Marina Bay Sand’s Epicurean Market is back!!! After skipping a year, I went back this year and in one afternoon, I ate up a storm! Out of 21 dishes, my favourites were 1. Cut’s Sirloin steak, 2. DB Bistro’s Lobster & Corn Chowder, 3. Sky on 57’s Slow Cooked Egg, Potato Espuma, Iberico Pork Belly, Sauteed Mushroom and Chicken Jus, and 4. Long Chim’s Thai Coffee Ice cream.
This year was much different from two years ago. It was much more spacious with ample seating. I skipped last year’s as I was having a fat week then so skipped to save calories. This year, I could not help but notice how empty it felt. Aside from Waku Ghin, there were hardly any long queues for the rest of the stalls. I blame it on the expensive entry tickets. $35 for three days entry is not worth it as one simply cannot eat such rich food for three days in a row.
This afternoon, armed with three foodie friends, we almost went all out. Bliss. There were a lot of lobster and foie gras dishes. It seems these two ingredients scream-out Luxury. As a huge fan of foie gras, this was no problem to me.
However there were much disappointments such as Yardbird Southern Bar and Kitchen. I had high hopes but the Chicken with Waffle and Watermelon was one dry motherf***ker. Wasted my calories. I really wanted to like Adrift by David Myer again but the four dishes we got from them were mostly underwhelming. The tropics-looking Crispy River Crabs was more looks than substance.
Our intense spread.
Behold 21 dishes ranked in order of preference:
- Cut’s Snake River Farms Sirloin with Cream Spinach and Steak Sauce ($35)
The marbling in this sirloin steak was mind-blowing. Out of this world tender, juicy and beefy. For a restaurant that serves minimum $100 steaks only, this $35 for four slices was well worth it and the best dish of them all! My Aussie friend was swooning over this. From a country that specializes in beef, I was convinced my tastebud was not playing tricks on me. So good.
2. Sky on 57’s Slow Cooked Egg, Potato Espuma, Iberico Pork Belly, Sauteed Mushroom and Chicken Jus ($8)
This was downright special. I have always been a fan of Sky on 57 and out of every dish on its menu, this was the best! Little juicy pieces of iberico pork belly, the smooth potato espuma that was like mashed potatoes, everything came together and it was fireworks. For $8, totally worth it.
3. DB Bistro’s Lobster & Corn Chowder ($15)
One word. Shiok. The most comforting and flavourful bisque FILLED with little pieces of Lobster. Unforgettable.
4. Bread Street Kitchen’s Pork Crackling Slider with BBQ Sauce ($12)
I do not remember anything about this burger save for the BBQ sauce that was amazing!
5. Spago’s Foie Gras Kaya Toast ($18)
The Kaya was smooth but could have more coconut-y. However the foie gras was executed beautifully. Overall this dish was so good.
6. Bread Street Kitchen’s Fish & Chips ($14)
The fish was a little fishy-tasting but it was so moist and flesh so smooth. No hint of oiliness at all. If not for the quality of the fish, a perfectly executed British classic.
7. Adrift’s Foie Gras Banh Mi with Lotus Chips ($10)
Foie Gras is just great but this was surprisingly forgettable. First Adrift disappointment.
8. Crispy Hungarian Mangelica Pork Jowl ($10)
Despite its deep-fried nature, pork jowl pieces were tender and juicy but a tad over-seasoned.
9. Sky on 57’s Poached Lu Shui Foie Gras on Crispy Man Tou & Pickles ($10) and Hijiki Marinated Loch Fyne Scottish Salmon Tartare on Toast ($10)
Good but not mind-blowing.
10. Sky on 57’s Papillote of Ginseng Infused Corn-fed Hen ($10)
Was just a tender bird in herbal soup. Not bad and definitely beats the next bird.
11. Yardbird Southern Bar and Kitchen’s Lwellyn’s Fried Chicken, Watermelon and Waffles ($12)
Most highly anticipated, greatest letdown. The waffle was sooo dry, it was begging for some moisture. The execution wasn’t spot-on. This left little to be desired.
12. Yardbird Southern Bar and Kitchen’s Mini Mama’s Chicken Biscuits ($6)
Lack of sauce killed this dish. Buttery, crumbly buttermilk biscuits with deep-fried chicken, this dish was calling out for some moisture element. Another disappointment. My enchantment with the newest MBS celebrity restaurant was over with this dish.
13. Db Bistro’s Short Rib and Foie Gras Slider ($18)
Check out these finely-shaved truffles y’all! Stunning isn’t it?! This dish would have been great if not for the lack of seasoning in the beef short rib marmalade.
14. Yardbird’s Fried Tomato BLT ($5)
15. Adrift’s Crispy River Crabs ($8)
Looks so good, tastes so weird. What’s up with the white sweet icing-like sand?! We did not go back for a second crab.
16. Sky on 57’s Saturday’s special: Saturday: Pan Roasted Soyu Marinated Australian Wagyu Beef Tri Tip with Sea Urchin Butter and Asparagus ($18)
Woah, this was one of the worst dish of the lot! The steak was so dry. Stick to Cut’s. Skip this at all costs.
17. Cut’s Lobster “Cha Gao” Spring Rolls ($18)
Didn’t have this. Too disappointing-looking.
18/19/20. Long Chim’s Thai Coffee Ice Cream, Adrift’s Spiced Chocolate Fritter with Persimmon ($5) and Jackfruit Turon, Salted Caramel with Ginger Ice cream ($5)
Long Chim’s Thai Coffee Ice Cream was so rich, so caffeinated, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a hard time sleeping tonight.
Adrift’s dessert turned out to be extremely disappointing. Here the mashy cubes of Persimmon did not have any decipherable flavour, the fritter could have been crispier and batter slightly too thick.
The Jackfruit Turon was downright weird. Ginger ice cream – you either love it or hate it.
Overall for the price of the entry tickets ($35) against the number of good dishes (4/21) Epicurean Market wasn’t worth it. If not for my good friends, us splitting the bill such that the cost per pax was less than the price of eating at any of the MBS Celebrity restaurants, I would skip Epicurean Market. But I had damn good time bonding with my friends plus a good friend and I celebrated our three-year frienniversary. Exactly three years ago, we met at Epicurean Market and it has been three years of laughter! Still good times at Epicurean Market 2016.
Note: there was a 21st dish that I forgot! 21. Spago’s Tuna Tartare Cone. Extremely thin and crisp cone with finely chopped tuna, not bad.