$20-$40

Equilibrium, Capitol Piazza: Modern Italian Small Plates, Sweet Cocktails, & Modernist Desserts

Equilibrium capitol piazza reviewAt Equilibrium at Capitol Piazza, Chef Samdy Kan, whose work experience includes Senso and Ritz Carlton, presents a modern Italian menu with modernist desserts. The cocktails are generally sweet, which I like a lot, but they are small, and I downed two glasses in 10 minutes. There is an attempt to refresh traditional Italian cuisine, and although some tweaking is required for the food recipes, it holds great promise. Hopefully, in time, Equilibrium will reach equilibrium. 

Equilibrium restaurant singapore menuThe Imperial Seal ($17, chammile tea syrup, tequila bianco, cointreau, dehydrated chrysanthemum, lemon, fresh chrysanthemum flower) and Smoky Nectar ($18, Bulleit bourbon, raspberries, spiced pear liqueur, raspberry nectar tea with smoked hickory wood.)

equilibrium singapore menu Foie gras pate crostini with parma (2 pcs, $15)

equilibrium restaurant capitol piazza priceGrilled calamari with fennel butter and citrus espuma ($15)

equilibrium sg reviewPanelle (6 pcs, $12)

Among the small plates, the la bombette (2 skewers, $9.50) are skewers of pork belly wrapped around grated parmesan and minced meat–the inside was powdery and too salty.

The other two small plates fared much better. Grilled squid, though overly chewy, was delicious in the butter infused with fennel, chilli, and mint. The crostini smeared with foie gras pate scored perfect marks for contrasts in flavors and textures, crunchy and soft, pungent and sweet. Although the crostini is pricy, it is the one small plate I’d order again.

equilibrium singapore price New Zealand ribeye, dry-aged 28 days ($39)

Equilibrium singapore reviewPork and mushroom aglio olio ($19)

equilibrium singaporeTruffle paste, coppa ham ($27)

The mains were generally palatable. The steak a perfect medium rare, soft, succulent, and tender–delicious mushroom sauce. The pizza thin, crispy, and well-balanced. But the pork-and-mushroom farfalle, inspired by bak chor mee, was too salty. This particular dish reminded me of the one at Sorrel, and if Equilibrium can get the recipe right, this would have been a show-stopper.

equilibrium singapore reviewEquilibrium’s desserts follows modernist cooking philosophy, using many modernist cooking techniques: what you see is not what you get. For instance the charcuterie ($21, above) is a plateful of desserts. 64% dark chocolate disguised as salami; raspberry and green apple as prosciutto; onion-chocolate as pate.

Modernist cooking treats food as an art form. What qualifies as art is that the pieces are interesting and provocative but they don’t have to be beautiful. Just like both beautiful and ugly paintings can be considered as art, food, as an art form, can taste bad and still be interesting.

In short, I often find modernist cooking sacrificing substance for style. The inherent fault in modernist cooking is apparent here in the appealing and interesting desserts. There was nothing awful about the desserts. On the contrary, they were nice. But in desserts, I don’t want nice morsels. “Nice” isn’t worth the diabetes. I want shiokness, I want big spoonfuls of creamy, rum-drenched tiramisu. Old habits die hard, I guess.

equilibrium restaurant singaporeWatermelon carpaccio ($14)

One thing’s for sure: there is effort, thought, and creativity in the food. And around the City Hall area, $19 for pasta is a rare and wondrous find.

Equilibrium

15 Stamford Road, Capitol Piazza #01-86, Singapore 178906
11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-midnight
T: +65 6384 4069
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Food: 6.25/10
Value: 6.75/10
Ambience/Decor: 6/10
Service: NA (Tasting)
Rating: 3.167/5

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This is an invited tasting.

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