Taking over Royal Room at Pan Pacific Hotel, Match Restaurant and Lounge looks so cool but means serious business. It is one of the best conceptualized new restaurants I’ve been lately. The decor has pentagon motifs all over, on lamps, and tables. The dark wood and naked bulbs are a cheeky twist on traditional American steakhouses. Plays Top40s like Justin Timberlake’s “Not a Bad Thing” and Lorde’s “Royals” with an underlying sick beat. The restaurant exudes class, luxury, sophistication, and attitude. A good place for both dates and large groups. Opens till late night.
Drinks & Bar Snacks
There is a professional sommelier if you want wine, and the cocktails are well crafted. Rowdy Roosevelt (Hendricks gin, rose water, rose syrup, fresh lemon and lime juice, half-and-half, soda, $16) tasted like milkshake, but was potent enough to make my ears blush. The other one that I’d try next time is Waldorf Cocktail (Knob Creek bourbon, sweet vermouth, with dates stuffed with bacon and blue cheese, $18) because BACON! The bar snacks–mostly American like pretzel ($6) and corndog ($10)–were OK but they are just bar snacks.
Designed by consulting chef Robin Ho, who is also the executive chef for the Prive Group, you can customize your own menu: choose a meat (and how it’s cooked), a sauce, a vegetable, and another side. If you’re lazy to decide, there are also ready dishes.
There are also starters, like ham hock croquette ($16) or crab and prawn cakes ($18). We had very fresh Tasmanian oysters ($6/pc) that day, tasting like the ocean.
For our mains, we paired the Australian Tajima wagyu ribeye (marbling 7, 200g, $95) with red wine sauce, duck liver (50g, +$4), and grilled zucchinis. Lovely piece of steak, wasn’t too fatty or oily, still had a bite (which I like, although I know most people like it tender). Some salt on beef would be nice. The duck liver was competently pan-roasted, buttery in the mouth.
The Maine lobster (450g, $68), we had it with a shellfish bisque sauce, sea urchin flan (+4), and brussels sprouts. Delectable smoky char-grilled aroma on the lobster, but it could be fresher. I usually have flan as a sweet dessert, so it took some getting used to a savory sea urchin flan. Chiobu likened it to chawanmushi; not far off, flan has eggs (and cream). Well-cooked brussels sprouts shouldn’t be bitter, and unfortunately, it was bitter like my spinster heart here.
A raincloud on my table! (It was complimentary, pre-dessert dessert, candy floss, for all diners)
Only 2 out of the 7 desserts appealed to us: either warm pear-pecan brioche and butter pudding with salted caramel and pecan ice cream ($12) or passionfruit profiteroles ($13). I picked the latter one, because I like sour desserts, and because I thought it was profiterole with ice cream filling (I opine desserts should always be cold). But it came as the French version, a mini croquembouche. Though it wasn’t what I expected, and it wasn’t sour, it was nice enough and rather spectacular.
No blond wait staff was harmed in this production. Gold threads were spun from sugar. What a breathtaking dessert!
If there is an area for improvement, it’s the pricing. I thought the mains could be lowered 10-15%. But as a whole, this is a well-conceptualized restaurant with not-bad food and a ritzy decor, designed to impress your dates and friends.
7 Raffles Boulevard, Pan Pacific Singapore, Marina Square, Singapore 590211
T: 6337 0800
M & Tue 6pm-1am, W &Th 6pm-3am, F & Sat 6om-4pm
Drinks and Bar Snacks Menu
Rating: 3.167/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
ps: thanks, Claudine, Sarissa, and Sommelier (sorry, I didn’t catch your name) for the invite.