20th August 2013.
The last time I visited Stellar at 1 Raffles Place (OUB Tower) had been a long time ago. It is not the kind of place one visits everyday but rather to celebrate a special occasion and a rather impressive choice if you want a great view (just check the weather forecast first).
The best time to visit is about 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm when you can hang around 1-Altitude, the alfresco bar located on the top of OUB Tower designed by Kenzo Tange. Taller than the Marina Bay Sands and one of the 280m trinity of Singapore, you can be quite assured that you could get a good 360 degrees panorama of Singapore, not just downtown and Marina Bay Sands but also Jurong Island, the Southern Islands, 1-North and Bukit Timah
Cocktails before dinner.
After getting hyped up with fantastic panorama, we went downstairs to Stellar for our dinner. I was informed that after a couple of years, Stellar might be getting a facelift in the near future. The dinner started off with some really good bread paired with olive oil and balsamic vinegar as well as butter.
Then there was the amuse bouche, a mini starter of Hamachi,sake sorbet and shiso leaf. The combination of the light, herbal shiso leaves, fresh Hamachi and refreshing, mildly sweet sake sorbet was a great start for the meal.
Next up was the Scallop (28.00++ SGD), Open Ravioli of Scallop, Parmesan Custard, Pear and Zucchini Paper. It was a rather unique combination which has succulent, nicely seared scallop covered with layers of thin ravioli served on savoury parmesan custard and cubes of sweet pear. The zucchini paper was sweet and raisin-like. It was one of my favourite dishes for the dinner.
The Bone Marrow (24.00++ SGD) Bone marrow fritters, Crispy porky bits, Parsley salad and sauce gribiche has a more familiar range of flavours. The preparation, for a start, sounded tedious. The bone marrow was dug out and steamed with egg and cream before putting them back into the bone marrow again while the pig trotters was mixed some ingredients before deep-frying them with a coat of breadcrumbs. It was served with a salad sprinkled with crispy pork bits. I appreciate the contrasting textures but flavour wise, it was kind of monotonous.
The other dish that I enjoyed a lot was the Aglio Uni (44.00++ SGD) which is Chef Millar’s re-interpretation of the classic aglio olio. Instead of the usual butter, he uses Smoked Sea Urchin Butter which gives it a rather savoury, mild briny flavour to the pasta not to forget, buttery fragrance as well. The combination of ikuro, chopped leeks, ebi sakura, capellini and sea urchin butter went extremely well with the wood fired king prawns. However, my only gripe with this pasta is that it tends to get overwhelmingly salty towards the end.
The dish that didn’t work for me as part of the dinner menu rather than dish was the Yellow Fin Tuna. The Yellow Fin Tuna (44.00++ SGD), Wood Fired Yellow Fin Tuna, Rissoni, Broadbeans, petit pois and mint with fromage blanc and pickled cucumber on the other hand has a distinct, Mediterranean flavour that doesn’t quite fit the “oriental” taste profile of the preceding dishes. As a standalone dish however I thought it was rather interesting and I enjoyed the rissoni as well as the perfectly grilled yellow fin tuna a lot.
The Yellow Fin Tuna demonstrates how you could configure your menu to your own personal taste. Out of several items featuring a star ingredient, you are given the freedom to pick a number of them to form a 4 – 6 course menu which gives a better value than a la carte orders.
Meat Lovers can enjoy a trio of prime meats such as Mutton, Beef and Pork with the Meat Platter (120 – 140++ SGD, min.2 pax sharing). Diners who ordered this get to pick their choice of Studio William Meat Blades as well. Gimmicky in my opinion but these blades are really sharp and great for meat dishes. Our meat platter featured 4 kinds of meat including 2 kinds of beef cuts, Victorian lamb rack and US Yorkshire Pork Rack.
These were served with an array of sauces and condiments as well such Dijon mustard,blue cheese sauce, morey sauce. Foie gras sauce and chili jam. My favourite item in the platter was the Victorian Lamb Rack which was excellent on its own. The meat was very tender, very fragrant with a nice smoky flavour from the grill. Oh, the seasonal vegetables served as side was wonderful too. The US Yorkshire Pork goes quite well with the chili jam which has a distinct cumin taste.
Finally, the meal ended with a sweet bang. The Sweet Experience was a theatrical experience itself as a pastry chef (in this case Chef Millar himself) crafts a beautiful piece of cuisine art on the spot for you. Chef Millar mentioned that he tries to create a kind of magical “Harry Potter” experience for the dinners in the Sweet Experience.
Featured in the Sweet Experience is the Valrhona Chocolate Bomb, Flaming Baked Alaska, Caramel Crème Brulee, Ginger Raspberry Tart, Amazing French Strawberries with rhubarb glacee. The climax of the ‘show’ was the revealing of the valrhona chocolate bomb as warm raspberry sauce was poured on the chocolate globe, hence melting its chocolate dome.
My favourite among the various sweets presented on this dessert platter was the Flaming Baked Alaska with its contrasting textures (and temperatures). Last but not least, for dinners who ordered coffee or tea, you get to enjoy specially crafted truffles such as Mango Sorbet coated with White Chocolate or a Berry Sorbet coated with Dark Chocolate.
Service was excellent, the server, Nicole was very attentive and tries to interact with us throughout the dinner service. While I was fine with the service, some might find it bordering on the line of over-attentive service. Overall, I had to admit that the prices here ain’t cheap, it is easily within the $$$$$ range but if you are looking for somewhere to enjoy the panorama 280 meters above ground with decent food, Stellar is somewhere you can consider. Come October, Stellar would be participating in Restaurant Week too.
Former OUB Centre
1 Raffles Place
The nearest MRT Station is Raffles Place MRT Station.
Thank you Immelia from the 1-Rochester Group for the invitation!