There’s no such thing as too much caviar for our bourgeois palates; not when they marry so well with cooked dishes, or dessert for that matter. And after sitting through a roe-minating dining experience at newly-opened Caviar, all we can say is the more caviar, the merrier!
Located at the basement of Palais Renaissance, Caviar is setting a new standard in superlative dining with exceptional service, clean and contemporary interiors, and a menu focussed exclusively on the renowned sturgeon’s roe.
Brainchild of restaurateur Jason Ong, a premium seafood distributor who also owns Uni Gallery specialising in sea urchin dishes, Caviar shines a spotlight on highly sought-after and ethically-sourced caviar from around the world which include Iranian Royal Grade Beluga from the Caspian Sea, Polanco and Oscietra from Siberia, Sturia Oscietra from France, Eight Gems No 2 and No 5 Caviars from Russia, and also world’s number one Kaluga Queen from China.
“Caviar has grown in popularity exponentially in Singapore as its dining scene has come of age to challenge the most established culinary capitals of the world. It is our team’s aim to delight our guests with caviar from different parts of the world, including some of the finest and most luxurious varieties,” he says. “Thanks to a greater awareness about the foods we eat, restaurants like ours now opt for nothing less than the highest quality farmed alternatives.”
Working together with a dynamic team of Generation Z culinary talents — led by head chef Karleen Kasim, 27, of Cure Concepts and Naeum, and pastry chef Demi Yong, 23, formerly The Elephant Room and Pasta Bar — Ong wants diners to explore the infinite possibilities of caviar pairing through modern European cooking with a “zero waste” philosophy.
The nine-course dinner menu that I tried kicks off with a trio of snacks that allow us the privilege of indulging in three types of caviar: Polanco Oscietra Grand Reserve mixed into crème fraiche and served in a deep-fried Caviar Ball; Royal Oscietra generously loaded over brioche toast with egg yolk and avocado balls; and Sturia Oscietra paired with bafun uni on a sweet-savoury tomato macaron.
For the breads, chef Yong’s herb brioche roll mixed in with beef fat, baked and glazed with fermented honey, is pure magic. Soft and buttery with an intoxicating beef fat aroma, this fluffy roll is good enough to eat on its own. But for those who enjoy their butter, Yong has created a unique roasted yeast butter made of French pasteurized butter whipped in with caramelised onions and toasted yeast.
To mark the wintry season, the menu also features a creamy-umami potato foam soup thickened with potatoes braised in kombu chicken stock, lardo from Iberico pork fat, and seasonal vegetables — one of our favourites on the menu. Topped with egg yolk confit, puffed buckwheat, chives and Polenco Siberian Caviar, the combination creates a light and creamy mouthfeel that’s extremely comforting.
The degustation menu continues with dishes from land and sea such as a refreshing Botan Ebi tartare topped with sliced water chestnut and Polenco Oscietra Caviar. Another winner is the smoky-savoury wild-caught halibut grilled over binchotan with leeks and served together with pilpil sauce made from the bone of the fish itself, and presented with salmon roe (ikura).
The dry-aged pigeon, which tasted like Christmas, was served two ways: grilled over binchotan and served with celeriac puree and pigeon jus, or skewered pigeon confit glazed with a sherry reduction and topped with Superior Oscietra.
Desserts are one of the draws of Caviar thanks to the creativity of chef Yong who not only bakes the breads from scratch daily, but also develops clever ways to pair caviar with the sweet dishes. For example, the combination of light and refreshing sake ice cream topped with Polanco Siberian Reserve actually works, as well as the classic French financier loaded with Superior Oscietra.
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The roe-bust dishes are matched by a selection of leading champagnes, wines and spirits from around the world. If you’re feeling spirited, you can also order the Caviar Server — a tin of caviar served with a choice of six shots of premium vodka (in true Russian fashion).
The best place to enjoy your caviar experience at the cosy 28-seater restaurant is at the chef’s table-cum-caviar bar where you can watch the culinary masters hard at work, and peruse the myriad of caviar labels that rest on a bed of ice in front of you. If you prefer a little more privacy, Caviar also offers tables for two, or a private dining room for larger groups. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we recommend you book a table early to avoid disappointment.
Caviar currently offers a five-course lunch ($98++), five-course dinner ($248++), nine-course dinner ($328++) and seven-course Sunday brunch ($198++) which will see quarterly refreshments to the dishes to suit the change in seasons.
390 Orchard Road
#B1-07 Palais Renaissance
Tel: (65) 9888-1217
Email: [email protected]
Lunch: Wednesday – Saturday | 12pm to 1:30pm
Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday | 6 pm to 8:30pm
Sunday Brunch: 11.30 am - 4:15pm
Closed on Mondays