Have you ever thought of how a Western Omakase would be like? I just might have that perfect answer for you.
At the newly opened Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan, you will be treated to a Chef’s Table experience; from a bespoke menu prepared with the freshest, seasonal produce, to table service by the master chefs of the kitchen. You will be blown away by the fact that the menu here changes daily, which definitely challenges the creativity of the chefs. While you can expect fine-dining standards for the dishes that you are served here, you do not have to be worried about the usual chi-chi atmosphere of Michelin-star restaurants. With the high chairs and tables, the setting is kept rather casual. More importantly, the intention to have diners on high chairs was so that the chefs will be able to interact and explain the dishes in detail to you at eye level, when they serve their creationa right up your table. Don’t forget your praises! 😉
An open kitchen where the magic happens. Can’t blame the chefs to be on their phones after dinner service. 🙂
A peek into their indoor herb garden. When they mean freshly-plucked herbs, they mean serious business.
Introducing to you Chef Stephan Zoisl, who spent the last two decades exploring the culinary world across Europe, the United States, and Southeast Asia. His travels led him into the Michelin-starred kitchens of Fat Duck and Alinea. “We want people not just to enjoy the flavours of the food; we want them to get to know the ingredients behind the dish, and how they come together on a plate,” shares Chef Stephan. With this vision in mind, the dining journey at the restaurant begins with a menu that presents a grid of 28 of the season’s best ingredients.
As mentioned, the menu changes each day. How does this work? 28 different ingredients will be listed on the menu each day and depending on the number of courses you are gunning for, as well as dietary preferences, Chef will tailor your dishes to them.Chefs Stephan and Lorenz work together on a daily basis when new ingredients arrive, to brainstorm on ideas for new recipes or cooking techniques.
Price-wise, 4-course dinner is at $98, 6-course at $128 and 8-course at $150. In this tasting, we went for 6-course.
Gruener Veltliner, Hagmann, Kremstal, Austria ($17+ / $75+) – The wine cellar at Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan boasts over 100 labels, personally selected and curated by General Manger & Sommelier, Per Drews. Just like the seasonal produce on the menu, every bottle of wine at the restaurant is available only in small numbers, which are imported mainly from Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France and Italy. If you don’t think you can manage a whole bottle or love variety, you can order the wine by glasses too. I would definitely recommend that you to do a wine-pairing here as the wines were very fantastic. We went with white for starters and fish.
Heirloom Tomatoes [Tiger Prawn, Hokkaido Scallop, Basil, Red Veined Sorrel, Olive Oil Caviar] – Here’s our first course of the night! The tiger prawn and scallops were lightly pan-seared to perfection. While juicy on their own, they were paired with the sweetest heirloom tomatoes! This sweetness was contrasted by the iberico ham – a wonderful marriage of flavours and textures. Light, refreshing and whets your appetite for the next dish.
Foie Gras Pan Seared & Espuma [Beetroot 2 ways, Mirabelle, Pea Shoots and Blossoms] – This is one of the most creative executions of foie gras I’ve had yet! The slab there is foie gras mousse – its texture is creamy, velvety and dense. That distinct foie gras flavour is at full-fledged. On the side is foie gras foam – airy, light and aromatic. Those reddish triangular pieces were actually aerated beetroot. Do you remember Super Rings snacks from your primary school days? The beetroots had the texture of Super Rings. When you put it into your mouth, it melts and vanishes. Very, very impressive.
Halibut [Samphire, Cauliflower, Bouchot Mussels, Saffron Stock] – My favourite dish of the night, the taste of this dish was a slice of heaven. I could still taste it in my mouth now. The halibut was extremely well-done. The buttery texture of the fish was insanely good and the fish was so tender that you do not need much effort to chew. Topped with mussels, you taste more freshness of the sea and the saffron stock was subtle yet punctuated the sweet notes of the fish. Scoop all of that up with the silky cauliflower mash, it was simply mind-blowing. All of the ingredients came together seamlessly. I simply cannot express how much I love this dish but it was fireworks in my heart for that brief 3 minutes of gobbling this down.
Pinot Noir, Punt Road, Yarra Valley, Australia ($19+ / $92+) – While I prepare my heart for the second half of my dinner, we went on to the red. This was surprisingly very smooth for a young wine. I always refrain from commenting about wine as I’m no connoisseur but on this, my tastebuds agreed to.
Iberico Pork Presa [Caramelised Garlic Creme, Garlic Flower, Horseradish, Olives, Mustard Sauce, Mustard Leaves] – Yes, it’s pork, not beef! My first time having half-cooked pork but this is the way to savour the gem of the meat. This is the highly sought-after cut of the pig that seats between the shoulder and the neck. No doubt, the meat was tender and it tasted far from being raw! The mustard flavour stood out for me in this dish and it was no less than outstanding.
Angus Beef (Medium Roast Babette) [48h Braised Beef Cheek, Parsley Root Creme, Potimarron Pumpkin, Pickled Pumpkin, Nasturtium Leaves] – On to the final savoury course, we have the angus beef! Again, the meat was very well done and the red wine sauce was delicious. Beef and red wine is pretty much a no-brainer, but to have the right proportion of red wine within your sauce in order to elevate the entire beef flavour takes real skills. The pumpkin on the side was done in two ways. The pickled pumpkin was a little tart, a nice pick-me-up as you go through the dish while the other style of the pumpkin brought out the organic sweetness of it. Good job to Chef Stephan!
Decided to be nosy and went into the kitchen while the chefs were assembling desserts!
Dessert [Chocolate, Caramel, Popcorn Ice Cream] – Don’t belittle this slice of chocolate cake. The dark chocolate is paired with a thin slice of caramel layer which created a unique flavour, in a good way of course. Though the taste buds picks up both sweetness and saltiness at the same time, they were so well-balanced that each does not overpower the other. Add on some popcorn ice cream to that and your childhood dreams would have come true.
It’s been a while since I have had such a wonderful dining experience where every dish was faultless. The concept is daring and fresh, providing customers with different surprises at each visit. Though the price may not be for every-day dining, it’ll be a fabulous treat for yourself on pay-day every month! 😉
Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan
61 Tras Street
Tel: 6224 4188 or email chefstable@2015L.com
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 6pm to 12 midnight