(Photo credit: Wangz Hotel Website)
My friend said this restaurant was on her wish-list so we went. Before we even stepped into the restaurant, I was already delighted: FREE PARKING. WOOHOO!!! These days, still got free things! While writing this review, I looked up the hotel on Sparklette and saw they offer many freebies such as the Molten Brown toiletries. Wow, I wanna stay here one day.
When we walked out of the lift, it is immediately the restaurant. While we love the contemporary chic decor of the restaurant, the peaceful and quiet ambience, and the chairs are beautiful AND comfortable, we think that the space is too open, and, situated at the hotel lobby, the restaurant feels like a hotel waiting area, not a restaurant. Since there isn’t a view to begin with, I suggested to the manager that they should enclose the restaurant, seal it up with curtains. The manager also understood the problem and said that the management is trying to turn the rooftop bar into the restaurant area. (Rooftop bar review later.)
The complimentary bread was awesome, toasted like yakun bread. For appetizers, my friend ordered the duck foie gras ($28) in white wine and basil oil sauce with caramelized pineapple and toast. Adeptly cooked but the foie gras didn’t melt in the mouth and was cold. Not the best I’ve eaten, but much better than the one at Les Amis. The plating was very beautiful.
However, my plating for Lobster ravioli ($26) was so gorgeous, one of the most beautiful plating I’ve seen. A sunny side-up egg in the middle, with a dollop of caviar on the yolk, surrounded by celeriac (a vegetable that tastes like–surprise!–celery). Between the two layers of celeriac was lobster meat. A fleshy pincer, enchantingly bright red, peeked out. The celeriac was in turn surrounded by salad and salmon roe,
drizzled with truffle oil. The bright colors were very, very pretty. But the yolk was disappointingly cold, and the dish was a little bland for me. While I like the healthy idea of substituting the ravioli with carb-free veg, celeriac, this dish felt more like a salad to me. But the servings of the lobster and caviar were extremely generously. At $26, it’s value-for-money.
The tomato chowder with cheese toast ($11) is rather unique, tasting like the mix of cream and tomato pasta sauce. My wild mushroom cappuccino soup ($10) (not pictured) was soooo awesome! Although I couldn’t sample cappuccino in it–I hate coffee anyway–the taste of mushroom was so strong! The truffle oil enhanced the taste by another ten times! Rich, creamy and mushroomy: if you like your food strong, this is it.
The sirloin strips ($38) (not pictured) was hearty and my friend really like the Madeira wine sauce. The grass-fed tenderloin ($45), to me, was better. Thick and juicy with a smoother texture. The slightly sweet onion and shallot sauce intensified the beefiness of the meat. The creamy mushroom side was a win. And the accompany mashed potato au gratin (with grated cheese) was so delicious, with the slightly charred outside, and the creamy soft inside. Overall, quite well executed.
The star of the show must be the dessert. The restaurant recommends the warm lava chocolate cake but it’s nothing to boast about. The spectacular one is the chocolate sphere (pictured above). At first it comes in the form of a solid chocolate ball, the shape of a tennis ball, with gold dust on it. We wondered how in the world we were going to eat it. Then without warning, the server poured chocolate syrup on it and the ball started to disintegrate before our eyes!! So fun! Another pleasant surprise is the dessert turned out to be cold. I expected it hot because I thought it needed hot chocolate syrup to melt the ball. Within the ball, there were berries, chocolate ice cream and banana poelee, which in French means “fried” but my tongue tells me it’s more like a sponge cake. I thought despite all the fun, the dessert is just berries, ice cream and cake in chocolate syrup. I’d change the chocolate ice cream to maybe earl gray ice cream to give the dessert a more layered taste. I’d also use better quality chocolate.
We made reservations at 7 but arrived at 5.45pm but the kitchen was still closed, although the server and the kitchen staff were accommodating enough to start cooking for us. Thanks! Good service. In fact, I get the impression that this tiny boutique hotel is struggling for survival and the staff is putting in extra effort against the big restaurants with the backing of media conglomerate and I’d support the underdog. The restaurant seems to be a diamond in the rough and if it could just polish some areas, it’d definitely be a Tiffany Diamond.
231 Outram Rd
7am – 10pm
T: 6595 1388
Rating: 3.256/ 5 stars