PERCHED 57 stories above the ground, Ce La Vi’s unparalleled view of the city is already well known. While the stunning view from the sprawling terrace may be hard to avert the eyes from, the revamped restaurant also offer a lot more to see and savour.
The restaurant and bar/club concept reopened earlier this month with a brand new look — drawing from Asia to match the new menu and inspired by the architecture of Cambodia and the forests of Bali. The theme is carried forward by the golden coils adorning the ceiling, reminiscent of incense hanging in Chinese temples. The restaurant is surrounded by temple-like engraved walls and the generous splashes of lucky red and regal jade really drive the point home too — a truly impressive shift rapidly achieved.
But the biggest change has been in the kitchens of Ce La Vi, with the introduction of new executive chef Joseph Sergentakis. Transplanted from some of Hong Kong’s most acclaimed restaurants, Chef Sergentakis has given the Asian fusion style menu a brand new spin with flavours from Thailand, China, Japan and Korea. You can expect western styled dishes with a bold Asian flavour or sometimes even vice versa.
The Poached Foie Gras with Hazelnuts & Pomegranate is a great example of this — a classic French ingredient is bathed in a delicate Asian styled dressing of lemon and honey and paired with a lentil paste. The nuts gave a great textural contrast while the sweet and sour pomegranate cut the richness of the smooth fatty liver.
Another notable starter is the Hokkaido Scallop & Oyster Ceviche, the seafood is expectedly fresh but the dressing of pomelo, calamansi, and lemongrass really stole the show. Excellently balanced, and almost like a refreshing juice on a hot day!
Moving on to the mains, the Braised Sea Bream in Coconut Red Curry is a wonderful surprise, atop a bed of grilled Thai eggplant and baby corn. The red curry is little more than a dressing, but still captured an authentic Thai flavour without being too heavy. It does lack the bite expected of a red curry, but should raise no complaints.
The Cast-Iron Roasted Rangers Valley “Black Market” Ribeye is the main event — a widely sought after cut of meat from Australia. Chef Sergentakis has deconstructed and reconstructed the premium beef that he has personally sourced by layering it in perfect ribbons of tender protein mixed with buttery fat.
Created and combined in secrecy deep in Ce La Vi’s kitchen using his own closely guarded proprietary methods, the slivers of beef are served with a sweet potato noodle stir-fry and a side of kimchi. The novel combination really worked to cut the rich buttery umami of the beef with a little salty and sour.
All the dishes are immaculately presented — surely an expectation at this price point (from $20 for starters to $55 for the “Black Market” beef) — but the dessert really takes the cake!
With dashes of red, scarlet, and carmine, the Rose & Watermelon Petit Gateau is almost too pretty to eat. A sure delight for the #Instagrammers — so get your phones out before you dig in. The watermelon and gateau dessert topped with Valrhona white chocolate cream, rose meringue, and flash-frozen raspberry crumble is rich enough for two to share — but there is little doubt you will.
The decadent dinner experience is best saved for a special occasion — a great space with an unrivalled view, offering delicate and complex flavours is made for anniversaries and birthdays. And if you are in celebratory mood, the club lounge is right next-door for a splash of cocktails and dancing. But if you prefer a midday treat, we are told the lunch menu has gotten a shiny new veneer too.
You may have already been to Ce La Vi once for the view, but it’s worth a second visit for the food…
Ce La Vi
Marina Bay Sands
1 Bayfront Avenue