50 Collyer Quay
OUE Bayfront Rooftop
6634 4555 | me-oue.com
What? How do you even say it? “It’s pronounced ‘Me at OUE’,” the marcomms girl repeated with measured patience. So here we are, zipping 19 storeys skywards.
French, Japanese and Chinese cuisine is on the menu, but it isn’t fusion: it comes from three separate kitchens, headed respectively by chefs Laurent Peugeot, Masayasu Yonemura and Justin Hor Chee Keong. (The first two are Michelin-starred.) After all the media hype, including weeks of full-page newspaper ads – after all, it’s a collaboration between Mediacorp and OUE – we’re expecting a lot.
In an elegant interior; arty lighting emphasises soaring ceilings and a glass wall provides sweeping bay views. For a group of up to six, one of the private window-side banquettes would be good; especially if you’re a modest celebrity seeking privacy from lurking paparazzi.
At the suggestion of super-suave general manager Benedict Tan, we embark on an impeccably served dinner that shows off items from all three kitchens, paired with some of the restaurant’s wide selection of wines by the glass.
He has me by the bread-roll. Looking like a dark chocolate muffin, it’s actually asquid-ink brioche so wickedly buttery that I find myself compulsively nibbling at it throughout the meal.
After an amuse bouche duo of salmon tartar with red carrot espuma and rock chives, the first highlight is a sashimi platter ($195 for 15 slices) of Hokkaido salmon, akamai (blue fin tuna), sea bream and salmon roe, its creamy richness offset by a glass of crisp koshu, a sauvignon-blanc-like varietal that grows only in Japan. We’re so impressed.
We’re wowed too by the fresh foie gras en papillote (150g $39; 300g), a generous portion seared and parcelled up with French peaches and rhubarb to produce a delicious jus. With this, a Roaring Meg Pinot Gris from Mount Difficulty in New Zealand’s Central Otago. For the fish, we flit back to Japan: 24-hour miso-marinated cod ($78), paired with a full-bodied sake; then on to China for delicate steamed and smoked chicken thigh rolls ($40).
Other courses include a subtly flavoured tomato stuffed with abalone ($38) from the Chinese kitchen; and a rather underdone Welsh lamb rack ($56) that pairs well with a Crozes-Hermitage Syrah.
Our specially assembled trio of desserts includes matcha green tea pudding from Japan, a chocolate dome from France and pear with hasma (a jelly-like substance from frogs’ intestines) – from China, of course.
This is a place for special occasions; preferably ones when someone else is footing the bill.
Must-try dish: Foie gras en papillote