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Perched on the 70th floor of the Swissotel the Stamford, Skai overlooks the civic district down from the Padang to Marina Bay. It replaces Equinox, the tired restaurant with its gaudy carpeted floors and velvet armchairs even the electric city skyline can’t pump life into anymore. The revamped space takes a literal leaf from the modern Japanese design book with green foliage and maple accents adorning the otherwise minimalistic but homey 130-seater venue. Take notes, ‘cos Skai is the penthouse living room of your dreams.
Settle into a tall barstool or cosy up to your date on one of Skai’s many sofas. Amp up the romance with a series of sharing plates. The heirloom tomatoes ($22) are a safe favourite paired with creamy burrata and a capsicum gazpacho that retains its raw, bitter edge to balance out the sweet black olive crumble. Between the two tartares – the chopped Angus beef ($28) and the yellowfin tuna ($24) – go for the latter. The tuna is simply dressed with soy, ginger, lime and togarashi but the pops of ikura, braised daikon and apple add so much dimension to the dish. Even before you scoop it up with the sesame cracker.
Plus, why have the beef tartare when Skai has an incredible range of meat on the menu? Executive chef Paul Hallett is an expert butcher and self-professed lover of steak, so it’s no surprise to see 10 types of rare beef on offer. The Saga Wagyu tenderloin ($170) is a knockout. The marbled slab cuts like butter and the smokiness it adopts from the grill envelopes the palate from the first bite. If you’re watching the wallet, opt for the John Stone rib-eye that’s been dry-aged for 32 days. At $85 for 320g, it’s the most bang for your buck steak option. Each order comes with your choice of sauce and side. We recommend the smooth green peppercorn dip and punchy barbecue as well as the savoy cabbage – an almost Chinese stir-fry with egg ribbons and peanuts – and grilled asparagus.
Dessert isn’t an afterthought, either. The young, award-winning pastry chef Chong Koo Jee leads the team to create sweets that wouldn’t be out of place in a Michelin-starred kitchen. The caramalised soybean cheesecake ($22), torched tableside for dramatic flair, perfectly balances the heavy and sweet miso fudge and cheesecake with the light and acidic citrus jelly and lemon sorbet. The yuzu white chocolate ($22) is another sight to behold: the chocolate tree anchors the yuzu and lychee elements, creating a dish that’s not just visually pleasing but undoubtedly delicious.
It’s clear to see that the team at Skai has pushed itself to new heights. Many of them – from chefs Hallett and Chong to the service staff and bartenders – are from the team that previously helmed Equinox. They’ve worked together to raise the standards of the restaurant and elevate its position in Singapore’s dining scene. After all, the view is better from the top.
Time Out Singapore reviews anonymously and pays for all meals. Read our restaurant review policy here.
What the stars mean:
★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional
70/F Swissôtel The Stamford
2 Stamford Rd
|Opening hours:||Mon–Fri: 12–2.30pm, 6–10pm. Sat: 12–3.30pm, 6–10pm. Sun: 11.30am–3.30pm, 6–10pm|
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