Celebrity chef restaurant, table65, opens at Resorts World Sentosa.
SINGAPORE (May 13): I was thrilled when I heard the news that chef Richard van Oostenbrugge of restaurant 212 in Amsterdam was opening a restaurant in Singapore. Van Oostenbrugge is famous for his contemporary European cuisine, which earned him the title of Netherlands’ Chef of the Year in 2014 from Gault & Millau, a respected French restaurant guide. He also ran the kitchen of the two-Michelin-starred Bord’Eau in Amsterdam for seven years.
In Singapore, Van Oostenbrugge recently opened table65 — a nod to the city state’s country code — at Resorts World Sentosa. His vision is to pare back the traditional formalities of fine dining and place the focus on the core flavours of quality ingredients to entice international foodies.
He appears to have achieved this goal as evidenced by tche cosmopolitan crowd enjoying what he likes to call “fine-casual” dining. As the name suggests, the stuffy fine-dining experience in which diners sit in isolation is replaced with an open kitchen, where a team of chefs can be observed at work. Everyone has a view, as long tables are strategically placed around the kitchen. It really feels like a chef’s-table dining experience, where only a privileged few get to see the chef work.
What we enjoyed was the personal service: A chef presents each dish and explains in detail what you are eating and how it was prepared.
(Main image: The Smoked Herring Bone, Veal Tartare with Bone Marrow and Cockles is topped with a generous heaping of Beluga caviar)
When our first dish, Smoked Herring Bone, Veal Tartare with Bone Marrow and Cockles, arrived, we waited for the chef to top it up with Beluga caviar from a glass cloche. While the menu says it is bone marrow, it is not. The gelatinous “bone marrow” is actually made from smoked herring. It is matched with veal tartare and the richness is cut down with a hot vinaigrette sauce; the Beluga caviar just ties up all the complementary flavours.
All ingredients are treated with great respect at table65. The next dish arrived in a special cloche, which contained a small truffle the size of a golf ball. It is generously shaved onto our Turbot with Choucroute (or homemade sauerkraut) and Smoked Eel that sits on oxidised wine and eel broth. The chef explains that the dish is cooked with all-natural soya bean oil and that pairs perfectly with the earthiness of the truffles and the light salty flavour of the cabbage. The broth is rich and thick, and bursting with flavour.
Next up is the Toh Thye San Duck, Madre Mole, Blueberry Aigre-doux and Sauce Rouennaise. Locally sourced duck from Toh Thye San farm is given a dry rub of cumin and wild pepper, then barbecued to tender perfection. It is served with blueberry agre-doux, a sweet-andsour sauce using blueberries. Finally, spicy madre mole — sourdough bread made from a mother, or madre, dough — is shaved over the dish to bring it all together and give it a subtle and complex flavour.
The Apple with Salted Caramel, Puff Pastry and Walnut is made of apple sorbet with seeds made of chocolate
The dessert at table65 was created by Van Oostenbrugge and is the most Instagrammed of its food. The pièce de résistance is the Apple with Salted Caramel, Puff Pastry and Walnut. The “apple”, which sits on a base of crisp puff pastry, is shaped like an apple core and made of apple sorbet, and the apple seeds are made of chocolate. The work of art is encased in a captivating sugar bubble that is too pretty to eat.
It was a fitting end to a dining experience elevated by sophisticated techniques and a respect for quality ingredients.
Resorts World Sentosa
Opening hours: Thursdays to Mondays (6pm to 10.30pm; last orders at 10.15pm)