Did everyone enjoy the inaugural Restaurant Week in Asia? For those who doesn't know what the fuss was about, restaurant week is a culinary event in which top restaurants in Singapore offer limited number of set meals at unbeatable prices ($25 for lunch, $35 for dinner). Honestly, I couldn't get my hands on the ones that I was really eyeing but nonetheless, I managed to grab a reservation for two at The Nautilus Project before it got sold out too!
Managed by the same team behind The Prime Society, The Nautilus Project prides itself in serving the freshest seafood from Australia. They said that the higher you go on Orchard Ion, the pricier the food gets. So I guess I'm really lucky that its on the highest floor? Well regardless of that, the decor was stylishly modern with a mix of parquet wood and glossy coloured furnishing. Service was off to a good start with smiles and small chats, but sort of falter as we were leaving (more on that later).
Complimentary Bread, Tuna Nicoise Salad, Crab and Sweet Corn Chowder
Bread was served slightly warm and harder than I would prefer, nothing much to shout about. Girlfriend gave approval for the salad as it came with her favourite runny poached egg, paired with Tataki-styled tuna and tossed in red wine dressing.
As for my soup, it was a pity that the sweetening taste of corn overpowered the natural flavour of crab, but the garlic bread was surprisingly good with its strong garlicky flavour and using a really well-toasted piece of soft bread. I liked that!
On to the mains! According to the waiter, sample portions were served for the Restaurant Week menu, so the quantity and variety of ingredients were reduced as compared to ala carte orders.
Nautilus Soup Kettle: Thai Spicy Coconut with Rice, Nautilus Fish n Chips
Choosing a coconut-based soup for my seafood kettle, it resembled pretty much like green curry but without the distinctive lemongrass flavour. Served with fiery chilli padi and a savoury dip that I never figured out, my creamy broth of prawns, fish chunks, clams and mussels did go very well with rice. But it was a case of good yet not enough to satisfy my expectations for something exceptionally well done.
The fish can be done in 3 different styles, namely steamed, battered or breaded. While we immediately ruled out steaming as boring, we eventually opted for Japanese-styled bread crumbs over flour batter. It tuned out just as we had expected, crispy and delicate as if eating a well-coated Tonkatsu or Ebi fry. However, the fish itself was a bit of let down with skinny meat and not-too-juicy texture. It came with the same salad base as our starter and really ordinary fries.
Pavlova with Passionfruit Coulis, Warm Chocolate Pudding with White Expresso Ice Cream
Honestly, both of us didn't like the Pavlova at all. Artificially sweetened, the hard crust felt like one big piece of sugar before breaking to reveal some rather bland vanilla custard. The sour fruits didn't exactly help to balance out the taste as well.
The other one fared much better! Nicely presented on 3 sides with a stack of warm choclate cake, tasty coffee ice cream and a spoonful of smooth mousse-like pudding, there were sprinkling bits of pitaschio nuts and rice krispies that pops happily in your mouth. That was good!
The 3-course meal for two was $82.39 after taxes. I felt that it was a case of "eating the ambience" which was a pity considering how much I liked The Prime Society for its steak. Also, staff did not even say goodbye as we were leaving as a few of them were standing and talking together nearby (Though they were not the same people who served us warmly when we first came). Still, I'm glad that Restaurant Week satisfied my curiousity of the place!