For a whole year starting April 2015, foreign chefs would pair up with some of our local restaurants for a few days each month serving a special “100Gourmet” menu. The usual price for the 6 course meals will be $180++ but for Citibank cardholders, it’ll be $100++. When I found out about of this event, it was kind of too late for April’s installment but at least I managed to get bookings for May! With a stroke of luck, I won a contest and had a complimentary lunch for 2 for 24th May. Feeling super thankful and lucky to be able to win this! It makes a perfect pre-birthday treat this year.
The 6 course menu I’d be trying today is a collaboration between Chef Anthony Demetre (1 Michelin star restaurant Arbutus, London) of Greek origins and Chef Christopher Millar of Stellar at 1-Altitude.
It’s good to dine during lunch because the lighting is perfect for photos of food! (and myself…)
Even though I arrived at 12:30pm (starts at 12pm), I was still one of the first few diners and was assigned a nice window seat with a lot of privacy since it was located near the back end, with no adjacent tables. This was probably the best thing by the restaurant which happened. I will explain later about my experience here.
This is the tallest restaurant in Singapore! Come up here to check out what’s on the roof of other buildings in Raffles Place.
Hmm ok… next.
HOKKAIDO SCALLOP CARBONARA – by Christopher Millar
parmesan cream, bacon ash
That egg was cooked on some super non stick pan, the whites looked like a perfect piece of plastic (I don’t mean this in a bad way).
ENGLISH PEAS AND FOIE GRAS – by Anthony Demetre
radish & green strawberry salad
This looks like a bigger version of my teacup!
WOOD FIRED CAULIFLOWER – by Anthony Demetre & Christopher Millar
tahini, pomegranate, mint
I love the traces of pistachio on the cauliflower mash. Makes everything seem healthier. And that wood fired cauliflower seems strangely like.. an altar.. but it’s good.
I loved the smokey flavours though (not sarcastic!) on that strange looking asparagus. I now feel that my usual asparagus prepared at home isn’t good enough after having one with smokey flavours. This smokey flavour is different from the wood fired cauliflower’s.
SLOW COOKED BEEF – by Anthony Demetre & Christopher Millar
puree of heirloom carrots, Swiss chard, herbs from new urban farm
I don’t recall ever having chard before but it’s interesting how it looks like beancurd skin, all wrinkly and plastic-ky,. It’s also really flavourful soaking up flavours from the broth it was cooked with! I hope to see more of chard in the future. Beef was perfectly tender but the chard was most memorable for me
A TASTE OF STRAWBERRIES & YOGHURT – by Anthony Demetre
Strawberries from France apparently. I liked the combination with the mint jelly and meringue.
Overall the food was not bad but the service could really use some improvement. In fact, a lot of improvement given that this restaurant (seems to) aim to be upmarket, judging by how they set a dress code of no slippers and shorts and their policy of only bottled still or sparkling water served. It is definitely not a casual restaurant so the least I’d expect from them is non casual service. (Digressing, I did notice some diners dressed in slippers being let in anyway so I am not sure how strict they are with this policy.)
I feel they ought to have service standards that can at least make diners feel welcomed. Some strange incidents include giving me the bill (wrong one) when I did not call for the bill? They probably sent it to wrong table. After informing the server that this was not my bill, they brought over the correct one. But thing is, I did not even call for the bill in the first place. This just shows how attentive (or inattentive) the servers are.
They weren’t exactly warm or friendly during the entire meal service either. I did not get any bad attitude but perhaps they could be more generous with their hospitality to make my experience more positively memorable.
View wise, I think Equinox or Si Chuan Dou Hua (Top of UOB) has a nicer ones because Stellar faces south and there isn’t much to see other than MBS and (not so glamorous) roof tops of other buildings around the area. This restaurant in tall but the scenery was not fantastic.
Of course, these issues has nothing to do with Chef Anthony and the 100Gourmet event and I suppose it is just something 1-Altitude has to work on. I did enjoy how he brought his unique style of cooking into Singapore for this special event.
However, my main priority is ultimately the standard of food served and for this area, I was satisfied. That said, my overall experience with this 100Gourmet meal was still considered a good and enjoyable one!