Spago is the name card for Wolfgang Puck, the larger than life celebrity chef that continue to capture the limelights of Hollywood. It finally came to Singapore and we get a closer look at the glam of feeding the stars.
The first international offshoot of Wolfgang Puck’s renowned Beverly Hills restaurant opened in 2015, Spago offers an imaginative and seasonal menu of Californian cuisine with global accents, in a sophisticated and inviting atmosphere.
As Chef Puck’s second restaurant at Marina Bay Sands, Spago joins his celebrated American steak restaurant CUT (opened since 2011). Located at Sands SkyPark at the top of the integrated resort, the restaurant overlooks the famous Infinity Pool and offers spectacular views of the city skyline.
The Lunch Menu
In Singapore, Chef de cuisine Greg Bess has been at the California flagship from 2004 and when CUT opened in Singapore in 2010, he oversaw the opening. And then Spago Singapore. The dinner menu was the regal take of the California HQ, but the lunch menu featured something more affordable and wallet friendly.
Cassolette of “Trippa alla Romana”
Tomato Braised Tripe, Burrata, Mint, Grilled Baguette
Trippa (tripe) is one of the most popular dishes of Italian cuisine. It comes from the common tradition of using poor ingredients to create amazing delicacies. The last time I enjoyed beef tripe this much was in Barcelona and enjoying tapas at Bar Pinotxo. The tripe was stewed until they simply disappeared in your mouth. The cassolette was such a great dip for the baguette, which was completely devoured with the stew and delicious burrata.
Chicken ‘Laksa’ Spring Roll
Calamansi, Chili Padi, Laksa Leaf
We added another appetiser to share and the chicken laksa spring roll did not disappoint. It represented Spago’s “Asian influence, Californian casual dining” to the halt. Chicken dry laksa stuffed into spring roll and then deep-fried, who can resist the crispy popiah (spring roll) skin and soft and moist laksa in a bite. I felt that the dip could be bolder, with the usual laksa condiments (laksa leave powder and belachan chilli) rather than this rather weak lime and fish sauce water.
Smoked Brisbane Valley Quail
Pomegranate Pesto, Pine Nuts, Fennel Puree, Natural Jus
Quail is one of my favourite eats, besides pigeon and spatchcock. A well-executed quail can taste even better than a piece of Angus or Wagyu in my opinion. But because of their size, many would have simply butchered the bird. However it didn’t happen today as they have delivered a wonderfully grilled and smoked bird that had the Maillard effect on the skin and kept the meat tender and moist. The pine nut pesto with bits of fresh pomegranate gave another dimension to the white meat, while the au jus bonded the fennel with the rest of the ingredients. I was so glad of my choice.
Grilled Iberico Pork Chop
Smoky Shallot Puree, Caramelized Apples, Shallot-Thyme Oil, Crispy Pork Skin
I got a bit of plate envy when my guest’s pork chop was served. It looked absolutely delicious with the well-cooked shallots sitting on a perfectly grilled piece of Iberico pork chop. He was kind enough to share some of the pork chop with me while I sacrificed a quarter of my quail in exchange. A fair exchange as it was as tasty as it looked. The crackers were pork skin crackling and the shallots have caramelised and appetisingly translucent.
Traditional Kaiserschmarrn (For Two)
Warm Strawberries, Strawberry Ice Cream
The Traditional Kaiserschmarrn is only available for lunch, because it takes 16 minutes in the oven, and the kitchen is too busy during dinner service for the dessert to hog the oven. Although the menu says it is for 2 persons, it is big enough for 4. The Austrian dessert is sometimes known as a fluffy pancake, but at Spago, they add fromage blanc, and the texture is more like souffle.
I wished there were more house made strawberry ice cream to work through the Kaiserschmarrn. Traditionally, it was eaten scrambled but the waiter recommended that we took care not to flatten the pancake. He was so right. Airy and light, and I was made to believe it was 0 calories.
Wolfgang Puck’s stardom, and the successful branding of his name and image, pioneered the trajectory of the modern-day celebrity chef. Spago’s dining room redefined fine dining with casual chic. The kitchen distinguished itself with an eccentric yet glamorous menu of clever finger foods, combining Asian-inspired dishes and Continental classics reworked with the freshest ingredients that seemed to cut down many trees.
The entrance to Spago is the same as the same as the SkyPark. You need to place a reservation beforehand and inform the reception to allow you up to the SkyPark. Besides the dining hall, Spago Bar is also located at the same terrace and offer a nice cocktail or two and an evening view bar none. We overshot our dining time allocated and had to enjoy our coffee at the bar, which unfortunately does not have air-conditioning and really uncomfortable in the afternoon heat.
Spago Dining Hall by Wolfgang Puck
Tower 2 Level 57 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Tel : +65 6688 9955
Visited in Jul 2022