Upon stepping into the über-stylish ME@OUE, you get the sense of being absorbed into the skyline, with Marina Bay Sands almost slapping you across the face as it curves over the water. The 19th floor setting offers a fresh perspective of the view – you’re suspended between the action below and the twinkling towers above.
I’m here to enjoy The Monarchy, a fashionable new ‘pre-party’ event that takes over the oh-so-trendy open-air rooftop bar every Saturday. Aimed at Singapore’s elite (how I got in is a mystery!), the themed events are about kicking the night off with seriously wicked cocktails and tunes from the hottest internationally-renowned DJs.
But first, the grub! With floor-to-ceiling windows of the Instagrammable (surely that’s a verb by now?) view, the chic theme continues inside ME@OUE’s restaurant, with edgy, sophisticated touches (including private booths facing the bay).
When I say this dining spot has three kitchens – Japanese, French and Chinese – I’m not talking about a blend of cuisines. There are three chefs running three separate kitchens, each open and at the centre of the restaurant.
Following the recommendation of our impeccable waiter MJ, we mixed and matched the menu on a whistle-stop tour through Japan, France and China.
We started with the Tempura ($38), a light, crisp mix of prawns and Japanese vegetables, alongside a sample of the impressive sashimi menu. It’s a good job the Saga Wagyu ($39) and Hokkaido Scallop ($18) was sensational – it was flown over from Japan. The Orient Clams ($24) had to be done; baked in mont d’or cheese and burgundy butter, the French dish was always going to be heavenly. And in China’s corner, Chef Kentaro whipped up Red Lobster ($45) with his own, special chili sauce – think posh chili crab that’s manageable with a knife and fork!
The Seabass En Croûte De Sel ($38) is presented in a rock salt casing, which is whisked back to the French chef and returned cracked and whole. I dare you to try the salty skin! Back in Japan, the Duck Breast Duo ($38) is served in an orange, with pan-seared slices alongside deep-fried bites offering the best of both worlds. If you can manage it, squeeze in Chef Kentaro’s Mapo Tofu ($20), although the szechuan pepper and chili will have you making even more room for the icy cool, tangy Pinapple Pina Colada Tart ($14).
You’d think that after all that food, I wouldn’t have fancied hitting the dance floor at The Monarchy’s rooftop party. But then I opted to sample a few (no, a few more than that) cocktails. I started off with the sweet elderflower and lychee-based Run DMC ($16) and moved onto the Japanese Slipper for Cointreau and citrus ($16). Still too nervous to throw shapes with the in-crowd? The absinthe-heavy Sazerac ($18) will sort that out in a jiffy – I found myself jiggling around until closing.
Must-try dish: Orient Clams
Must-try drink: Run DMC