The newly opened Skai perched on the 70th floor of Swissotel the Stamford is the legendary Compasse Rose of old reimagined for the 21st century. In between then and now, the space spent 17 years as Equinox but Skai is decidedly classier, sexier and trendier, while sporting the same towering ceiling with floor to ceiling windows that afford a dramatic panorama of the Marina Bay skyline. The 130-seat restaurant comes with a private room for those for prefer complete privacy and a 10-seat dining bar that abuts a spectacular cocktail bar with the equally spectacular Marina Bay skyline for backdrop.
To fully experience Skai, try to come before 7pm to take-in the skyline over a flute of Taittinger Champagne ($32 a glass) or a glass of cocktail ($25 a glass from the alcoholic selection).
Whilst at it, graze on sharing plates from the “Small Plates” menu by London-trained executive chef Paul Hallett, a native of South Wales. Try the parcel of burrata surrounded by wedges of heirloom tomatoes, fried bread and olive powder ($22). And if you prefer something a little meaty, the chopped Angus beef with fermented shiitake and confit of egg yolk topped with caviar ($28) is worth a gamble if you don’t mind the earthy yet funky fermented mushrooms.
Skai is a modern European grill house with a focus on artisan steaks cooked in a Josper grill over mango wood and binchotan. If you don’t believe me, just flip the menu that has an entire page dedicated to “Sourced Artisanal Beef”, a page on “Small Plates” and “Signatures”, half a page to “Mains” and another half page to “Desserts”.
With 10 varieties of steaks available on the menu, a trip is to Skai is an exercise in futility if you come without so much as tasting the Hallet-curated steak selection. There’s grass-fed 32-day dry-aged John Stone rib eye from Ireland ($85 for 320g) if you prefer your cut intensely beefy and A5 Saga wagyu tenderloin ($170 for 160g) for those who like their steaks buttery-rich. For everything in between, the choices are mind-boggling enough, each presented with a choice of sauces (green peppercorn, Asian spice, black truffle and smoked barbecue). Don’t forget to order a side of onion sauteed savoy cabbage with roasted peanuts and strips of sesame-fried shredded organic eggs ($8), a most unusual – if Asian – take on savoy cabbage that’s light and savoury.
In case meats are not down your alley, there’s the saffron risotto cooked in chicken jus with cured egg yolk, served topped with uni, pickled cucumber, squid ink chips and a drizzle of coriander oil ($38).
Although I am not usually a fan of desserts, not least chocolate desserts, the yuzu custard and curd encapsulated in white chocolate balls alongside smidgens of lychee compote ($22) is a deliciously safe bet lacking nothing but a stronger touch of chill.
Skai’s agreeable menu and well-executed dishes are a perfect match for the restaurant’s jaw-dropping view. With its opening however, I am not particularly envious of our bevy of top-grade steakhouses in Singapore for they now have to contend with yet another steakhouse, one that is almost an equal in steak cuts selection but a heavyweight in views.
Level 70 Swissôtel The Stamford | skai.sg
© Evelyn Chen 2013
Please note that the reviews published on this blog are sometimes hosted. I am under no obligation to review every restaurant I’ve visited. If I do, the reviews are 100% my own.