Thursday, December 22, 2011

almost paris, la troisieme partie

The reason we were in Singapore in the first place was to watch Wicked at Marina Bay Sands on 10 December 2011. Ma was so gung ho that she actually thought about going alone, but I can never say no to Singapore. It's like an addiction.

I asked her where she wanted to have dinner before the show: Restaurant Guy Savoy or CUT by Wolfgang Puck. She chose Guy Savoy, and that's where I ate the most expensive meal I've ever had in my life.

(Most expensive to date. I'm not done yet.)  

After we sat down at our table with the killer view of Singapore's Financial District, we were served canapés of foie gras with black truffle vinaigrette and toast on a cocktail stick, and a tiny waffle with parmesan and black pepper. I was caught off-guard when our very competent and amiable server produced them out of thin air and I gulped them right down, so no pictures, sorry. Both were delicious as well as luxurious... and that's just the freebies! A good sign.

The third amuse bouche was a bit of soup with a surprise underneath the cup. I can't recall what it was, but I remember liking it. Something zesty and crunchy with radish, I think.

Amuse bouche: parsnip soup and something else under the cup.

Some people believe that jamon from acorn-fed Iberian pigs is the greatest food item in the world, so how could we not order it? It was bliss on a plate. The fat literally melted at body temperature, leaving a thin coat of salty, porky goodness on my tongue. The warm crusty bread was a superb accompaniment, but nothing compared to plain jamon popped straight into the mouth like candy.

Jamon Iberico de Bellota Joselito Gran Reserva, S$50 +10% SC and 7% GST. Complimentary rosemary fougasse.

After giving the Menu de Marché (S$138 + 10% SC and 7% SC for three courses) a cursory glance, I decided to order a la carte. We had barely an hour before the show and besides, more than two courses was really too much food already. Oh, I was so wrong.

I started with Guy Savoy's signature soup, which smelled fabulously earthy but was strangely bland. I made sure that each spoonful had either a sliver of parmesan or truffle to boost the flavor, and that made a huge difference, but it was the lovely, lovely brioche that pushed this dish over the top. The combination of buttery bread and silky soup made me feel all warm and gooey inside.

Artichoke and black truffle soup, toasted mushroom brioche and black truffle butter, S$90 +10% SC and 7$ GST.

I'd heard that the sea bass with crispy scales was a must-try. The fish was nicely done, but it was the vanilla foam that hit the high notes. I also loved the tender black trumpet mushrooms a.k.a. black chanterelles. And the white veg that looked and tasted like asparagus? That was the Swiss chard-- the stems, that is. A focused, comforting, scrumptious dish.

Note: This is not Chilean sea bass. Executive chef Eric Bost told me that it's sea bass line-caught off the coast of Brittany, and that Guy Savoy deals directly with the local fishermen there. How cool is that? Let's stop eating Chilean sea bass na, please.

Crispy sea bass with delicate spices, swiss chard, black trumpet mushrooms, vanilla and spice jus, S$130 +10% SC and &% GST.

I knew that we would be served a pre-dessert-- a gorgeous and delectable palate cleanser-- but I wanted something more substantial. Still light, though, as I didn't want to feel too full and start snoring in the middle of Wicked. Our server suggested a half portion of their signature dessert, Apple Textures. 

Pre-dessert: Passionfruit, mango, pineapple and lime-coco granita in the shooter glass, Earl Grey tuille and a tiny floating island.

Apple textures, half portion. S$25 + 10% SC and 7% GST

Actually, I'd already been thinking about trying Strawberry Textures. I didn't know that they had changed it to apple because strawberries were not in season, but it was marvelous just the same. I had never eaten anything like it. It looked fantastic, the scent was intoxicating and it tasted of pure apple essence. I kept sticking my nose in the bowl and sniffing it like a bloodhound. Guy Savoy had taken one simple ingredient and transformed it into a complete treat for the senses.

Ma had the Menu de Marché which is only available from 6 to 730pm. It was pretty good value, but I wasn't too excited about their December menu.

Roasted scallops with leeks "croustillant-moelleux", potato "vinaigrette"

"Roulade" of chicken with glazed chestnuts, parsnip purée and roasted wild mushrooms

Grapefruit terrine with tea sauce

My mother pronounced the grapefruit terrine too tart, so it was up to me to polish it off. I ended up loving it. Similar to the apple dessert, this one was the spirit of grapefruit in cube form-- very bright and intense, but tempered by the Earl Grey sauce.

We only had a few minutes to make it to the theater, but I needed more time! I wanted the cheese selection. I wanted the dessert trolley. And then I wanted to start all over again with the colors of caviar and the Maine lobster followed by some Australian wagyu and pan-seared duck breast. I wanted more of Guy Savoy.

Alas, we had to go. But they gave us a doggy bag.

The most expensive paper bag, ever.

A diamond bracelet?

Restaurant Guy Savoy's petit fours. One box for Ma and one for me.

Verdict: This was one of my five best meals of 2011, and I'm not just saying that to make myself feel better about how much we paid for it-- S$556.72 after SC and GST. That makes almost 9400 pesos (US$215) for each of us, but the truth is my share cost more than Ma's. My glass of red wine alone cost 1000 pesos (US$23), and no, I do not feel guilty.

I thoroughly enjoyed every single detail. The ambience, the service and oh my gad the food all coalesced into one flawless gem of a meal. It was fine dining as total entertainment.

Restaurant Guy Savoy is one of those once-in-a-lifetime things, and even though I left the premises wanting more, I'm happy to say that I've been there, done that. This is one event in my life that will reach epic proportions as time passes. In fact, I'd be wary of going back to try to duplicate this experience. I've already put this restaurant way, way up there, and "crash and burn" is not an option.

But if I get a chance to eat there again for free, why not? (That's a hint, friends and relatives.)

P.S. We actually missed the first 15 minutes of Wicked, but it was so worth it.

Restaurant Guy Savoy is at Level 2 of the Marina Bay Sands casino. Call +65.66888513 or email to make a reservation. Yez, they do reply to emails. They're open everyday for cocktails and dinner only, from 6pm to 1030pm.

Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris has three Michelin stars, and the executive chef for Singapore, Eric Bost, won two stars for their Las Vegas branch when he was head of the kitchen there.

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