Tag Archives: Marina Bay Sands

Pizzeria Mozza

Pizzeria Mozza has been around since 2011 – the first collaboration in Singapore between bread making extraordinaire, Nancy Silverton, Joe Bastianich and Mario Batalli.

One half of the two part restaurant (the other being Osteria Mozza), the pizzeria is equally as relaxed, but with a brighter decor that complements the bustling crowd. This isn’t meant to be a place to linger – order your pizza, eat it, vacate your table for the next hungry customers. There is also usually a mad rush before and after showtimes as the restaurant is directly opposite the Marina Bay Sands theatres.

The menu is actually very comprehensive, with a wide selection of antipasta, cured meats, salads, breads, desserts, and, of course, pizza. The pizza menu features traditional Italian meat and vegetable toppings, (and thankfully no seafood, which I continue to think have no right to be on a pizza), featuring housemade cheeses like burrata and mozarella.

And the pizza is why you go there. For that crust. Oh my goodness, that crust. It wouldn’t matter what you topped it with – the crust is amazing.  Dusted with semolina, the crust is crunchy, light and thin – but substantial enough to hold the topping.

The toppings are light – don’t expect the pizza to be loaded on top. A tiny bit on the salty side for me – although to be fair, I did order a margherita with anchovies – but easily one of the best pizzas you can get here.

Pizzeria Mozza
#B1-42/46 Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Avenue  SINGAPORE 018956
Tel: +65 6688 8522

Open:  daily 17:30 – 23:00

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Waku Ghin’s signature sea urchin with botan shrimp and Oscietre caviar

Tetsuya Wakuda is one of my favourite chefs from my visits to Tetsuya’s in Sydney – back in Rozelle and also when it moved to Kent Street. I have always admired his ability to pair pure and distinct flavours so beautifully. I finally got to go to Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands this week, and what a treat it was.

Your meal is served primarily in small 8-seater rooms in front of a teppanyaki grill and with your personal chef for the evening. Counter seating is always my preference – it gives you an opportunity to talk to the chef, see the produce, watch him cook, and also sneakily take a peek at what others are ordering to inspire you to try new things.

With a set 10-course degustation menu, you don’t get the chance to do the latter, but we did get a preview of the first course from the other couple who were seated in our room and who had arrived before us. By the third course, the team at Tetsuya had deftly managed to catch the four of us up so we were all served the remaining savoury courses at the same time.

Chilled white asparagus soup with white miso and Oscietre caviar

We started with a chilled cream of white asparagus soup with white miso cream and Oscietre caviar. What a way to start a meal. The soup was so silky and so full of flavour of the delicate white asparagus you really wished there was more (that was the common theme for all the dishes during the evening, actually).

Second was Waku Ghin’s signature dish – marinated botan shrimp with sea urchin and Oscietre caviar, stunningly presented in a half shell of sea urchin. To be eaten with a mother-of-pearl spoon, you are recommended to eat every mouthful with a bit of all three, and with each you get the sweetness of the prawn and sea urchin and the explosion of saltiness from the caviar. This has got to be up there as one of my favourite dishes ever.

Slow-cooked John Dory with roasted eggplant

Third course was slow-cooked John Dory with roasted eggplant and a chicken stock reduction. Our chef explained to us how they made the chicken stock and the laborious and complex processes to ensure only the clean flavour of the chicken was extracted and reduced. An odd pairing with fish and eggplant, and I think the chicken stock reduction tied the dish together well.

Australian abalone with fregola, rocket, seaweed and tomato

Next up was fresh Australian abalone, simply seared on the teppan and served with fregola, tomato, rocket and seaweed. This was about as rare as I have ever had abalone, miles away from the more chewy abalone you usually get at Chinese banquets. This was fresh and succulent and sweet and presented in this way almost was like eating it straight from the sea.

Braised Canadian lobster with tarragon

Braised Canadian lobster came next, quintessentially French-style, in a stock made from the lobster shells, finished with butter and tarragon. Again, the lobster was cooked so that it was just to the point past being raw, allowing the sweetness and the tenderness of the lobster to shine.

The beautifully marbled Japanese Ohmi wagyu roll

Two beef dishes followed. The first was charcoal grilled fillet of Tasmanian grass-fed  beef with Tetsuya’s own-brand wasabi mustard. The chef seared these in front of us on the teppan before slicing them into bite-sized pieces of beef so tender you felt that you could cut it with a butter knife. Nothing fancy here, just a fillet of beef on your plate and tasted great with or without the wasabi mustard.

Japanese Ohmi wagyu roll with wasabi and citrus soy

Japanese Ohmi wagyu roll from Shiga Prefecture came next. Just looking at the gorgeous marbling on the raw beef filled the room with oohs and aahs. I think it was because we knew that that marbling would be melt-in-the-mouth flavour once cooked. It was served with freshly-grated wasabi, fried garlic slices, thinly sliced Japanese negi and a citrus soy dipping sauce. Similar to the fillet, I tried the beef on its own and then with a little bit of all the condiments and in this instance, the inclusion of everything made the marvelous wagyu sing in your mouth.

Consommé with rice and snapper

Final savoury dish was a consommé with rice and snapper followed with a palate-cleansing cup of gyokuro, tea made from green tea that has been grown in the shade. A touch of yuzu zest to the consommé lifted the dish making it a clean and refreshing end to the meal. And the tea, which was brewed with water at just 40C had a distinct savoury, seaweed flavour. Absolutely perfect example of umami.

Selection of exquisite petit fours to end a perfect meal

We were almost sad to be moved out of our private dining area to a more traditional dining area to eat have our final two courses of dessert – mostly because it was an indication that the meal was coming to its end. I have to be totally honest and say that Tetsuya’s desserts have never wowed me the same way his savoury dishes do, and this was no different. We were served a cold soup of strawberry with lychee and coconut and what turned out to be my birthday cake, a milk chocolate cake with caramel and citrus. Both were delicious – as were the petit fours, but my memory of Waku Ghin is firmly, and happily, within the walls of the private dining room.

Waku Ghin
Casino Level 2
Access lifts located:
B1 & Opposite ArtBox at Level 1
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Tel: +65 6688 8507

Open for lunch on Fridays 11.30am – 1.30pm
Dinner two seatings 6pm and 8.30pm


Santi

Perfectly coddled egg with black truffles in a rich pea soup

This amazing restaurant is sadly closed – I’m still puzzled at why Marina Bay Sands closed it, but there you go. So although we will not be able to go back to Santi, I did want to record down the incredible meal we had there so that I am able to remind myself why we will be visiting the family’s original restaurant Can Fabes in Catalonia later this year when we head to Spain.

We ordered the tasting menu that started with bowls of gazpacho with flecks of uni – sea urchin roe – that was an explosion of the taste of tomatoes and the sea. Who would have thought they would go together but the silkily smooth gazpacho exactly matched the texture of the uni and rather than the two flavours battling to overpower each other, they simply complemented each other and seemed to bring out the flavour of the other even more.

Bluefin tuna with avocado, green apple sticks and foam and balsamic reduction

Next up was delicate Bluefin tuna (that the waiter advised was farmed) with cubes of avocado, green apple sticks and foam and balsamic reduction. Again, flavours that I would never dream of pairing together but worked in perfect harmony on the plate.

Next up was a vibrant green pea soup that had been ladled over a perfectly poached egg and topped with black truffles. We ordered an additional plate of jamón ibérico de Bellota  – the best Iberican ham made on the planet – and ate our own fancy version of ham and eggs and mushrooms. Again, food that is so beautifully presented that you begin to eat it with your eyes before the payoff of taste.

Foie gras and lobster with poached nectarine and balsamic reduction

Foie gras and lobster in a balsamic reduction and poached nectarines was served next. All bold flavours that again managed to complement rather than compete on the plate and in your mouth.

Signature suckling pig with celeriac confit on baby turnips and grilled mushrooms

Santi’s signature suckling pig with celeriac confit on baby turnips and grilled mushrooms came next. This was the one dish that I was gagging all evening to try and it did not disappoint. Meltingly tender meat encased in thin crispy skin – absolute perfection. And a perfectly sized portion so that juuust as you were about to think it was too rich, you’d just had your last mouthful.

Green apple salvation refresher

And a perfect time to serve their green apple salvation refresher. Perfect name to describe this dish – even the palate cleanser was a standout.

Dessert of strawberries and blood oranges

We had a choice of desserts and I chose the strawberries with blood orange. This came topped with a quenelle of the green apple ice-cream, a wafer thin slice of dehydrated apple and basil. A wonderfully light end to a spectacular meal.

Santi was a genius. And we’re grateful that the legacy of this great late chef remains – if not at Marina Bay Sands any more, then at least back in Spain. And one restaurant where we will be definitely be dining at in October this year.


Cut Singapore

The insanely good bone marrow flan 

Wolfgang Puck’s Cut Singapore is our new favourite restaurant if we’re in the mood for a great steak.

They’ve really managed to get it right. Dark modern interiors, competent and fun staff, incredibly good produce cooked phenomenally well.

Our favourites:

THE BONE MARROW FLAN. My friend C said she would go there just for this dish alone and you know what, I would do it too. I love bone marrow but can understand why some people are a bit terrified of the gelatinousy goodness. This dish would seriously convert anyone. Executive chef Joshua Brown has incorporated the bone marrow into a silky light custard that’s served in the bone, with an intense mushroom marmalade and capers and with a fresh parsley salad. Perfection on a plate.

Blue fin tuna tartare, with avocado, wasabi aioli, ginger, togarashi crisps and tosa soy.  OK so this isn’t exactly steak but I tried it on the firm recommendation of D, who convinced me by ordering it on three occasions. The Blue Fin is farmed, which is great from a sustainability perspective and doesn’t lack in flavour which is doubly great. It’s a piece of artwork when it arrives at your table and is almost so pretty you don’t want to mess up the plate (but inevitably do). Wonderfully simple, clean flavours.

The meat tray with my Japanese wagyu steak

Cut serves true Wagyu beef from the Shiga Prefecture, Honshu, Japan. The marbling in the beef is an absolute marvel – you just  know will give that succulent melt-in-your mouth texture with that explosion of flavour. And you get to select your steak from a meat tray which the waiters will happily walk you through.

For those of you who are not wagyu converts, Cut also serves a variety of beef from Australian Angus to USDA prime to  and even Australian and American wagyu. Try the bone-in cuts – the flavour of the marrow seems to permeate the beef and as you get to the meat near the bone it always seems more tender and tasty.

Cut Singapore
Marina Bay Sands Hotel Singapore
10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore
 Tel: +65 6688 8517
Only open for Dinner:
6 p.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday – Thursday
6 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday & SaturdayBar & Lounge
Opens at 5:30 p.m., nightly

HY California

The very dramatically presented soft shelled crab maki at HY California

Wanting to catch a light bite while at the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Conference Centre, I went in search of Hide Yamamoto’s HY California sushi bar.  The mall is absolutely enormous, and very poorly signaged (it didn’t help that the interactive shopping guides were all out of order) so it took us a while to find the sushi bar, which is outside the mall, facing the marina.

Tuna and squid sashimi

HY California really functions as a bar, that happens to serve sushi for you to snack on while you drink.  Kind of cool, reminds me of a rainy day my friends and I spent holed up in a robotayaki in Tokyo, where we basically sat and drank sake all day, with food ordered and served from the grill as and when we wanted.

The very friendly sushi chef behind the counter who took our order had just arrived from Japan, didn’t speak very much English, nor was he familiar with the menu. We ordered with another chef and shortly after, our dishes started arriving.

California roll

The menu is limited, but as I always say, a short menu usually means that what they offer, they do well. Nothing fancy, and we ordered our “standard” sushi – soft shelled crab maki, tuna sashimi, spicy tuna rolls. Everything was fresh and delicious, although the rolls could have had a bit more firmness so the journey from plate to mouth wasn’t as messy (and my chopstick skills are pretty good!).

Tuna and avocado maki

I know this isn’t Yamamoto’s flagship restaurant – it’s casual dining, but it’s not at all what I expected, and the whole American rock feel of the place seemed to clash rather than complement the traditional sushi counter.  Would I go back again ? Not really sure. There are certainly other places I would much rather go to, but around the Marina area, I guess if I wanted a fresh and quick sushi hit.

HY California
Bay Level, L1-86
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Tel: 6688 7426

Open Daily 5.30pm – 11pm (last order 10.30pm)

Ku De Ta

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

Opening Hours:
Breakfast – 7am till 11am
Lunch – 12noon till 3pm
Dinner – 6pm till 11pm

Tel: 6688 7688
Hotline Operating Hours: 8am – 10pm


Osteria Mozza @ MBS

Burrata with bacon, marinated escarole and caramelised shallots

An impromptu decision to have dinner on a Friday night after drinks with friends, we called Osteria Mozza to find out that they had a table for us at 9.30 – Perfect. We were just at the Oyster Bar at Customs House so we took a walk around the harbour to find Mozza, both Osteria and the Pizzeria next door, packed. Thank goodness we didn’t just chance it.

We were quickly shown to our table by efficient and friendly waiters. The ambiance in there struck us as very New York – dimly lit (which makes for poor photos – sorry), dark wood, activity everywhere. From a few places I’ve been to where wooden floors meant terrible acoustics as sound bounced off the hard surfaces, they got it right here. Just the perfect amount of noise without you having to strain to hear your friends speak.

Ricotta and egg ravioli in browned butter

Of course we had to have the home made burrata – we chose burrata with bacon, grilled sardines, crispy pigs trotter ricotta and egg ravioli.
My only other experience of burrata has been at L’Operetta, which serves a much more traditional burrata. The burrata at Mozza lacks the “skin” which, when you slice it, allows the thickened cream to flow out – it’s more like a soft pillowy mound of creamy mozarella. Mozza served theirs on top of toasted sourdough, with crispy bacon and with a generous serving of marinated escarole and caramelised shallots. The escarole and shallots added a sharp zing to the dish which I assume is intended to cut through the richness of the burrata and bacon, but they overpowered the dish and we ended up just eating the burrata and bacon on the sourdough (which was delicious). The sardines were beautifully done and were served with fagioli misti – mixed beans although I just had chick peas with balsamic vinegar on my plate, that again overpowered the dish.

Crispy pigs trotter with frisée apple and mustard salad

The crispy pig’s trotter looked disappointing when served – a single deep fried disc of something crumbed with a frisée, apple and mustard salad – but the trotter inside was soft and tasty and the contrast in texture with the crispy exterior worked wonderfully well together. The ravioli was also not the most beautifully presented – a single, largely mounded ravioli in what looked like a sauce that had been burned with bits in it, but when cut in half, revealed a ricotta-encased soft boiled egg that flowed out into the browned butter sauce. Bold and delicate flavours married perfectly.

For mains we ordered the grilled wagyu beef tagliata and the brasata al barolo – braised short ribs. The first mouthful of each of these was full of oohs and aahs, but strangely by the end of the dishes neither really impressed.  The wagyu was tender and served classically with rucola and parmesan but there was just so much of the rucola and parmesan that it almost hid the beef, and the parmesan was completely unnecessary on a plate with such tasty meat. The braised short ribs were soft but a bit stringy but worked fantastically well with the soft polenta and freshly grated horseradish and gremolata.

I would definitely go back to Mozza for their starters and pasta or perhaps visit the pizzeria next door.  A great addition to Singapore’s dining scene but they need to work on presentation and please take it easy on the vinegar. Perhaps it was just the dishes we ordered but at this calibre, you’d think they’d have nailed that.

Osteria Mozza
Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore
Tel: +65 6688 8868


Oooh…Kinki…@ Customs House

Snapper carpaccio with truffle oil 

Having a drink at Oyster Bar on a Monday night, a friend and I decided to try our luck at Kinki without a reservation.

It’s at Customs House with entry via an elevator at street level. A hostess greeted us, asking us if we had a reservation and then escorted us up to the second floor where another waiter asked if we had a reservation.  A bit of overkill ?  Perhaps, but then Kinki isn’t the sort of establishment that is understated, starting from the crazy Japanese graffiti on the floor and walls as you enter, to the grand view of Marina Bay Sands as you walk to your table.

We had prime position at the counter, and the friendly chefs recommended what was a stunning dish – thinly sliced snapper carpaccio with ponzu sauce and drizzled with truffle oil.  He actually asked “do you like truffle oil” – is there anyone that doesn’t ??? 🙂

The snapper came sliced so thin you could see the glass plate it was served on.  Wonderfully fragranced with the truffle oil, the fish was sweet and delicious.

As for the rest of the meal…I have to say that they do try hard in terms of presentation, but for the price that you are paying, I have come to expect a much higher standard.

Sashimi plate – kingfish, sea urchin, salmon, swordfish and tuna

We started with a selection of sashimi – what sort of fish we left to the chef, which usually means you get the best of what they have that day. There was kingfish, uni (sea urchin), salmon, swordfish and tuna (which was hidden behind the shiso leaf) and whilst the uni, salmon and kingfish were freshly firm and sweet, the swordfish and tuna, which I expect to taste rich and almost creamy, had a disappointingly watery texture.

Perhaps then the dish we had after was poorly ordered but we ordered a dragon roll and a spicy tuna roll, and I almost felt like I could have ordered the same thing from a sushi chain like Sushi Tei.  Nothing special at all about it, and the rolls were very loosely rolled so everything fell as you tried to navigate it from plate to mouth.

The place is buzzy and fun, and the chefs behind the counter are all friendly and chatty but I got a feeling that this place lacked authenticity – perhaps I am more accustomed to Japanese sushi chefs who are almost sombre when they are preparing their food – their concentration is so great.  Add that with the sashimi dish, I am glad I finally went, but think it will be a once off for me.