A great, if wallet-unfriendly, date place
The new Opus Bar & Grill at Hilton Singapore is like the ‘after’ picture in Extreme Makeover. Gone is the dated décor sported by Checkers, the buffet spot that previously occupied the premises. In its place are undulating curves, tasteful beige furniture and, dominating the space, a grill section that fires up meats and our expectations. We didn’t leave disappointed.
For starters, consider the wood-fired oysters with chorizo and barbecue sauce ($5 each). We feared the chorizo and sauce might overshadow the brininess of the bivalve, but the dish turns out to be a perfect harmony of land and sea. Reminiscent of the Cantonese-style char siew is the 36-hour Pork Belly ($36), which melds caramelised, meltingly tender meat with the sweetness of lychees and the toastiness of roasted coffee beans.
But we’re really here for the steaks ($58-$110). The beef is dry-aged in a Himalayan salt-tiled cabinet, made specially for Opus, for 14 to 36 days. So our perfectly seared 150-day grain-fed Australian Angus tenderloin ($62) didn’t need much else but salt, which comes in a trio of flavours: rosemary, black lava and paprika.
Sidekicks like Mac & 3 Cheese and mashed or roasted potatoes ($7 each), allow the main attractions to shine. However, a few, like the smoked risotto ($7) threaten to steal the show: al dente rice and crunchy bites of charred leek, laced with pecorino cheese and charcoal oil, make it far less cloying than it sounds.
Most of the dishes bear a similar light touch. The Glacier 51 Toothfish fillet ($47) – otherwise known as Chilean sea bass – for example, has a texture similar to cod and can be slightly oily. But head chef Nick Philip plays the fish against brown butter, umami dashi, and the vaguest suggestion of yuzu for a clean finish.
For dessert: bananas, made custard-soft after receiving the grill treatment, are paired with smoked salted caramel, and calamansi and coconut ice cream ($14). There’s also a list of grill- and Asian-inspired whisky cocktails ($20 each).
Hilton Singapore has done a tremendous job revitalising its F&B concept. The food and service at Opus is sterling. But the whole experience will strike fear into your bank account – you leave belly full, wallet empty.
|Venue name:||Opus Bar & Grill||Contact:|
581 Orchard Rd
|Opening hours:||Daily 6.30-10.30pm|
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