2 Orchard Turn, #55-01 ION Orchard, 238801
We start our tasting at the fun, bustling Flnt, which serves fusion dishes inspired by the flavours of ‘Nikkei’ culture in Peru. Our table is wowed by a cocktail that arrives in a plume of dry ice smoke in delicate Japanese pottery. The refreshing Mizuame ($25) blends cognac, Kyoho grape sake, blood orange liqueur, cherry blossom syrup and fresh citrus. It’s accompanied by Sakura Kakiage ($15), crispy shards of cherry blossom shrimp, onion, butternut squash, beetroot and teriyaki sauce.
This is followed up by Ceviche Nikkei ($25), a salad of delicate white fish with citrus notes, crunchy roasted hazelnuts, shallots, tomatoes, avocado and white corn. A single Foie Gras Taco ($12 per piece) teams succulent grilled foie gras, with tangy yogurt, fish roe, and kaffir lime. Highlighting the culinary skills of talented Head Chef Lamley Chua, the Gindara Misoyaki ($28) is a perfectly grilled piece of miso cod, served with aji verde (tangy Peruvian green sauce). We finish with another cocktail (why not?) the Nuevo Casa ($23) – kumquat, pisco, yuzu sake, cherry blossom syrup, orange tea, and tonic water.
While it’s unusual to review two restaurants in a single evening, all our party has to do is take a flight of stairs to the elegant dining room of Fire, led by well-known Australian Chef and Group Culinary Director Christopher Millar. While the Argentinian and Australian influenced wine list is impressive, we start with the South American style Federico’s Legacy cocktail ($20) – a savoury mix of cynar, fernet branca, antica formula, orange bitters, fresh lemon juice, and kosher salt.
Fire showcases Argentine wood-fired cooking techniques in a showstopping array of dishes, which feature the finest cuts of prime meats, fresh seafood and vegetable-based dishes.
We start with tastes of the ocean – Mud Crab ‘Rescoldo’ ($36), cooked under almond wood embers, with Hokkaido scallop, sweet clementine slices and charred fennel; and grilled Patagonian Red Prawns ‘Parrilla’ ($28). Salt-Baked Whole Rainbow Trout ($52 for 400g, $70 for 600g) is the softest, sweetest fish I’ve ever tasted, lightly scented with fennel seed, parsley and lemon zest.
Vegetarians are well catered for with the Plato de Verduras ($36) – a sizable vegetable platter that rivals the meat dishes with a cornucopia of pickled heirloom carrots, potatoes, purple asparagus, wood-fired white corn, Palermo peppers and smoked salt. Slices of tender ‘Devesa’ Argentinian Grain-Fed OP Rib ($210) provide the perfect pairing.
Desserts are special here – don’t miss the Flan ‘Adriana’ ($24), a rich Dulce De Leche tart, or the layered Choco Torta ($22) with Gianduja sorbet and hazelnut.
VERDICT: This rooftop stunner is inventive, exciting and perfect for a special occasion or treat night out.