Other than the Harry Potter Exhibition visit on the very first day of its opening and the behind the scenes tour of Gardens by the Bay, my personal highlight of the trip was the Kitchen Tours at selected Celebrity Chef restaurants in Marina Bay Sands.
As a foodie, meeting and speaking to celebrity and experienced executive chefs is like sustenance to my food obsessed self. My experience at the World Gourmet Summit 2012 was most stimulating, meeting almost 20-30 international and local 20-30 chefs in one place at the same time.
The Celebrity Chef restaurants in Marina Bay Sands are revered as one of the most dine at locations in Singapore. Granted, the founder chefs are not in the outlet all the time, but these restaurants are headed by amazingly competent Head Chefs, as I found out during my tour.
Videos are hard work, so if you have never been to any of these restaurants before, do watch my video! 🙂
Each restaurant presents a unique dining concept and menu to enthrall the most discerning epicureans. The group of us toured, probed and ate as we uncover the inspiration behind the creations of these celebrity chefs.
If you are unaware (I forgive you if you are still ignorant but NOT after reading my post! 😛 ) of the Celebrity Chef restaurants here in Marina Bay, let me bring you up to date!
The acclaimed celebrity chefs creating culinary magic at Marina Bay Sands are:
Mario Batali (New York) – Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza
Daniel Boulud (New York) – db Bistro Moderne
Wolfgang Puck (Los Angeles) – CUT
Guy Savoy (Paris) – Guy Savoy
Tetsuya Wakuda (Sydney) – Waku Ghin
Justin Quek (Singapore) – Sky on 57
Our exclusive and educational tour begin at Guy Savoy, (a three Michelin stars restaurant in Paris) where Head Chef Eric Bost and the restaurant manager briefed us generally on the restaurant’s concept.
BELOW: Eric Bost.
For Chef Guy Savoy, fine dining is all about the senses. It is through his cuisine that this revered French chef expresses his sensitivity and passion for food. He is the youngest of the French legends credited with pioneering “Nouvelle Cuisine.” Selecting only the finest ingredients, Chef Savoy prepares and serves with an uncompromising awareness of what makes a dining experience truly exceptional.
For each restaurant we were taken behind the “polished” exterior to see the mechanics of the working kitchen. Chef Savoy is said to have profound respect for his carefully selected ingredients. Flavors are gently coaxed so that every bite of food makes a statement.
We didn’t manage to have a full meal here, but Chef Eric graciously served us Chef Savoy’s signature soup: Artichoke Truffle Puree with Thick Black Truffle Slices and parmesan cheese shavings paired with a flaky Black Truffle Brioche slathered in truffle butter. And no, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. There were a lot of ‘ TRUFFLE’ in that name!
Luscious and so sinfully delicious is all I can utter as I slurped the soup happily. For now I can only dream how’s a full meal at Guy Savoy’s is going to be like. 🙂
Fast Facts on Guy Savoy:
** Guests can enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif at the champagne bar before moving in to the main dining area, which seats up to 80 people.
** Two private dining rooms cater to small and intimate dinners, corporate functions, birthday and wedding celebrations.
** A bar dining menu, Wine Moment with Guy Savoy, comprising of the best wines from France and beyond, is available in the afternoon. The best wines and Champagnes are served alongside tasting portions of signature dishes. The menu is available from 3pm – 6pm.
** Another dish that epitomizes the chef’s culinary style is the “Seabass with Crisp Scales and Delicate Spices, accompanied by Swiss Chard, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, and a Vanilla and Spice Jus”.
** Guy Savoy is available for bar dining (3 pm – 10.45pm) and dinner (6 pm – 10.45 pm).
For reservations, please call 6688 8513 or email [email protected].
Slightly heady from the creamy soup, we strolled over to Waku Ghin by Chef Tetsuya Wakuda. The restaurant was located by the Casino and from the entrance we stood and glanced down at the action downstairs. Cameras were strictly forbidden at this point so no photographs from me of the casino, 🙁
Once we were inside the restaurant, our cameras came back into action. Waku Ghin includes a sake bar and caviar lounge, a dining hall, private dining rooms, an extensive wine collection and a drawing room which serves desserts, coffees, teas and cognacs.
Waku Ghin’s interior was created by JZA+D and mirrors Chef Tetsuya‟s dynamic and multi-dimensional approach towards his dishes. The corridor walls are curving and sinuous, echoing the work of American minimalist sculptor, Richard Serra.
Now, I’m not an interior designer not do I have an eye for designs but you have to admit that this piece was pretty riveting no? 🙂
Waku Ghin’s dining concept is based upon a multi-faceted use of space, where diners can move from room to room, starting with the lounge at the entrance for aperitifs before heading to the private dining rooms.
Opened seven days a week from 6:30pm to 10:30pm, for dinner, there are two seatings per night – at 6pm and 8.30pm.
Each private enclosure is helmed by a chef, bringing forward the season‟s best to the Chef‟s Table. Nightly a 10-course degustation menu is available for dinner for only 25 seats, promising a truly private and exclusive experience.
The menu is European/Japanese; boasting new creations sourced from the freshest ingredients from the region and beyond. Signature items include Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin and Caviar and the Australian Wagyu with Wasabi and Citrus Soy.
Good lord, can you guess what’s this?
We could tell it was still alive as the flesh was still throbbing in a way as if there’s a heartbeat!
This, by the way, is a sea urchin.
Chef Tetsuya wasn’t in town so one of the chefs in charge (Chef Kok Hong from Malacca) gave us a prelude of the dining experience in Waku Ghin. We are seated in front of a long grill plate with a back wall of protruding wooden blocks. “Ghin” means silver in Japanese and for this restaurant it is represented in the knives, the grill and even things like fish which features so predominantly on the menu.
Chef Kok Hong whipped up springy lobster in some sauce which I unfortunately have forgotten. I only remembered being mesmerized by the slow skillful way he prepared the extremely fresh and top quality lobster, simmering and coaxing the sweet flavours from its flesh.
We were each served a portion of succulent lobster, straight out of the saucepan.
As expected, it was sublime. Guy Savoy, Waku Ghin… oh my.. my head was pounding and my pockets felt lighter virtually! Still, I vowed that I’ll be back for a full meal!
The affable Chef Kok Hong who hails from Malacca. Yes, he’s Malaysian! 🙂
We strolled over to CUT by Wolfgang Puck next, and I gazed wide-eyed at the large portraitures of movie stars/famous personalities on its walls. At the entrance, a dramatic façade of four-meter high, lacquered bronze panels with a series of alternating flush frameless doors that open outward like shutters greeted us.
The bar is lined by iconic Mario Bellini leather upholstered barstools. There also are custom designed swiveling lounge seats along the open facade for guests to enjoy drinks and small bites.
The private room is a stunning display of glittering mirror glass walls and floor-to-ceiling glass and lacquer wine display cases.
The main dining room, which features the same iconic Bellini armchair and side chairs, also offers private dining booths, each seating up to 5 guests.
The best wines are paired with the best meats from CUT’s kitchen. CUT’s elaborate wine list offers more than 500 selections of wines.
Chef Wolfgang wasn’t in the country and CUT’s Executive Chef Joshua Brown wasn’t available to speak to us. It was pretty disappointing not being able to speak to either one of them and not have the chance to sample the famed steaks here. I resorted to foursquare tips which gave me pretty quality and honest feedback.
Phone: HTC One X.
But we did get to sneak into the kitchen. These are the famous pretzels of CUT by Wolfgang Puck.
Apologies but the name of these pastries eluded me.
For reservations, please call 6688 8517 or email [email protected].
Reservations are recommended.
Last but not least was Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza, Mario Batali’s first venture into Asia, marking another milestone for the chef who has 14 restaurants, eight cookbooks and a host of television shows under his name. Both restaurants will be almost exactly as they are in California, providing two different dining experiences within the same venue.
Things here were not as gloom. Both the Executive Chef and GM of Mozza were more than happy to share and walk us through their outlet.
In fact they spent almost 30 minutes just speaking to us and answering our queries about everything from the menu to the ingredients and the concept of the restaurant.
Below: The animated Chef David Jordan; who up in Agoura Hills in Los Angeles, California and began cooking passionately at the age of 15.
The centerpiece of the refined and elegant Osteria Mozza is the Mozzarella Bar where a wide array of fresh items from mozzarella, burrata, bocconcini and stracciatella are prepared. The live action behind the Mozzarella Bar warrants a gastronomic and sensational experience for diners at Osteria Mozza.
Below: The dining area of Osteria Mozza.
On the opposite side of the restaurant is a more casual setup of Pizzeria Mozza, a bustling, urban burst of flavor and color.
Fast Facts on Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza:
Osteria Mozza showcases a Mozzarella Bar where approximately 16 different kinds of cheeses from Los Angeles and Italy will be available for tastings.
Two wood burning pizza ovens in Pizzeria Mozza will serve freshly made pizzas and diners will get a full view of chefs preparing the food on the spot.
The opening hours are as follows:
* Osteria Mozza –> Dinner 5pm to 11pm
* Pizzeria Mozza –> Lunch 12pm – 2pm, Dinner 5pm – 11pm
Reservations are recommended and can be made at (65) 6688 8522.
So there is it! The half an afternoon tour of the celebrity chefs restaurants in Marina Bay Sands! 🙂
Here’s the video again; WATCH please as there are some parts covered that are not pictured here in the post. Also, watch because it took me weeks to edit it! :DD
We actually dined a full meal at db Bistro Moderne by Daniel Boulud so I’ll be posting a full article for that dinner. Same goes for the lunch we had at Sky on 57 helmed by Singapore’s very own celebrity chef Justin Quek.
So, which would be your pick if you have to choose ONE restaurant to dine in out of the above? :DD