Sunday, August 22, 2021

table65 - One MICHELIN Star, Fine Dining Restaurant @ Resorts World Sentosa [Singapore] #michelinstar

My love for food should be obvious from the massive amount of postings in this blog but many of you would be aware I am more a hawker centre / coffee shop person, although I do enjoy the occasional splurge in restaurants.

To me, fine dining restaurants are on a totally different level and I shall explain at the end of this review for a one Michelin-star fine dining restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa; table65

Star for your reference; sometimes, I do wonder about the origins of a name. table65 refers to 65 tables? Or a penchant by owner, Chef Richard van Oostenbrugge, for using numbers in his restaurants? Well, not that it matters to me since my objective in eating is to satisfy my amateurish taste buds.

Coming back, I made a reservation a month before as I knew I would be having a staycation at Sentosa's Equarius Hotel and aside from receiving a call to confirm the reservation a day before, the friendly caller even asked if we have any dietary restrictions. 

Expecting to see small, numerous tables clustered up (no thanks to the restaurant's name) like a typical dining establishment, what appeared in front of us were large, communal tables! Due to safe distancing measures, however, you would not be huddled up with strangers. 

Our seats, with full view of the open kitchen! There are pros and cons to having an open kitchen and it depends on whether you are a staff or a customer. For the staff, it's more stressed whereas for the customers, we have better assurances on the hygiene practices, so long they don't kill a live animal in front of me. 

Still water, chargeable at S$10.00 per person! In Singapore's war against diabetes, there will be a ban for advertisements "of packaged drinks with very high sugar content". I think the next step for the authorities should be to mandate free plain water for customers who dine in at restaurants, or at least complimentary for those who request. 

Envelope for our masks! 

Suaku me didn't think too much of the cutleries until Alex pull out a drawer underneath the table! Voila and in case you are wondering why there were so many sets; I am assuming it's because we will be having a five-course set meal.

Let the preparation began! With all eyes on the staff, I think having an open kitchen also trained the confidence of those plating the dishes. Every step, every movement was watched attentively as if they were making pieces of edible artworks.  

Before we start with the five courses, I shall indulge myself with a glass of signature cocktail known mystically as Transcendence. Essentially "rice wine infused with grains of paradise, aloe vera and lime", this was like a nice cup of sweet rice wine with the fragrance of lime and taste of aloe vera. No idea what those grains of paradise were; tasted like coarsely ground peppercorn.

First Course - Sea Urchin Bisque. Served in the hard body shell of the sea urchin, it was a poignant moment for me, for just a short while, when it was placed in front of me. We shall not let the sea urchin die in vain. 

Reducing the brightness for a better look. While I did experience richness of the sea with just one small sip of the thick soup, the unique flavor of sea urchin was not felt; it was more lobster. Nonetheless, it was still delicious! 

Like most items for fine dining, please do not expect big portions. 

Baguette with Butter - not bad of the course but for fine dining restaurants serving Western cuisine, it's quite common for them to serve small bites (known as amuse bouche and usually warm bread) before your meal begins. 

Given the shape of the baguette, the crunch was felt at every bite; I kid you not; there was a nice smoky flavor to the bread, which retained fluffiness on the insides! When spread with the soft, lightly salted swiss butter and popped into the mouth, the combination was, simply put, mind-blowing amazing! 

My heart missed a beat when the tin of Kaviari caviar was placed in front of me. Caviar is not a cheap product and one tin per customer would be luxurious, especially when the set meal was priced at just S$148 per person. 

Placement was merely for convenience to give the finale touch to our second course - "os à moelle”, smoked herring bone, veal tartare with bone marrow cockles and Oscietra caviar".

Above was the final look and like the rest of the dishes, the staff member who served the dish would give a short explanation on the ingredients and how the different flavors came together etc. As I just had a glass of cocktail, my mind was bouncing everywhere and worst of all, alcohol affects my hearing! 

This was in fact my first tartare in life and thankfully, the experience was good. Bone marrow had a squid like texture and there's this crispy stuff within the tartare that I didn't know what it was. The flavors interestingly alternated between sweetness, savouriness and saltiness.

Third course - "salad of king crab, avocado, coffee and Oscietra caviar". You can see everything except for the king crab which was hidden beneath the layers of sliced avocado. I presume the brown jellies surrounding the avocados were the coffee. 

Notwithstanding my literally big mouth, I took small bites to better this fine-dining experience. Every spoonful was just luxurious; the sweet, flavorful king crab, the creamy avocado and the jellies with the taste of crab (surprisingly no hint of coffee).  The caviar marked the culmination of this dish by delivering a punch that amplified all the flavors. 

Fourth course - "foie gras kombu-jime seaweed broth, umeboshi". Large piece of fatty goose liver that seemed to be simmered in dashi broth. Due to the umeboshi (preserved plums), there was a layer of zest even though I personally prefer foie gras that's pan-fried. 

Fifth course - "lobster served with tandoori sauce, mango and kaffir lime". While the crustacean was no doubt the main star, the sauce played the most important role to set it apart from just a normal piece of lobster meat. 

Sauce was oily and had a seafood curry flavor that wasn't exceptional on its own, until you dip the lobster meat in it and take a bite. Those cubes were mango and too sour for my liking; however, they provided a refreshing contrast to its rich, oily companions. 

Extra set of cutleries on the table; awaiting our main course! 

Main course - "venison, beetroot relish, foie gras, olive, lardo di colonnata, beetroot royale". A mouthful of ingredients with once again the explanations that I totally can't absorbed with my short span of attention. I just wanted to start eating it! 

When the staff called the day earlier to ask us for our dietary requirements, I should have mentioned Alex doesn't take beef. So when the main course was served to him, I had to bluff him it's venison, not beef. He didn't buy it and passed me everything after taking just one slice. Never mind, I shall enjoy more then.

On its own, the venison was tender with pieces of fats (lard) in the middle of each slice. What were more astonishing were the beetroot royale and relish as they provided an added tier of juiciness and nuttiness! Only problem? I had too much! 

Dessert - "Taïnori64 Dominican chocolate, sea buckthorn, marigold". Most people would have mistaken this as a 3D plate as the colors gelled perfectly. We opted to pay extra so that we can try two different kind of desserts. 

I think chocolate connoisseurs would enjoy the high dark chocolate content, that had a light, citrus aftertaste. What I can't appreciate was the inclusion of marigold, which had resulted in a flowery aroma yet had the undesirable effect of strengthening the bitterness of the chocolate.

Dessert - "apple salted caramel, puff pastry and walnut". When you google for table65, the one image that appeared most often would be this exquisite beauty! 

It's so pretty; I wasn't ready to break its edible, glass-like casing. I wouldn't be surprised if the restaurant decided to introduce a rose in a glass dessert, similar to the one in "beauty and the beast".

Anyway, here we go! The core was made up of delicious, intense green apple sorbet with chocolate bits as the seeds. Base would be the puff pastry with balls of green apple in the middle. While the "glass" provided the best visual appeal, it didn't contribute much to the overall taste.

- I had to record the conversation using my iPhone so that I can better describe this free, last bite. It's pineapple, flamed with rum, topped with with rum cream and a separate portion of sorbet made of citrus fruits, passionfruit, lemongrass, ginger, with aloe vera.

Pineapple cube was juicy and had that thin, caramelized taste given that it was torched. The sorbet had a whipped cream texture, surrounded with familiar lemongrass and ginger aroma. As expected, the heavy use of citrus fruits automatically translated into strong sourness. p.s. I prefer something sweet to conclude my meal!


On my thoughts about fine dining - I was impressed with the food, at least for most of them, their plating and I totally enjoyed the different contrasts in flavours and tastes, and it's fascinating how they eventually came together to enhance the palatability. 

My issues were of course the high price tag, and the high class setting. Not much explanation needed for the former, I guess. On the latter, the setting was posh and polished; and a crude man like me didn't feel that comfortable. Back to the hawker centers, I shall.

26 Sentosa Gateway, 
#01-104 & 105, Hotel Michael, 
Singapore 098138


As above. Do note that the menu will be refreshed every now and then. 

5-course Set - S$148.00 per person
Dessert Upgrade - S$16.00
Cocktail - S$24.00
Still Water - S$10.00 per person
(Subject to GST and Service Charge)

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