Restaurant Review: The Spot Serves Up European Cuisine But Still Holds A Soft Spot For Asian Sauces
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Gear up for a saucy time at the multi-concept destination
Photo: The Spot
Imagine a world without Asian sauces.
Oh, the horrors of having Chinese roast pork without the sweetening lubricant of plum sauce, or the inconceivable idea of not blackening out Chicken rice with dark soy sauce. And let’s not get started on the absence of chilli sauce (the one made of garlic and padi please), because what’s the point of living without an extra spicy kick?
But thank god such a world exists only in nightmares, for some Singapore restaurants have taken upon themselves to spotlight sauces that have shaped and molded our Asian heritage.
In The Spot’s case, we’re not referring to kitchen staples of bottled sauces, but dimensional, complex and most importantly, titillating sauces that bring an immediate, scene-stealing flavour to a dish.
It is from Chef Lee Boon Seng’s affinity for these sticky condiments did the apparent sauce-y direction come about. Formerly slogging in the kitchens of Osia and Curate, Chef Lee gives diners a little taste of his awesome sauces in a peculiar presentation of having them paired with European fare.
Glazed Local Duck Breast ($28)
The mains most distinctly showcase this inter-culinary marriage where you’ll find the likes of plum ginger vinegar jus dribbled around the Glazed Local Duck Breast ($28), or the Beef Short Ribs ($40) that sits in a pool of java long pepper sauce. The former’s flesh is tender that still gives a nice chew. It also sports a delightfully crisp exterior that is sweetened in a chrysanthemum honey glaze. The beefy counterpart is also equally tender and quite flavourful, thanks to being sous-vide up to 48 hours and marinated overnight in soya sauce; but it is the aforementioned 10-ingredient java long pepper sauce, made with real Javanese peppercorns, that elevates the dish to become something more than just well-cooked beef short ribs.
Pan-fried Red Snapper ($28)
Other delectables that fall under the restaurant’s own proclamation of ‘Contemporary European, South East Asian-sauce centric cuisine’ are the Local Skate ($25), served on a bed of pearl risotto and doused in earthy dried sole coriander broth, and the Thai-inspired Pan-fried Red Snapper ($28) swimming in spicy green curry emulsion.
Licorice Root Ice Cream ($15)
Just like how these sauces Chef Lee creates are meticulous, laborious and certainly no easy feat, the same has to be said for some of the unassuming offerings such as the Roasted Carrot Soup ($18). The soul-soother of a broth first has roasted carrot, orange juice, peeled younger ginger, coconut cream and kaffir lime boiled to soft and then blended before strained, before lemongrass chorizo prawn salsa is thrown into the mix. Fried ryebread tops the soup.
Even sweets are subjected to Chef Lee’s rigorous process, as exemplified by the Licorice Root Ice Cream ($15) – an egg-based ice cream made with licorice root powder and malt powder. Aside from the scoop of sweet earthy goodness, the dessert comprises other thoughtfully formulated components such as candied parsnips stick and coffee crumble. The latter alone is made from raw hazelnut, flour, white sugar, unsalted butter, and ground coffee, before being baked and laid out for the licorice root ice cream to rest on.
The Macallan Boutique
With all that said and eaten, The Spot is not just a standalone restaurant, but instead it exists as a multi-concept destination that comes with wine retail space by 1855 The Bottle Shop, and whisky specialty store The Macallan Boutique @1855, featuring the spirit’s core range of bottlings that you can taste off the included bar or in its cigar room.
Address: 5 Straits View, Marina One, #01-26/27, Singapore 018935
Tel: 6284 2637
Operating Hours: 7.30am – 11pm (Monday to Friday) 5.30pm – 11pm (Saturday), Closed on Sunday