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Mandarin Oriental’s Dolce Vita unveils a new dining concept, Chef’s Table, where guests have the opportunity to sit right at the cold kitchen counter, to watch acclaimed Italian Chef, Omar Bernardi showcase his magic.
Every Friday, for only 6 guests, Chef Omar presents an exclusive 6-course dinner in an “Omakase” fashion. The menu will be updated every month to ensure that diners are served the freshest seasonal ingredients.
Mandarin Oriental’s award-winning Sommelier, Inthran Ramasamy takes the intimate dining experience up a notch by expertly pairing each course with exquisite wines. If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, enticing mocktails will be concocted in replacement of the wines.
We nibbled on the complimentary bakes, accompanied with Basil Cream, Tomato cream and Tomato Pesto, while Chef Omar prepared the Amuse Bouche.
Beetroot and Goat Cheese Composition. Three variants of beetroot balance out the strong notes of the ricotta and goat cheese mousse, whilst crunchy quinoa adds a resounding crackle in every mouthful. Garnished with sorrel and cress for the perfect finish.
Chef Omar takes a modern approach to a typical Venetian dish, Sweet and Sour Sardine ( Sarde in Saor). In the past, fishermen used to prepare this dish with vinegar, onion and flour in order to preserve the fish. In this appetizer, sardines from the Mediterranean Sea are fried, and served with pine nuts and raisins for a touch of sweetness.
Once again, Chef Omar takes an up-market approach to another traditional Venetian favorite-Prawns and Polenta. Accompanying the succulent seared prawns, is a cylindrical-shaped polenta with a crisps exterior and comfortingly soft interior. Made complete with garlic chips for that irresistible aroma and crunch. Simple, yet insanely delicious!
The Green Pea Risotto and Smoked Eel is something exotic and unusual. This is my first encounter such a unique dish and was pleasantly surprised that the combination came off really well. Green peas are pureed then mixed into the risotto to achieve a lush hue. Take a little bit of everything into the mouth for optimum enjoyment-the duo is enhanced with bursts of flavor from the salmon roe and butter sauce.
Seafood lovers will adore the Mullet and Langoustine. On this plate, the delicate flesh of Red Mullet from the Mediterranean Sea is paired with langoustine confit. The latter, prepared in a bath of clarified butter, herbs and garlic, then topped with foamed bisque made from its shell, was absolutely stellar. The delectable langoustine melted in the mouth like a dream!
Sweet departure arrived in the form of Milk Jam Dessert. The tongue is enthralled in symphony of milk and sugar reduction, homemade apricot sorbet, hazelnut crunch, apricot coulis and a pinch of sea salt. An elegant dessert worth pining for!
There’s no better way to wind down after a hectic work week than with Chef Omar’s “OMAR-kase” dinner at Dolce Vita. The charming chef’s approach to food is passionate and professional, staying true to his Italian roots while adding a few modern touches. In addition to the gastronomic adventure, I find it fascinating to observe execution, and enlightened when Chef Omar explains the intricacies of each dish.