December 27, 2016
Located on the 62nd floor of the 1-Altitude building, Stellar at 1-Altitude has been breaking boundaries in modern cuisine with dishes that show true respect to every seasonal ingredient.
You know you’re always in for a treat when you dine at Stellar at 1-Altitude. Be treated to a panoramical view of the Singapore skyline and settle down in the modern and classy minimalist interior that will make you feel like you’re literally on cloud-nine.
The creative genius behind the menu that takes centre-stage at Stellar 1-Altitude is none other than Executive Chef, Christopher Miller who joined the One Rochester Group since 2009. He currently leads a team to develop menus where each dish shines through the flavours and textures of each ingredient; telling a story in the process.
The latest Constellations Gastranomic menu are in a way influenced by Chef Miller’s Australian heritage and draw on the idea of antipodes — where two points are considered antipodal to each other when connected by a straight line running across the centre of the earth.
As such ingredients for the menu are sourced from the countries that are antipodal to Australia, and will change based on seasonality of the ingredients.
Opting to go for a progressive Australian approach, diners can choose from six-course ($120++) or eight-course ($190++) tasting menus that feature the finest seasonal ingredients using progressive cooking techniques to bring out the true essence of each ingredient.
We got to experience the eight-course tasting menu, with the first course being – Homemade Vegemite with Charcoal Puff Cracker.
Made with their own yeast extract, the “Stellar” version comes with a viscous liquid black paste that is served in a mini jam jar and paired with two crispy bamboo charcoal puffed crackers that are hollow in the centre.
The paste has a subtle saltiness and bitterness that mellows out towards the end with a slight umami that comes from the nori that is added to the paste. Certainly managing to get our appetite going, I could only wish for some more bread to mop up all the goodness.
The next dish, Green Tea Mozzarella Tofu had a texture that was slightly firmer perhaps due to the infusion of mozzarella. Expect to be hit with notes of green tea before the saltiness from the mozzarella comes through.
A well-placed red shiso-leaf on top helps to add a depth of bitter sweetness to the mix.
Taking advantage of the snow crab season, the Japanese snow crab from Kyoto is made into a parfait and served alongside braised leek, cured egg yolk and grape mustard.
Biting into the snow crab parfait I was immediately hit by the distinct sweetness and freshness that are often found in Japanese snow crab. I enjoyed the texture of the cured egg yolk which had a gummy like consistency but with the concentrated flavours of the egg.
Combined with the spiciness from the nasturtium leaf, smoky burnt flavours of the leek and tanginess from the grape mustard, the combination proved to be one that worked well for me.
Onward to probably my favourite dish of the afternoon. The Pan-fried Foie Gras served with oyster tartare, horseradish and nori butter brioche was a pairing that will stick with me for a while.
The rich buttery brioche was the perfect sponge to scoop up the creamy goodness and the infused nori really helped to amp up the level of umami in this dish.
Perfectly pan seared foie gras helps to add a certain creaminess to the oyster tartare where you can really taste the bits in them.
As part of the Constellations Autumn Gastronomic and The Antipodes menu, we were taken for a “Trip to the garden” where we were introduced to the indoor edible garden in partnership with Edible Garden City.
Chef de cuisine, Michael Di Placido introduced us to three micro herbs: micro celery, nasturtium and pea shoots which rotate every month. Part of the culinary philosophy here at Stellar is to use these edible herbs to help amplify the flavours of each ingredent in the dish.
As a palette cleanser, we were served Nitro Poached Lemon Meringue topped with Nasturtium powder. A burst of refreshing citrus notes are complemented by a spicy kick from the nasturtium that is freezed into powder form.
The beautifully line-caught French wild skate wing or sting-ray as it is otherwise known, was a delight to savour. Unlike how we normally have our skate wing with sambal, fresh hazelnuts are shaved over the dish for a buttery nuttiness.
Strands of kohlrabi remoulade noodles, confit fingerling potatoes that had a distinct citrus aroma and capers which had a nice bite of spice in them are used to complement the skate wing.
A final touch of fried skatewing bones are used as a garnish was a nice finishing touch to really showcase the entire skatewing.
If you ever had Venison you would know that it has a distinct gaminess to it. Rather than trying to downplay it, Chef Christopher Miller embraces it and pairs the Poached Venison Loin with elements that help essentuate the flavours of the meat.
When serving the dish, a bowl is removed underneath revealing a scent of juniper that gives off a feeling of being closer to nature.
The crisp cracker with Tuilerieen crusted cocoa nibs helped add a dimension of sweetness to the venison with the burnt celeriac and pickled parsnip giving some acidity to help cut through the fat.
Part of the experience at Stellar and part of the Constellations menu is the ‘Dessert Art’ experience where Pastry Chef Jasmin Chew’s exquisite selection of desserts are plated at the table for the guests.
Each guest gets to select one dessert from the menu which is then put together as a platter and decorated at your table. I assure you that seeing this work of art come together is an experience you won’t want to miss out on.
For theatrical points, water is poured to activate the dry-ice for smoky effect. Served in a chocolate sphere, the Lichu Chocolate Parfait is chocolate mousse is mixed with bee pollen, honey grand marnier and topped off with lemon balm leaves.
A perfect pairing of bitterness from the dark chocolate is complemented by the natural sweetness from the bee pollen and leaves a minty aftertaste in the mouth.
You know that chefs have a sense of humour when you see a dish like Bacon & Eggs on the dessert menu. Breaking the translucent white sugar shell reveals sheep’s milk yogurt custard with a elderflower honey egg yolk in the centre.
Resembling a bed of hay the dill leaves are topped off with bacon soil for that extra smoky savouriness that makes for a complete breakfast experience.
Resembling a frozen garden, the White Peach dessert is served in a ice cup and filled with a sorbet made from compressed White Okayama peach and lychees for a more intense sweetness and freshness, before topping them off with berries that have been soaked in Sauternes white wine.
Overall a well-balanced dessert that was neither too sour or sweet for me, it gave me what I needed in terms of acidity and tartness which is often hard to find in plated desserts.
Similar to a baked alaska, the Crab Apple dessert is a must-order if you’re a fan of apples. Expect to find all forms of apple desserts like crab apple tartin, green apple sorbet and crab apple slices that are soaked in calvados.
It’s interesting to see a variety of apples being used to achieve a balance of textures and flavours. To counter the acidity, a sweet meringue is piped on top and finished with a blow-torch. Simply mix it all up and enjoy the different flavours and textures of this dessert.
If desserts weren’t enough, we ended our meal with the Petit-Fours containing mint leaves and crushed peanuts wrapped in edible rice paper. A simple and refreshing breath cleanser to tie up the end of an amazing meal.
My experience at Stellar at 1-Altitude has been nothing but spectacular. Chef Christopher Miller’s new approach to approaching seasonal ingredients is respectable and gives new meaning to the whole idea of progressive Australian cuisine through the Constellations Antipodes menu.
Do make your reservations quickly to try some of the ingenious creations based off the seasonal ingredients that are available for limited periods of time.
Expected damage: six-course ($120++) or eight-course ($190++)