A trip up to 1-Altitude never fails to awe me with its panoramic views, but sweeping scenery aside (love puns!), the focus of my visit was to enjoy the all new ‘Stellar Experience’ launched by Stellar, part of One Rochester Group, recently.
Many fine dining establishments offer impressive 3-5 course dinner menus but diners often have little choice and flexibility on the dishes for their meal. The Stellar Experience gives diners complete autonomy over their dinner, with the option to design their own 4, 5 or 6 course tasting menu from 12 signature creations and a selection of dessert items. The knowledgeable staff and Group Executive Chef, Christopher Millar, are also available to make recommendations if you are spoilt for choice!
Pricing: $95++ per pax for 4 courses, $120++ per pax for 5 courses and $160++ per pax for 6 courses.
Playing up their location advantage of being atop Singapore’s tallest building at 1 Raffles Place, Stellar Experience diners get to enjoy pre-dinner drinks at the world’s highest rooftop bar, 1-Altitude. Sip champagne in style as you revel in the beauty of the dewy sunset at the most scenic corner of the roof, aptly named ‘The Edge’, an area that is exclusive to Stellar’s VIP diners. A definite feast for your eyes before a feast for your tummy!
After drinks, we were seated for dinner at a gorgeous private dining room that can fit up to 12 pax. A good option if you are hosting small corporate dinners or prefer a more intimate setting, note that advance booking is required for the room.
We started with an assorted bread basket and a light amuse bouche of Tuna Tartare with Watermelon Ice. This can also really serve as a pick-me-up after a long day of work as it is pretty refreshing!
Alternatively, a cold fruity cocktail always does the trick for me. The Narcissist, $16, is a shaken concoction of Russian standard vodka, freshly squeezed lime juice, peach and rosemary-infused raspberries that had the right notes of both sweet and sour.
Smoked Eel with toast and cod branade arrived as the much anticipated first course of the evening. At the corner lies a thick cut of supple smoked eel resting on sliced baby potatoes, artfully topped with sea urchin foam and translucent orange roe. At first glance I thought it might be a sushi! I couldn’t taste the sea urchin, and the eel was mostly salty from being smoked. It was aesthetically pleasing, but I’m slightly confused with how the above 3 elements of the dish comes together.
Duck and its Nest was an elaborate and fun dish. As you may have guessed, duck is the main star of this dish, and the base that holds everything together. I enjoyed the bottom layer of duck and quince rillettes, nicely seasoned, as well as the different textures from the thin crispy corn fritter and thicker patty of semolina crusted foie gras. Drawing inspiration from a duck’s nest, a soft boiled quail egg completes the dish, and a dish with a story always make things more interesting no? Smiles were all around the table when Chef Chris came by to introduce this!
Oysters – White Gazpacho with oysters, pomegranate and mint with accompanying tiger prawns and tomato water. Of the whole dinner, I was most intrigued by this soup because of a nutty twist, it is made with almonds and I love almonds! Gazpacho is traditionally a cold tomato based soup and this is also the first time I came across an almond soup? I would definitely order this again!
As a tribute to it’s traditional tomato base, guests are presented with a tiny bottle of tomato water and to drop a few drops onto our tongues before tasting the soup. The taste is very very faint, and I’m afraid didn’t leave much impression on me but once you dig into the soup proper, there are many elements to appreciate. Served refreshingly cold, the almond gazpacho tasted mildly like a dessert to me, especially with the occasional pomegranate seed, with plenty of finely grounded almond grits. The fresh seafood was delightful, plump juicy oysters and tiger prawns that were firm to the bite.
Stellar has a dedicated team handling their sushi dishes and this amazing ‘Japonaise’ ensemble featuring Sri Lankan Crab comes from the Japanese kitchen.
(Looking back on all the dishes so far, I must say I like the visually appealing way Stellar plate these dishes!)
What’s great about this ensemble was that it showcases 3 mini crab dishes. The crab maki topped with a thin sliver of swordfish and lightly torched with white miso was my first pick and was surprisingly light in flavour. The crab and truffle omelette was normal but the attention grabber was definitely the tiny crab by the crab and enoki pannacotta, which all of us were unsure if it was meant to be eaten. After hilariously confirming that it can be eaten, I eagerly popped it into my mouth. This tiny creature was a little salty and sweet at the same time and it packs a mega crunch! Definitely an interesting part of the dish and I think the trick to avoiding being pricked by the legs is to bite it down the middle and fold it inwards. As for the egg pannacotta itself, I found the pannacotta a little too firm, though it was generously packed with crab meat.
Victorian Saddle of Lamb (+$15 supplement) with Jerusalem artichoke puree and grilled eggplant. Saddle of lamb is typically the most tender cut and remained so in this dish, without the gamey taste too. The lamb was first poached and then lightly seared, which must have been done precisely and speedily as the meat was still a beautiful medium rare pink. The only complain I have is there seems to be too much fat, which I simply left untouched.
While most would focus on the lamb, the true star was the unbelievably smooth Jerusalem artichoke puree. A first for me, the artichoke puree tasted similar to creamy mashed potatoes but without the starchy heaviness, and at times even slightly nutty. Needless to say, I polished every last bit of it!
Desserts, by 1-Caramel (min 2 pax, 1 dessert choice for each diner, up to 5 items for 5 pax), was an exciting, flashy affair. To give diners the 1-Caramel Experience, the chef ensembles your desserts right by your table! Watch as the team work seamlessly to present the sweets.
From the front to the back, we got to taste their signature Valrhona Chocolate Bomb, Vanilla Pannacotta with Mango Granite, Baked Alaska, Caramel Creme Brulee with Dulce Leche Ice Cream and Cold Lime Souffle.
Chocolate lovers must not miss out on the Valrhona Chocolate Bomb, accompanied with warm chocolate sauce and raspberry compote that opens the gateway to chocolate heaven by melting the chocolate sphere slightly. I’m not a must-eat-chocolate kind of girl so this was a little overwhelming for me after a heavy meal.
My favorite of the lot would be Vanilla Pannacotta with Mango Granite. Smooth quivery pannacotta with refreshing mango granite totally hits the spot! The Baked Alaska (background) was normal, though I wish the cake base was not as dense, being more like a brownie base now.
The Cold Lime Souffle captured the most curious looks and comments as we were all just trying to figure out what it is. It’s a…souffle? The texture doesn’t appear so. It’s a…cheesecake? The texture does have the consistency akin to a cheesecake. Despite the confusion, the cold sharp lime flavor was welcomed as a wrap up for the meal.
The Stellar Experience, complete with pre-dinner drinks and views, choice of scrumptious mains and delectable desserts are bound to make an impression with your fellow diners, as well as showcasing the amount of thought you can provide for your guests in terms of customization. This, is one dinner experience I would not hesitate to plan, and return.
Thank you Denyse and Chef Chris for being lovely hosts and One Rochester Group for the kind invitation.
Stellar @ 1-Altitude
1 Raffles Place
#62-01 One Raffles Place