good fusionish european dining high up in the financial district – this is the first time I’ve done a full meal here, and it was a good one. it’s on the pricey side, but at least the dishes were pretty stellar, and the muscato and beers are reliable.
plus, you very seldom have the option of starting dinner in an air-conditioned, comfortable place (it’s far too hot for an entirely al fresco meal these days), before proceeding outdoors to a fantastic view for some dessert and a sip of something-something.
I think it’s indubitably a very well-furnished restaurant – the vats of beer are remarkable decoration, as are the full-length windows that make the best of the view. but perhaps what’s best about it are the not-tightly-packed tables, which provide you with a sense of intimacy – but it’s occupied enough also for that just-nice buzziness. the vibe is also post-yuppie sophisticated – which is to say that the age range is more middle than outright young, and that’s pretty enjoyable too (I’m an old soul).
we took seats at the counter (quite nice, actually) because the place was packed (remember your reservations), and started with a seriously plum scallop served with house-made lamb bacon and a lemongrass cornbread. the scallop was a good, thick piece cooked just enough to be slightly translucent inside, and the mild sweetness played up well with the salty bacon (which was very lamb-y, and not entirely my thing).
the cornbread was a little strange – I think it was a little too moist and cake-like, and too sweet to be in the dish (though I can understand that they’d want to contrast the bacon); they should probably have stuck to a more southern recipe with less sugar.
our two mains were delicious – my iberico loin came pink in the middle and nicely charred outside, with a vegetable puree and rich jus playing up the flavors very well. this is one of those dishes which is more than the sum of its parts – make sure you ration the sauce and puree out with the meat.
the tenderloin of black angus was also very good – a meatier, more manly dish, with yam mash and delicious mushrooms served on a wooden board.
we notified a waitress towards the end of our mains that we were hoping to go outside for dessert – and the wait paid off, with a table at the edge and an amazing view of the waterfront. I’ve had a couple of desserts here before, and they are in generally interesting and pretty decent – I will recommend the date pudding over our order of the mousseline however, which was just a bit too sweet and cloying (though not inedibly so).
there was mild sticker shock (not that we hadn’t done the math while perusing the menu), which puts this restaurant at a pretty-high price point, but it’s worth it for a night out (especially if you’re into impressing).
LeVel33 (they really need to do something about the outdated formatting of the name)
#33-01, Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1
8 Marina Blvd
tel +65 6834 3133
$$$: 100-plus per person