Situated on the third floor of Grand Park City Hall Hotel, Tablescape Restaurant & Bar serves up modern European cuisine in a comfortable, plush setting. Having dined here with my best friend once before, I distinctly remember the cosy ambience that made it a great place to relax and have those post-dinner conversations. Food standards were pretty good too. Unfortunately, in a bid to support government efforts in managing the covid situation, the entire hotel (including Tablescape) is currently off-limits to the general public. The only way to sample their food is to place an order online and either receive it via delivery or “grab and go” from the restaurant.
To celebrate Singapore’s 56th birthday, Tablescape crafted a National Day Sofa Set Menu that comprised a combination of sweet and savoury dishes inspired by local flavours. Moreover, they ran a 3-day sale, during which the cost of islandwide delivery was reduced from $15 to $10 (it’s not much but hey, a discount’s a discount). Since I was stuck at home serving my quarantine order, I reckoned I might as well treat myself (and my husband) to something a little nicer for dinner!
- Our order:
- National Day Sofa Menu (for 2 persons)
- Spent: SGD$66 ($56 + $10 delivery fee)
Our order was delivered slightly earlier at 5.50pm than the slated time of 6pm, and the food was still warm when it arrived (except the box of desserts, of course). Great start (:
First up were the Mentaiko Sliders – mini burgers of seared chicken patties wrapped in egg crepes, then topped with cheese, torched mentaiko and ebiko. Out of all the items, this was the one my tastebuds were most familiar with and attuned to. It’s hard to go wrong with mentaiko sauce, it kinda makes everything taste better haha. The texture and flavour of the chicken patties, however, reminded me of those tuckshop burgers made with frozen patties. Hard and tasteless, it could’ve been any sort of mystery meat and I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.
Next, the Foie Gras Terrine – foie gras seated on a housemade fluffy brioche with pear compote. The initial plan I had in mind was for my husband to eat both portions of this item as he loves foie gras, and I don’t. Unfortunately, it was nay for him too as he felt that the foie gras didn’t taste like foie gras, so he left it alone. I thought the brioche and pear compote were quite decent though.
Then we tried the Mini Baguettes with Ham and Hae Bee Hiam Mayo – sliced pistachio Mortadella in toasted baguettes with dried shrimp mayo (supposedly mildly spiced with siracha chilli), ebi and salmon roe. Unlike its description, I found the mayo to be a lot more than just mildly spiced, but I must say the hae bee hiam essence really came through. It was a good mix of saltiness and creaminess, although I would’ve relished it more had it not been so spicy.
Following that, we had the Chilli Crab Tartlets – blue crab in sweet and spicy chilli crab sauce topped with avruga caviar (ie. not real caviar). I liked the crab filling, smooth and creamy against the crumbly buttery goodness of the tart. But once again, the spiciness level was a little higher than I could deal with, which distracted me from properly savouring it.
Moving on to the Chicken Satay Pot Pies – sweet, salty and charred flavours of tender chicken satay encapsulated in the comforting charm of a pot pie. I found this to be a very interesting take on the classic chicken pot pie with the introduction of authentic satay flavours. The pastry was wonderfully flaky and crispy, and the condiments in the pie really emulated the taste of satay. With that said, I’m actually not that big a fan of satay, so even though this was executed pretty well, I didn’t particularly enjoy it.
The last savoury item was the Tapioca Chips and Nuts. I think my husband fancied this the most. Once he put the first chip in his mouth, he let out a “mmm!” and gave a thumbs up. To me, they looked like store-bought chips and nuts. I took one and decided that he would derive much more utility from this than I ever would, so he went on to finish the rest of it.
Now, for my favourite course of every meal, dessert! Most of the items weren’t overly sweet, which was awesome 😀 The red velvet cheesecake was delectably moist but came with too strong a raspberry flavour, bringing back memories of unsolicited cough syrups and other such medicines. The chocolate hazelnut mousseline was light and luscious, though sadly, hazelnut-flavoured food isn’t exactly my thing (no Ferrero Rocher chocolate gifts for Christmas please). There were also Singapore-flag pralines (had a deep fruity taste) and eclairons (a tad too sweet). Finally, a white chocolate merlion amidst these treats gave it that extra National Day oomph.
My overall rating of the experience: 3 out of 5 stars. The items were intricately crafted and I felt that a lot of thought went into the process of how to best infuse these iconic local flavours into Western classics, which worked out splendidly. There was a subtlety and finesse in balancing the flavour profiles such that they were not overpowering, yet unmistakably present. It was just a pity that these aren’t really my preferred flavours, so it was difficult for me to fully appreciate them. Not to mention my general low tolerance for spiciness, making certain items less palatable than they would’ve been without the spice. In terms of value, the quality of food was acceptable given the price point. All in all, I’d probably still recommend this sofa menu, but maybe to those with a greater fondness for local signature flavours (: