SKAI Restaurant is the new restaurant that replaces the Equinox at the top of Swisshotel The Stamford Hotel. SKAI Restaurant, described as a lively contemporary grill, is a new place with a fresh concept that opened only last week. We are glad that they have made the change. If you have $45++ and two hours to spend, we can’t think of a better way to spend it than to try the 3-course lunch menu at SKAI Restaurant.
The Equinox had been an iconic restaurant of Singapore for a while. I believe that before Equinox, the space was occupied by The Compass Rose when the hotel was known as The Westin Singapore many years ago. The Equinox was in the news for the wrong reasons in May 2018 (read Channel News Asia article: Equinox at Swissotel gets hygiene rating downgrade after 51 diners fall ill).
Emerging from the lift at level 70, one proceeds down a flight of steps to the SKAI Restaurant. It is hard not to be impressed by the view. The ultra high ceiling means that there are lots of natural light which make the place feel very spacious.
The decor of the SKAI Restaurant is modern contemporary. We like that it can be casual and businesslike at the same time. At this stage, we would like to offer two tips in case you are thinking of visiting. First, do make a reservation as it was full on the day of our visit. Second, it would be useful to specify the preferred area of seating at the time of reservation. Essentially, there are two types of space – the tables in the core of the restaurant and the tables along the windows. We had a table in the centre area which felt more relaxed, like being in a living room.
The tables along the window get an unblocked bird’s-eye view of Singapore. Pick either the Singapore River view or the MBS view. These are regular tables with upright chairs. Personally, I was glad we did not get a window seat as the glare from the afternoon sun may get tiring after a while. It might be different at dinner time though.
SKAI Restaurant Lunch Menu
At lunch time, there is a lunch set menu in addition to the ala carte menu. You can find both menus, with prices, on the SKAI website (link below). Here is a picture of the lunch menu and a page from the wine list. We selected the 3-course $45 menu and would recommend that our readers do likewise as the extra $6 will bring you more than the money’s worth of happiness. If the added calories are the obstacle, they can be walked off after lunch at the Raffles City mall downstairs.
Our selected appetisers were the Shima Aji Mackerel and Cauiflower Soup. The mackerel was served raw but lightly seared at the edge. Mackerel has a stronger flavour than other fish used for sashimi. This one had a mild mackerel taste but with no ‘fishiness” and very good texture. The dashi sauce, crisp seaweed and other ingredients enhanced the natural taste.
We are not fans of cauliflower soup, but decided on the soup for variety as the third starter on the menu, yellow tail tuna, was also a raw fish dish. This soup (with roasted eggplant, enoki and truffle) was probably the best cauliflower soup we have eaten as it had a great depth of flavour.
Things continue to get better when the main courses were served. They were substantial dishes. We had the Snapper and the Iberico Secreto. Keeping the snapper company on the plate were asparagus, clams and tomato salsa. Eating them separately or together created a various combination of flavours.
The pork in the Iberico Secreto dish was good but we found the other items on the plate to be even more memorable. The roasted purple carrot and mushrooms had robust earthy flavours. The bits of apple were useful to balance the heaviness of pork.
Now you get to see why the 3-course option makes sense at the SKAI Restaurant. We chose the Peanut Butter and the Earl Grey Parfait. They were both very good but different. The dessert dish named Peanut Butter contains dark chocolate, banana, puff pastry, peanut butter and other things we cannot identify. Each mouthful contains a different bundle of flavours. It is a strong, powerful kind of dessert.
The Earl Grey Parfait, on the other hand, is feminine and light. The earl grey taste is very mild. Together with slightly sourish raspberry, sweet citrus jelly and cold yogurt ice-cream, each scoop was refreshing and makes you wanting more.
Sadly, dessert marked the end of the meal at SKAI Restaurant at Swisshotel Stamford Singapore. We had an enjoyable time. The place was beautiful and our servers were young and friendly. I should also mention that the bread served at SKAI is another reason to visit. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, the sourdough and mushroom butter were superb. Some places charge for bread far inferior to these. At SKAI, they were complimentary and they kept replenishing it!
Overall Rating: 5 TOPs
Level 70 Swisshotel The Stamford
2 Stamford Road
Tel: +65 6837 3322
Lunch: Monday to Friday: 12.00 – 14.30; Saturday: 12.00 – 15.30
Sunday Brunch: 11.30 – 3.30
Dinner: Monday to Sunday: 18.00 – 22.00
Nearby MRT Stations: City Hall, Bras Basah, Esplanade
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog