Chef Jachin Tan is back at Skyve Wine Bistro to re-complete the sister-brother power with Celine Tan, who runs the front of the house. This reunification was seen as timely for the introduction of a new seasonal menu, the focuses of which are in local produce, influences from multiple cuisines around the world – predominantly French – and a handful of dishes smoked in-house. Vibes wise, nothing much has changed since my first visit five years ago – there’s an outdoor seating area, a lounge area apt for drinking (but in my opinion also conducive enough for eating), and a proper dining area that is more brightly-lit.
For appetisers, Chef Jachin was mindful to reduce the overall rawness of the Beef Tartare ($18++) by substituting the usual raw egg yolk with miso-cured truffle yolk. Whilst I did not see the need to, that did not detract from the overall taste of it, and was in fact my favourite appetiser of the night. It was chunky and well-salted; the truffle was an added bonus. I’ve had my fair share of Beef Tartares, and I must say that Skyve’s rendition leaves the deepest impression.
Unfortunately, the Mediterranean Octopus ($18++) paled in comparison as it arrived dry, tough, and consequently rather bland. The Smoked Tomato ($12++) falls somewhere in between – while one can expect the smokiness from the Poi wood to be really noticeable and intense, and while I absolutely adore and appreciate smoked dishes, I find the price to portion ratio difficult to justify.
The mains similarly had hits and misses. The star of the night was the Hibachi Pork ($28++), which was fork-tender. The relatively high proportion of fats lends both flavour and textural dimensions to the meat. It was very much a comforting main course to have when coupled with the pommes puree. Pictured on the right is Lobster Sang Mee ($34++), essentially sang mee on steroid. I could spot no wrong in it, but there was nothing observably distinct either if you ask me. Commendable though, was the generous portion of meaty, sweet, and springy lobster – really well-executed in that regard.
What fell below expectation was the Smoked Tenderloin ($38++). Like the Smoked Tomato, Skyve smoked the cut with Poi wood. Here, the smoking process also involved coconut. To my untrained tongue, however, I could barely discern any difference from the two smoking process (otherwise the smokiness was extremely but pleasantly prominent). Apart from that, the cut was disappointingly tough. Due to the lack of fats and flavour, Tenderloin is not my favourite cut; but I do recognise that some enjoy the tenderness of it. Regrettably, even the tenderness was absent in this dish.
Desserts have my higher overall rating than the other courses, but I’d recommend their classic Molten Chocolate ($12++), the cake of which has a firm exterior texture, and a contrasting warm, soft inside neighbouring the molten chocolate lava. It comes moderately sweet, and is perfectly paired with potent salted caramel ice cream.
If you prefer something plain and straightforward, Semifreddo of Lime ($10++) is the way to go. The semi-frozen dessert, but really one whose taste is comparable to ice cream, is simply flavoured with lime but not unbearingly sour. The sable adds a welcomed textural dimension, whereas the blue pea flower “caviar” acts more like an embellishment. Their take on Tiramisu ($10++) showcases a layer of custard consistency, and might keep you awake for the rest of the evening given its strong coffee presence. However, I did not find it particularly memorable.
What’s worth ordering:
Beef Tartare ($18++)
Hibachi Pork ($28++)
Molten Chocolate ($12++)
Photos by Kathleen.
Address: 10 Winstedt Road, Block E, #01-17, Singapore 227977
Contact: +65 6225 6690 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening Hours: 12pm – 11pm (Mon – Thurs; last order 9.30pm); 12pm – 12am (Fri; last order 10.30pm); 10am – 12pm (Sat; last order 10.30pm); 10am – 11pm (Sun; PHs; last order 9.30pm)
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