My pals brought me to Hide Yamamoto at MBS recently, where I realized (to my absolute amazement) that it’s possible to enjoy an eat-all-you-can sushi buffet for just $30++ in Marina Bay Sands! I returned the favor by taking them to VLV Restaurant at Clarke Quay where we savored an 8-course lunch at just $34.50++ per person! Good food at great prices, and with awesome company. What more can anyone ask for? 🙂 Well, perhaps excellent service, which VLV Restaurant provides as well. If you’re entertaining guests at lunchtime in the Clarke Quay area, VLV is definitely where you should head to.
I love having my friend, Steven, around as he’s super friendly and can chat with anyone, whether you’re an intern or a CEO, and in so doing, he helps suss out all the information I need without me having to talk to anyone. 😀 Some days, I’m rather kaypoh (a taxi driver once asked if I’m with the CID) and on other days, I just want to eat in peace, enjoying the banter among my pals. And in a restaurant like VLV, where I think taitais probably hang out, you’ll enjoy the tranquility, the fantastic decor, and the bubbly (definitely the bubbly). *wink*
VLV Restaurant can seat around 120 diners. And they can accommodate up to 50 guests in their private dining area…
As my forever-slim photographer pal from Hearted Moments was dining with us (and he’s also responsible for all the wonderful pictures in this blogpost), I had no objections to having more food apart from that 8-course ‘Signatures’ Lunch Set which I brought my pals for. Haven’t you heard that if you have trouble slimming down, you can simply make your friends fat? I live by that (highly questionable) mantra. 😀
Here’s what we ate:
For the amuse-bouche (the complimentary dish), we had hakka suan pan zi (算盘子). It was very tasty – the dried shrimp made it so delicious. We were told that sometimes the chef serves up hainanese chicken rice balls as the amuse-bouche too.
The fried seafood fritter comes with the chef’s special blend of sambal and just the right level of saltiness:
With the Peking duck wrap comes the foie gras truffle sauce (apart from the usual hoisin sauce) and also avocado slices, among other ingredients…
My favorites are right here:
I love the Chili crab buns and the siew mai. Instead of having chili crab and mantou to go along with it, it’s all fused into one bun that you just can’t get enough of. The great thing about ordering dimsum at VLV is that you can decide on the number of items in each bamboo basket – it’s not a fixed number so more guests, more dim sum. I’d take 5 of those chili crab buns the next time I’m here, thanks! 😀
*You can order the ‘Creations’ Lunch Set which is priced at $48++ per person. It comes with “a trilogy of Chef’s signature Dim Sum dishes – with succulent Prawn Dumpling ‘Ha Gao’, Fish and Mushroom dumpling and VLV’s specialty Singapore Chilli Crab Bun“. That’s followed by the Chrysanthemum Tofu Soup, Baked Chilean Seabass with Black Olive & White Wine Butter Sauce, ‘Char Siew’ Spring Onion Noodles, and Almond Cream with Egg White & Black Sesame Dumplings.
And here, finally, is the 8-course lunch we came for:
(Above) The Aburi Kagoshima Kurobuta Roll is refreshing. I tasted mainly the gingery notes and cucumber, which I love. 🙂
I liked the calamari as well. Very few restaurants get calamari just right. Here at VLV, it’s not tough and rubbery. You can bite through a piece without getting jaw fatigue #IfYouKnowWhatIMean.
The green soup, however, throws me off, somewhat. It’s a crab meat spinach soup. Like, why would anyone make a green soup? Unless it’s pea soup, maybe? But that’s not terribly popular here in Singapore. So… I have to say that it’s a little hard to love this soup, especially since it got me feeling thirsty halfway through.
(Above) That was the Steamed Coral Trout Head & Belly with Black Garlic & Black Bean. We were told that the black beans are from a farm in Taichung, Taiwan. I was avoiding all the black pieces till I heard that they are not salty (and in fact, are almost sweet) that I ate one and was suitably impressed!
(Above) The Claypot Prawn with Ginger, Scallion and Dried Chili. The prawns were lovely… it’s just that the shells kept getting in the way. If they had been removed, top marks. 🙂
I’m not a big fan of duck dishes. Though I love London Fat Duck. VLV Restaurant served up a 45-day-old duck (from a farm in Malaysia). Chef wanted to limit the amount of fat in the duck which, while probably good for the health-conscious diner, did not quite appeal to me as I’m used to the fatty, meaty duck at London Fat Duck. Oops! 😀
And it’s now all the rage: prick the poached egg, then snap as many pictures as you possibly can. LOL! I found the Kimchi Seafood Fried Rice delicious, though I have to say that it was served at the wrong time – just when I’m about to collapse from the amount I’ve eaten. The rice was flavorful – spicy, salty, charred – and would have gone so well with the duck. 🙂
And a fitting finale…
After the whole range of flavors we’d been treated to, this jelly came as a welcome conclusion to the meal. It was not sweet at all. Stamp, checked. Chinese blessing, checked. Diabetic-friendly dessert, checked. It was truly impressive. I think all parents and grandparents will love this dessert!
*I might try the ‘Tasting’ Lunch Set next time. It’s priced at $98++ for 4 people. It comes with the Prawn Dumpling ‘Ha Gao’ and Pan-fried Carrot Cake, Nutritious Herbal Soup, Sweet & Sour Chilean Seabass, Crispy Roasted Chicken, Poached Hong Kong Choy Sum, Braised Noodles with Enoki Mushroom and Beansprouts, and the same Roselle Flower Osmanthus Jelly dessert.
More pictures of the gorgeous venue:
And not to forget the bubbly… Charles Heidsieck:
Once again, I have to thank my pal Jiahe from Hearted Moments Photography for taking stunning photographs every single time. My pal, Steven, asked if the iPhone might be able to replace DSLRs in future. And while it may be an odd question to ask a photographer, I’d say, no, a professional photographer will be able to shoot (and edit) stunning photographs that no iPhone user can match in quality and composition of the shot. *wink*
*As an aside: Go ahead and check out all 4 zones of VLV yourself. There’s the Restaurant, Courtyard, Club Lounge, and Riverside Dining, covering some 20,000 square feet!
The 3 lunch sets mentioned in this post are available on weekdays (12 noon to 3pm)
Reservations: +65 6661 0197
3A River Valley Road #01-02 Singapore 179020 (*within walking distance from Clarke Quay MRT station)