Nestled within the tranquil enclave of Dempsey Hill and set on a deck surrounded by beautiful and lush greenery is La Ventana, a gastronomic fine dining destination serving up modern European cuisine with both Southeast Asian and Spanish influences.
Stellar creations to look forward to are the Monkfish with Saffron Foam and Kalamata Olives Emulsion and the Wagyu Cheek with Black Trumpet Cream and Watercress Purée. Be sure to try the Curry Leaf Ice Cream with Szechuan Strawberries and Lemongrass Tea Jelly—an original creation that deserves the utmost commendation.
The mere mention of dining at Dempsey Hill often means that your meal will more than likely come with a hefty price tag, but we dare say that if you are out to splurge, one solid place to do just that is La Ventana.
La Ventana is housed within an old but beautiful colonial building, exuding a charming and intimate space in which diners can feel relaxed and disconnected from the world as they indulge in some proper fine dining.
The kitchen is helmed by Chef Toni Valero, a young Spanish chef who aims to bring forth a new direction to the restaurant’s tasty offerings. The acclaimed chef dishes out innovative creations in the form of tasting plates that tie in his heritage along with a myriad of Southeast Asian influences of which he picked up during his stint working in Kuala Lumpur.
As the saying goes, you must start as you mean to go on, and this is particularly pertinent in the case of the Marinated Bonito, Chlorophyll Curry, Sprout Salad, Chilli Padi Oil (S$18++) that the Gastronomic tasting menu kicks off with. Thick cuts of chilled bonito find itself neatly placed atop an earthy clorofila curry. For a hint of zing, the grated orange and lime zest was a really nice touch.
The Wagyu Cheek with Black Trumpet Cream and Watercress Purée (S$48++) was without a doubt, one of our absolute favourites. Simply because it encapsulated the perfect blend of flavour and texture.
Cooked low and slow, the Wagyu cheek was fork tender with each bite literally melting on our tongues. The sauce was robust and brimming with rich beefy flavours, and the trumpet mushroom cream stood up well on its own to provide a lovely umami element to the dish.
In terms of aesthetics worthy of the ‘gram’, none other can beat the Monkfish with Saffron Foam and Kalamata Olives Emulsion (S$42++). This elegant dish comes served in a rustic white serving dish that does well to make the delicate colours of the dish pop. The olive purée was nicely dotted around the saffron foam creating a simple yet attractive pattern around the monkfish.
The monkfish is a unique, firm-textured and meaty white fish that is versatile enough to be prepared in several ways. In this case, the monkfish steak is beautifully seared off and receives the Spanish treatment of a savoury saffron foam and kalamata olive purée.
Head Chef Toni Valero is tenacious when it comes to fusing flavours together and his iconic Curry Leaf Ice Cream with Szechuan Strawberries and Lemongrass Tea Jelly (S$18++) is a testament to that. Captivated by its earthy and slightly citrus aroma, we were simply mind-blown at how combining curry leaf with milk and cream really showed the herb’s culinary potential.
While the ice cream on its own may seem a tad too complex for comfort for some, combining it with the sweet and lightly peppery Szechuan strawberries and lemongrass gelatine really brings the whole dessert together.
16A Dempsey Road
Tel: +65 6479 0100
Sun to Fri: 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 11pm
Sat: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm
Nearest Station: Farrer Road
For more recommendations, read our guide on 39 Romantic Restaurants in Singapore.