Sunday, January 28, 2018

Farm to Table (sort of) Tajima Wagyu at Stellar @ 1-Altitude.

👍 Unique farm to table (sort of) Aussie wagyu, food's good, view is amazing.
👎 Pricing is a little steep, perhaps.

Stellar @ 1-Altitude is pretty unique among Singaporean restaurants that it sort of has a farm-to-table concept going on. Obviously, Singapore doesn't quite have the necessary agricultural land available, so instead, Chef Christopher Millar raises his own cattle in conjunction with the Tiana Park farm in Australia.

We paid the restaurant a visit for a 100 Gourmet dinner menu, which as expected, does focus quite a bit on different cuts of these Tajima (cross bred) Wagyu cattle. In between beef courses we're also treated to some terrific seafood and other lighter dishes, though which were generally pretty good!

Stellar at 1-altitude

Perched up high on the 62nd floor of the 1 Raffles Place building, Stellar @ 1-Altitude has amazing views over the rest of the city - if you manage to snag a table by the window. We weren't so lucky, so we settle for admiring the rest of the modern, elegant interior decor - and concentrating on the cuisine. We start with an amuse bouche of Tuna Tartare: A refreshing start to cleanse the palette and whet the appetite.

Stellar at 1-altitude Amuse Bouche

The first course is a Crab Meat Salad with a cherry tomato. We're not sure which part of the world this tomato comes from, but it's a lot sweeter (and less tart) than your average tomato, so it flavours the crab meat salad wonderfully. I'd go as far as to say that the tomato was the star of the show, with the crab meat taking a back seat.

Stellar at 1-altitude Crab Meat Salad

We then move on to the togarashi spiced Tajima wagyu tri-tip, truffle mascarpone, olive soil, and black radish. We couldn't really taste the togarashi (japanese chili pepper), and the lone slice of black truffle had already lost most of its aroma, but the rest of the dish was stellar. This dish also demonstrates, perhaps, the strength of the Japanese black steer's genes: Tri-tip is normally a very lean muscle, but here it's juicy, slightly fatty, lean, while still maintaining a nice beefy taste.

Stellar at 1-altitude Tajima Wagyu Tri-Tip

A seafood dish is next: Loch Fyne Rock Rose Gin marinated salmon, with oyster, avocado, and ikura. Except that we don't eat oysters, so Chef substituted even more ikura instead. Overall, we thought that this dish was the weakest of the night: Salmon was great, with a nice bite to it, but the (plain) avocado and sesame seed cracker was a mediocre accompaniment.

Stellar at 1-altitude Loch Fyne Rose Gin salmon

We move back inland then with a Tajima wagyu chuck tender over the coals, sea urchin, wasabi, and Paris mash. Paris mash? Well, it's apparently a fancy name for an ultra-creamy, ultra-buttery mashed potato. It's really good. The wagyu chuck tender is also really good - fatty, tender, beefy, juicy - and very lightly seasoned as to let the flavours of the beef take center stage. the sea urchin, therefore, is somewhat out of place, even if its briny goodness is terrific on its own.

Stellar at 1-altitude Tajima Wagyu chuck tender

The last course of the night is the pickled and braised Tajima wagyu beef cheek, roasted cauliflower cream, and porcini. To us this was the star of the night; the melt-in-your-mouth beef with those complex, braised flavours that only (relatively) long cooks can produce. We also thought that the earthy flavours from the mushrooms were a perfect complement.

Stellar at 1-altitude Braised Tajima Wagyu beef cheek

To finish off the meal, Stellar @ 1-Altitude has its pastry / dessert chefs create what they call Dessert Art at your table. The pastries / cakes themselves are already completed, of course: They're assembled and finished on a huge flat plate in the middle of the table.

We chose to have the Rocher (Almond Chocolate, Sea Salt Caramel sponge, Orange mousse) and Rosemary Lemon Tart (Madagascar honey lemon curd, macerated pineapples). Both desserts are pretty good; if you're a chocolate lover you'll really dig the flavours and textures of the Rocher; if you're looking for something a little more refreshing, the tartness of the lemon curd and pineapples are cut perfectly with the honey.

Stellar at 1-altitude Dessert Art Rocher and Rosemary Lemon Tart

The 6-course dinner above 'retails' at s$180++, which is perhaps a little on the pricey side? As is quite common with fine dining restaurants, lunch starts from a much more reasonable s$48++, though, so you could perhaps pay them a lunch visit before deciding on whether to commit to dinner.

Stellar @ 1-Altitude is open 7 days a week (lunch only on weekdays). Click here for reservations, and do try to get a table by the window. Non-halal.