In a competitive F&B landscape, how does one stand out? For Me@Oue, the answer is simple—specialise in French, Japanese and Chinese cuisines, and throw in a gorgeous Marina Bay backdrop.
Since its debut, four years ago, the restaurant continues to draw the crowds, including loyal fans who relish its extensive menu and refreshing tipples (best enjoyed at the al fresco bar). While it may seem like it has the winning formula in the bag, the culinary team led by executive chef Sam Chin prefers not to rest on its laurels.
The young chef has never been afraid to experiment by putting his stamp on signature favourites and introducing new recipes. His latest addition is the kumamoto beef—known as the “caviar of meat”—exclusive to the restaurant and available a la carte and in tasting menus.
Chef Sam takes us on a gastronomic journey of all three cuisines, starting with the freshly shucked St Vaast oysters topped with a dollop of caviar. The freshness of the oysters with just that touch of brininess is given a lift with pickled shallots, lime juice and dill.
From the Japanese kitchen comes the “Hokkaido botan ebi” tartare, which may look simple but is so flavourful—with the burst of sweetness from the cherry tomatoes, saltiness from the ikura, and creaminess from the uni. Chef Sam’s original concoction of nori dressing is like the cherry on top.
The chawanmushi looks like your average egg custard dish, that is, until you dig in. Literally. Right at the bottom is the surprise—foie gras that is buttery and a tad heavy on the palate. The thick, gooey superior broth—also studded with crab meat—is best eaten while it’s still hot.
(Related: Tokyo Puts Tsukiji Fish Market Move On Ice)
As if that’s not enough, the chef shows us the catch of the day, airflown from Tsukiji market. (Here’s a tip: The daily catch changes depending on availability—call beforehand and reserve the fish of your choice, as daily supplies are limited)
He serves us the ayo, lightly salted and grilled, and the akamebaru, steamed in a rich broth of fish sauce, herbs and chilli. The former has a sweet and fine meat that’s so easy to dig in; while the latter is reminiscent of home-cooked Chinese steamed fish, his version has more heat.
After a long wait, we reach the main event—the kumamoto wagyu A4. Chef Sam shares that every day, when he goes into the kitchen, he will pick up his knife and take a slice off and then decide what to do with it. He uses all parts of the meat as the options for new creations are endless.
For this main event, he grills the flank medium rare, resulting in a brown and slightly charred exterior with a reddish blush at the centre. Even with less fat, it’s as soft as silk and every bite oozes with juicy, meaty succulence. The fattier cuts are sliced thinly and served as tenderloin sushi, pan-seared and topped with a zingy Pommery mustard and sweet shallot puree.
Surely after the beef, we can’t take in anything else? But no, the chef gives us two desserts to complete the meal. We’re not complaining. The L’Assiette du Chef is a refreshing take on the tropical pina colada with its calamansi-glazed-pineapple and coconut ice cream; the peach paradise takes us by surprise with its light crème espuma that’s given a depth with the pistachio crumble, and topped with an addictive vanilla ice cream.