Dining with a view [Part 2]: Me@OUE has a brand new Executive Chef

Quickly scanning through the brief introduction sent across via email, my eyes hitched upon "The 33-year old Penang native, now helms the restaurant and oversees the Japanese, French and Chinese kitchens." Almost immediately, the universe began sending me messages. Don't. However, if the story were to progress in that imminent direction, you wouldn't be reading this meritorious review I'm about to expound.

One highlight of the meal being Kumamoto Wagyu A4 which isn't much of an off-script move but resulted in a chimera of narratives, which in actual fact happened in cosmic silence, implementing only audible sighs at the table, as the two of us polished off the charcoal grilled striploin sitting cosily in pumpkin puree. That's a romantic tale I would avouch for again later.

You'd think going out for a little fancy 'fusion' meal with city skyline views would be a little cliche, and it's true where many other joints hugging the bay are concerned - good, but dire tourist traps that are over priced and over-boiled. Me@OUE is not one of them, the initial stride into restaurant territory feeding the illusion of wealth. Polished parquet tables, high ceilings, sparse and formal, yet home to a couple of booth seats that advocates privacy and just a sprig of cheekiness. It's regal yet alluring all at the same time.

Taking the similar if-it-aint broke formula of a food court and upgrading it with a couple of extra jazzy moves; Me@OUE pulls out all the stops with their menu, its creative muscle, three celebrity chefs joining forced under one gorgeous rooftop restaurant. We have this saying that 'too many cooks spoil the broth', however Me@OUE challenges that notion and finds the right balance, almost like a charming multilingual child.

To deprieve yourself of oysters here would be cruel and unusual punishment, especially when a glass of that Bernard Lonclas Blanc de Blanc Chardonnay from the France streams in with a single hand (other hand behind back) pour. Freshly shucked St. Vaast Oysters from Normandy garnished with vintage Caviar d'aquitaine has its luxe factor enhanced by a simple silver of pickled onion and finger lime for pinches of tannins.

The epic meal line-up graduates with graceful quietude, the Hokkaido Botan Ebi Tartare indulged me in all my food nerdiness. Fresh botan prawns are given royal treatment, tangled with the likes of uni, ikura and kumamoto cherry tomato. The dish entailing good sourcing, preparation , portioning and balance. 

If you aren't quite as concerned about your lipid levels as I am, the next course is one that most won't leave without trying, and I implore you to. Signature Foie Gras Chawanmushi, give me a moment please, I feel hungry just from the recollection process, is an inspired rift on the ubiquitous side dish, except that it's elevated to the point of being sacrilegious. Think decadence stemming from every bite since foie gras is churned into the egg custard and the comforting thickened crab meat topping is built on such strong foundations of superior stock. Me@OUE has in its possession a killer wine list that won't be cheap and will be delicious. No surprises here as the sommelier pairs this ostentatious dish with a 2011 Peccavi Chardonnay imbued in strong straw tones with a lingering fragrance of melon and mild residual oakiness. I sank deeper into the cushion of banquet seating. It's riveting.

An Okinawan Black Rock Fish (Aka Mebaru) rocks up to the table, it's provenance enhanced only by perfect steaming methods and a pickled chili sauce which is kryptonite.

You'll scarf that down easily, washing the palate with a Frey Sohler Gewürztraminer which is somewhat of an off-kilter pairing for the somewhat spicy dish. Then we arrive at the pinnacle of the Me@OUE dining experience. Beauty and conflict are often intertwined, and you will encounter both in the Kumamoto Wagyu A4 striploin. The latest weapon in its arsenal - the caviar of meats, prized Kumamoto beef from the picturesque island of Kyushu to be featured across all three kitchens. The well-marbled slab that barely sees the need for a knife puts an exclamation point to the gastronomic journey. I would take seconds and perhaps thirds and mutter to myself that food of this quality was wasted on all these people who just happened to be able to afford it. Polish it off with a swig of the recommended Château Sénéjac. At this point, I have never trusted any Sommelier more.

I could not fanthom desserts at this point, in fact, after that wave of gustatory pleasure, I contemplated not brushing my teeth. However, with the well structure mind-set of any executive chef, desserts had been put in place to highlight the pastry team. It's not an exclusive fin-and-cattle sorority here, dessert matches the momentum set by the mains. Dams of orange chiffon and torched meringue burst to unlock new potencies of passion fruit lava in the Passion Fruit "Alaska" whilst barely set sakura mousse lie smooshed between tender orange blossom sponge in the Sakura Cherry Blossom.

Perched up high over the waters, Me@OUE may be surrounded by blocks and blocks of high-density work spaces, but the view is unparallelled and the outdoor viewing gallery cum lounge bar is a good excuse to linger a little longer. And just like the pleasant arrival of spring, Chef Sam Chin's menu will reveal flashes of culinary epiphany. So take a seat, do some homework prior to that to prevent burning a larger-than-life hole in your pocket, knock back some gorgeous wines and enjoy a four course meal for an affable $98 - trust me, it's worth the call-out fee.

OUE Bayfront Rooftop
50 Collyer Quay
t: 6634 4555

Operating Hours:
Mon - Fri: 12pm - 2pm; 6pm - 10pm
Sat: 6pm - 10pm

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