Saturday, February 22, 2014

New Restaurant: anti:dote at Fairmont Hotel

Today's review is a little different because this is not a restaurant per se, but a bar. Don't click the close button yet, cos you may just regret!

What I'll be reviewing is the "bar bites" of this place, tapas if you'll call it 'cos their portions are really quite small. But my oh my, you'd be wow-ed by the dishes! By the creativity, taste and presentation. Whats even more interesting is that the tapas served here is molecular gastronomy style. That's right. No more fancy prices, saving up to get molecular gastronomy. You have it here in this bar, relatively affordable (10+ range) and yummy.

This was from where I sat. We called to make a reservation for Vday dinner (yes I had my vday here! By my request haha) and when we arrived, the bar was super empty! Okay another 2-3 tables were there but thats about it. We sat at this quiet spot, just the 2 of us, away from other people/couples/tables. The chair was quite comfy :) not like these bars you see in the photo haha.


Below's the menu! I've tried sourcing for the menu online but to no avail so I've taken photos of it for your reference!

This is their cocktail menu. I like how they have the ratings for potency & refreshing!

Him: Le Lisson
Okay I can't really tell from the menu what liquor there is in this cos the words are blur but basically its alcohol mixed w egg white, lemon, winter bitters and scotch (from what I can make out!)
3/5 for potency, 3/5 for refreshing

He felt that this was sweet but I didn't think this was sweet! And yup its not potent at all so don't worry!  Quite like his drink cos it isn't really like drinking alcohol! 4/5

Mine: Brown Derby
Grapefruit, honey, bourbon
3/5 for potency, 3/5 for refreshing

Felt that mine had a stronger alcohol taste vs the boy's! And the honey taste didn't really come through? It was a tad bitter though probably cos of the grapefruit! 3.8/5

Now onto the food!

When each course is served, the chef will come over and tell you what's what and give you some background wrt the ingredients.

Langoustine tartar, peanut tofu, chilled tom yum broth

Its quite difficult to slurp the tofu + the broth together haha so you might want to use a spoon! The tofu has hints of peanut and the langoustine's taste was covered by the tofu + tomyum! Tomyum was average. This dish was a so-so for us! 3.5/5

3 Shigoku oysters, cucumber, wasabi cream, passionfruit jelly

The oysters weren't cold cold but merely just barely cold. Would've been better if it were colder. BUT regardless of that we still enjoyed this little morsel! Each was very plump and sweet. Went well with the toppings although when you put it in your mouth, they just all sort of come together and you can't differentiate them. Wasabi, don't worry if you can't take wasabi, cos I didn't even taste it! Somehow, the amalgamation of tastes works even though you probably can't guess what you're eating besides oyster. 4/5

Now onto the STAR of the night!

Crisp Parmesan pizza, Olive oil caviar, tomatoes, basil

Now honestly I can't believe this is just $12. The BEST BEST $12 I've ever spent in my life!!!!! This according to the guy, is a v popular item at the bar and I can TOTALLY see why omg. The boy and I both proclaimed this to be the best dish of the night and we were super wowed by this! 

The crust is actually made of parmesan and its really DAMN crispy and fragrant!!! I ate the olive oil caviar on its own and it literally just bursts in your mouth exploding olive oil, bliss if you like olive oil :) otherwise eating it as a whole w the pizza is a good way to go as well! In fact its a damn good way to go. Honestly everything marries together so perfectly that this was a dish we could've ordered more of! There were about 8 slices of this pizza and we gladly devoured it. That said you must like cheese cos the crust is cheese and the cheese taste does come out rather strong. MUST-TRY 'nuff said. 5/5

Am totally imaging the taste in my mouth now and craving for it!!

Clam sphere, crispy bacon, samphire, parsley oil

He says this was inspired by boston clam chowder and he made it into a sphere form! My oh my. STAR #2 of the night! This sphere seriously PACKS A PUNCH. Slide it into your mouth, pop it, and boom explosion of creamy flavourful rich delicious clam chowder. Its not creamy jia-lat kind of creamy but the creamy good kind of creamy. Cant really taste the bacon nor the parsley oil. That or they've weaved themselves so well into the dish that you can't tell them apart and assume its part of the chowder which could very much be the case. 

Little blobs of goodness these are. 5/5

Caramelized Foie Gras, vinegar glazed leeks, crisp puff pastry

I was v excited about this dish cos I love foie gras but honestly this dish was just average. The foie taste didn't really come through and it was a tad too sweet. The puff pastry wasn't exactly crispy but neither was it soggy. If it were just that bit less sweet, the foie's flavour would probably have shone through and it would've been a nicer dish! The boy also felt that this was too sweet. 3.8/5

Scrambled eggs, sea urchin, asparagus, Kaluga caviar

Don't be fooled and think its only scrambled eggs! There's a mountain of gold waiting to spill out under that! See next photo:

Yup the egg yolk post-spillage!

This dish was hmm how should I say. The uni by itself was sweet, caviar's taste was covered by the eggs, can't really taste the uni if you eat it w everything else. But still decadent creamy dish this was :) 3.9/5

Mussels escabeche, green olives, red pepper sorbet

This was our 3rd fav dish of the night!

The taste of the mussels w the red pepper sorbet was just so good. And if you don't like olives don't worry, it isn't discernible. The garlic crispbread at the side was super crispy and went well w the mussels. The boy didn't like to put them tgt though, so that he could really taste the flavours of each. The mussels were SO plump, juicy and sweet!! I really liked the sorbet as well. 4.6/5

Baked Chocolate mousse, hazelnut praline, pear sorbet, capovilla eau de vie

I wanted to have their roasted beetroot dessert initially but was told it was sold out already! O: guess it'll be one of the reasons why I'd return! Anyway so I ordered this instead cos I was craving for chocolate-y stuff as well and this definitely did not let me down. 

The pears were stewed till they were just the right consistency, not too soft like mush but not hard like their natural state. And they were super fragrant too, of cinnamon and what not. The jelly cubes there was some pear liquor which shouldn't be underestimated. The hazelnuts lent a really really good textural contrast to the dish and I felt was integral in making this dish yummy! Else the whole dish would be really quite one-dimensional texture wise. The mousse was dark, smooth, velvety and wonderful. Sorbet was good as well perfumed nicely with the taste of pears. All in all, a good ending to a good meal. 4.5/5

Service: I got wonderful service there with very friendly staff with smiles, and they were polite and nice! Funny too at times :)

Ambience: as this is a bar in a hotel, you can expect that there would be some standard to the ambience. Dark, but adequate lighting. Comfy chairs. Lots of personal space!

Food: molecular gastronomy made affordable!!! And it works too :) I've been reading many reviews saying their "Braised veal cheek, caramelised shallot, Perigord black truffle bao" is out of this world!!! And we would definitely order that the next time we go back. And we would be going back. Hopefully they'll introduce new items to their menu/periodically change it 'cos if they do that, I'll be wanting to go back again and again to try the new items!

Apparently they also serve breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea but I'm not sure whats on the menu for those so if you know, please let me know!

Fairmont Hotel 
Dinner: Mon-Fri 6-11pm, Sat-Sun & Eve of PH 6pm-1230am (they open till late!!! Great for late night snacks!)


  1. The food looks interesting!! Esp that Scrambled Egg with a flowing yolk. Adding this to my list of places to try right now! :D

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  3. There is a Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. That hotel and restaurant are equally classy.

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