If there's a proper way to celebrate World Whisky Day (not to be confused with International Whisky Day, which deserves its own party) on 18 May, it's not just to offer a four-course, Scotch whisky-pairing dinner menu on the weekend of the event, but to nurse it for as long as possible – say, two months. And this is what this perpetually mood-lit Scottish restaurant in Clarke Quay is doing.
On our visit, the four-course menu came with a free 330ml bottle of FIJI artesian water which its distributors claim to be the perfect mixer for whisky because its purity and smoothness enhances, rather than dilutes, the taste. To prove their point, they made us do a comparison test: we drank spring water, tap water and FIJI water and noted down each one's qualities based on three profile indicators: mouth feel (is it smooth or coarse?), body (is it soft or hard?) and after taste (is it clean, refreshing, sweet, salty or metallic?). It was an exciting activity – for about four seconds. But, as they say, the proof of the drinking is in the sipping, so we also compared a glass of single malt whisky lightly sprinkled with FIJI with another glass mixed with tap water. Winner: FIJI, hands down, bottoms up.
The meal started with a traditional Scottish chicken and leek broth, paired with the Glenkitchie Distiller Edition, which we will nickname gentle giant. It was followed by seared scallops served with incredibly tasty mashed green peas and a conversation about a veterinarian recommending feeding green peas to a flatulent dog. That went down well with the smokey Caol Ila 12 Year Old from the Islay region. For mains, we chose the grass-fed sirloin with bush pepper sauce, which we gladly ripped apart and enjoyed with the rich and spicy flavour of a Macallan 18 Year Old. Our neighbour got the crispy duck confit paired with Bowmore 12 Year Old and looked just as pleased.
Dessert was still paired with the golden liquid. We got the Cranachan, which sounded good for breakfast the next day: whisky-soaked oats with raspberries and whisky coulis. It was paired with the honeyed, fruity Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old. The other choice was sticky toffee pudding, served with Glenrothes Select Reserve.
$120++ per person, including a complimentary 330ml bottle of FIJI water. A second bottle can be ordered at half the price ($2++).