Located on the 33rd floor of the Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower one, LeVeL33 is the world’s highest urban craft brewery, boasting breathtaking panoramic views of the bay. It’s already established as one of the city’s favourite dining destinations and if you have already had the pleasure, you may find it hard to imagine it could find another level, but it has. Executive Chef Jimi Tegerdine and his creative kitchen team, alongside Brewmaster Gabriel Garcia has collaborated over a period of a few months to deliver its new menu and we were invited to sample its unveiling.
It’s fair to say that LeVeL33’s standing as the highest urban craft brewery in the world does hog the headlines somewhat, but ignore the menu at your peril! Its latest incarnation sees a collaboration between the brewery and the kitchen and months of experimenting on how the various processes of creating its well-known beers – infusion, fermentation and aeriation – translates to food. The result is nothing short of spectacular! We were seated in the private dining area at the far end of the elevated eatery, where Chef Jimi and Brewmaster Gabriel take turns to explain a little bit of what has gone into creating the new menu. It was an interesting an engaging start to proceedings and one that had our mouth’s watering at the thought of what was about to happen.
Our gastronomic adventure started with warm bread made from the spent grains from the copper tanks. Brewmaster Gabriel collects the spent grain three or four times a week and passes it to the kitchen where it is dried, ground into a flour, chargrilled and rubbed with coffee and steak to produce a delicious, light nibble, perfect alongside a paddle of craft beers that included the blonde, wheat beer, IPA, porter and stout. There’s basically a craft beer that compliments every dish! Our seven-dish-feast got under way by welcoming a new addition to the menu, the Japanese Deep-Sea Crab (28) – butter poached legs & claw, corn in textures, lime gel curry leaf oil. New to Singapore, it won’t take long to make an impression, the corn textures offering the perfect foil to the crab. One of the stand outs on the new menu is the variety of flavours and textures that are combined to perfection, none more so than in our second starter dish, Hokkaido Scallop (27) – lightly poached rather than seared, green dashi, blood orange caviar, bonito flakes.
LeVeL33 regulars can rest easy as there is a selection of the best-selling dishes from previous menus still present; one such dish, the Kangaroo (37), is the first of the main courses. The coal-baked loin is served medium rare with beetroot reworked and turnip puree, another imaginative and harmonious collection of flavours. The loin is tender, melt-in-the-mouth with a subtle flavour and we’re fairly confident you will never have experienced beetroot like this before! The Truffle Kumara (29), the second of the mains, uses sweet potato in different ways, fried, sliced and creating a ravioli-like parcel. Alongside the trumpet mushroom, sake fermented leek and truffle, its appeal won’t just be reserved for vegetarians. Thankfully our hosts reduced the portions to taster size for the menu otherwise we may have been challenging the recommended weight load in the elevator! The last of the savoury courses was the NY Strip (135) and introduced the 8-weeks dry-aged French Sirloin 600g – LeVeL33 is one of only three restaurants in Singapore offering this. Served with jus & mustard espuma and two sides – butternut squash (15) – in six or seven variations, pumpkin seed oil, miso and spinach (11) – sautéed, kombu sour cream, Saganaki cheese – it looked fantastic and tasted every bit as good. Another tender meat but with a fuller flavour, I think if my fellow diners and myself knew each other better, there could have been a mini war for the last slice!
At this point in the night, those that had opted for trousers with elasticated waist bands had a slightly smug look on their faces. We had sampled and enjoyed a variety of dishes on the new menu and clearly the months of experimentation, debate, late nights and hard work were well spent. I think it’s fair to say we could have called it there and then and been more than satisfied with our lot but we weren’t getting out of the private dining area without sampling a couple of desserts. Can someone please explain why, no matter how full you are, you can always find room for dessert? First up was the Cereal (13.50) – almond milk mousse, shaved macadamia, beer malt praline and lemon curd – and, on the advice of Chef Jimi, we dug our spoons into the centre and mixed everything together. It felt good and tasted even better, the different flavours bursting through with each spoonful. Finally, the last dish Strawberry (15) – strawberry in textures, meringue and sorrel ice cream – was a light, fresh finish to what was phenomenal feast. If you haven’t experienced the unique vibe of LeVeL33, then it is a must and for regulars, get back down, there are plenty of magnificent new dishes to be sampled.
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