Flights of (Culinary) Fancy

From an aviation-themed restaurant to elegant dining options perched atop the city - it’s all about eateries that will give you a gastronomic high!

Issue: Nov 2013

Commanding a spectacular view, Salt grill & Sky bar by Luke Mangan on the 55th floor of ION Orchard combines sophisticated décor and simply delicious food for a winning combination
Commanding a spectacular view, Salt grill & Sky bar by Luke Mangan on the 55th floor of ION Orchard combines sophisticated décor and simply delicious food for a winning combination
Photo credit: Salt grill & Sky bar by Luke Mangan

Floor-to-ceiling windows allow diners to savour the view even as they savour Luke Mangan’s culinary creations
Floor-to-ceiling windows allow diners to savour the view even as they savour Luke Mangan’s culinary creations

These days, it is not enough for restaurants to wow with their menus, they have to woo with a total-dining experience as well. CapitaMalls definitely has plenty of such places that more than satisfies on these two counts. Inside checks out some places that have earned high praise as much for their eats as they have for their ambience.

Top of the World Experience

If you fancy having a spectacular view as a dining companion, Salt grill & Sky bar by Luke Mangan should be top on your list. 55 storeys above, at the highest point on Orchard Road, its floor-to-ceiling windows give you full access to the panoramic Singapore skyline that will surely enhance your meal.

Hailing from Australia, celebrity chef Luke Mangan has crafted a menu that is Modern Australian at its finest. Fresh ingredients prominently featuring Australian produce – barramundi fish, Coffin Bay oysters, Spencer Gulf prawns, Petuna Ocean Trout from Tasmania – are simply prepared to showcase the quality.

Australian yellowtail kingfish sashimi, ginger eschalot and goats feta (S$31) (left); and ‘glass’ Sydney crab omelette, enoki mushroom and herb salad, miso mustard broth (S$32) pair fresh Australian produce with a light culinary hand
Australian yellowtail kingfish sashimi, ginger eschalot and goats feta (S$31) (left); and ‘glass’ Sydney crab omelette, enoki mushroom and herb salad, miso mustard broth (S$32) pair fresh Australian produce with a light culinary hand
Photo credit: Salt grill & Sky bar by Luke Mangan
Scotch 250g Rangers Valley, New South Wales, 300 days grain fed (S$78) is a generous serving of ribeye grilled to tender perfection
Scotch 250g Rangers Valley, New South Wales, 300 days grain fed (S$78) is a generous serving of ribeye grilled to tender perfection
Photo credit: Salt grill & Sky bar by Luke Mangan

The entrée represents the best of Australian seafood. The Australian yellowtail kingfish sashimi, ginger eschalot and goats feta (S$31) is so fresh, you can almost taste the ocean. The ‘glass’ Sydney crab omelette, enoki mushroom and herb salad, miso mustard broth (S$32) features sweet crab meat encased in a thick omelette that is lifted up a notch or two on the gastronomic scale by the full-flavoured miso broth.

Not to be missed are the “Off the Grill” items. The Scotch 250g Rangers Valley, New South Wales, 300 days grain fed (S$78) is a ribeye steak that is grilled to tender perfection.

For fine dining Chinese-style that comes with a view, The China Club Singapore has no parallel. From the exclusive members-only restaurant on the 52nd floor of Capital Tower, you can see as far as Malaysia and Indonesia on a clear day. The view of the modern metropolis plays nicely against the rich, warm traditional interiors resplendent with Chinese motifs.

From its prime location on the 52nd floor, diners at The China Club Singapore can see as far as Malaysia and Indonesia on a clear day
From its prime location on the 52nd floor, diners at The China Club Singapore can see as far as Malaysia and Indonesia on a clear day
Photo credit: China Club Singapore

To go with the lofty view, China Club’s resident head chef, Yim Yiu Wing, recommends two dishes for this season that centre around an ingredient that comes from equally lofty perches – bird’s nest. Bird’s nest is harvested from vertical walls of lime stone caves, a painstaking and dangerous task. Chef Yim’s Bird’s Nest with Spinach Broth is a delicacy favoured by those who appreciate good nutrition (bird’s nest, thought to be able to cause cells to reproduce and regenerate, is said to have both nutritional and medicinal properties) and enjoy great food. The silky smooth bird’s nest and spinach brings the clear, clean taste of the broth to a whole new level.

The traditional dim sum (steamed Chinese snacks) also gets an upgrade in the hands of Chef Yim. Crabmeat with Bird’s Nest Dumplings are plump pockets of yummy goodness served with a spicy dipping sauce. The two premium items are hot favourites.

(Left) Bird's Nest with Spinach Broth from China Club Singapore - cuisine from the skies never tasted so good; (right) Crabmeat with Bird's Nest Dumpling - dim sum gets an upgrade in this version that uses crabmeat and bird's nest in the filling
(Left) Bird’s Nest with Spinach Broth from China Club Singapore - cuisine from the skies never tasted so good; (right) Crabmeat with Bird’s Nest Dumpling - dim sum gets an upgrade in this version that uses crabmeat and bird’s nest in the filling
Photo credit: China Club Singapore

Flying High

When you walk into a place with a name like “Wings Bar”, you can expect nothing less than chicken wings to rank high on its list of offerings. In the case of Wings Bar, its buffalo wings, which come in 10 flavours, are the stars of the menu.

(Left) Wings Bar is one place that takes its name seriously - buffalo wings  in no fewer than 10 flavours feature prominently on its menu; (right) Japanese Zero, flavoured with terriyaki sauce, is the most popular non-spicy buffalo wings on Wings Bar’s menu
(Left) Wings Bar is one place that takes its name seriously - buffalo wings in no fewer than 10 flavours feature prominently on its menu; (right) Japanese Zero, flavoured with terriyaki sauce, is the most popular non-spicy buffalo wings on Wings Bar’s menu
Photo Credit: Wings Bar
Service staff dressed like fighter pilots adds authenticity to the aviation theme
Service staff dressed like fighter pilots adds authenticity to the aviation theme
Photo Credit: Wings Bar

The menu is easy enough to navigate. First, you decide how many wings you want: six, 12, 18 or 50 (S$8.90 – S$64.90). Then, you pick the type of flavour you like. Since buffalo wings, a creation orignating from Buffalo in New York, are also called hot wings, the spice quotient is an important component. To give you a guide on the level of spiciness, Wings Bar has flame icons next to the flavours that pack a punch. Rating three flames are Spitfire, flavoured with the traditional vinegar, hot sauce and spice-based marinade; and The Flying Tiger, a Chinese take on the American finger food with spicy Szechuan pepper sauce. Asian flavours have as much pride of place as American ones.

Sample Singapore Wings soaked in a sweet chilli sauce; Thai Afterburner that has garlic, basil and lemongrass and rates two flames; Tandoori Wings, promising a chicken tikka taste; and the child-friendly, terriyaki-flavoured Japanese Zero, the most popular non-spicy flavour.

Wash down the American fare with a selection of cold beers from 12 countries, as well as cocktails. The frozen bar top is a cool touch because it keeps your drinks cold all night long.

A lit runway, posters of pinup girls and World War II aeroplane models - concept restaurant, Wings Bar, goes all out with its aviation-inspired theme
A lit runway, posters of pinup girls and World War II aeroplane models - concept restaurant, Wings Bar, goes all out with its aviation-inspired theme
Photo Credit: Wings Bar

To go with the menu, the décor pays tribute to the golden era of aviation in the 1940s. Dining at Wings Bar will have you flying high. A fully lit runway with more than 130 built-in LED lights runs the length of the restaurant, posters of 1940s pinup girls adorn the walls, and a custom-made half-size Mustang P51 fighter on display all contribute to bringing you back to that glorious age. Even the service staff are dressed like flying crew members. You can also let your imagination take flight at the games hangar where you can pilot a simulation of a World War II fighter plane.

Increasingly, diners want more than a meal, they want a memory they can share. So, go ahead and give these eateries a try; and indulge in flights of fancy that will give you a gastronomic high.

Dine with us:

Salt grill & Sky Bar
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard
#55-01 & #56-01
Singapore 238801
Tel: (65) 6592 5118
www.saltgrill.com
Wings Bar
3D River Valley Road
Clarke Quay
#01-02
Singapore 179023
Tel: (65) 6333 4460
www.wingsbar.sg
The China Club Singapore
168 Robinson Road
52/F Capital Tower
Singapore 068912
Tel: (65) 6820 2388
www.chinaclub.com.sg
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