How often do you walk down Orchard Road and find yourself stepping in to Hilton Singapore for a slice of their legendary cheesecake?
Well, we’d like to think more of Hilton Singapore. Do you know what used to be Checkers Brasserie is now revamped and known as Opus Bar & Grill? Dining there is a brand new experience now, and with Opus priding themselves on their grill, you know that you are in for the real deal.
The culinary team is helmed by Aussie chef Nick Philip, and the menu is contemporary with Australian influence. The charcoal grill and dry-age cabinet are what Opus Bar & Grill is building their success on, and they are on a mission to spoil you with only the best meals. Hilton Singapore is the first hotel in Asia to achieve MSC certifications, so you can look forward to sustainable seafood choices such as Seared Hokkaido Scallops, Black Cod Carpaccio, and Glacier 51 Toothfish Fillet.
We hopped by for dinner one of those nights, and here are some of the highlights of Opus Bar & Grill that you have to try when it is your turn too.
Such as Miso Soup, Tom Yum, Kaya Toast Martini, and Durian. You got that right. Exotic, aren’t they? And we assure you they are not at all weird. Sure, we were skeptical initially, too. How can tom yum be a cocktail?!
But Opus’ bartender is brilliant that way. Being typical Singaporeans with a huge love for kaya toast, it is without a doubt that we fell in love with the Kaya Toast Martini. Mildly sweet with a strong kaya (coconut and egg jam) taste, this cocktail stole the show that night.
The Tom Yum has a smooth taste that is made up of kaffir leaves, lemongrass and galangal – nothing unusually spicy, and very fragrant in fact. We loved the Miso Soup a lot too – tasted like umeshu, but is actually a mixture of Haig Club and Zacapa 23 Rum; slightly sour, slightly sweet, and very faintly salty.
TEMPURA ZUCCHINI FLOWER
We love the zucchini flower for its juicy stalk, and here at Opus, they stuff it with goat cheese filling before coating it with tempura batter and deep frying it. Served with a zesty chilli jam, the Tempura Zucchini Flower (S$18) boasts robust flavours.
SEARED HOKKAIDO SCALLOPS
No one says no to plump and sweet scallops. Especially if they are beautifully seared and its juicy essence are elevated with precise cooking techniques. Make sure you order the Seared Hokkaido Scallops (S$23) when you are dining here.
SMOKED BUFFALO MOZZARELLA
Caprese salad lovers, listen up! The Smoked Buffalo Mozzarella Salad (S$16) is easily one of the best renditions in town, featuring chunks of smoked mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes in different colours, then drizzled with chocolate balsamic, this salad in a hearty portion might just have us returning to Opus Bar & Grill!
CHARCOAL GRILLED KING PRAWNS
Charcoal grilled means there is a subtle smoky aftertaste, and that is exactly how we like our king prawns to be done. WIth smoked harissa, pomelo and labneh, the Charcoal Grilled King Prawn (S$21) is sweet yet light on the palate, making it the perfect starter to your dinner.
BLACK COD CARPACCIO
We are fans of Italian cuisine, and carpaccio dishes are very much preferred. The usual fishes that are selected for carpaccio are salmon and tuna, so a Black Cod (S$20) rendition is refreshing and we love how the subtle sweetness of the white fish blended so well with the dehydrated seaweed, cucumber caviar, lemon and olive oil marinate.
Salmon lovers will know that if the fish is well cured, it will be a delicacy that is royally favoured. With spiced creme fraiche, snake fruit and citrus dressing, the Cured Salmon (S$19) at Opus Bar & Grill is a treat indeed.
CHAR GRILLED LAMB CUTLETS
Fancy some game meat? We think the Char Grilled Lamb Cutlets (S$52) is a pretty interest with a faint fragrance from the Massaman curry emulsion.
36 HOUR PORK BELLY
While Opus is known for its steaks, there are plenty of choices even if you do not feel like having beef. The super tender 36-Hour Pork Belly (S$36) with lychee is a good option.
GLACIER 51 TOOTHFISH FILLET
A beautiful fish dish that the ladies might love if a meaty feast is not for you. The Glacier 51 Toothfish Fillet (S$47) is simplicity at its best, and ideal for the weight-watchers who need to dine out but don’t want to bust that calorie limit.
220G KOBE WAGYU RIBEYE MARBLE SCORE 6
This was the star that night. The Ribeye (S$92 for 220g) was done medium rare, just the way we liked it to be. And its marbling may be a score 6, but in all honesty, the fats were so melty that we were under the impression it was at least a score 7.
It also helps that Opus dry-age their own prime meat cuts between 14 to 36 days, and the custom designed cabinet is lined with himalayan pink salt – the aroma is infused into the meat during the dry-ageing process, producing only the richest flavours of the beef.
Other beef selection on the menu includes the 280g 150 Day grain-fed Australian Sirloin (S$58), 220g 150 Day grain-fed Australian Angus (S$62) and the Australian Rangers Valley Angus (S$110 for 2) that is dry aged 30 days.
At S$7 per portion, pick from a selection of Creamy Mash Yukon Gold Potato, Mac & Cheese, and Smoked Risotto with Charred Leek. Everything is pretty heavy in taste, but we love the stark contrast when paired with our steaks. Now, you must not miss out on the creamy mash, really.
CHAR GRILLED BANANA
A healthier alternative to the local favourite “goreng pisang”, the Char Grilled Banana (S$14) is as simple as it is healthy. It is paired with smoked salted caramel coconut, and coconut & calamansi ice cream.
With mango gel, white chocolate and young coconut granita, the Coconut Sago (S$14) is delightfully pleasing with its tropical flavours. It is amazing how the sweetness from each individual ingredient blends together as we scoop the various layers and eat them altogether. A wonderful mess, we hear?
Who can resist the theatrics of pouring hot chocolate over a chocolate dome (S$14) filled with blueberry crumble and Baileys ice cream? This is the bomb.
Opus Bar & Grill
581 Orchard Road
Tel: 65 6730 3390
Daily: 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Orchard Road
This post is brought to you by Hilton Singapore.