Dining with a view [Part 1]: Stellar at 1-Altitude presents their special Tajima Wagyu program

Clearing my throat and attempting to get rid the ear barotrauma that had developed from the swift elevator ride up to 62nd floor of One Raffles Place Building; the cool gust of air that greets me at the tip of the spacious natural light awashed dining room worked wonders in refreshing the senses instantaneously.

The purpose of my visit, to explore Chef Christopher Millar's brand new nip tuck culinary program featuring Tajima Wagyu which the restaurant now painstakingly sources and wait for it... rears their own cattle at Australia's premium Wagyu farm Tiana Park (NSW). Talk about dedication to curating the best produce! This process devising a canny way of getting back in the media again. We're talking the opportunity to feature a myriad of cuts (both secondary and premium) in mixed fashion and with the added flexibility of dry-aging at your own will; Chef Christopher Millar has definitely got it all figured out.

We began our journey on 'The Road to Tajima' with a pleasant amuse bouche - liquified homemade vegemite is stuffed into a crisp hollow pastry pocket; leaving one to gasp in silent reverence (hopefully with you mouth closed) as the pastry collapses. The next seafood appetiser follows swiftly; the inclusion of seafood amidst the showcase of wagyu pulling the meal structure in an intriguing direction. Here, Seared Hokkaido Scallops got fancied up with pancetta puree and a sprinkle of Blood sausage (Morcilla) crumb. If that weren't enough, the kitchen sat a Belon Oyster squarely on the plate. It's sea-worthiness and slight zinc notes singing in perfect harmony with the similarly creamy innards of the sweet scallop. 

Tri-tip is a less explored subprimal cut in Singapore. For those of you who are unsure, it's the large, tender, triangular muscle cut from the bottom sirloin of a steer. It may be a tad hard to work with but given the skill sets of Chef Millar and his team, that and a little patience of course, the sturdy hunk is transformed into a dish that fulfills all raveneous appetites at the table. Brined for odds on end then placed on the josper grill, the results are alarmingly good. The Wood-fired Tajima Tri-tip retains its expressive meaty flavor and is further accentuated by a slight show of coffee sauce made from roasted coffee beans infused in red wine veal jus. Lest for the poor choice of service ware that set off an awkward wind chime movement in the room from the clanking of sharp edged knives brazenly crashing across melamine surfaces; this was a very decent medley.

Here at Stellar at 1-Altitude, the prawns are so screamingly fresh, it makes you wonder how does the chef practice so much restraint as to not overwork the equation. In the newly introduced dish of Three Textures of Carabineros Prawn, the gargantuan prawn gets stripped down and upgraded in various mannerisms. First, the head is stuffed with roe mousse tartare and chorizo butter - magnificent when sucked on in the most dainty way you can muster; then the body is dished out in foamy prawn consomme and quinoa;the final flourish is the dehydrated tail which could have used a tiny bit more seasoning in my honest opinion.

The Braised Tajima Chuck Rib stole my heart at first bite. Pickled and served in red wine veal jus infused with coffee beans; this heady and well-marbled protein gets a slight nudge in the right direction. The well-crisped fondant potato cube would easily win the title of spud of the year, if such a thing existed. What an ephemeral experience.

While I was caught nursing my glass of wine and whiling away the afternoon, surrounded in snowfields of linen and huge glass windows. Chef Christopher and what seemed to be his whole kitchen entourage comes busting through the private room doors in feign attempt to set off the fire alarm. The mission, scorch the paper barks in which our next course of Line Caught Dutch Brill was cooked and served in. Imported from its native land of Australia, the scent of roasted paper bark brought a whole different dimension of flavors to the fish bathed in a delicious amount of scallion butter. It seemed at this point that the gastronomic centre of gravity had shifted to the fish course; but this was quickly reformed with the last dish. The Sous Vide Tajima Oyster Blade (MS 7 - 8) interleaved with freshly sliced truffle and pickled radish, draped over a combed out hillock of beetroot hummus enlivened with tahini, was grounded yet a decadent way to showcase one of the most premium cuts of beef.

Food comatose sets in. Fortunately or unfortunately, the kitchen had one last trick up its sleeves. The 'live-action' plating of a 5 course dessert over black slates leaving me absolutely besotted. Get the napkins ready. What the specifics are, I can't quite recall, but my favourites include the Valrhona Cremeux, a mixture of textures made highly addictive with dulcey and Valrhona's infamous Hazelnut praline; as well as the Volcanic Pavlova presenting a study of textures from charcoal pavlova to mara de bois, chamomile ice-cream, salted ducey mousse and honeycomb crumbs. Sublime. It didn't take us long to demolish the entire set-up.

In addition to the three cuts that we got to sample today, the kitchen will be presenting the rest of the 20 unique cuts from every part of the wagyu through a cleverly planned menu to take place over the next couple of months. Expect to see the intercostals and karubis on the menu soon!

Diners can enjoy Stellar at 1-Altitude's speciality tajima Wagyu cuts at dinner from Monday to Friday (6 30pm to 10pm), Saturday (6pm - 10pm) and Sunday (6pm - 9pm) via the a la carte three course menu ($110++ per person) or the six-course Constellations menu ($130++ per person); for the high minded, there's the truly indulgent Antipodes menu ($190++ per person) which puts forth a seasonal selection of speciality cuts from their own cattle. Meat lovers looking for a ethereal experience, do make sure to sign up now!

Stellar at 1-Altitude
Level 62
1 Raffles Place
t: 6438 0410

Operating Hours:
Mon - Fri: 12 - 2pm; 6 - 10pm
Sat: 6 - 10pm
Sun: 6- 9pm

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