Dining with a View [Part 4]: CÉ LA VI introduces New Executive Chef Joey Sergentakis

Most tourists to Singapore would be familiar with CE LA VI as a go-to destination for a quick sunset tipple and killer views of the harbor area. Not necessarily dubbed as spot to put Singapore's culinary scene on the map, I always felt that its stellar "high-off-the-ground" location to be such a waste. Hence imagine my interest piqued at the mention of a new Executive Chef taking over the reigns! Chef Joey Sergentakis who previously ran the kitchen floors of Mr and Mrs Fox in Hong Kong and propelled it to Hong Kong Tatler's Best New Restaurant 2016 position; is the best news I've heard from the joint in a while. I gathered my skirts in eager anticipation of the refreshed menu featured.

Lured by a cool breeze sweeping through the open-aired dining room, I find myself at a corner table with a superbly late dining companion and a glass of crisp chardonnay. Things couldn't have worked out better. The rest of the weekend lunch went off at lightning pace, the adequate lighting situation making food photography a breeze. The Hokkaido Scallop and Oyster Ceviche ($34 for 4) puzzled us with its classification, instead a plump scallop trails a citrus lisped calamansi and lemongrass oil. Pomelo and coriander flecked with just a teensie ounch of heat reflecting an uncanny Thai influence. It is good.

The Braised Sea Bream in Coconut Red Curry did not disappoint either. Despite it not being the most innovative nor authentic, it was pulled off nicely with just a whisper of rich coconut that did not overwhelm the delicate succulent fish. 

I'm met with mixed feelings about the next course, Three slices of meat clad in fermented bean paste and flanked by sweet potato noodles and kimchi. The Cast-Iron Roasted Rangers Valley 'Black Market' Ribeye ($55 for 5-6 slices instead of what's demonstrated in the photo below) had a high-minded price tag attached to it but didn't quite deliver the portion sizes that one would expect. The Korean references, nothing but middling rifts that backfired on the Chef's thoughtful creativeness. With that said, the overlooked Korean elements on the plate were the more memorable fragments as the ribeye was massacred with a less than juicy configuration in dire need of more seasoning. 

While I was slightly dismayed by the lack of deliverance with the previous course, I was appeased by dessert. The Petite Watermelon and Rose Gateux ($26) matched crunch from dehydrated meringue with the floral sweetness of white chocolate and rose mousse. The surprise includes a juicy wedge of watermelon buried under the spiky dome held in place by a silver of genoise sponge. I would have loved to see a greater variation of textures across the board - dehydrated meringue alternated with torched meringue perhaps?

Similar to my previous experience, the less than earnest attempt to sell hit-or-miss food at inflated prices and the mitigate that fact with the flourish of stellar city views is a bit unnerving. Till the kitchen pads itself with better techniques and cohesive Asian inspired amalgamations; my advice would be to take your money elsewhere if you're looking for a posh dinner.

Marina Bay Sands
1 Bayfront Avenue
t: 6508 2188

Operating Hours:
Mon - Tues: 12pm - 2am
Wed - Thus: 12pm - 3am
Fri: 12pm - 4am
Sat: 11am - 4am
Sun: 10am - 10pm

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