Ku De Ta’s signature crispy sticky squid
Out celebrating K’s birthday last weekend, we travelled up to the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands to Ku De Ta. It takes the same name as the fabulous restaurant/bar in Bali – although not connected in the least. The dining experience begins on the ground floor as K and I were rudely directed to the lifts that would take us up to the Skypark.
The restaurant boasts modern Asian cuisine and we were shown to a table that sat eight when there was just four of us – apparently the call my friend made to reduce the number for the reservation went unnoticed. After a lengthy delay we were finally moved to a more appropriately sized table and where our table waiter explained to us as “first time visitors” that the food served in the restaurant is intended to be shared, and would be served as and when the food was ready from the kitchen.
We all selected the tasting menu, which we felt had a good selection from the menu. I was surprised that there was no wine pairing option but later discovered that it would just have been too difficult for the staff to keep up with matching wines when they barely could manage the food.
Sliced semi-fatty tuna belly with young ginger, kaffir lime and green tea salt, ‘hot oil; scottish salmon sashimi with szechuan pepper, dried miso and vanilla bean oil and seared black angus beef tataki with chopped nori, toasted buckwheat and green chilli ponzu
Our first dishes were served by a waiter who quickly mumbled the dishes and then disappeared – we had to call him back just so we knew what we were about to eat. Luckily one of the dishes he served was the restaurant’s signature dish – crispy sticky baby squid. What a gorgeous dish – that did exactly what it says on the tin – of bite-sized morsels of perfectly cooked crispy squid in a sweet sticky sauce. Delicious. The other two dishes that arrived were a smoked eggplant and marinated salmon caviar and a spicy “bo ssam” pork belly salad. The eggplant dip was an insipid dish where you got neither the taste of the smoked eggplant or the salmon roe, but that could be because of the knock-your-socks-off spicy salad dressing on the salad where there was barely any pork.
Next up was a sashimi dish – semi-fatty tuna belly, “hot oil” Scottish salmon sashimi and seared black Angus beef tataki. I tried the tuna first, initially looking for the soya sauce to dip, and was pleasantly surprised that it was already “seasoned” with green tea salt, which gave the tuna an incredibly clean taste. I tasted the salmon next, expecting the same green tea salt and found instead the sweet fragrance of vanilla bean oil and the salty crunch of dried miso. The contrasting flavours and textures really accentuated the fish. Not really sure about where the hot oil was and the waiter didn’t seem to know…
Bamboo-roasted pacific black cod with whipped red miso
Mains came in a mad untimely rush after. There was their version of miso cod which was deliciously light and flaky. Crispy skinned bamboo steamed duck, which unlike the squid, lost all of its crispiness when steamed, pan-roasted foie gras with green mango pickle which was (to me) unappetisingly large, with a vaguely faint taste of foie gras (which to me negates eating foie gras at all) and char-grilled Australian black Angus beef tenderloin which was beautifully seasoned and tender.
The sides were actually the best thing with steamed pencil asparagus and wok-charred cherry tomatoes and tofu.
The food is not bad, the ambiance is funky and cool, but the service is really disappointing for this type of establishment, and while the view is spectacular, with all the other new places that take advantage of panaromic views of Singapore, Ku De Ta isn’t somewhere I’ll be rushing back to.
Ku De Ta
SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands North Tower
1 Bayfront Avenue Singapore 018971
Breakfast – 7am till 11am
Lunch – 12noon till 3pm
Dinner – 6pm till 11pm
Tel: 6688 7688
Hotline Operating Hours: 8am – 10pm