something about ku de ta amazes me. i think its the notion that location, location, location (and perhaps a lil’ bit of branding) can trump any other factors, such that the restaurant can pretty much serve subpar food in ultra dim conditions and get away with it in style — throngs of people crowd the place even on a thursday night, most of them well heeled expatriates and socialites that would willingly blow a wad of cash unintelligently on this so called fusion chinese food. -_- are people willingly getting duped here? or is the allure of the exotic orient, the immaculately-done branding – what with the sensual reds, superb panoramic view, dim lightning, bali-fusion music, that blind people to the obvious flaws of the food?
let’s examine the curious case of ku de ta in more detail…
ambience wise, this place has it really down pat. the restaurant/bar exudes a sense of exclusive luxury infused with asian undertones. its like how the west would view the rich exotic orient essentially. being up so high at mbs does really have its perks — the air is cooler, the view is magnificent at all angles, and it doesn’t take much to whisk a customer into another world. i do wonder what happens when it rains though, considering that alot of the restaurant space is located outdoors.
i was eager to try out their cocktails since ku de ta essentially is more known for being a sky bar than a restaurant. still hankering after a passion fruit fixed, i went for the passion and cream, as recommended by the waitress. it’s decent — creamy and fruity at the same time, but doesn’t come cheap as well. and to be honest, it wasn’t anything special or outstanding unlike the cocktails i had at wolfgang puck’s cut.
ok let’s talk about the food. we were informed that the dishes are inspired from the chef’s travels across asia, and are created with the intention of being shared across the table. to be honest, after the artichoke experience of shared dining, i’m super skeptical of such a format of dining because it just gives the chef an excuse to serve up miserly small portions of food for sharing and essentially force people to order many many dishes, sending the bill skyrocketing.
and can i just spend some time commenting about the intro written on the ku de ta menu? “dining at ku de ta is a multi sensory adventure; our servers will be happy to guide you on your journey” wow.. pretentious much? and furthermore, what multi sensory?? if anything, the place was so dark u couldn’t really see the food you were eating, much less look closely at the menu. more like a gastronomic ganzfeld perhaps. (lol.. ok lame psychology joke)
shame on you ku de ta! the miso scallops were quite the disaster – scallops were completely overcooked, resulting in hard, plasticky, shrunken pieces of scallop that was surprisngly discordant with the nashi pear and pickled mustard. this just didn’t work on any level, and its ridiculous to serve poorly done scallop. like c’mon! are you a fine dining establishment or what! this really fouled the mood for the night.
decent, and in fact, quite flavorful and delicious. the prawn floss was the perfect complement for the asparagus, which was nicely grilled. (i don’t know how steaming would give it the semi-grilled texture and look.. so i’m kinda confused as to whether this was steamed or grilled)
come on lah.. its plain chicken teriyaki you can get at simple hawker stores for like $5.. so what justifies the 5 times price hike? ya’know, the issue with fusion asian food is that if the result too closely resembles a hawker stall dish, then there’s bound to be that nasty comparison with hawker food. and there’s really no way one can win against hawker food. and yeah this was a resounding blah.
expensive as this was, at least you weren’t able to draw comparisons with hawker food, and well, foie gras really can’t go that wrong. this was really delicious, the foie gras melted in your mouth and the puffed rice was the perfect carbohydrate base to soak up the foie gras oil. yummy. and yeah, i’ve reconciled with the fact that one has to really spend a bomb for decent foie gras in singapore.
this was yet another dish that received scathing reviews from all of us. from the scoffing of the purported ‘forty flavors’ when we only detected off-spicy and salty as the predominant flavors, to the irritating way the rice was served such that many bits of rice where trapped within the lotus leaf wrap and it took quite a bit of effort to extricate all the rice. furthermore, the rice actually tasted much worse than common cantonese restaurants’ lo ma kai, with the rice served here dry and somewhat tasteless at the top at somewhat soggy at the bottom. yet another dish that should have been rejected in the kitchen and not sent out. such a disgrace.
as you can surmise, i wasn’t too pleased with the mains, to the point where me and my compatriots were debating whether to sojourn to somewhere else for desserts. but somehow i felt like giving them a chance to redeem themselves. so let’s see.
wow.. color me impressed. this was a really creative, inspired dessert, drawing some inspiration from thai cuisine (what with the sliced green apple) and mixed with all the western dessert sensibilities (love comb honey crumble.. mm). this was an interesting, refreshing and well thought out dessert. delicious!
another winner in its own right. the chocolate cake was warm and had a different but equally appealing texture with the infusion of the coconut. the blend of coconut and chocolate went really well, and the yuzu marshmallows were the perfect complement to the dish. and boy.. count me in as a fanboy of yuzu infused desserts. the marshmallows tasted different but really good. i think the creativity here exceeds that which is shown in 2 am dessert bar, the their execution is infinitely better.
all in all? it’s a mixed bag to be honest, but one thing is clear – DON’T come here for mains. come for the desserts whilst enjoying the beautiful scenery and chillax ambience. the service isn’t much to be spoken off, waiters are mildly responsive and pleasant enough to be forgettable. its a decent place, but methinks they should remarket themselves as a dessert and cocktails nightbar and just ditch the restaurant concept. but well.. who am i to comment, since this placed obviously has legions of adoring fans? 5.5/10
ku de ta |10 Bayfront Avenue, Sands SkyPark, Tower 3, Marina Bay Sands Hotel | desserts, drinks, ambience