Sunday, April 27, 2008

Equinox Restaurant

Had dinner at Equinox Restaurant - the much acclaimed restaurant perched right at the top of Swissotel The Stamford, on the 69th storey no less, which at 226m, gives it one of the highest vantage points in Singapore. Famed more for its bird's eye view than its Asian and Western cuisines, Equinox has consistently made it to various Singapore restaurant publications as one of the top restaurants in Singapore nevertheless.

View from the top & Interior

From the moment you step out of the express elevator, the panoramic backdrop of Singapore's urban landscape greets you through floor to ceiling windows. The amphitheatre styled restaurant is tastefully designed with subtle oriental influences through the use of wood and overhanging red Chinese lanterns. The world slows to a crawl in this elegant restaurant, giving one a sense of space and serenity, perfect for a laid back dinner.

Stamford Tower Cocktail & Complimentary Bread

The complimentary bread looked really appetising with lots of variety but the truth of the matter was, it was lousy. Most of the bread was dry and hard and probably the only decent one was the bun with sugar and cheese but even then, it was too sweet. It definitely didn't help that the accompanying butter was rock hard as well.

Cappucino of Wild Mushrooms

The soup sure didn't look enticing, especially with the seemingly charred black slice of toast atop. But to give it credit, it tasted decent but did come across as a tad too oily for my liking. There was definitely nothing wild about the taste and I can probably get better mushroom soup elsewhere at a fraction of the price. (I'm not sure how much it costs because it comes with my degustation menu, but being Equinox, you can be sure it isn't going to be cheap).

Roasted Japanese Scallops

Plain bland would be most apt in describing the scallops. Huge as they were, they were neither sweet nor juicy. Interestingly, straddled in between pieces of scallops were scallop lookalike soft and wobbly pieces of Boudin Blanc, white sausages made from pork without the blood, which had a faint liver taste. So in actual fact, there were only 3 pieces of scallops, all for a whopping $28.

Tian of Mud Crab and Avocado

Just a little background on the word Tian. Its actually a square or rectangular French casserole dish originally used for baking. Fanciful names and aesthetics aside, the mud crab and avocado was decent, with the rawness of the crab not overpowering. The bits of avocado in between provided a refreshing change from the monotony of the crab.

Roast Foie Gras Escalope

I shuddered as I took my first bite of the foie gras. First there came shock and then disappointment started to set in. It was neither soft nor wobbly! I am really appalled at such standards. However, I must say that the honey cake that came alongside was spongy and actually made the foie gras bearable.

White Miso Glazed Cod

I've always liked cod fish and Equinox's rendition of the cod was quite good, with the flesh being soft and smooth yet firm enough to retain its form. However I did find the drizzled white miso sauce a little too sweet which made me nauseous after a while. Thank god for the greens that came with it!

Tenderloin of Beef 'Rossini'

Done up medium rare as per my request, the beef was absolutely disappointing. Dry and tough doesn't even begin to describe it. Portions were small and it lacked the sweetness and beefy taste that all decent beef should have. What more can I say?

Hazelnut Chocolate Bar

I liked this quite a bit. The chocolate bar was quite smooth yet not too rich with a nice crunchy biscuit base. Accompanying the chocolate bar was a nice scoop of mint ice cream which I don't usually like, but this one was light and sat very well with me.

Sweet Temptation - Milk Chocolate Orange Gateau, Fig and Sangria Gelee & Yoghurt Sorbet, Contemporary Apple Tart & Nougat Chips, Araguani Chocolate Cream & Vanilla Chantilly & Coffee Granite

Overall the dessert platter was decent. For starters, the milk chocolate orange gateau was rather interesting with the chocolate gateau hinting strongly of orange. Quite a nice combination in my humble opinion.
I didn't quite take to the fig and sangria gelee though, as I'm not exactly a fan of fig or sangria. And the texture of the gelee (jello) reminded me of hardened "kuay" then anything else. The yoghurt sorbert was alright though but nothing fantastic.
The contemporary apple tart's biscuit was a tad too hard and dry but the apple cubes were nice without being too sweet or sour. Having said that, it wasn't exactly wow for me.
The highlight of the dessert platter has to be the Araguani chocolate cream. Topped with vanilla chantilly (cream) and coffee granite, this combination proved to be rather interesting when everything was mixed together. Bitter and sweet altogether. The addition of chocolate balls to this dessert gave it a nice crunchy texture as well.


Expectations, expectations, expectations. That's what it all boils down to. Seriously, the food isn't bad, just that I had high expectations of it with all the hype and of course the steep pricing, standing at just over $310 ($177 after 50% discount) for 2 pax. Service is good but honestly, the food's not worth returning for. For the view and ambience, maybe.

Likes: Good service, fantastic view
Dislikes: Average food, expensive

Final Verdict:
Value for money:5.5/10


Address: Level 69, Swissotel The Stamford

Contact: 68373322

Opening Hours:

Lunch (buffet): 12.00pm to 2.30pm (Mon to Sat)

Brunch: 11.00am to 2.30pm (Sun)

Hi-Tea (buffet): 3.00pm to 5.00pm (Mon to Sat) / 3.30pm to 5.30pm (Sun)

Dinner (a-la-carte): 6.30pm to 11.00pm (Mon to Sat) / 7.00pm to 11.00pm (Sun)



red fir said...

*shudder* at your foie gras too. I've also been having bad foie gras recently and they all came from top-end restaurants. What heresy.:(

Ironically, that piece of foie gras in the Brown Sugar's wagyu burger was much better.

fatpig said...

I'm still craving for the foie gras from sage. It has kinda set the standard for foie gras in Singapore. :D~~~

red fir said...

Then go again after they reopen on tue :)

fatpig said...

I intend to. Have a Sage voucher lying around =D

His Food Blog said...

Lucardia and Claud were lamenting about Sage's Foie Gras and Scallop too during HGW's dinner at Tea Cosy.

Looks like I have to burn another hole in my pocket for Sage soon. Can't wait to cancel Sage off my wishlist! Or are you still intending to sell me the voucher for $70.. Ha!

Anonymous said...

Luckily you had 50% off.. else it would be painful..!

red fir said...

My recollections of good foie gras:
1. Les Amis when Gunther was still at helm. But's that's like friggin' $60 so it had better be good
2. Sebastien's when Sebastien was still around
3. Au petit salut when it was still at the Jalan Merah saga location

I know that Saint Pierre has one of the best foie gras in Singapore. I just don't know why of the so many times I ate there I never once felt like foie gras! >.<

red fir said...

oh yes, IMO, I still think the French can do better foie gras than the Italians.

fatpig said...

Yes definitely. The French can do Foie Gras better.
I wonder how the foie gras is like at Gunthers. I probably should try Saint Pierre as well.

red fir said...

oh gosh! eat Emmanual's foie gras and then nary any others! :p

yups, gunther cooks well. Besides the foie gras which was so wobbly and oily :), he does super seafood dishes. I should think it's not so expensive now over at his eponymous restaurant, albeit a smaller piece. The one I had at Les Amis was huge.

fatpig said...

You are giving me a very good reason to go to Gunthers and Saint Pierre. My poor heart =S

His Food Blog said...

Ice: Didn't Foie Gras originate from French? So yes, French can do better than Italians.

fatpig: Dun forget me! Let's get heart attack together. Heh.

red fir said...

fatpig & hisfoodblog: If you can afford the time, try Saint Pierre for their set lunches. They offer really good value for money 2 to 4 course sets priced $28++ onwards, I believe. You can opt to upgrade your starter for foie gras for an additional $8? I think. This place doesn't compromise the quality for their set lunches, they use even premium ingredients and have good variety selections, foie gras terrine included. Dinner can warrant you a heart attack if you go for a straight 3-4 course meal, but it's worth your last meal mua haha & penny coz it's damn good. Portions both for set lunches and ala carte are very atypical of the usual watered down ones you find elsewhere. Serving sizes are huge (really! even for set lunch!)compared to the usual French fine dining portions.

Gunther's offer a 3-course lunch set for $38++. I've had friends who tried and raved about it. :)

Dang! Now you 2 make me want get heart attack too! >.<

fatpig said...

38++ seems to be the norm for set lunches nowadays, so $28++ seems really cheap. I sure hope Saint Pierre offers set lunches on saturdays :p

red fir said...

oh the $28 is only for 2 courses :p
I think Saint Pierre doesn't open for sat lunch. You can check their webbie.

R said...

sorry, this may be rather off-topic, but speaking of french, has anyone ever tried les bouchons(be it at annsiang or robertson)? i walked past the other day and it was smelling really good. also, do any of the french restaurants in this thread serve duck fat frites? mmmmmms.

fatpig said...

I tried Les Bouchons at Ann Siang for lunch 2 months back. The steaks aren't really very good and they are kinda expensive. The place was very cramp as well.

Anonymous said... come u got 50% discount ar?
i noob i duno lol

fatpig said...

Hi curious guy, I have the Feed at Raffles card thats why =)