Restaurant Week is an exciting time for foodies and non-foodies alike. It makes fine dining more accessible to the general public and is a wonderful opportunity for restaurants to showcase their cuisine – brilliant marketing strategy, in our opinion.
This week, numerous established restaurants will serve a special 3-course prix fixe dinner for S$35++ and 3-course lunch for S$25++, with some slapping on an additional surcharge between S$10-S$15.
Having heard about the impressive multi-concept lifestyle space at 1-Altitude, as well as Stellar’s Executive Chef Chris Millar’s participation in the upcoming World Gourmet Summit in Singapore (with his mentor, celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson), dining on the 62nd floor at Stellar @ 1-altitude was one of our choice picks, despite the many unflattering online reviews (and its somewhat pretentious name).
We will cut to the chase and say that we were very disappointed with the food. The fact that we had to send my roasted chicken salad back to the kitchen because it was drenched in a thick, sloppy lime dill dressing (looked like Caesar to us, but we didn’t dare try to confirm), and served with unripe avocado was surely a sign of more to come.
Our other starters of foie gras (S$8 supplement) and sashimi/ sushi fared slightly better, but were at best mediocre. For mains, we had the duck confit (accompanied with a very strange oily composition of sauerkraut, fennel and mandarins), spaghetti aglio olio, and porcini and mascarpone risotto with jamon iberico. Both pasta dishes, put nicely, were lacklustre. Thoroughly under-salted, uninspiring and displaying a complete lack of heart in presentation (if the photos look good, all credit to the photographer), this was even more distressing than the overly drenched salad we sent back earlier.
Desserts came from 1-caramel and were passable, but by then, the three of us were too drained from the ordeal and had little mood in staying. When our bill came, the additional surcharges took our lunch total to S$50 per head, rather steep relative to the quality of the food and quite against the spirit of Restaurant Week, we feel. We also found out that their set lunches are normally only S$32++ and S$38++ and were annoyed that the RW set lunch was priced higher (according to the Manager, this was because the restaurant has chosen to use finer ingredients for RW – errr…there was one prawn and one scallop in the pasta and premium dishes had already been charged a supplement). When we gave feedback to the restaurant manager on the quality of food and general dining experience, we discovered that Chef Chris Millar wasn’t in the kitchen – could that be why?
Sadly, our first encounter with the establishment was a less than stellar start to Restaurant Week for us.
Stellar @ 1-Altitude
1 Raffles Place, L62 | 6438 0410