VENUE By Sebastian

January 05, 2018 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

VENUE By Sebastian
6A Shenton Way
#01-02 OUE Downtown 1 Gallery


https://venuebysebastian.com/


Flat Lay Appetizers



Delicious, Contemporary European Tapas, With Asian Touches

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 9
Ambience & Setting: 9
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 9
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $75 per person.


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Founded in May 2017 by the acclaimed Chef Sebastian Ng, formerly of the now-defunct Restaurant Ember, VENUE By Sebastian is his new culinary playground. Returning after a 3 year hiatus, and joined by Chef De Cuisine Jonathan Lee (formerly of Artichoke), Chef Sebastian Ng brings his philosophy of honest, well executed, and tasty dishes to VENUE By Sebastian. Expect delicious contemporary European dishes with a touch of selective Asian influence.

Ambience at VENUE By Sebastian is casual, bright, and welcoming. The simple white, blue, and grey colours, bright white lights, open kitchen, and minimalist decor feels cheery yet relaxing. Furnishings are comfortable and suitable for long, lingering meals, while the open kitchen allows for transparency and interaction. There is a relaxed casual bistro vibe going on here, which is very enticing, so expect to queue during peak periods if you don't have a reservation.

Service at VENUE By Sebastian is comparable to most good restaurants. Staff are welcoming and accord diners personalised attention, you basically feel very well taken care of. I note their product knowledge is excellent, they're able to describe dishes and accurately offer recommendations. Staff are also efficient and proactive, offering to clear away empty / finished plates throughout the meal. They're quick to carry out requests, and I noticed them sourcing chairs from other restaurants just to accomodate diners. Excellent.

Food at VENUE By Sebastian is largely contemporary European, with major French and Italian influences, and a hint of Singaporean and Japanese touches. Their philosophy carries through, each dish is a work of art, well executed and presented, each mouthful a delight. There is an elegant simplicity in taste, so delicious. Portions are mostly tapas / snack size, and meant for sharing. Communal dining is a must here, sharing several plates through the meal. For the excellent quality, prices are surprisingly mid-range, budget about SGD $75 per person for a 3 - 4 course meal with drinks here. Good value for money though.


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VENUE By Sebastian Signage
VENUE By Sebastian Signage


VENUE By Sebastian Exterior
VENUE By Sebastian Exterior


VENUE By Sebastian Interior
VENUE By Sebastian Interior


Open Kitchen (With Chef Sebastian Ng)
Open Kitchen (With Chef Sebastian Ng)


VENUE By Sebastian Menu Food
VENUE By Sebastian Menu Food


VENUE By Sebastian Menu Drinks
VENUE By Sebastian Menu Drinks


Seating


Seating



Love the Water (SGD $Complimentary) served in elegant glasses. Very pretty!

Water
Water (SGD $Complimentary)



The Beer Yuzu Uijin Blond (SGD $15) is a Belgian blonde fruit ale, brewed by the Brasserie De Jandrain-Jandrenouille brewery in the Jandrain-Jandrenouille village of Orp-Jauche municipality, in the Walloon Brabant province of Belgium. It has a bright, clear golden yellow colour, with a soapy white foam head, and aromas of grass, lemon zest, yeast, and bread. The body is medium slick, creamy, with good carbonation, and tastes of yuzu, straw, ginger, and biscuits. Has a light floral, refreshing citrus sweet flavour, with a bitter dry finish that lingers on. Easy to drink.

Beer Yuzu Uijin Blond
Beer Yuzu Uijin Blond (SGD $15)



The Cocktail Fair Lady (SGD $16) features a blend of tequila, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, cucumber syrup, apple tea, and cucumber slices. Has a light fruity sweet floral flavour, very refreshing and enticing. Feels refined and elegant on the palate, aptly named.

Cocktail Fair Lady
Cocktail Fair Lady (SGD $16)



The Cocktail C.O.T.M. (Check Out These Melons) (SGD $17) features a blend of vodka, Midori muskmelon liqueur, rock melon, and soda water, with bits of cured prosciutto crudo / parma ham dotting the rim. Novel flavours of sweet salty savoury, very much like the classic Italian appetizer it takes inspiration from. Good medium stiffness on the palate, seems to be designed and targetted mainly for men.

Cocktail C.O.T.M. (Check Out These Melons)
Cocktail C.O.T.M. (Check Out These Melons) (SGD $17)



The Cocktail Santa's Baby (SGD $18) is served warm, and features a festive blend of Bailey's Irish cream, spiced rum, spiced honey, chai powder, milk, cream, and hazelnuts. Warm and comforting like a hug, flavours of milky spicy sweet boozy. Thick and rich in texture, rather like eggnog or horlicks. Loved it.

Cocktail Santa's Baby
Cocktail Santa's Baby (SGD $18)



Despite the name, the Burnt Toast, Garlic (SGD $3 for 4 pieces) is actually executed well. Crisp slices of sourdough bread, slightly charred on the surface, which gives it a smoky aroma, complementing its wheaty sour flavour. The garlic and olive oil lend both fragrance and flavour... though ultimately, it's still a piece of bread, albeit done well. You won't miss much if you skip this, although I find it pairs well with some dishes, compared to when it's eaten on its own.

Burnt Toast, Garlic (SGD $3 for 4 pieces)


Burnt Toast, Garlic
Burnt Toast, Garlic



The Straight-Cut Fries, Spicy Mayo (SGD $5) are excellent, because the hot, fluffy, thick cut English chips have good potato flavour with a light salted taste. Good on its own, it's better when paired with the spiced mayonnaise, which is savoury spicy in flavour, with a sharp fiery bite that quickly fades.

Straight-Cut Fries, Spicy Mayo
Straight-Cut Fries, Spicy Mayo (SGD $5)


Straight-Cut Fries, Spicy Mayo



The Whitebait, Chili Salt (SGD $9) is so good. Each of the little whitebait fish here is so crisp and crunchy, with a light salty savoury spicy flavour. Quite addictive, we couldn't stop reaching for more of this.

Whitebait, Chili Salt (SGD $9)


Whitebait, Chili Salt
Whitebait, Chili Salt



The Crispy Home Made Tofu, Foie Gras Mirin Sauce, Iced Lettuce (SGD $12) was outstanding with its bold, robust, earthy savoury flavours. The soft wobbly home made tofu beancurd is studded with tender slices of shiitake mushrooms, while the iced lettuce surprised with its refreshing sweetness and bouncy texture. The foie gras and mirin gravy has a lovely smoky aroma, just fatty and salty enough to make you crave more. Feels Japanese inspired, and totally luxurious.

Crispy Home Made Tofu, Foie Gras Mirin Sauce, Iced Lettuce (SGD $12)


Crispy Home Made Tofu, Foie Gras Mirin Sauce, Iced Lettuce
Crispy Home Made Tofu, Foie Gras Mirin Sauce, Iced Lettuce



The Lamb Riblets, Chimichurri Rojo (SGD $5 per stick) are essentially mutton satay, though the meat is thicker in cut with a good fatty chew to texture, and a smoky savoury salty flavour. The chimichurri rojo, or red chimichurri sauce, is a refreshing herbal vegetal marinade that brightens this appetizer. While tasty, I can't get over the fact that this is an expensive option, and poor value for money.

Lamb Riblets, Chimichurri Rojo (SGD $5 per stick)


Lamb Riblets, Chimichurri Rojo
Lamb Riblets, Chimichurri Rojo



The Grilled Octopus, White Bean Puree, Capers, Burnt Butter (SGD $27) is lovely, designed for sharing as a tapas. Creamy and grainy white bean puree forms the base. Tender and bouncy octopus slices, grilled in butter, are stacked neatly over the top. A garnish of capers, paprika, and pepper completes this dish. Looks artistic and visually pleasing. Each mouthful is complex and layered in taste; you get the smoky spice flavour of the seasoning at the front, the sweet savoury flavour of the octopus in the middle, then the earthy starchy notes of the white bean puree at the end.

Grilled Octopus, White Bean Puree, Capers, Burnt Butter
Grilled Octopus, White Bean Puree, Capers, Burnt Butter (SGD $27)


Grilled Octopus, White Bean Puree, Capers, Burnt Butter



The 36-Hour Duck Confit, Truffle Emulsion, Mesclun Frisee, Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette (SGD $19) is a straightfoward dish that manages to be decent but unmemorable, in comparison to the other exciting dishes here. It's well executed, the crispy skin outside envelops tender duck meat inside, which is boldly savoury salty in flavour. The zesty sour lemon mustard vinaigrette lends a bright note to the crunchy and fresh mesclun frisee salad. Completed with an intensely earthy truffle emulsion, punching through the other flavours here. Yet, it somehow manages to be the weakest link amongst the other outstanding dishes we had.

36-Hour Duck Confit, Truffle Emulsion, Mesclun Frisee, Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette
36-Hour Duck Confit, Truffle Emulsion, Mesclun Frisee, Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette (SGD $19)


36-Hour Duck Confit, Truffle Emulsion, Mesclun Frisee, Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette



The Chilean Seabass, Mushroom And Bacon Ragout, Truffle Yuzu Butter Sauce (SGD $36) was, for me, the best dish I ate here. The base of tender wild brown button mushrooms, crispy bacon, and creamy truffle yuzu butter gravy has a complex layered flavour of earthy, savoury, salty, sweet, sour all at once. This is in direct contrast to the large, thick, fresh fillet of Chilean seabass fish / patagonian toothfish, which has a flaky, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture, and a delicate sweet savoury flavour. I had a mind-blown moment with this, and I suspect the others did as well, as we polished this off all too quickly, and yet craved more. Highly recommended.

Chilean Seabass, Mushroom And Bacon Ragout, Truffle Yuzu Butter Sauce (SGD $36)


Chilean Seabass, Mushroom And Bacon Ragout, Truffle Yuzu Butter Sauce
Chilean Seabass, Mushroom And Bacon Ragout, Truffle Yuzu Butter Sauce


Chilean Seabass, Mushroom And Bacon Ragout, Truffle Yuzu Butter Sauce



The Fennel Crusted Lamb Belly, Spicy Bread Crumbs, Romesco (SGD $18) was very good. There are 2 distinct parts to this plate, on one side, a grainy thick gravy of romesco sauce and spiced bread crumbs, smoky and savoury salty spicy on the palate. On the other side, medium thick slices of tender fatty lamb belly, covered in a fennel herb crust. Each bite of this yields a quick herbal vegetal sweet freshness at the front, with a robust fatty savoury salty meaty flavour at the back that lingers on. Feels rich and decadent.

Fennel Crusted Lamb Belly, Spicy Bread Crumbs, Romesco
Fennel Crusted Lamb Belly, Spicy Bread Crumbs, Romesco (SGD $18)


Fennel Crusted Lamb Belly, Spicy Bread Crumbs, Romesco


Fennel Crusted Lamb Belly, Spicy Bread Crumbs, Romesco



Loved the Hand-Cut Pappardelle Pasta, Duck Ragout, Parmigiano Reggiano (SGD $21) and its bold, meaty, robust savoury sweet salty cheesy flavours. The wide, thin, flat sheets of al-dente pappardelle pasta noodles have a slight chew to texture, completed with the meaty duck ragout and garnish of fragrant parmigiano reggiano cheese. Rich but not overwhelming, this will please many.

Hand-Cut Pappardelle Pasta, Duck Ragout, Parmigiano Reggiano (SGD $21)


Hand-Cut Pappardelle Pasta, Duck Ragout, Parmigiano Reggiano
Hand-Cut Pappardelle Pasta, Duck Ragout, Parmigiano Reggiano



The Tiramisu, Kahlua, Wild Cherry In Kirsch (SGD $12) here is well executed. A rather straightforward take on the classic Italian dessert cake, this has layers of creamy mascarpone cheese whipped with eggs and sugar, along with spongy soft ladyfinger biscuits / savoiardi / sponge finger biscuits infused with strong espresso coffee. Bright fruity sweet sour notes from the wild cherries studded within, which have been soaked in Kirsch cherry brandy. Garnished with cocoa powder and spiked with Kahlúa coffee liqueur, which gives it an aromatic boozy kick. Very nice.

Tiramisu, Kahlua, Wild Cherry In Kirsch
Tiramisu, Kahlua, Wild Cherry In Kirsch (SGD $12)


Tiramisu, Kahlua, Wild Cherry In Kirsch



The Pistachio Financier, Hand-Squeezed Coconut Sorbet, Raspberry Yoghurt, Pistachio Yoghurt (SGD $14) is outstanding, easily amongst the best versions of this dessert I've had. The pistachio financier is perfectly executed, warm and slightly crisp outside, moist and fluffy soft inside, with good nutty sweet flavour. The raspberry yoghurt provides a sharp sour foil to cut through the floral earthy sweetness of the creamy smooth coconut sorbet, which was squeezed by hand. But the greatest surprise was the unassuming pistachio yoghurt. Despite its plain looks, it holds a bold nutty sweet flavour and fragrant aroma, with a pleasant grainy texture. Really good, loved it so much we even tried to dip bread in it. Highly recommended!

Pistachio Financier, Hand-Squeezed Coconut Sorbet, Raspberry Yoghurt, Pistachio Yoghurt (SGD $14)


Pistachio Financier, Hand-Squeezed Coconut Sorbet, Raspberry Yoghurt, Pistachio Yoghurt
Pistachio Financier, Hand-Squeezed Coconut Sorbet, Raspberry Yoghurt, Pistachio Yoghurt


Pistachio Financier, Hand-Squeezed Coconut Sorbet, Raspberry Yoghurt, Pistachio Yoghurt



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