FiftyThree joins the pantheon of Singapore fine-dining places which stretch their clients’ imaginations … and credit card limits! S$250 (US$170) per head for dinner – this includes perhaps a glass of wine, is de rigeur in this stark, modernesque restaurant (which looked to be designed by Ikea, given Philippe Starck’s budget) run by a young kitchen genius with no formal culinary training (hmm, is that good or bad?)
Our dinner spread (menu degustation plus a selection of tiny freebie-eats) that evening included:
1. Amuse geule of wafer-thin discs of chicken skin & potato crepes
2. Jamon Iberico sandwiched between ciabatta crisps
3. Japanese radish on brown-butter emulsion/malt - very imaginatively served: the radish looked like we'd just plucked from the garden, and served in a pot of black soil, except that the "soil" was edible malt.
4. Basil Burrata cheese, with horseradish - clean & refreshing appetiser. Love the cold basil soup which juxtaposes beautifully on the burrata
5. Boston lobster with confit of duck’s tongue, “textures of apple” (crisp apple discs, apple puree) - realy loved the lobster, but the size is probably that of a baby crawfish! The trio of duck's tongue were simply unforgettable though
6. Japanese mackerel with smoked unagi (eel) & wood sorrel – delicious combination of varying textures & tastes from the 2 principal fishes on the plate
7. Sharpe’s sous vide potatoes (cooked for 7 hours till they are glazed & soft) served on a rock, with coffee/parmesan crumbs & duckweed
8. Chicken consommé as palate cleanser (yech, tasted like Brand’s Essence of Chicken)
9. Wagyu beef (from Kagoshima) with smoked bone marrow, pennywort/onion petals/nasturtium – my favorite dish for the evening: perfectly done!!
10. Strawberry daiquiri with cucumber foam – palate cleanser
11. Mara de Bois strawberries & green peppercorn – ok. Not really into the strawberry “foam” thang.
12. Chocolate mousse with Jerusalem artichokes, mango & mangosteens – delish!!
All in all, quite a satisfactory dinner – Chef Michael Han is a Fat Duck alumnus. Must have made quite an impression on him – their butter was apparently sourced from the same supplier that provisions Fat Duck. Pricewise, very prohibitive by Singapore standards – though the nightly full house belie that fact. We had to cook a week ahead!
53 Armenian Street
Tel: +65 6334 5535