Princess and I went overseas…. to Sentosa. And we booked a nice fine dining restaurant that took over the space of the now-defunct Joel Robuchon restaurant called table65.
The culinary masterminds of Richard van Oostenbrugge and Thomas Groot, who were behind Amsterdam’s two stars Michelin Restaurant 212, now helm their first restaurant outside of the Netherlands – table65. And just like 212, table65 is named after the country code of Singapore.
The restaurant is a 31 seater open kitchen where one can interact with chefs in a relaxed atmosphere as they skilfully prepare their modern-European signatures. The best seats in my opinion were the ones facing the chefs, and these usually 8 seaters can only accommodate a group of 5 or 2 couples as the current restriction went.
At this juncture due to Covid-19 restrictions, they were not offering a la carte menu option but you will find a tasting menu that featured most of van Oostenbrugge’s signature contemporary dishes from Restaurant 212, but featuring produce and ingredients sourced from Asia.
There was two seating for dinner, and guests were invited to the cocktail bar at least 15 min before dinner time so that everyone can be seated at the kitchen theatre at about the same time to keep pace with timing of each course.
table65 Spiced Punch
Spices l Red wine l Antica formula l Orange l Dutch secret
It tasted like an alcoholic Ribena with cinnamon.
If you like “Pina Colada”
Coconut l Mandarin l Cardamom l Passion fruit l Nutmeg
Princess got this cocktail that tasted like cold eggnog during Thanksgiving.
The chefs have this idea of “fine casual” dining. Gone are the stiff white table cloth and table setting, and in place where the wooden tables with cutlery for the dinner placed in the drawers at each seat.
Once seated and the drinks ordered, the fresh from oven sourdough baguette was placed in front of you with a plate of oak smoked butter.
I don’t like bread and I couldn’t stop eating this. Oak smoked butter
As Princess was with me, I did not order the wine pairing. But the selection of wine was mainly from the old world with a couple of new world wines for variety.
Sea urchin bisque
I took it in one big gulp. This foamy sea urchin bisque was more an espuma than a soup. The espuma gave the flavour profile of the sea urchin but was missing the umami. The bisque beneath the espuma was like a lobster bisque but without the lobster. An interesting combination and served warm.
“Os à moelle” Bone Marrow
The delicate jelly made from the concentrate of smoked herring bone encased a generous amount of veal tartare which was well-seasoned with tiny crunchy pickles, texture so soft it melted in your mouth. Topped with homemade sour cream, some bone marrow in clam juice was then doused over for a luscious touch.
Osciètre Prestige Caviar is produced from the “Acipenser Gueldenstaedti” sturgeon. The amber grains are a good regular size. They are completely loose and shine with an anthracite bronze reflection. On the palate, the grains explode with a succession of delicious impressions. The smooth caviar reveals multiple marine fragrances, slightly salty, nutty with a pleasant length.
Couscous of basmati rice with spring vegetables, pistachio & Pierre Robert cheese
This Romanesque broccoli reminded me of those Fibonacci sequences that I learnt in maths. Hidden inside the gorgeous patterns was “couscous” made from milled down basmati rice cooked to the same texture of couscous while retaining the fragrance of the basmati.
You could see dollops of mayo-like cream cheese all around. Those were actually Pierre Robert brie from France – a triple cream brie that was buttery, smooth and mild. The ripen cheese becomes richer and more tangy, and become a perfect compliment for salads.
Accompanied with other fresh greens such as long beans, fava beans and peas, it was flavoured using fresh herbs such as mint, chives and parsley. The lemon vinaigrette dressing with grated cauliflower and crushed pistachio rendered a nice finishing touch to this dish with well-played layering of textures and flavours. But it was the Pierre Robert that held the whole dish together.
Lobster served with tandoori, mango and kaffir lime
Who would have thought of combing tandoori spices into a sauce with poached lobster tail? The result was a rather eclectic tasting lobster bisque with sweetness from little cubes of mango. The kaffir lime provided the tangy, refreshing taste to the sauce. The sauce reminded me of that little bowl of assam curry that came with roti prata and we asked for more bread to mop every last drop of that beautiful sauce off the plate.
Foie gras kombu-jime with seaweed broth and umeboshi
Using the Japanese technique of “kombu jime” (curing food between kombu), the foie gras was wrapped in seaweed, cured overnight in kombu broth and served in the same seaweed broth it was poached in, imparting a delicate, briny sweetness to the fatty foie gras. Before serving, it was baked and topped with umeboshi or plum jam for an additional touch of fruitiness and sea grapes for umami and crunch. This is a novel idea I haven’t seen elsewhere, and I now have a favourite method of cooking foie gras.
Lamb saddle with white clams, lamb jus, oil from Chinese chive and salicorne
It was truly love at first sight – the lamb saddle looked amazing! My carnivorous instinct told me it was going to be magnificent, and I was right. The sous vide lamb saddle was wrapped by its own fat which was panfried to a crisp. Every bite of the succulent lamb was followed immediately by a slow oozing of tantalising juices. I was savouring every morsel silently, in bliss, while thinking to myself “this is so so good” repeatedly. The combination of lamb jus and Chinese chive oil was fantastic and together with the salicorne (a salty asparagus-like herb), sea grape and white clam made the lamb even tastier with more flavour profiles. I would have wished for a bigger portion of course, but be warned that the lamb tasted gamey.
A4 Kagoshima Wagyu striploin, Oscietra caviar, mushroom, oyster leaf and oxtail jus
Kagoshima Wagyu comes from the Kuroge Washu breed and A4 marbling was just about right for a steak. I find A5 too fatty. The striploin was grilled to medium rare, and drizzled with an oxtail jus instead of its own au jus because Wagyu can get too oily.
Oyster leaf is a unique plant that looks like an herb with leaves tasting like an oyster—a fresh, oceanic flavor. The texture of this plant is succulent and tender, with medium green oblong leaves on light green stems that could be mistaken to be a baby spinach leaf. The mushroom mash was made to look like a portobello and the best way to enjoy this was to take a bit of everything and eat them together. Closing your eyes, you get the red meat from the wagyu, umami from the mushroom, saltiness from caviar and then wait for that oyster taste to come through it all.
The signature dish that went viral for table65 is the stunning Apple, a creation by Chef Oostenbrugge, which featured an “apple core” made from green apple sorbet sitting on top a base of puff pastry that tasted like apple strudel.
The “apple core” was encased in a transparent sugar bubble that you cracked apart before eating. Everything was edible, right down to the “seeds” made from chocolate.
Aptly named Chocolate Balloon, a mini chocolate sphere was presented, before a Thai milk tea sauce was poured over it. With your phone camera continue rolling, the sphere splits beautifully, akin to a blossoming flower, to reveal the cupuaçu (pronounced as koo-pua-soo) sorbet within.
Packed with nutrients and closely related to cacao, the cupuaçu fruit is described as having creamy white pulp with a chocolatey-pineapple flavour and juice that tastes like pear and banana. When made into the sorbet, it tasted like hand sanitiser (that’s what Princess said).
The cupuaçu sorbet sat on an Italian hazelnut cream and crackers that reminded me of Nutella. A visual treat, but the flavours were too strange for our palates.
It’s pineapple, flamed with rum, topped with with rum cream and a separate portion of sorbet made of citrus fruits, passionfruit, lemongrass, ginger, with aloe vera. Pineapple cube was juicy and had that thin, caramelized taste given that it was torched. The sorbet had a whipped cream texture, surrounded with familiar lemongrass and ginger aroma. As expected, the heavy use of citrus fruits automatically translated into strong sourness, which was perfect palate cleanser for the end of the meal.
It was my first time and I really had a great time. The staff were really warm and friendly and they made the dining experience a whole lot more memorable with the insights as they explained about the dishes. The fun casual vibes made the restaurant even more charming. It’s no wonder why this young restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in the first year and retained it again this year. Recommended for a nice evening out with someone special.
table65 restaurant & bar
26 Sentosa Gateway, Hotel Michael, Unit 01-104/105, Singapore 098138
Tel : +65 6577 7939
Date Visited : Sep 2021
Michelin Singapore Guide 1 Star 2019, 2021