From now until Jan 5, CÉ LA VI is presenting a special series of menus, curated by group executive chef Joey Sergentakis. These menus feature some classic festive delights, and pairs wonderfully with its festive cocktails. 

Located on Level 57 of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Tower 3, CÉ LA VI is certainly well known as one of the most popular places to sip a cocktail against the backdrop of the Singapore skyline.

Certainly, the view is outstanding; at night, as the Supertree Grove at the Gardens by the Bay are lit up and the city takes on a different look, it is hard to deny how pretty Singapore can be. And what better way to complement the view than with a special festive meal? Or rather, several meals?

Until Jan 5, CÉ LA VI is offering a three and four-course Festive Set Dinner menu ($58 and $78 respectively), a four-course Christmas lunch menu ($128), a five-course Christmas dinner menu ($188) and a five-course New Year’s Eve menu ($258).

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For the special Festive Set Dinner menus, highlights include starters such as the warming and earthy Asparagus & Mushroom Cappuccino with braised leeks, or the indulgent Fine De Claire Oysters & Oscietra Caviar (+$10) dressed with Tasazu, Ikura and Wakame oil.

In these menus, take your pick of entrees and larger plates such as the Saffron “Sushi Rice” Risotto with a parmesan emulsion and the Lavender & Honey Glazed Duck with five-spiced cranberries, ginger and sweet potatoes, or the Kanzuri Red Wine Glaze Wagyu Beef Short Rib (+$18) with Cambodian kampot pepper crust and celeriac.

From the Festive Set Dinner menus, one highlight for me is the Pan-seared Foie Gras (+$8) with pineapple sambal, peanuts and Thai basil; the indulgent richness of foie gras is set off perfectly by the tangy and sweet pineapple sambal. There was also the Poached Black Cod, with dry shiitake, kombu (kelp), ginger and green onions (+$12) — your tastebuds is sure to be delighted by the perfectly cooked piece of fresh black cod that is paired with the umami-laden shiitake and kombu.

For dessert, treat yourself to a Lemongrass Granitas with strawberry sorbet or the Festive Pear that has vanilla-poached pears with ricotta zeppoles in mulled wine sorbet. And if that is not quite enough to whet your appetite, take a gander at the menus available for Christmas Day and Christmas Eve: a four-course lunch menu will be available on Dec 24 and 25, in addition to a five-course dinner menu in the evenings. Highlights include seafood delights such as the Stormshell Clam with Nam Jim and green mango, and Hokkaido Scallop Ceviche with pomelo, calamansi and lemongrass coriander dressing.

There is also the signature Christmas Roast Duck with five-spiced cranberries, ginger and sweet potatoes, a dish I enjoyed as it was tender, moist and beautifully-seasoned. I think a Christmas duck, rather than turkey (as is traditional), is a superior choice: It is an injustice that ducks gets a bad rep for being fatty and greasy, as I find it far more flavourful and moist than turkey, but without the gamey-ness of pigeon or pheasant.

Vegetarians can also join in the festivities, as there is the option of the fourcourse Black Truffle Christmas lunch menu ($128) and the five-course Black Truffle Christmas dinner menu ($188), also available on those days.

And to welcome a (hopefully) better and brighter new year of 2021, CÉ LA VI is also offering a five-course New Year’s Eve menu ($258). Highlights of the menu include the Hokkaido Scallop with Oscietra Caviar dressed with clementine; Thai basil and curry oil, Foie Gras with yuzu marmalade, peanut & plum coulis; Binchõtan Grilled Freemantle Octopus with Thai chili jam and pineapple salsa; and the Salted Egg & Coconut Bay Lobster with wilted spinach and spiced crumble.

You will also have a choice of the Binchõtan Grilled Maimoa Lamb Chops with black truffle soy glaze and eggplant with couscous; or the Mayura Beef Full Blood Wagyu Roast Beef with Cambodian kampot pepper crust, celeriac and kanzuri red wine glaze, before ending the meal with a Blood Orange Granitas with jasmine tea foam & shiso and the Hokkaido Double Fromage with pickled rock melon, sudachi sorbet and candy pop crumble. To complement the dining menus, have more than a few bubblies with free-flow drinks (additional $168++).

With unlimited pours of champagne, red, white and rosé wines, premium house-pour spirits and draught beer, this package is available on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. CÉ LA VI’s lead mixologist Andrew Hyman has also concocted some festive tipples ($18++ each).

We tried the Festive Campfire, a warming Christmas twist on the classic Old Fashioned featuring whisky, vermouth, crème de cacao, ginger and orange bitters. It certainly evokes a kind of hygge (Danish for “cosiness’’), what with the smokeyness of whiskey and the familiar Christmassy flavours of ginger and orange.

Then there is the Yuletide Punch featuring vodka, cinnamon, cranberry and bitters, and the Snow White, an adaptation of the classic Ramos Gin Fizz that features seven ingredients representing the seven dwarfs in the fairy tale: gin, crème de cacao, lime, rose syrup, coco cream, soda and hibiscus.

Both delicious and guaranteed to make you warm and fuzzy inside. This year has been a giant roller-coaster ride. Yet, even though we’re grounded (for now) on this little island, bereft of our holidays abroad, it does not mean we cannot celebrate with friends and family (sensibly, and in compliance with the rules, of course), and welcome the new year with a hearty “Cheers!” or two.