Celebrity chef restaurants have really been popping up around our expensive island in recent years; and the latest on the list (opened in December 2018) is table65 — a “fine-casual” restaurant located at Resorts World Sentosa. It serves fusion cuisine by Dutch chef, Richard van Oostenbrugge of Michelin-starred Restaurant 212 in Amsterdam; and I was told that four of his chefs from 212 followed him to Singapore for table65. (It’s named “65” after the country code for Singapore.)
above: CHEFS PREPARING FOOD
The seating area sits 44 diners, and circles around the food preparation islands so guests can witness the chefs at work. It’s very clever because there’s really no “bad seat” in the house; everyone gets up close and personal with the chefs who explain every dish as it’s served.
I tried the 8-course Experiential set menu ($218):
above: welcome bite of air baguettes
Before the first course, there’s a “welcome bite” of air baguettes with a really special blend of Shitake cream and Shiso gel that you dip into. It’s delicious, and a perfect salty way to start the meal; almost like starting the night with potato chips. And I’m all for that.
above: close up of the crumble on top of the mushroom dip
COURSE 1: Three-Piece Appetiser
above: the 3 appetisers
The first dish is a trio of appetisers that include smoked horsemackerel (this has familiar Thai and Indian green curry flavours because of the added coconut); sardines and tomato jelly, (imagine the combination of canned sardines in tomato sauce, but much fancier; it was sour and salty, and overall quite tart); and the cured mackerel with quinoa, which was my least favourite. The basil flavour came out too strong for my liking, and I generally don’t like quinoa.
above: cold smoked horsemackerel & passionfruit ceviche, coconut & combava, dill & calamansi emulsion
above: jelly of tomato consommé with lovage oil and marinated sardines
above: cured mackerel with quinoa real, tomato-strawberry vinaigrette and creamy tarragon
COURSE 2: ‘Os a moelle’, smoked herring bone, veal tartare with bone marrow, cockles and Beluga caviar
above: topping the bone marrow with caviar
This dish is a great mix of textures; the bone marrow is soft, the tartare even softer, and there is a crunch and bite to the ingredients as well. This is also good quality caviar. The accompanying bread is unfortunately too hard, especially towards the ends.
above: close up of the caviar
above: the tartare inside the bone marrow
above: the bread is stiff and hard. They should change its shape.
COURSE 3: Ravioli of Belon oyster with briny veal shank & shellfish velouté, hazelnut and BBQ salted lemon
above: You get two oysters
This is the first time I’m trying an “oyster ravioli” and I didn’t particularly fancy it; this one has an unusual mix of shellfish, hazelnut and BBQ salted lemon, and the flavours together with the meaty oysters are very filling. I could have done with just one piece instead of two. (Apparently they used to serve them individually until customers started requesting for two. Goes to show some people do enjoy it.)
above: close up of the oysters in brine
COURSE 4: Mozambique langoustine poached in duck fat, coffee and lemon, Albufeira style dashi
above: there’s Langoustine under there
The minute I saw this on the menu I had high hopes for it and really wanted to love it. And wow… I did! My favourite dish of the night by far! The sprinkling of Arabica coffee powder is a surprising twist to an otherwise straightforward dish of langoustine and duck fat; while the dashi added the final tasty after-notes. Now this one I could do with two servings.
above: close up of the coffee powder and bonito flakes
COURSE 5: Turbot with choucroute, smoked eel and black truffle, oxidised wine and eel broth
above: the bowl of black truffle is presented before the dish is served (fun fact: these mounds have a combined cost of $800)
above: the black truffle is shaved directly onto the turbot in front of you
The server had a wonderful description of this dish and made it sound completely artful. I don’t disagree; it’s easy to tell that a lot of thought and effort went into this dish (this flat fish is slow cooked for hours, and the broth is extracted from eel and chicken thigh), but I feel this dish should have been served before the langoustine. The tasty langoustine just makes this fish appear bland, even with the shavings of black truffle. I’m also not a fan of the layer of sauerkraut that adds a crunchy texture that I can’t appreciate with the fish. This is my least favourite dish of the course.
above: close up of the turbot
above: close up of the black truffle and broth
COURSE 6: Toh Thye San duck, mole madre, blueberry aigre-doux and sauce Rouennaise
above: Tasty shavings on top of the duck
above: close up of the duck
The Duck brims with delightful smells the minute the plate hits the table. There are familiar five-spice flavours and a tender duck (from JB) sitting in traditional sauce. The fermented blueberries are also a well thought-out addition that complements the duck beautifully. I like this dish very much.
COURSE 7: Foie gras kombu-jime poached in broth of seaweed and umeboshi
above: Foie gras in broth
above: close up of the foie gras
I’ve had foie gras pan seared, pureed, and cold, but not like this… This came in… soup. With every bite, my plus one kept saying it’s refreshing; but he has mixed feelings about it. This combination of a lightly pan seared poached foie gras in a seaweed broth, and topped with umeboshi actually works; but is nonetheless confusing to my taste buds. All in all, it is a good closer to the meal. Not too heavy (what a surprise) and a little bit tangy (also surprising).
COURSE 8: Apple and Kumquat desserts
above: a recreated apple, with a combination of salted caramel, puff pastry and walnut
above: the dramatic light presentation when the dish is served
above: close up of the “glass apple”
above: close up of the puff pastry
The apple “pastry” is as delicious as it is beautiful. There’s no doubt that its presentation will score an A+ with everyone, and I’m glad to say that it is a nice portion of everything: apple pieces, puff pastry and walnut. How to eat this? First you take a picture, then you just crack it wide open and dig in!
The second dessert is a consommé of tangerine, honey and rosemary, and is created in dramatic fashion at the table. A nitrogen canister is brought out and the “ice cream” is made on the spot by freezing what I assume is a concoction of rosemary (tastes like it). This is then placed on top of the tangerines. I’m sitting on the fence with this dessert; it’s not bad, but it doesn’t have the same wow factor in taste that the “apple” has.
above: the “ice cream” is a ball of rosemary frozen in nitrogen and placed on top of the fruit
above: topping the dessert with the nitrogen ball
above: close up of the consommé of tangerine, honey and rosemary
Apart from the langoustine, the other highlight of the night is the extensive cocktail bar, helmed by mixologist Lilliyin Enderle (formerly from NJOY, one of Amsterdam’s notable cocktail bars). My drink (the pink one on the right) is a dragonfruit cocktail called “Yin”. It’s a blend of red dragonfruit juice, dessert wine, yuzu and sake with a creamy egg white froth. I would return for this.
above: A dirty martini and “yin”
above: mixologist Lilliyin Enderle at work
above: close up of the “yin” cocktail
If the 8-course Experiential menu is too much, table65 runs a Ladies Night 3-course menu on Thursdays at $98++ with free flow of Prosecco.