Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Modern European at Equinox, Swissotel Stamford Singapore


When you want to literally dine at the top, there are few places that can beat Equinox at Level 70 of the Swissotel Stamford Singapore. I love the warm lights, dramatic latticework and high ceiling space. And of course, the coveted view of the city skyline.




70th storey view from the Equinox, Swissotel Stamford Singapore
A dash of euphoria from the breathtaking view instantly upgrades your dining occasion, doesn't it?


Chef de Cuisine at Equinox, Lee Bennett
Chef de Cuisine Lee Bennett of Equinox hopes also to elevate the dining experience here. His take on Modern European cuisine is anchored on traditional values and a back-to-basics philosophy. Chef Lee may be young (only 31) and in fact, is the youngest chef to have won the prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs' "Restaurant Chef of the Year" award, but his track record is already impressive - he's been Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay‟s Savoy Grill, had stints in Paris with Pierre Gaignaire and Alain Ducasse, and was also Executive Chef of Le Pont de la Tour (atop London's Tower Bridge).

Asia is his latest frontier. He moved here more than a year ago and he now helms the kitchen of Equinox Restaurant as well as Equinox Complex's New Asia, City Space, Introbar and private dining rooms.

But let's get on with the food...


Amuse bouche of lobster bisque with fennel, crab salad
Lobster bisque with fennel, plus crab salad
The amuse bouche blew me away. I see how the lobster bisque is one of his signatures. Marvellously umami, it's intense but light at the same time. This is normally served in a tureen and laded onto warmed soup bowls filled with fennel, dill, delectable pieces of lobster and linguine ribbons. The serving method is quite communal - one of the Asian practices Chef Lee likes to include. Some dishes are designed to be shared.


Tasting of Beetroot with Braeburn Apple, Aged Balsamic Dressing, St Maure Goat's Cheese, Toasted Pine Kernels
Tasting of Beetroot with Braeburn Apple, Aged Balsamic Dressing, St Maure Goat's Cheese, Toasted Pine Kernels
A small salad to perk the appetite up. The confluence of sweet, tangy, savoury and nutty meet the slight bitterness of the salad leaves.






The Dover Sole is big enough for two
Chef Lee wants to bring the classic dining experience back. You'll be able to see part of the preparation done right in front of your eyes. The Dover Sole Meuniere is carved right at your tableside.


Dover Sole Meuniere, Garlic Wilted Spinach, Smoked Pomme Puree
Dover Sole Meuniere, Garlic Wilted Spinach, Smoked Pomme Puree
This was by far our favourite dish of the evening. The fish is cooked to perfect tenderness and its sweet flesh was beautifully accented by the sauce.


Rhug Estate Tenderloin of Pork, Black Pudding Scotch Egg, Prunes, Celeriac Puree and Whisky Sauce
Rhug Estate Tenderloin of Pork, Black Pudding Scotch Egg, Prunes, Celeriac Puree and Whisky Sauce
The pork tenderloin was also good but right after that magnificent fish, it had a harder time competing for favour.


Gressingham Duck Breast, Melody of Summer Vegetables, Root Vegetable Terrine and Cepe Sauce
Gressingham Duck Breast, Melody of Summer Vegetables, Root Vegetable Terrine and Cepe Sauce
This is another one of Chef Lee's signatures - nicely smoked duck with gently crispy skin. You can watch him talk more about this in the video below.


Crepe Suzette flambed by your tableside
We also had Crepe Suzette flambed by the tableside. Part of the classic dining experience that Chef Lee wants to keep here.


Chef Lee's "Grand Assiette" of Tasting Desserts
Chef Lee's "Grand Assiette" of Tasting Desserts
This was just too stunning and beautiful a platter to disturb and eat. But we dug into this divine dessert playground anyway and felt like children again.



One of the best creme brulees I have ever had
Creme Brulee
Oh this has got to count as one of the best creme brulees I've had in Singapore. Gorgeous caramelisation and custard perfection.

My friend Thehungrycow and I were very full and happy at discovering the good stuff at Equinox. I hadn't heard much raves in recent years, but I think the new Chef de Cuisine is stirring things up the right way. Watch him talk about his food philosophy and what's behind some of his dishes in the video below.






EQUINOX

Level 70, Equinox Complex, Swissôtel The Stamford
2 Stamford Road
Singapore 178882
Tel: +65 6837-3322

Open daily

Lunch
Monday - Saturday: 12.00pm - 2.30pm

Brunch
Sunday: 11.00am - 2.30pm

High Tea
Monday - Sunday: 3.30pm - 5.00pm

Dinner
Monday - Sunday: 6.30pm - 10.30pm





Many thanks to Swissotel Stamford Singapore for hosting the dinner and drinks.




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