[CNY'16] Ce La Vi: Modern Asian CNY Menu and the most 'HUAT' Yu Sheng.

CE LA VI. The ostentatious establishment that occupies the 57th floor of the iconic Marina Bay Sands, was where I partook in a lo hei that I deem the most 'HUAT' of the year. Mainly because, you can't get any higher than that in terms of elevation. The seemingly transparent act of tossing yu sheng from a vantage point garnering enough luck to power me for the whole year, or so I hope.

The iconic rooftop location houses a energetic club that promotes the pursuit of pleasures as well as a fine dining establishment on the other side, sporting floor to ceiling window panels for some unparalleled views of the city skyline. This Lunar New Year, CE LA VI rolls out a lavish Asian inspired meal with the over-indulgent option of wine pairing; a somewhat mandatory choice when exposed to peer pressure from the opulent settings.

Executive Chef Frederic Faucheux has created a festive menu that puts a jazzy spin on Chinese heritage. We kicked off meal with an Oyster shooter, flanked by a citrusy orange jello and wasabi tobiko. Then, ringed in the new year with their Prosperity Yu Sheng Salad - scallop, salmon, tuna, white fish, assorted vegetables, crispy fried lotus root chips, a medley of crunch and texture doused in a spicy plum dressing infused with Japanese chili garlic sauce. If you're one to like your sashimi salads, then, this clean tasting version is very good.

Wine pairing: Tarlant Zero Brut Nature Champagne, France; Condrieu E. Guigal Rhone Valley; Pinot Noir, Bannockburn Felton Road Bannockburn; Vin Santo Del Chianti Classico, Isole e Olena Tuscany

Salt and Pepper Squid is one of those dishes I can never resist. CE LA VI's Lunar New Year version differs from the norm with severed limbs resulting in a more bubbly and puffy crumb like texture with every morsel. You'll enjoy the sweet and salty smoked chili glaze dip mostly for its highly intriguing flavor combination with the sesame seed crusted squid. The Steamed Coral Trout didn't quite do it for me, the refreshing broth rather one dimensional in terms of flavor, and the choice presentation of the sliced fish rendering just a tad overcooked for my liking.

For creatures that once roamed the land, there's the Spring Chicken and the Grilled Char Siew Pork Cheek. Both combining a mixture of South East Asian influence, modern Japanese flavors and Chinese cooking techniques. The former, seasoned with plum powder and calamansi was surprinsgly promising. Bursts of face-cringing tanginess exists amidst a pile of super moist and succulent chicken; crispy charred skin in tact. The grilled char siew pork cheek beckons out to me, it's engrossing display of layers, translucent fats included, may tempt people to skip them. This would be a loss, because the silvers were beautifully cooked, sous vide prior to being grilled for a melt-in-your-mouth texture. The piquant pile of achar taming the chaotic greasy situation.

The following two dishes were less impressive. The Braised Sea Cucumber with Hokkaido Scallop, Shiitake and Broccoli was very average, the careless vertical slicing of the scallops revealed a size differential that translates into unevenly seared sides on some. Skip the Golden Egg Fried Rice with XO sauce as well, the final carb fest falling flat with non-existent seasoning and the absence of a glossy coat around every grain of rice. A quality deemed necessary for an exemplary bowl of humble fried rice paradise.

Fortunately, dessert was in place to restore order in the meal. Pastry Chef Ariane Jimenez rounds up the reunion feast with her Orange and Sesame Dan Gao - a beautiful orange shaped dessert featuring Cointreau diplomat cream, creamy vanilla mousse and textured orange dacquoise. Best part: that chocolate black sesame crumble which really benefited from a healthy pinch of salt.

Available from 28th Jan to 12 Feb 2016 for lunch and dinner. The Lunar New Year feast will set you back at $168++ per person (with a minimum of 2 pax), whereas the wine pairing comes in at an additional $148++ per person. Great if you've got the moolahs to splurge and looking to impress someone special; as I said before, the view from up there, is to die for.

1 Bayfront Avenue
Marina Bay Sands (57th floor)
t: 6688 7688

Operating Hours:
Sun - Wed: 12pm - 3pm; 6pm - 11pm
Thurs - Sat: 12 - 3pm; 6pm - 11 30pm

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