One of the great things about sharing your passion with like-minded, people is that you become one of the first names they recall when they comes across a good restaurant / eatery. This happened recently with a foodie colleague of mine, who stumbled upon Venue by Sebastian recently and asked me to join him in exploring the place.
At this point, I already consider myself fortunate for being one of the first names that come to mind when my family and friends find potentially awesome food joints. But when the place turns out to be a gem, I become grateful at a whole new level. After my meal at Venue by Sebastian, I have to share that I was both impressed and converted into an evangelist for this place. Which is why I came back soon after but this time, with a group of friends to increase the variety of dishes.
Now that I’ve finished swooning over this place, let’s talk about the meat.
While Venue by Sebastian does occasionally change its menu, there was only one substantial beef dish that we could find on the menu at that point of time. The Grilled Stockyard Ribeye, Salsa Verde ($48) arrived in a neatly sliced order, with some leaves on the side and the salsa verde on the other. We ordered it to be medium and that’s exactly what the marvelously pink hue in the center represented.
The meat was tender and the salsa while strong in taste, didn’t overpower the meat and instead complemented it. It was however, just a good steak with decent flavour. Another carnivore was in the group with me and he agreed that while it’s good beef, it’s pretty much forgettable. So I can’t say it’s great value for beef, but the other dishes will quickly turn the tide. 7/10.
The other serving of red meat was the Duck Confit, Truffle Emulsion, Frisee ($19). This was actually the dish that convinced me into recommending the place to my French colleagues. The duck’s skin was delightfully crispy and fragrant, while the flesh underneath was moist, tender and just brimming with flavour. The tenderness made it easy to pick the flesh apart using just cutlery and I definitely enjoyed every second of it.
The accompanying truffle emulsion was unlike any truffle-influenced dishes I’ve tried before. While the aromatic yet pungent flavour was still present, it wasn’t an assault to the senses. It went beautifully with the duck, making a delicious ‘dipping’ sauce.
Fans of duck confit will know that it’s rare to find quality choices in Singapore, so if you’re ever hankering for one, I highly recommend trying this option. My French colleague was impressed and I have no doubt you will be as well. 9.8/10.
The Wood Grilled Chermoula Chicken, Lemon ($15 per leg) was next and it was easily one of my favourites. Juicy, moist meat that easily tears off the bone with each bite. Add a little zest from the grilled lemon and the flavours from that Chermoula marinade brighten up further. I loved the golden-brown skin with little charred spots, giving it a handsomely appetising feel. Such a seemingly simple dish actually brought forth a multitude of flavours. I detected a mix of smokiness, saltiness from the skin and some heat from the marinade.
One thing you might want to note is that because the chicken is cooked perfectly, the glistening white flesh under the skin might look a little underdone at first glance. But that’s what perfectly cooked chicken looks like, so rest assured. Brilliant flavours combined with reasonable pricing really creates value that I appreciate. 9.2/10.
Unsurprisingly, the non-red meat dishes were just as well prepared and brought about lots of surprising flavours. And what looked like the crowd’s absolute favourite was the…Chilean Seabass, Mushroom Ragout, Truffle Yuzu Butter Sauce ($32).
This dish was the most raved about and it was pretty obvious why. It consisted of extremely fresh, silky smooth fish flesh with a caramelised exterior, sitting on a savoury bed of sauteed mushrooms and decadent, creamy butter sauce. The combination of the elements made for a blissful moment with every mouthful. This was by far the best combination of flavours and quite possibly the best restaurant dish many of us have ever had. While I do think it’s worth the price, I still wish that the price was just a little under. All in all, a crowd-pleaser and mood-lifter. 9.8/10.
The other non-meat item I found to be worth a mention was the Raw Hokkaido Scallop, Daikon, Yuzu Vinaigrette ($17). I’ve never been a fan of raw scallops, even in reputable Japanese restaurant. There was always something about the texture being too mushy for my taste.
I’m glad to have tried this dish here though, because it surpassed all expectations. The scallop was firm, yet soft enough to almost melt in my mouth. The salad and vinaigrette was a refreshing accompaniment for the scallop. I found myself finishing my greens with minimal resistance and that’s saying a lot (just check with anyone who knows me). Just love how I keep getting pleasantly surprised with almost every dish. And this one deserves a 9.2/10.
I’ve walked past the establishment once, during their break. The team was having an early dinner and I could see that they were treated like family. And it shows in their service. They’re always upbeat, flashing a smile and have surprisingly good knowledge about the menu. One of the staff even shared with me about the meat displayed in the dry aging fridge.
The ambience is like the food, clean, fresh and possesses an uplifting vibe. What impresses me the most if is the culinary skills shown in every dish. They’re always cooked perfectly and the combination of ingredients to enhance natural flavours is most impressive.
Should You Try It?
If you appreciate good food then yes. It’s a value place to enjoy fine dining-quality food at reasonable prices.
Venue by Sebastian
6A Shenton Way
#01-02, Downtown Gallery
Mon – Sat: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm (Lunch)
Mon – Sat: 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm (Dinner)
Tel: +65 6904 9688
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