The VLV Singapore Chinese restaurant opened in Clarke Quay quite some months ago at the end of 2016, but was in the news again recently. In March 2017, chef Martin Foo was awarded the Chef of the Year accolade at The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao Best Asian Restaurants Awards. VLV Singapore occupies the whole of a heritage building at Clarke Quay. The glamorous club lounge takes centre stage on the ground floor together with an alfresco bar and a seafood enclave. The Chinese restaurant is located upstairs.
The lounge looks elegant and comfortable but was deserted in the day. Like some people, it is the kind of place that looks sleepy in the day, but wakes up in the night. When darkness falls, we can imagine how it will totally transform its atmosphere into a clubbing kind of place.
Our focus however was on the food at the VLV Chinese restaurant and so we headed upstairs. There were some private rooms and a large dining hall. The Chinese restaurant was comfortable but did not have the plushness of the lounge below.
VLV Singapore serves “...a masterful menu of modern Chinese cuisine by an award-winning culinary team.” Here are pictures of the VLV lunch set menu, the dim sum menu and some pages from the a la carte menu. We ordered a variety of dim sum items and a vegetable dish from the regular menu.
VLV Chinese Restaurant Menu
The VLV restaurant was not very busy on a weekday and so the food arrived quite quickly and all at the same time. Unusually for a Chinese restaurant in Singapore, an amuse bouche was served. Perhaps a sign of their “modern” approach to Chinese dining.
We had three steamed dim sum items – wild mushroom dumplings ($4.80), prawn chives dumpling ($4.80) and prawn rice roll ($7). They were all well made with nice chewy skins and tasty contents.
The baked crispy kurobuta pork bun ($6.80) was a more unusual dish that is certainly worth trying. Like a baked version of char siew bao, but this has a more flavourful skin.
The fried carrot cake ($4.80) was quite ordinary but the presentation was attractive. The kai lan fried with anchovies ($18) was a well prepared vegetable dish that brought our savory part of our meal to an end. Up till now the food had been quite traditional Chinese cuisine. The two desserts that we tried displayed a more modern outlook of the VLV style of Chinese cuisine.
It is not everyday that we see cheese cake on a Chinese restaurant menu and so we ordered the Oriental Cheese Cake & Mascarpone Ice Cream ($12). The cheese flavour was very mild. Mascarpone is a soft, creamy, Italian cheese with a high fat content, so the ice cream felt like part whipped cream and ice-cream. It must have contained a few hundred calories, but the result was good. The introduction of some western style dessert into the menu is welcome as Chinese desserts tend to revolve around the usual same things.
The second dessert was a traditional Teochew orr nee (yam paste) ($12). Orr nee was as traditional a dessert as you could find, but it was interpreted in a very modern way. The yam paste was extremely smooth. The yam flavour not as strong as those in a typical Teochew restaurant such as Hung Kang. The whole dish was decorated with gingko nuts, pumpkin and topped with a scoop of coconut ice cream. Delicious!
There was a dish that we did not try but is on our to-do list for the next visit – the VLV Beggar chicken. Chicken cooked in earthen balls and served on platters, these will make a dramatic dish at any meal, especially when they are broken open by hammers. Here is a picture of the dish that was served at a nearby table.
Overall, lunch at VLV Singapore was enjoyable. The basic dishes that we tried did show off some flashes of brilliance from the famous chef. We think trying some of the special dishes will be even better to experience the cooking prowess of Chef Martin Foo.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Clarke Quay, 3A River Valley Road, #01-02
Tel: +65 6661 0197
Nearby MRT Station : Clarke Quay