There’s a new neighbour in the Raffles Place ‘hood, and it has taken up residency on the 45th floor of the Singapore Land Tower. LES45 (which actually stands for Lower East Side 45) is a vibrant yet cosy Mexican establishment that serves diners both modern as well as traditional Mexican fare.
The space may be small, but the bright and colourful interior makes for a lively venue that you and your friends and co-workers can head up to without travelling too far from the office.
When we arrived, there was already a guacamole station set-up for the purpose of the tasting session. (Regular diners will have this appetiser prepared for them table-side). The Fresh Guacamole En Molcajete ($30) was very creamy and citrusy.
The accompanying salsa verde provided a nice, clean acidity that also came with a pleasant punch of spiciness. Needless to say, it was a great way to whet our appetites.
One thing to note is, although a single portion (as pictured) may look too little to fork out $30 for, this table-side service is meant to cater several helpings, so don’t be overwhelmed by the price point!
Our first course was the Scallop Aguachile, Avocado & Pickled Jicama ($25). The scallops were fresh and cooked perfectly, while the pickled jicama (Mexican turnip) was subtly peppery.
Overall, the dish was well-balanced, but nothing to be too excited about if you’re expecting a burst of flavours.
The second course was something that you’ll either love or hate, as it features Brussels sprouts. For us, it all depends on how the vegetable is cooked and seasoned, and in this case, its infamous bitterness was hardly detectable.
The Brussels Sprouts, Guajillo, Chorizo & Cotjia ($17) was presented in a mini cast iron.
Having never tried cotjia cheese before, it was rather musky and was quite earthy in taste. It went very well with the char on the Brussels sprouts, so even if you’re usually averse to these greens, you might want to consider ordering this if you’re curious enough.
Next, we had the Chicken Tinga, Mango Guacamole & Wasabi Sunny-Side Up ($18). Just from getting a whiff of the dish, we could tell that the chicken was smoky. Once we bit into it, we could definitely taste all the time and love that went into cooking this; it was tender and juicy indeed.
Sadly though, we could hardly taste the mango in the guacamole. The complementary sesame quinoa dressing was a surprising addition as it enhanced the smokiness and gave the dish an added depth of flavour.
We love a good fish taco, and we were looking forward to biting into this one.
The Tempura Hake, Hibiscus Mayo, Salsa Fresca & Cabbage ($18) wasn’t too oily, and the batter wasn’t overly thick. We must commend LES45 on great quality hake, as the fish was flaky and moist.
The only fair warning we’ll dispense is for you to consume it while it’s still warm, as it can get a little too greasy and fatty on the palate when it’s cooled down.
Dessert finally arrived, and it was no surprise that churros were on the menu. The Les Churros With Chocolate Hazelnut Cream ($8) was generously sprinkled with cocoa powder and sugar, accompanied by a luscious hazelnut-based dipping sauce.
Our palates can’t be fooled that easily, and it was easy to tell that the sauce was simply melted Nutella. Simply put, there really wasn’t anything to complain about when it came to crisp churros and a saucer full of Nutella.
Given its location, LES45 is a great wind-down spot that serves easy bites for a post-work catch-up session with your kakis. If you happen to work around the area, swing by to check out this sky-high restaurant and its great ambience!
Expected damage: $20 – $50 per pax