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An alumn of Michelin-starred Ryuzu and Béni churns out French- Japanese plates at Duxton Hill
ENTER THE DARK, sexy space where black and white faces on plates line grey walls and a table for two leaves your knees brushing up against your dining partner’s – ideal for dates, not so much for business meetings. But when you’re paying $158 for eight courses and $208 for 11-courses, maybe it’s better if you’re charging the meal to a company account.
First impressions are everything and the starter of cauliflower purée with caviar and uni – while extravagant – fails to excite. Next, we have a salad of five kinds of tomatoes (three from Japan, two from France, we’re told) with dull minced king crab meat. The portions are small, so we can’t help but scratch our heads and wonder, “what exactly am I paying for?”.
Almost as if to answer, we’re served a head on a platter. A lobster head that’s still twitching, to be exact. Its sweet and crunchy flesh is served alongside pristine slices of halibut, seabream and tuna, but the fishiness of the mackerel lets down the otherwise decent plate.
That’s how we feel about most of the other dishes too. The satisfying lobster bisque is light on cream and heavy on flavour, but the small chunks of overcooked lobster leave much to be desired. The A4 Sendai wagyu served with sesame sauce, peas and Brussels sprouts would have been superb if the beef had an even sear. And too much wasabi overwhelmed the nigiri.
With small tweaks, head chef Noboru Shimohigashi could elevate Rizu to the level of his former kitchens, Michelin-starred Ryuzu in Tokyo and Béni in Singapore. But with the hyper-competitive fine-dining scene here, he might not get a chance.
Time Out Singapore reviews anonymously and pays for all meals. Read our restaurant review policy here.
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★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional
39 Duxton Hill
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sun 6pm-11pm|
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