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Restaurant Review: Desire at The Scarlet Hotel (closed)

Desire at The Scarlet Hotel  (closed)
33 Erskine Road
+65 6511 3323

I don’t usually like going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day. Invariably the bloke and I end up rubbing shoulders with the couple at the next table, which does little for the libido.

The key, I think, is to surround yourself with an inordinate amount of red and black, in a place where the dining chairs resemble corseted women, and in a restaurant that names its menus “Stimulus Package” and “Ménage à trois”. A place like Desire at The Scarlet Hotel, for instance. And it helps that the chef spent eight years cooking at the Raffles Grill.

From our five-course set menu, we commenced foreplay with a duo of shucked Australian oysters in champagne jelly and cucumber. To me, oysters are like jazz: I don’t get it, but I appreciate why others do. At least I enjoyed the accompanying mint granita, which refreshed the palate (removed the taste). The oysters were plump, too, and extremely fresh.

Our seduction continued with a superb sea bream in orange soyu butter sauce perfumed with basil oil, followed by tender pink slices of smoked duck breast which, with its robust flavour, held its own against the sweet berry compote and poached pear.

Both my main of corn-fed baked chicken with a mushroom cream sauce and the bloke’s slow-cooked beef medallion and tempura prawn in a red-wine truffle sauce were divine. A lychee-and-pink-guava parfait finished us off nicely, without leaving us bloated.

I was expecting a much higher price considering the quality of food, but at only $90 per person, this was excellent value.

Desire is an aphrodisiac among eateries and the ambience is as potent as a tiger’s penis served on a coulis of liquid chocolate. This saucy, avant-garde restaurant, inside a quirky, luxury boutique hotel will do wonders for any wilting libido.

By Deborah Goldman