drinks and a relaxed atmosphere. The green curry quail was my favourite but everything was good. Not a bad place to fall back on.
20th Lunch - The Champagne Carving Brunch @ The Raffles
I died and went to heaven and it was the Carving Brunch @ The Raffles. Food as far as the I could see. All different tastes acoounted for. Some of the dishes were true gourmet cuisine that you do not expect in a buffet. Unlimited champagne pours. My words cannot convey how great this expreience was to finish my food hoilday. You really have to experience for yourself and I wholeheartedly recommend it to all.
Sadly I had to fly out later that evening and so ended the trip to Singapore. My thanks to all at The Raffles hotel for making my stay a delight, especially Dhareej the sommelier (extrordinaire) and Bong my butler. I look forward to returning to Singapore one day for another gourmand adventure.
Sounds like you had a really smashing time :-)
Next time you're back in Singapore, try Justin Quek's Sky on 57 (atop Marina Bay Sands) for some Modern-Singaporean cuisine.
Garibaldi's on Purvis St serves some good Italian. So does Osvaldo at Maxwell Chambers in Tanjung Pagar, and Valentino's in Rifle Range Rd.
FiftyThree is nice, but the buzz is now at Andre in Bukit Pasoh Road - try it next time.
Iggy's and Les Amis are two of the best-known proponents of French cuisine in Singapore, but I do agree with you regarding the over-rated Iggy's. Next time you're in town, you can consider one of Joel Robuchon's new restaurants in Resorts World Sentosa - he's opening L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, and a fine dining restaurant pretty soon.