On a trip to Singapore some time back, I was pleasantly surprised to find that everything I needed for a short yet fulfilling getaway was right there at Resorts World Sentosa. Staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, oodles of family fun await those with little ones at the South East Asia Aquarium and Universal Studios. But if you’re looking for a much needed romantic night out with your partner, or if you’re a gastronomist at heart – I cannot recommend enough the bewitching experience you’ll be walking away from when you dine at CURATE.
Taking the helm of the kitchen is German-born Chef Benjamin Halat – who began his culinary journey at the tender age of 17 and was under the tutelage of the two-Michelin star Chef, Diethard Urbansky while he worked at the Restaurant Dallmayr in Munich. With a penchant for the bold and adventurous, he continues to push culinary boundaries by combining Western and Eastern flavours in his five-course dinner menu.
Beginning with delightful small bites to whet the appetite and prepare the palate for the sumptuousness to come, every serving was a tantalising play on the senses.
Prawn marinated in champagne
Arguably one of the most tender versions of the meat I’ve ever had, the flesh just about melts away – allowing the sweet and bubbly remnants of the champagne to linger ever so gently in the mouth.
Jelly made from olive oil
A curious creation, it’s firm to the bite with just a hint of sweet tartness on the palate as the taste of olive oil really permeates the mouth.
Chef Halat’s interpretation of the curry puff sees crunchy squares of pastry housing a sophisticated creamy and smooth puree blend filling – with a spicy kick.
Madeleine with chorizo
This unusual take on the classic Madeleine is one that pays off as the sweet crispness of its exterior marries well with the savoury and spicy flavours hidden within.
Edible rocks of tuna sashimi wrapped in Nori seaweed
Tender, soft, and ever so slightly chewy – plump luxurious rolls of tuna boast a tinge of sweetness from the seaweed – leaving you wanting more than just a bite.
The last of the line-up, it’s a refreshing and zesty pop of tartness with just a hint of dill – meant to cleanse the palate.
Dishing out more substance on the plates, these fascinating creations veered almost on the whimsical side.
Foie Gras Gateau
Hands down my favourite of the evening, the play in texture and flavours are nothing short of a testament to Chef Halat’s skills and insight as to what works. Shaped to mirror a slice of cake complete with a sweet and tart port wine jelly ‘frosting’, the foie gras is rich and decadently creamy – though fret not, it never once cloys. Nothing in particular screams from the plate – which is a compliment – as all the elements on the plate work in tandem to create what I could only best describe as a work of art.
This dish is first presented dry with the components of ginger powder, burnt onion, lemon and lime powder, tomato powder, mushrooms, and fresh Boston lobster served as separate elements. A heady tomato, ginger, and coconut broth is then poured into the bowl – creating a warm concoction of spiced Asian flavours – meant to be savoured down to the very last drop mopped up with bread.
Poached Dover Sole
The flesh was firm but delicate – never dry – but what really did it for me was the robust pops of flavour the mustard seeds added. To top it off, never having had salsify prior to this – a root vegetable that brings to mind the artichoke in terms of taste – I delighted in its lightly honey glazed exterior and creamy flesh.
This one’s for the books and a must-try upon your visit at CURATE as Chef Halat uses a most peculiar yet utterly fascinating manner to dry age a juicy slab of beef: wrapped in Japanese kombu (kelp). Having discovered this method in an entirely happy accident, he found that the kelp helped draw out all the moisture and its enzymes helped break down the fat and tenderise the meat – while really enhancing the beef’s umami flavour. Served with a light drizzling of bergamot jus and a side of crisp potato churros and a sprinkling of garlic powder on top – there were only sounds of content all around the table.
With his favourite dessert being the Snickers, Chef Halat does a variation every year and 2017’s masterpiece focuses very much on his play with different textures. While still keeping to the well-loved components and flavours, there’s a certain degree of refinement and finesse in the way he’s toned down the sweetness – bringing an airy lightness to the dessert.
Granny Smith apple sorbet
Perhaps the most adorable delicacy of the night, these little nibblets of sweet and tangy sorbet were shaped as Granny Smith apples – melting refreshingly so on the palate.
Cigars with mojito
Undoubtedly the star of the show when it comes to flair and theatrics, you’ll want to have your camera at the ready as they use real cigars to smoke and flavour the ‘ash’ – a clever mixture of brown rice and icing sugar. Earning top points for the authenticity of its portrayal, the ‘cigars’, which are actual stubs of chocolate with a rich dark chocolate filling – also retained the deep smokiness of the real deal. Paired with a refreshing dip of mojito cream with shaved ice – there was no better way to end such a lavish meal.
Thinking of visiting Singapore soon?
With the Attractions Annual or Season Pass, visitors get to embark on their adventures of non-stop thrills and excitement at Resorts World Sentosa’s gated attractions. Pass holders can enter the thrilling world of blockbuster movie fun, go face-to-face with over 100,000 marine animals and make marine discoveries or soak in wet thrills by zooming down heart-stopping water slides all day. They also enjoy priority access to Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark; perks to special events; privileges on dining and retail; plus more! Family bundles and multi-park annual passes at Resorts World Sentosa are available. More details including pricing can be found here: http://www.rwsentosa.com/language/en-US/Homepage/Attractions/AttractionsPass/tab/Pricing.”