Have you heard, have you heard??
The well-known KU DÉ TA in Singapore is now known as CÉ LA VI, after a rebranding exercise led by L Capital Asia, the Asian private equity business sponsored by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Abbreviated from the French phrase, ‘C’est La Vie’ (‘This is life’), the newly launched CÉ LA VI at Marina Bay Sands Skypark will undergo a significant renovation this summer and I’m so thankful that I went for dinner a couple of weeks prior to the official announcement!
I must admit that I went with quite a low expectation of the food because the venue itself is already larger than life – iconic rooftop location commanding breathtaking views in a spectacular setting (go in the evening to catch the sunset!) – and will not have any problem attracting diners even if the cuisine is mediocre. But how wrong I was! True, I still think it’s a “to see and be seen” type of dining location but the Modern Asian cuisine churned out by the kitchen was impressive and I’d say 80% of the dishes we ordered were above average, cross my heart.
To kick start dinner, the crispy-sticky baby squid is a must-try! It was literally that – fried to a crisp with a thin sticky batter and this addictive bar bite disappeared from our table very quickly!
Crispy-Sticky Baby Squid ($19++)
black pepper, lime drizzle
Personally sourced by Executive Chef Frederic Faucheux, the swordfish is imported fresh from South Africa, where he was based for four years to help pioneer the highly lauded opening of Nobu in Cape Town. The firm and meaty texture of the swordfish made this a delightful starter.
Line Caught Wild Snapper Sashimi and Fresh Summer Truffle ($42++)
alba oil, roasted shallot, truffle salt
I’ll never say no to fatty melt-in-the-mouth chutoro (upper tuna belly section)! So fresh!
Sliced ‘Chūtoro’ Semi-Fatty Southern Bluefin Tuna ($48++)
wasabi soy, hajikame, lime
To balance the rich and sinful food to come, the grilled prawn salad was competently assembled though not particularly outstanding.
Grilled Prawn Salad ($22++)
baby spinach, parmesan, dried miso, truffle oil
The spicy tuna roll features prawn tempura atop maguro tuna and asparagus sushi. This was pretty normal and I prefer to get my fix of maki elsewhere!
Spicy Tuna Roll ($23++)
maguro tuna, prawn tempura, asparagus, spicy dressing
Miso eggplant is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of vegetable. Luckily for me, two of my dining companions didn’t like it which means all the more for me, yay! The grilled eggplant here is thick and heavily coated with the dark sweet-salty miso dressing.
den miso, bonito shavings, sesame seed
Background: Pan Seared Hokkaido Scallops ($36++)
edamame, cauliflower purée, soy emulsion
An exceptional seafood option would be the signature roasted black cod (you gotta remember Chef used to be from Nobu!), expertly cooked to a tender succulent texture served with shishito, pickled red onions and lemon. The pan seared jumbo Hokkaido scallops matched with delicate flavours of cauliflower puree, soy emulsion and tempura edamame were also excellent!
Roasted Black Cod ($56++)
shishito, pickled red onions, lemon
For meat lovers, K highly recommends the Prime ‘Brandt Beef’ ribeye accompanied by homemade wasabi salsa, spinach and sesame dressing. I kept stealing bites of the blanched spinach on the side because of the fragrant sesame sauce! Honestly, it’s so delicious that it deserves a spot on the a la carte menu as a side dish.
U.S. Prime ‘Brandt Beef’ Ribeye ($54++)
wasabi salsa, spinach, goma dressing
Desserts at CÉ LA VI are difficult to pass on with the group’s Global Executive Pastry Chef and recent Iron Chef Thailand champion, Jason Licker’s philosophy to craft inspired Modern Asian desserts that’s irresistible even after a heavy meal!
Toasted Citrus Gateau ($18++)
kalamansi curd, blood orange, guava sorbet
If I can only pick one dessert (I hope this won’t ever happen!), it will definitely be the goma cake. I’m naturally inclined towards anything black sesame and with green tea in the mix? Just take my money! I love how the various components gel together and this is one beautiful dessert that is hard to forget!
Goma Cake ($18++)
black sesame cake, apricot, raspberry, matcha ganaché
Although it’s said to be an all-time favourite and signature dessert, I didn’t take to the white chocolate-junmai, with different elements and textures of yuzu scented fruits, salted toffee and white chocolate-sake cream. Can’t appreciate this, somewhat too complex to me.
White Chocolate-Junmai ($18++)
yuzu scented fruits, salted toffee, white chocolate-saké cream
#2 in my heart after the goma cake is the tropical coconut-pandan verrine since – yes, you guessed right – I’m also biased towards anything coconut and pandan! Love how refreshing it is, though I do wish there’s more of coconut sorbet in it.
Coconut-Pandan Verrine ($18++)
tropical fruit cream, coconut sorbet, pandan foam
My special thanks to Francesca and Megan for hosting dinner with such a fab view!
CÉ LA VI (Formerly KU DÉ TA)
SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, Tower 3
1 Bayfront Avenue
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