best restaurants singapore

Sky-high Ce La VI offers lavish rooftop bar views for a mile-high flavour club experience

Miniscule. From my vantage point at CE LA VI, Singapore resembled a diorama where even buildings were muddled into vague silhouettes.

ce la vi singapore

Craning my neck to scope out the view behind, a fleet of skyscrapers promptly greeted me at eye level, illuminated with sleek technicolour while towering over the city imposingly.

As I was being ushered to my table, streaks of breeze playfully ran over my hair, while I observed the majestic cityscape, eyes glistening with marvel.

ce la vi reivew

Much of the real estate was concentrated into a breezy al fresco cul de sac, with red parasols fanned out on its perimeter — redolent of an exclusive beach club, just perched high up in the sky. 

Compared to its refined restaurant counterpart at the other end of MBS’ top level, CE LA VI’s rooftop bar was teeming with a vitality you’d more likely associate with the trendy bars littered about Telok Ayer.

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Even if CE LA VI’s celebrity derives mostly from the atmospheric rooftop bar and the raucous nightclub, there’s more than meets the eye — specifically, in the restaurant side of things.

The less-talked-about aspect of the establishment doles out a spectacular casual-fine dining experience that would enthral any couple on a date night.

One of Singapore’s greatest views deserves stellar gastronomy, after all, and the style of Asian-influenced modern European fusion might surprise some.

In for a surprise 

ce la vi tuna tartare

Should CE LA VI’s reputation —one of an expat trap and party venue— arouse scepticism around its seriousness as a culinary establishment, the starters would promptly assuage any misgivings.

A refreshing Tuna Watermelon Tartare ($22) eased us into the meal with a mix of chunky tuna, iron-rich and robust but juxtaposed against the crisp of the juicy watermelons.

Morsels of avocado, coconut vinaigrette and coriander then provided twinges of grassiness to soften the richness of the starring duo. 

ce la vi prawn toast

In continuance of a trend from my last visit to CE LA VI’s bar, this menu’s rendition of Prawn Toast (S$22) was stellar as well. A simple dish, but deftly assembled with an eye for balance.

The name is a misnomer as it’s a homage to the Asian-style “prawn toasts” but features crab salad as the highlight — luscious, velvety, and delicately stained with calamansi

Everything is propped up by a brick of fluffy, buttery brioche but all those potent flavours are shrewdly rounded out as dollops of wasabi harmonise with the citrus for graceful balance.

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Continuing on the path of wanton umami was the Maitake Mushroom (S$15), an intriguing foam-form medley of the mushroom, Jerusalem artichoke, and black garlic. 

The startling sapid dish was pure intoxication with its gratuitous earthy umami, bolstered with thick whiffs of black garlic fragrance. Coupled with a dreamily velvety mouthfeel, this delight was simply too mesmerising for us to put down our spoons.

ce la vi restaurant review

In contrast, CE LA VI’s Asparagus “Sushi Rice” Risotto (S$25) worked with the same dose of richness but ultimately strayed down the path of surfeit.

Technique-wise, there are no complaints — this is as well-executed as it gets with a plush creamy texture and nutty undertones in the risotto. Unfortunately, the sharp salinity of the stock imposes itself overbearingly.

The Mile High Flavour Club

ce la vi singapore restaurant menu

The astonishments were waiting in the mains section of CE LA VI’s meal though with the superlative Halibut With Kombu Potato Flake Crust (S$35) — tender and almost-buttery halibut meets its soul mate in a euphorically rich yuzu beurre blanc.

Both were magnificent with individual virtues but the chemistry was simply sublime as the mild nutty flavour of the fish was immaculately elevated amid sumptuous umami and yuzu depth. 

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On the flip side, the French Margret Duck Breast in Shio Koji (S$69) strived to showcase the team’s eclectic Asian influences but regrettably faltered in its dance of bewitchment. 

CE LA VI’s translation of Asian-style herbal duck into a European entree was interesting but hard to appreciate past the tender duck breast, with the chief flaws traceable to the five-spice sauce.

While the sentiment is encouraging, the execution appeared a tad off the mark with oddly musky overtones.

ce la vi calamansi bon bon

But no matter the disappointments, every meal at CE LA VI would end with smiles as the Calamansi Bon Bon (S$10) cemented themselves as another unexpected standout.

These neon-green white-chocolate spheres only show their true charm after being popped into the mouth.

Bite down and split them open and torrents of vivacious calamansi tincture rush out to fill the palate — makes for a great, refreshing coda to meal.

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Although I would not call CE LA VI perfect, the restaurant has truly left me pleasantly surprised with the standard of cooking and generally well-executed ideas.

Simultaneously, the menu boasts a good spread of prices, putting forth some affordable options that place it in the familiar territory of casual-fine dining.

An amazing view, wonderful ambience, and well-executed food at reasonable prices — CE LA VI might not be as opulent as its MBS rooftop location insinuates.

Could it actually be a good option for your next date night?

Make a reservation online before visiting CE LA VI Singapore.

Ce La Vi 

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  • Address: 1 Bayfront Avenue Marina Bay Sands, Hotel, Tower 3, 018971 
  • Restaurant hours: (Mon–Sun) 5.30pm to 10:45pm last order, (Weekend brunch) 12pm to 3pm 

*This was an invited tasting.

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