By now, most of you would have heard that Santi Santamaria, a famous 3-Michelin stars Spanish chef, passed away on 16 Feb 2011 in his restaurant Santi at Marina Bay Sands. It was believed he was speaking to food critics moments before he died.
We have almost tried all of the restaurants at MBS, and thought that this week we will pay tribute to Santi by having dinner here in his restaurant.
Unlike Waku Ghin where you have to book weeks in advance, I was able to book a table on the day of our dinner without having to do any pre-payments. Pretty much fuss free reservation from my point of view. The restaurant also had a beautiful view of the Marina Bay with "pods" extending out.
There is a very cosy lounge area where diners can have their special tapas selections or simply a pre-dinner drink here.
As it was our first visit here, we ordered 2 sets of Seasonal Menu (S$260 per person) .
We were served this vegetable crisps which I felt was quite unusual as I always associate these crisps to something more oriental than Spanish.
A special nutty dip was also provided to go with the vegetable crisps.
Also ordered some drinks from the Wine List. From left: Ruinart Rose (S$42 per glass) and East India Solera, Lustau, a Sherry Wine (S$25 per glass).
The service staff pushed out this special wine cart where he prepared the wine directly infront of us on this special cart.
I could not hear properly what the service staff said, and thought that we were suppose to choose a few kinds of breads from the bread basket. Turns out that everyone was given all the breads in the basket to try. And in between courses, they will continue to fill up your bread basket until you signal them not to.
At the far end of the bread and butter photograph, you can see 2 organic tree bark like containers. They contain both salt and a red chilli pepper powder. Not sure what those containers are made of though.
We had this unique tapas creation of Crab meat soup (served cold).
Followed by another cold appetizer: Palamos Gamba Carpaccio with bottarga, pomelo and pine nut sauce. Palamos is a coastal town in Spain and here we have sweet Spanish prawns which are caught in Palamos. Tiny bites of pomelo, bottarga (cured fish roe) and pine nut sauce adds to the flavours.
Poached Foie Gras in red wine and spices with sauteed peaches. The Foie Gras was poached and hence it was not as oily as other foie gras I had tried before.
We ordered 2 bottles of Voss Sparkling (S$17 per 800ml)
Topinambour Cream Soup with ocean trout "mi cuit" and black truffles. The ocean trout was "mi cuit", which means it was partially cooked to allow for preservation of the fish. I am not sure what the exact procedure was, but the ocean trout was excellent and sweet.
I also enjoyed the sweet scallops from the Fresh Pasta with scallops, black trumpet mushrooms and cava butter
Our list of dishes continue with the Market Fish with crosnes, chanterelle mushrooms and red wine sauce. By now, my early review of Santi is that this restaurant does wonderful seafood dishes, especially fish. All the fish which came out from the kitchen were fresh and delicious. The fish skin here is also grilled till crisp.
We had a choice of 3 selections for our mains. The first we chose was the Venison Rack served with chestut. The venison was tender and full of flavours. Too bad the serving was a bit small.
Another choice of mains was the Suckling Pig with chestnut. I was quite surprised by the presentation with 3 rib bones sticking out. The skin of the pig was crisp and the pork was juicy without the porky flavour. Comparing both mains, I prefer the venison.
You would have thought it's straight to desserts. But nope. The staff happily pushed us the Santi Cheese trolley, which had so much cheese that we needed his help to select just a few cheese for us to try.
The service staff cut out small pieces of the cheese, and we are suppose to eat them in a clockwise manner starting with the cheese between the fig jam, from the lightest to the heaviest (bleu cheese). Honey was also served in the centre too. For me, it was quite a "cheesey" experience of tasting so many different cheese in one sitting.
After the cheese, pre-dessert, which was the Watermelon crushed ice, was brought to our table. At first, I didn't think much of it. But after I tried, I find the watermelon ice refreshing.
Again, there were 2 choices of desserts to choose from. So we had one each. The Rhubarb rice pudding was what I had.
The beautiful Passion fruit pavlova which resembles that of a sunflower had a coconut taste and texture to it.
Our wonderful dinner ended with Petit Fours. I like their versions of the strawberry gummy with a jam centre filling.
Diners who had the Seasonal menu were presented with a small gift of Mashmallows (Lemon, Original and Strawberry).
It's sad that the late Santi is no longer around to oversee his restaurant in Singapore. However, the food experience we had there was excellent and service was really good.
10 Bayfront Avenue,
Casino Level 2,
Marina Bay Sands