Tablescape Restaurant & Bar is the perfect date night spot with your special someone. Serving a European menu inspired by classical cuisine and helmed by new Executive Chef Armando Aristarco, I was looking forward to an excellent dining experience I hear many have enjoyed.
The restaurant is located inside the five star Grand Park City Hotel, in what was a century-old conservation shophouse renewed with contemporary interiors and modern furnishings — the inspiration behind the Tablescape’s elegant decor. Dining here really feels special, with top notch service from the wait staff. They are extremely attentive, and whenever you have any questions about your dish, they are happy to explain in detail.
The culinary experience begins with a bread trolley carted over to your table. After you’re satisfied taking photos for the ‘gram, you will be served 4 different types of bread (from a rotation of 14) with either salted or unsalted butter made in-house. It’s really good bread, and the best part is you can have as many as you want! Don’t be shy to order more if you’re feeling peckish later.
The new Executive Chef of Grand Park City Hall, Armando Aristarco is a master of his craft. And the dishes that he’s come up with are truly spectacular to the eyes and tastebuds.
This Black Angus Beef Tataki, Pumpkin and White Pepper ($20) is the perfect introduction to his dishes. Have a mouthful of the Black Angus striploin together with the dressing, pumpkin puree and special white foam to taste a medley of flavours on your tongue. The white pepper foam is made from white peppercorns toasted with butter, boiled in a mix of chicken stock and milk then blended into foam.
Next on list of starters to savour is a plate of Raw Scallops, Cucumber, Red Onion and Salmon Roe ($20). I really liked this — the scallops were really fresh and the cucumber gazpacho sauce was cooling yet it didn’t have a strong “veggie taste”. The gazpacho is made from strained blended cucumber, olive oil, raspberry vinaigrette, onions and lemon juice.
After meat and seafood, next was the 62°C Egg, Asparagus, Parmigiano and Black Truffle ($28). The egg is actually slow-cooked to the precise 62°C temperature and covered with a parmesan fondue that’s simply exquisite — made from mixed and reduced cream and milk blended with aged 24 months Italian Parmigiano Reggiano. The black truffle taste wasn’t too overwhelming, and complimented the rest of the flavours.
Now the mains. This chicken dish is the Organic Chicken, Baby Romaine, Bacon, Parmigiano and Cardini Dressing ($28). This baby organic chicken is specially imported from France, cooked sous-vide style at 75°C and later roasted to crispy excellence, resulting in a crispy skin and chicken meat that’s extremely tender. And on the side, the best tasting romaine I’ve ever had. The Cardini dressing on the romaine, made with mayonnaise, garlic, Spanish anchovies, and parmigiano reggiano left me wanting more.
As for other mains choices, the Carnaroli Risotto, Cauliflower, Smoked Ducked and Foie Gras ($38) has just the right amount of foie gras to go with the risotto. The duck stock that foes into the risotto gives it a subtle flavour. It has the perfect texture — not too cheesy or creamy. This is because the stock is added to the soup slowly, scoop by scoop, until the starch from the rice is released to produce a creamy risotto without needing cream. The cauliflower cream also has no cream, just cooked in milk and blended into a creamy texture.
Try their special Iberico Pork ($42) grilled for 6 minutes after being marinated in a vacuum-sealed bag with salt, sage, thyme and black pepper. Your mouth will water when you see the juices ooze out as you cut the pork. Don’t forget to mop up the juice with the complimentary bread from earlier! It’s well-seasoned, tastes great with the pommery mustard sauce and the fatty bits just melt in your mouth. The potatoes are award-winning red potatoes which came about from an in-house competition among the chefs. It’s something you wish to snack on over a Netflix binge-night - truly flavoursome.
The dessert trolley will roll over to your table when you’re ready for sweet treats (no desserts are actually served from the trolley, desserts are made to order).
I am particularly fond of the Champagne Jelly. The jelly is made from gently boiling champagne to gelatin, paired with berries, mascarpone cheese and candied orange peel. It’s refreshing and light, with the citrus texture from the candied orange peel balancing out the mascarpone cheese taste.
Also from the dessert trolley is the Coconut Raspberry Mousse. You can clearly see the three different layers — raspberry gel forms the base, the middle is house-made coconut mousse and on top, almond crumble. Dip your spoon all the way through to get a complete mix of all these flavours, with a nice crunch at the end.
And to cap off this delicious dinner, a traditional Soufflé ($14, not on the dessert trolley). We tried the Varlhona Chocolate and it was astonishingly light and fluffy, more so than the average soufflé you get outside. You can also have it in Grand Marnier (French Liqueur), with either choice accompanied by a bowl of Crème Anglaise, a light custard that matches perfectly with the soufflé.
Tablescape is located on the third floor at the Grand Park City Hotel. I urge you to sample its flavours for yourself — its worth a special night out.