Flutes, National Museum of Singapore: Australian Cuisine with a Touch of Asian Flavours. The Beef Rendang was Wow.

Flutes at National Museum of Singapore has been on my radar for years. I once saw kangaroo on their menu–and it is rare to see that in Singapore–so I wanted to come here. It’s a pity that Australian cuisine isn’t more recognised in Singapore because, having travelled to various places in Australia, I find that it differs from the generic European cuisine in that it focuses more on bringing out natural tastes of the ingredients, using less seasoning to mask the naturality, resulting in a cleaner but equally elegant taste.

The 5-course dinner menu starts from $168 and I don’t have that kind of money. So we went for the 3-course lunch ($50+) but there is also a 2-course option at $42++

duck confit salad

The appetiser was a lovely duck confit salad consisting of shredded duck confit, baby romaine, quail eggs, smoked bacon–all tossed in a herbed mustard dressing. The flavours meshed well together and despite the bacon and duck confit, both could be oleaginous in hands of a lesser chef, the dish comes across as light and refreshing. It is the kind of dish that starts a meal well.

beef rendang
beef rendang

I was thoroughly sated with wagyu beef cheek rendang (supplement $10). The rendang is great: not oily, ample of spices, but doesn’t rob away attention from the fork-tender wagyu beef that still retains that integrity of a bit of bite. It comes with housemade achar, sour enough to undercut the beef, and is paired with a pumpkin puree–sweet, savoury, sour, great flavour profile. This dish is surprisingly to me because I didn’t expect that a white chef could pull off this level of delicious Singaporeanness. (Okay, I assume the chef is white because I can’t find any data on the chef and because it’s an Australian restaurant and because their website has a photo of a white chef, I’m aware of my problematic assumption. Please don’t cancel me, thanks.)

Apple tart tatin
Apple tart tatin

The thing about desserts is that it needs to be super good to justify the insane amount of calories and the risk of diabetes. The dessert, apple tart tatin, sprinkled with pistachio bits, does not make an impression. It needs to be caramelised a lot more, bolder, but at least it is not bad. I did not feel pissed off eating it as I recently have at some restaurants.

The environment is elegant, the service great, and the food good. I do feel that the restaurant has an old-school, classic charm, a place and system forgotten by time, but that’s a double edge sword: it could mean it isn’t serving the modern needs of people now but that in itself isn’t a bad thing, at least time slows down here from the hectic lifestyle.

We spent $62 per person.

Flutes Restaurant
National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, #01-02 Singapore 178897
Tel:  +65 6338 8770
11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30-10.30pm, closed Sun & M

Food: 6.75/10
Price: 5.5/10
Service: 6.75/10
Decor/ambience: 7/10

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We pay for our own food and review anonymously unless otherwise stated. Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.

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