The decor of Opus Grill & Bar at Hilton Hotel reflects its name of musical composition; there is a fluidity in the space with an open kitchen, playing chill-out lounge music. It is a classy, romantic space that I was taken aback as I walked into the room. I never fail to gasp at beautiful interiors.
But Opus isn’t one of those all surface, no substance restaurants that pop up and close down faster than The Huntsman: Winter War got off-screen. It is the first restaurant in Singapore to achieve the Marine Steward Council’s certification for sustainable seafood. It also dry-ages the beef in-house for 18 to 36 days in a bespoke Himalayan salt-tiled aging cabinet. They cook the steaks over a full charcoal open flame grill.
Currently, they have an on-going amazing promotion: order any prime cuts and get 2 hours of freeflow wine (Sun – Th) or 50% off wine by the bottle (F & Sat). Say whatttt?
But even before the wine, I highly recommend the DURIAN COCKTAIL ($20). OMG. It tastes like liquid durian penyat, with bits of crushed ice, with butterscotch, finished with Havana club rum. SO GOOD. Give me an intravenous drip already!
For starters, the texture of blood sausage crisp should have contrasted with the soft Hokkaido scallops ($22), but the crisp is tooth-breaking hard. And the earthliness of the edamame puree doesn’t compliment the seafood. But the scallops themselves are nicely cooked, soft and plump.
The bluefin tuna tartare ($17) is perfect and delicious; there is a balance in tastes and textures, crunchy and soft, fragrant with sesame seeds and rich. It is tossed in chef’s secret sauce with Japanese ingredients like miso and mirin. We were fighting over the last bits.
The steaks here are fantastic. Beautifully charred and grainy at the surface, and pinkish medium-raw within. We tried two cuts and the one we preferred was the signature 800g Rangers Valley Angus OP rib dry-aged with a marble score of 4 ($120 for 2 persons, above). It is rich, juicy, and more flavorful than the new T-bone steak (1-1.2kg, marble score 3, for 2 persons $120, below).
The desserts ended the meal with a high note. I normally don’t like grilled fruits for desserts, because they can easily be done at home. I’m very niao, I don’t like to order food I can cook at home, but both the grilled fruits here are amazing, each with their strengths with no weakness.
The gluten-free charcoal grilled banana ($12), with the peel still on, is caramelized on top. By itself, it is ok, but when it is eaten together with calamansi ice cream, it creates multiple layers of indescribable, complex flavors.
The other grilled fruit, grilled honey pineapple ($12), is also fantastic; a great texture, not soft, but not crunchy. With a salted caramel sauce, it is sweet, tart, and salty.
This meal has been nothing short of terrific. Each dish is a good balance of flavors and textures. The steaks are perfect stars. We seldom give 4/5 for restaurants, and Opus is a rarity to receive the rating.
Opus Bar & Grill
581 Orchard Road, Hilton Singapore lobby level, Singapore 238883
T: +65 6730 3390
Overall rating: 4.072/5
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.