Dinner @ Beni Singapore

January 29, 2016 in French by thywhaleliciousfay

It being my (favourite) girl’s birthday, I wanted to treat her to a meal that’s befitting of her. =)

Birthday girl wanted Japanese cuisine. But it being the first week of January and the market was closed in Japan for the new year, we had to cross that idea out and were left direction-less. o_O Doesn’t it happen sometimes? When you want to try a particular cuisine… But when you can’t, you don’t really know what else you want. But I digress. Ha.

Went through my (pretty outdated) list of restaurants-to-try, and there it was… Beni! I’ve been wanting to check them out since they opened last year.

However, after checking their menu from their website, I realised they were only serving their festive menu for the date we plan to head down for dinner. The thing about me is that I prefer to order from the regular menu. Yah, this wanting-to-write-a-relevant-review-after-my-meal is the reason so. Haha.

But after comparing the festive menu against the regular menu, I preferred their festive menu! For the regular dinner menu, Beni has 5-course and 7-course at $168 and $238. As for the 8-course festive menu, it was priced at $278. And the festive menu has all my our favourites of crab, caviar, foie gras and lobster!

And with that, a reservation was made. I was directed to a third-party website where the restaurant would still need to get back to me separately to confirm my reservation. In my online booking, I mentioned it was to celebrate my girlfriend’s birthday. And Beni got back to me on the immediate working day. However, I missed their call and received a text message from them instead. Nice. Since I don’t have the habit of answering calls from unknown number too. Ha!

Located within Mandarin Gallery, Beni is located just beside Hashida Garo. Not surprising since both are opened by chef Hatch of Hashida Sushi.

My girlfriend and I were greeted at the entrance by the staff. And I understood why they were there, waiting to bring us in. Cause we stepped into darkness… The main area was hidden behind full height black curtains. So it was off to a “wow” start when the staff drew the curtains for us to see what lie behind. We felt like we were entering a theatre. Which probably was the intention… Japanese reinterpretation of authentic French cuisine with a chef’s table experience.

And with that, we started our $278 festive-menu dinner (menu) with:-

  

1) King of green HIRO premium (above) – Gyokuro Japanese tea. Gyokuro would refer to the tip part of tea stem, which are handpicked. It’s considered to be finest in quality, freshness and richness in flavour. The chef poured warm water into the cup with the tea leaves for us to sip the tea. I had some difficulty trying to drink it without getting any tea leaves in my mouth. Haha. But try to drink as much as possible cause the chef continued to add olive oil and sea salt for us to eat it like a salad. Interesting.


2) Millefeuille de crabe royal au navet shogoin (above) – Red king crab and shogoin turnip millefeuille, shungiku sauce, caviar. With crab from Hokkaido, this was so good! Chef also introduced shogoin as a Japanese vegetable that’s like spinach.

3) Gateau au foie gras (above) – Foie gras cake, vanilla flavour, apple and celeriac puree, apple jelly. Comprised of various layers; Top layer was with apple skin, 2nd of apple celeriac puree. I am not a big fan of terrine. If I am to have foie gras, I would prefer to have it as a steak. You know, like pan-fried foie gras. But this changed my mind. Definitely one of the better terrines I had. I liked how the faint sweetness from the apple balanced the slight saltiness of the foie gras. And because bread was also served with this dish, my girlfriend and I also had the foie gras cake as spread. And it went on very smoothly. Yummy!

  

4) Bread, Complimentary (above) – And we were given sourdough and milk breads. We preferred the sourdough.


  

5) Homard bleu (above) – Blue lobster risotto, cep mushroom duxelles, lobster sauce. And the plating was so pretty! I would be happy even if the plating came without the flowers. Ha. Risotto was cooked to perfection (al dente) with every grain coated evenly with the sauce. I like the additional crunch introduced to the dish with the lettuce. And one can have this dish in so many ways! Risotto on its own. Risotto with vegetables. Risotto with lobster. Lobster on its own. I was in love. A must try!

  

6) Kinmedai origine mer du japon (above) – Steamed red snapper with scallop mousse in butter lettuce, yuzu flavoured cream sauce. The best way to consume this was to eat it still wrapped with the lettuce. Don’t try to take it apart. Eating this gave me that very 满足 feeling. That ‘slightly explode in the mouth’ moment when I bit through the tightly wrapped fish. Taking the dish apart will simply defeat the chef’s intention for the dish. I did not like the yuzu peel in the sauce which was bitter. But my girlfriend liked it, so I guess it’s a personal preference.

  

7) Main course (above) with options of:-

(A) Ozaki wagyu a5 (above) – Salt crusted ozaki wagyu, roasted Japanese green tea flavour, potato puree, black truffe coulis, madeira wine sauce. My girlfriend enjoyed her beef. I could tell even though she did not say cause she finished everything although she was saying before our dinner that she’s watching her weight and will just eat a little of every course.

(B) Chevreuil de nouvelle-zealande (above) – Salt crusted New Zealand vension, roasted Japanese green tea flavour, potato puree, black truffle cream and vinaigrette. While making my reservation, I highlighted I don’t take beef. And thus, I was given 2 options of pork and venison. I went with the latter. And this was pretty good. Eat the meat without the sauce to smell the faint aroma of truffle. Potato purée was on the heavy side with it being dense, rich and sticky. But it was so good and smooth. Good thing the next course was desserts!

8) Fromage (above) – Brie cheese salad. I liked how the chef paid attention to the smallest detail like serving this on a warm plate to ensure the cheese remain melted after served since melted cheese harden once left to cool. So good. We love our cheeses!

9) Pre dessert (above) – Fresh strawberry from murata farm, rose jelly, milk granite. A refreshing dish. I especially liked the milk granite which was sweet. It was almost like eating shaved condensed-milk ice. Haha. Yum.


10) Chocolate framboise (above) (above) – Raspberry mousse in chocolate sphere, chocolate ice cream. The choco-cornflakes that’s on the plate (not within the sphere) was crunchy-ly good. And one must eat this dessert as a whole. Go deep down with the spoon to get to the sponge right at the bottom.

11) Cafe et mignardise of:-

(A) Mignardise (above) – Comprised of caramel coated crispy rice, cherry financier, blueberry tart and calamansi marshmallow. My favourite was the financier while I did not really fancy the tart.

(B) Drink with options of:-

i) Coffee (above) – As always, I opted for latte. Keke.

  

ii) Tea (above) – My girlfriend wanted tea, and was given Japanese roasted tea.


13) Birthday cake, Complimentary (above) – In my online booking, I stated it was a birthday meal for my girlfriend. And when I returned call after receiving their text to confirm dinner, the staff asked for my girlfriend’s name. I threw in her age as well for them to include in the dessert. Haha. But frankly, I didn’t expect an extra dessert. You know… Like how most restaurants would just stick a candle in an existing dessert course. So it was very nice of them. We felt very pampered! =)

The entire set up of us being able to witness the chef plating the dishes before us reminded me somewhat of Waku Ghin and DSTLLRY. o_O Haha. But of course, it won’t be fair to put these 3 together and compare.

But I really like Beni. For the experience, ambience, service and food. If you are looking for somewhere dark yet classy and without the cheesy candle (you know… like candle-lit dinner), Beni is the place! =p But of course, in an enclosed space where everyone can see one another due to the seating arrangement, one can’t be too loud in both volume and actions. But my girlfriend and I were too engrossed in our conversation to care. Haha.

And one could also tell much thought was given into the sequencing of the dishes by the chefs. Just when we were starting to feel full after the potato purée in our main course, we were to be served dessert next. And service was excellent too! I always feel the best service by waiting staff is when they move like shadows; They somehow clear your empty plates quietly, top up your cup efficiently and is there just when you need assistance. All without intruding into your space or disturbing your conversation with your dining partner. And the staff at Beni did just that!

So while this entry is on their festive menu. I still hope it’s useful. Beni? I would recommend them! It’s worth the splurge.

BENI SINGAPORE
333A Orchard Road, Mandarin Gallery, #04-16, Singapore
6235 2285, Website, Facebook
Overall: 8.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 9
Mon – Sat : 19:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 9
* Closed on Sun

UPDATE 1: Restaurant has moved to 333A Orchard Road, Mandarin Gallery, #02-37.
UPDATE 2: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2016.
UPDATE 3: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2017.

UPDATE 4: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2018.