Tuesday, September 27, 2011
For the final meal venue with the family friend, I decided to pick one of the restaurants in Marina Bay Sands since she had yet to dine at the newer integrated resort. Taking a break from international cuisines, I thought it would be good to go after local flavours instead and at MBS, there should be no better place to do that than at Sky On 57!
Located at the Sands Skypark, Sky on 57 has local chef Justin Quek showcasing his take on traditional Asian food, fusing it with modern cooking techniques and refined ingredients. Although the restaurant's interior looks good with its elegant decor, the outside scenery is disappointing for now; A large part of the seating area oversees the under-construction Gardens By The Bay and unsightly cargo containers at Keppel Harbour, with relatively little seats facing the waterfront. So book early if you intend to have that view only!
Complementary Bread Bowl
I was hoping that they could pull off some Asian starters but the usual westernised bread appear instead. But don't get me wrong, the selection was fantastic. The onion roll, cheese bun and bread with bacon bits were all very nicely done in their own way, paired with creamy butter that seemed to be infused with truffle speckles but lacking in taste.
Poached egg with Dried Scallops and Mushrooms
This came as part of my 48++ 3-course business lunch. Full of creamy goodness, I guessed that it was a play on the traditional half-boiled eggs. If only they had toast soldiers to go with it!
Sakura Chicken Rice ($28.00)
Served with clear corn soup and greens, the friend commented that the chicken was just alright, losing out to her favourite Chatterbox. I had a bit of the rice and thought that the fluffy grains were well-oiled.
Bak Kut Teh, JQ's Beef Noodles
Served as a $32.90++ executive set lunch, the portion was seriously huge! They probably wanted diners to have the complete Bak Kut Teh experience, thus bundling in the braised trotters and fried you tiao. The core soup, however, was somewhat a letdown. It lacked the peppery punch and leaned towards the diluted side. The bowls of corn salad and fruits seemed rather out of place too.
Somehow, the word "noodles" misled me into thinking it was the yellow, alkaline type so I was kind of surprised to see horfun instead. Then it led to an unpleasant discovery of it being way too flimsy and mushy, that even picking them up with chopsticks became a problem. The soup stock was flavourful with mixture of beef slices and brisket chunks, but you probably couldn't tell that wagyu beef was used if they didn't state so in the menu.
I thought I would give their most Asian-looking main course a go but sad to say, there was no wow factor at all. Well-spiced curry, overcooked fish meat, crispy pappadum, tangy achar. That was it. Easily obtainable at a fraction of the price elsewhere.
Just as the meal started well with bread, it thankfully ended even better with this visual tease. Sweet pineapple sliced so finely, taken with a scoop of uber-sour sorbet, pomegranate seeds and what I suspect to be grape jellies, it was an excellent play on taste as they all came together to be oh-so refreshing. Captivating!
As much as I want to praise Sky On 57 for bringing Asian fine dining to a whole new level, I can only do so in the literal meaning. The local dishes were not outstanding as compared to the western creations, while throughout the meal my mind kept drafting a list of places for better bak kut teh and curry fish that wouldn't burn a hole in your pocket. You can probably impress business clients who are on their first trip to Singapore but on my own, I see no reason to return anytime soon.
Sky On 57
Tower 1, Sands SkyPark
Marina Bay Sands
Tel: 6688 8857
Check out their rotating lunch menu!
Taken with Nikon D70