"The Carpaccio Di Kinmedai from Il Cielo’s Japanese tasting menu."
$138+ FOR A FIVECOURSE LUNCH/ DINNER
Level 24 Hilton Singapore
Cuisine: Michelin-plate Japanese-Italian
Food and Vibe: Il Cielo is best experienced in the evening, when the outdoor pool is illuminated by the warm flood lights, with the surrounding townscape brightly lit up. Though the eatery has a separate Italian and Japanese tasting menu, each dish tastefully balances Japanese and Italian ingredients.
Il Cielo’s chef Yohhei Sasaki, who is behind the culinary creations, says: “We present diners with a contemporary version of Italian cuisine, recreated with a Japanese flair. Every dish is made with the finest seasonal gourmet produce sourced from Italy and Japan.”
Yohhei worked in top Italian restaurants in Japan, and later trained in Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy before joining Il Cielo in 2017.
A fine example of his creation is the Spaghetti Ai Ricci Di Mare, a rich, creamy yet light pasta dish served with Hokkaido sea urchin, Sardinian bottarga and yuzu. The dish packs a punch, while delivering the subtle flavours of the fish roe, and tangy yuzu.
The other is the Carpaccio Di Kinmedai, a starter that looks like a sashimi dish. It’s lightly sprinkled with pink grapefruit snow created by nitro-freezing the fruit mix into powder. The tuile wafer is made with seaweed and rice, giving the dish a crisp texture.
Find It: The newly minted Michelin-Plate establishment is at Level 24 of Hilton Singapore. The Michelin-Plate accolade, first introduced in the 2016 edition of the Michelin Guide Paris, represents a good, carefully prepared meal using fresh ingredients.
The Spaghetti Ai Ricci Di Mare from Il Cielo’s Italian tasting menu.
Take in the sweeping view of the cityscape while enjoying a meal in Il Cielo’s private dining room.
"One of the unique dishes: Grilled Summer Mushroom Steak on a “Pu-Ye” Hot Stone."
$39.80+ FOR A SIX- COURSE SET LUNCH
#12-01 Orchard Central
Cuisine: Japanese-French vegetarian
Food and Vibe: From the precise plating to the beautiful, meticulous garnishing, the attention to detail is apparent. If you’re lucky enough to be seated in one of its six private dining rooms, each comes with a unique view.
Joie lives up to what it serves: interesting meals and use of special ingredients. The succulent Eggplant Terrine (part of the sixcourse set lunch), prepared sans oil or meat, tastes like juicy pork belly. Also from the set lunch menu, the mushroom steak, made purely from grilled monkey head mushrooms and paired with truffle mashed potato, has a meaty flavour and chewy bite reminiscent of actual beef.
Founder Huang Yen Kun, who noticed a gap in the local market for vegetarian fine-dining, says: “Our food is also targeted at meat-eaters. Vegetarian fare can be as tasty as – if not more than – its meaty counterpart.”
Find It: Take the lift to the highest floor, then ascend an obscure escalator hidden in a partly concealed wing.
Joie’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of the lush rooftop garden, complete with ponds and landscape boulders.
Yen Kun says 99 per cent of diners make reservations as “there are no walk-ins”. The eatery is so tucked away on the rooftop that it even has a directional video on its website to help diners find it.
The delectable Wild Rice with Eggplant Terrine.
"Almost heavenly: Rishikesh dessert with coconut curry mousse and mango baba."
$58+ FOR A FOURCOURSE EXECUTIVE SET LUNCH
#03-01/02 Frasers Tower
Cuisine: It’s not confined to any country, but inspired by the culinary team’s personal experiences.
Food and Vibe: Preludio is a picture of elegance with its simple yet tasteful interior that houses a wine bar and a private dining room. The theme changes every year, from wines to uniform and the decor, alongside seasonal culinary menus that allow Colombian chef Fernando Arevalo and his team to experiment with flavours, styles and colours.
The inventive restaurant now features its second themed culinary chapter: Time. Every dish tells a story, highlighting ingredients that have passed through or are inspired by passages of time.
For example, the Rishikesh dish from its latest menu was inspired by Preludio pastry chef Elena Perez de Carrasco’s 200-hour yoga course in its namesake city in India. The dessert, with coconut curry mousse and mango baba, highlights the experimental exploration of ingredients.
Similarly, the anchovies in the Six Months dish were filleted, salted and pressed between layers of salt, then left in barrels at a controlled temperature for six months.
The risotto Acquerello rice in A Seven Year Story dish was aged, unhusked, in temperature-controlled silos for seven years. These creations were inspired by Fernando’s travels to Spain and Italy.
Find It: Preludio is a minute’s walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT. While hordes of people pass by Frasers Tower daily, not many would venture to the third floor at this office development. A pity, for that’s where you would find Preludio. Fernando says that the eatery’s secluded location helps make the environment “private and exclusive – a haven”.
Preludio’s chef Fernando Arevalo preparing the Six Months dish.