Archive for September 6th, 2009

Restaurant Fifty Three; is it The Fat Duck of Singapore? – Singapore

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

53 Armenian Street
Tel: +65 6334 5535
Operating Hours:
Lunch: 12noon – 2pm (Tue-Sat)
Dinner: 7pm – 9.30pm (Mon-Sat)
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Very Expensive
Reservations are essential for dinner (recommended 24 hrs. advance notice for parties of two and 48 hrs. for parties of four or more and I think highly advisable for lunch).

Chef Michael Han has opened Restaurant Fifty Three in a shop-house with very limited seating in Singapore, he previously worked at Heston Blumenthal’s, Fat Duck on the outskirts of London. (For the unfamiliar: this restaurant has been rated number one or two in the “World’s Best Restaurants” for a few years). He is a former law-student, which may not bode well for some patrons but hey, an attorney in the kitchen is probably better than a chef in the courtroom! Whatever. Although, reality is that one has to be concerned about the very mixed reviews from both professionals and amateurs regarding his experimental combining of ingredients that some have said, “have no friendly interactions with each other”. Remember, I said “mixed” that means; as many, and in his case more, utterances were praising the 31-year-old as were criticizing. In any case, maybe it would be prudent to wait until the dust settles before dropping the S$250 plus per head for a multi-course dinner at 53, although I imagine that the majority of you will want to see what the Hoopla is all about—now. Highlights include various renditions of David Blackmore’s Wagyu beef from Kagoshima, Mara des Bois Strawberries and Green Peppercorn. For dinner the set menu is your only choice, and I have a feeling that to encourage repeat business Chef Han will have to change the menu more often than he would normally choose to do, and with Singapore’s fairly limited selection of imported goods and domestic production at almost nil, it would probably be easier to pull rabbits out of a hat.