The 3rd anniversary of Ku De Ta ushers in a new menu by the new Executive Chef Frederic Faucheux, his virgin foray in Asia. A handsome and shy Frenchman by birth, trained in UK, with 18 years of experience, he has previously worked at the award-winning Nobu in Cape Town. His philosophy tends towards a Japanese style of simplicity, a philosophy that complements Ku De Ta’s modern Asian cuisine in small plates.
Seared Black Angus beef tataki with sanso dressing, spring onions and black sesame
Ku De Ta’s decor is effortlessly modern chic, overlooking Singapore’s landscape, great for dates, business meals, taitais’ luncheon, and spotting international celebrities. Justin Bieber, Aerosmith, and Shinee have been here. The small plates start from $20+ onwards while the degustation menu is $158+ per pax (minimum of 2 guests). We were served the degustation menu (these items are also available in a la carte small plates) and in general, the mains were better than the starters.
For starters, the salmon sashimi could be fresher; the foie gras (above) was original but didn’t quite pan out, it came on nasu goma (grilled eggplant in miso sauce) and topped with sake jelly. Our favorite starter was the the crab leg tempura: fluffy as a cloud, not a bit of grease, and the dip, a spicy ponzu, was fun.
All the mains were innovative. The tiger prawn tempura was tinged with yellow curry, miso mustard, and laksa leaf; while the US Prime ribeye (left) was paired with a tangy, delicious wasabi salsa. If you’re watching your weight, like me, I’d suggest giving roasted pork belly a miss. It was crackling, with a superb karashi miso dressing and a sweet tempura leaf as a palate cleanser, but it was not as tender as we’d like, a bit of a letdown from its beautiful exterior.
Instead, go for the roasted black cod (pictured below), one of Ku De Ta’s signatures. I almost never order fish in restaurants because I think I can easily cook it at home. But this black cod impressed me immensely for me to recommend it. The red miso marinate had completely permeated through the fish, which was tender but not flakey. The surface of the fish was touched by the aroma of the bamboo leaf (?). Very nicely done.
While the roasted black cod was perfect, we thought the honor of the dish of the day went to the desserts. All three desserts were immaculate and had a careful balance and none of the three was overly sweet. Apple & Honey (pictured below), a signature, was a delightful, deconstructed version of an apple crumble. You have to mix everything, including the honeycomb crumble and green apple granite, and eat it. Lots of green apple in this healthy dessert–fresh green apple shreds, granite and jelly–but it had just a mild and refreshing tinge of sour, balanced by the milk-and-honey creameux. Flawless.
The nikka whiskey baba, a souffle-like pastry in whiskey, was equally impeccable. Although I am a teetotaler, the balance of the whiskey in the pastry with the white peach sorbet and salted chocolate powder was so perfect that I didn’t mind the alcohol. We also had the wasabi ice cream, which was also nonpareil. If I open a dessert shop, I will poach the dessert chef. These three are the best desserts we have this year.
While writing this entry and ruminating about the food I ate, I began to understand Chef Faucheux’s philosophy. The food had a lightness of touch, a Zen-like Japanese philosophy–like a Basho’s haiku, a dragonfly, a ripple in a pond. The food didn’t come on strongly in waves, and won’t provide any life-changing experiences, but it was mild, gentle and simple. I guess you won’t see “It’s complicated” on Chef Faucheux’s facebook status.
1 Bayfront Avenue, SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, Tower 3 Singapore 018971
T: +65 6688 7688
Lunch: M-F 12-3pm
Dinner: 6-11pm (Daily) A minimum spend of $80++ per person is required for dinner.
Brunch: Sat & Sun 11am-3.30pm
Club Lounge 11am till late
Cover charge applies from 9pm on F, Sat & PH eve
Ku De Ta Dress Code: Stylish chic from 6pm onwards in the restaurant, skybar and club lounge (no shorts, slippers, singlets and tank tops).
Rating: 3.217/5 stars
PS: Thanks, Valencia, Frederic and Francesca, for the hospitality.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.