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(Closed) Keystone Restaurant

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Occupying two units of shophouses at Stanley Road, this fine-dining establishment offers progressive versions of modern European fare. Chef Mark Richards uses high quality ingredients that are prepared with modernist cooking methods such as sous-vide techniques, spherification and dehydration to create varying flavours and textures on his dishes.

Mon - Fri: 12:00 - 15:00

Tue - Sat: 18:00 - 22:30

$76 based on 28 submissions
Dinner (9 votes), Quiet (8 votes), Fine Dining (7 votes)
Kenneth Tiong 641

Good

http://kennethtiongeats.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/keystone-singapore/

Keystone was hanging around the top of the Singapore restaurant rankings when it came to Tripadvisor ratings. (As I type, it’s currently #14). Was it that good?

Price: $120++ pax w/o wine. [Menu]

It’s a participant of Palate so there’s a 50% offer occasionally.

_______________

We went to Keystone on a leisurely Monday night, having read ladyironchef’s recommendation. It really is food worth “eating with your eyes”.

First was the amuse-bouche, which featured halves radish, seared eel, and a spread of cumin and pumpkin, and a delicious charcoal bread with parmesan. The charcoal bread (5/5) was highly delicious and was warm and crisp. Along with their nice touch of having pepper over their butter, this bode well.

Appetiser was Georges Bank Sea Scallop (3.75/5) with [Hummus Purée | Confit of Cherry Tomato | Smoked Kurobuta Soil ].  The scallops were well seared and were quite sweet, but nothing amazing. The outstanding thing about the dish was the cherry tomato, which was really sweet. (Grape-level sweetness). (Georges Bank is a fishing bed off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachussetts – home to a famed oyster festival in October – to Nova Scotia)

Main was Snake River Farms Pork Belly (4/5) with [Kakuni | Blood Orange & Chili Jus | Yukon Chip | Karashi Paint]. I didn’t fall in love with this dish. The texture of the pork was expectedly soft, (as something sous-vide-d for 36 hours and finished in brandy for 10 should be). The taste reminded me a bit of Wang Wang rice crackers. There was a rolling pungency that came from the pork, which probably is due to the meat itself. The Yukon Chips were a bit soggy and a let down. The poached radishes were not bad.

Snake River Farms, a quick Wikipedia search tells me, is the premium provider of Kobe beef in the USA, since importing the bull Fukurutsu from Japan in the early 1990s. Which also means it is part of a most mendacious marketing technique. There is no Kobe beef outside of Japan!!!

I also got to try a bit of the Chilean Seabass Confit. Decent, but not great.

Dessert was a trio of Silken Curd (4.25/5), Valrhona Genoise (4.75/5) , and Nutella Bar (3.5/5). Silken Curd featured two well-desiccated lychees, which tasted every bit as lychee-ish and was a delight to eat along with the Curd.

Valrhona Genoise was a chocolate cake with a hole in the middle, which they filled with something that tasted like condensed milk (in a good way!). What made the dish was eating the chocolate soil with yuzu sorbet. It was crunchy and sweet-chocolatey with a tangy taste. Something to replicate next time with a sorbet and cookie crumbles in my home, methinks.

Nutella Bar was a good hazelnut dessert. However the chocolate beads in the middle of the dish were a bit soggy, and detracted from the crunch I think the chef was going for.

Overall that was the story of the meal – slight flaws in some of the dishes – not fully crisp nutella crunch, soggy yukon fries – that made those dishes fall short of excellence. It was quite good, but I’m not sure if I’ll come back on my own dime.

The HGW community like this place for...

  • Charcoal bread4 votes
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Based on 28 votes
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10 Jul 2012 • 5 reviews • 14 followers

Good

http://kennethtiongeats.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/keystone-singapore/

Keystone was hanging around the top of the Singapore restaurant rankings when it came to Tripadvisor ratings. (As I type, it’s currently #14). Was it that good?

Price: $120++ pax w/o wine. [Menu]

It’s a participant of Palate so there’s a 50% offer occasionally.

_______________

We went to Keystone on a leisurely Monday night, having read ladyironchef’s recommendation. It really is food worth “eating with your eyes”.

First was the amuse-bouche, which featured halves radish, seared eel, and a spread of cumin and pumpkin, and a delicious charcoal bread with parmesan. The charcoal bread (5/5) was highly delicious and was warm and crisp. Along with their nice touch of having pepper over their butter, this bode well.

Appetiser was Georges Bank Sea Scallop (3.75/5) with [Hummus Purée | Confit of Cherry Tomato | Smoked Kurobuta Soil ].  The scallops were well seared and were quite sweet, but nothing amazing. The outstanding thing about the dish was the cherry tomato, which was really sweet. (Grape-level sweetness). (Georges Bank is a fishing bed off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachussetts – home to a famed oyster festival in October – to Nova Scotia)

Main was Snake River Farms Pork Belly (4/5) with [Kakuni | Blood Orange & Chili Jus | Yukon Chip | Karashi Paint]. I didn’t fall in love with this dish. The texture of the pork was expectedly soft, (as something sous-vide-d for 36 hours and finished in brandy for 10 should be). The taste reminded me a bit of Wang Wang rice crackers. There was a rolling pungency that came from the pork, which probably is due to the meat itself. The Yukon Chips were a bit soggy and a let down. The poached radishes were not bad.

Snake River Farms, a quick Wikipedia search tells me, is the premium provider of Kobe beef in the USA, since importing the bull Fukurutsu from Japan in the early 1990s. Which also means it is part of a most mendacious marketing technique. There is no Kobe beef outside of Japan!!!

I also got to try a bit of the Chilean Seabass Confit. Decent, but not great.

Dessert was a trio of Silken Curd (4.25/5), Valrhona Genoise (4.75/5) , and Nutella Bar (3.5/5). Silken Curd featured two well-desiccated lychees, which tasted every bit as lychee-ish and was a delight to eat along with the Curd.

Valrhona Genoise was a chocolate cake with a hole in the middle, which they filled with something that tasted like condensed milk (in a good way!). What made the dish was eating the chocolate soil with yuzu sorbet. It was crunchy and sweet-chocolatey with a tangy taste. Something to replicate next time with a sorbet and cookie crumbles in my home, methinks.

Nutella Bar was a good hazelnut dessert. However the chocolate beads in the middle of the dish were a bit soggy, and detracted from the crunch I think the chef was going for.

Overall that was the story of the meal – slight flaws in some of the dishes – not fully crisp nutella crunch, soggy yukon fries – that made those dishes fall short of excellence. It was quite good, but I’m not sure if I’ll come back on my own dime.

28 May 2012 • 13 reviews • 1 follower

Great food

I dined here with four other friends as a celebration for my girlfriends birthday. What a treat it was. we all had the degustation menu at $115++ which was a bargain considering the amazing food we were served. not only was the food beautifully presented, it was a taste sensation as well.

each course was introduced by the wait staff and a good explanation was given as to what we were eating. some of the tastes were new - think parsnip icecream, which I personally liked but wasn't so popular with my fellow diners.

They have an interesting wine list - there were wines I was not familiar with and we decided to risk trying a few unheard of brands and were richly rewarded. Great Pinor Noir from NZ

I would definitely go again.

21 May 2012 • 3 reviews • 0 follower

Visually appealing but that's about it!

Food was nicely presented but flavor was extremely disappointing and extremely overpriced... Dishes were either too sweet or too salty. 

The same ingredients were used MULTIPLE times throughout the menu and dishes I.e. Foie Gras used in the amuse bouche as a foie gras creme brûlée, in both the fish and beef main as a foie gras emulsion and in a dessert which i couldnt bear to order due to the foie gras overload ; watercress leaves were used as a garnish in the amuse bouche, starter, mains AND dessert believe it or not...

For our starters, the scallops were good, but the crab and fennel salad tasted like sweet crab mayo Cole slaw.

For the mains, the Blackmore beef (apparently braised for 48 hours) was dry and overly salty. The use of Melted cheese on the beef kinda reminded me of a cheeseburger. The sea bass main was good, with salsify mushrooms and juniper berry air (foie gras emulsion tasted like foie gras flavored miso paste).

The dessert of valrhona genoise and yuzu sorbet was thankfully somewhat of a saving grace.

All in all, yes the dishes were definately beautifully presented but it was a disappointing meal and totally not worth the price it commanded.
22 Mar 2012 • 11 reviews • 18 followers

Excellent Service and Ambience

Turned up for my reservation for Restaurant Week before my partner and I was greeted by the charismatic owner/director Eddie who promptly showed me to my table. Immediately fell in love with the black and grey-themed interiors. Instead of the standard white tablecloths, the tables were lined with incredibly soft grey ones with black runners across them, a pleasure just to rest my elbows on as I surfed on my phone waiting for my partner’s arrival. Tables were spaced thoughtfully and provided a lot of privacy.

The ‘charcoal’ bread with Parmesan was served literally steaming hot as I tore into it and was great to fight off any hunger pangs especially with the slight drizzle outside before.

The complimentary Amuse Bouche of Foie Gras Crème Brulee and Pineapple Cannelloni arrived soon after. The rich and creamy Foie was topped with a crunchy caramelised sugar coating which provided a good textural contrast, and paired with the rolled-up dehydrated pineapple strip, created a nice balance to the Foie Gras. A great alternative to the usual berries/cherries/apple contrast.

Two choices for each of the three courses were provided with one of them costing an additional supplement of $5-$9. We wanted to try everything on the menu and decided to order one of each and share. We were delighted when every single course, upon our intention to share, that every dish were served in middle of the aptly-sized table, with individual plates that were cleared after every course.

Starters:

Autumn Celeriac Veloute

Caramelised and sweet puree of onions fried in a light batter sat in a deep dish with baby cress and the veloute was poured from a flask at the table. It arrived nice and piping hot. Veloute was velvety and smooth while creamy and light at the same time.

Georges Bank Carpaccio

Sliced raw scallops were served with an Yuzu emulsion and Lemon Verbena Jell O. I disagree with a previous post that the Yuzu over-dominated the carpaccio as I hardly detected it. Perhaps it was modified after the management read the reviews. The Lemon Verbena Jell O were really pretty cubes of orange and added to the aesthetics of the dish together with the flowers but was a little lacking in flavour. A few flakes of sea salt in my humble opinion could have helped lift the dish a little.

Mains:

Norwegian Flat White

Not being a big fan of fish (while I do appreciate the fish was cooked properly and was very delicate), I was more interested in the fricassee of Chanterelles mushrooms, sweetbreads and smoked sea urchin foam. The mushrooms were really earthy and the foam delicious though I was unable to detect any hints of smoke.

Snake River Farms Top Sirloin

The sirloin was cooked to medium as recommended by the chef and it was indeed so, to perfection. The doneness was consistent throughout the steak which might suggest it was done sous vide ( I saw a number of sous vide items on the ala carte menu)? However, the crust was quite charred (it was almost black) but it added a nice crispiness and smokiness, which I kind of liked. The Maitake (Japanese mushroom) Potato Dauphinoise was nice though the Matitake was kind of lost. Heirloom carrots were nicely cooked with a slight bit of crunch. What really didn’t make any sense to me was the accompanying Beurre Noisette Granola. It’s basically granola fried in a browned butter sauce that I believe would be better served over breakfast or sprinkled over their desserts.

Desserts:

Silken Curd

It is basically a very smooth vanilla pannacotta which is not overly sweet. The compressed Thompson grapes were okay but what was really special was the topping of the Mikan Mandarins. I find it even hard to describe. It has a wafer-like, nougat kind of puffy texture which I have no idea how it is done. The citrus flavour is an excellent counterpoint to the rich creamy curd. Presentation for this dish scores the highest scores as it sits in a globe-like glass, on a round stone slate, on a white dish.

Valrhona Genoise

This is a trio of desserts on a plate. On the left was a Sudachi Quenelle, which was very very tangy and will send u puckering. Very nice when complimented with the other two desserts on the slate. In the middle was a Banana Sphere, a concentrated ‘yolk’ of banana essence covered with a membrane achieved with molecular gastronomy. Lastly there was a chocolate cake that was pretty light yet flavourful.

What I love about Keystone is that the food is quite experimental without being too gimmicky, how it embraces ingredients from all over the world, explore new bounderies and the fusing of traditional and modern cooking techniques. It is definitely my kind of restaurant.

Food is presented beautifully and I just love the dinnerware. Shaped stone-slates sit perfectly on their accompanying plates for almost all the dishes, cute little forks and butter knives for the amuse bouche and bread… (oh… the steak knives are from WMF!) all the attention to details.

Service here is top-notch. Many thanks to the charming and beautiful head waitress Maggie Chua who was extremely attentive, friendly and had a great humour . Great training was provided to all of the staff who knew the produce and the dishes when asked. Plates were cleared, water topped off promptly. Service staff was all smiles and seemed so passionate about pleasing their customers. Kudos to the front of house and kitchen! Keep it up!

15 Mar 2012 • 167 reviews • 13 followers

Foie gras & Jamon

Pictures/Full Review here

Lunch at Keystone was a rather impromptu decision when I somehow or rather happened to be in the area after running some errands. I was somewhat fortunate enough to secure seats at the restaurant packed with business executives during a hectic lunch service on a last minute basis. A 3 course executive set lunch was available, priced at $38++ , which my dining partner and I opted for, though majority of the entree required supplement charges.

A shot of Lobster Bisque was served shortly after having our orders taken, with compliments from the chef. Delightfully rich with a distinct crustacean flavor and a hint of cognac, the shot of lobster bisque definitely got my palate excited for what was to follow.

The bread served here came across as extremely intriguing and unique, where first impressions led me to think the bread was burnt haha. With some explanation from the service staff, the charcoal color of the bread was actually from the food coloring used in the yeast to make it. Looks can be definitely deceiving as the bread turned out to be heavenly! The charcoal bread turned out to be foccacia bread which was fluffy and airy, topped with an aromatic Parmesan crust, awesome stuff.

Togarashi Squid, Mizuna, Black Calamari Crackling, Lemon Thyme Gel

The first appetizer, unexpectedly came in the form of a salad. Overall a rather unique blend of plethora of clean and fresh flavors, where the lemon thyme gel dressing made the salad a rather refreshing one, along with the black calamari crackers that gave the dish a much needed crunch.

Foie Gras & Jamon, Spiced Granny Smith, Petit Brioche, White Balsamic Gastrique ($6 Supplement)

 In most instances, foie gras as an ingredient would be lusciously rich and abundant in flavor on its own. The combination of Foie Gras and Joselito Iberico definitely is a first, where many would deem it as overkill with two ingredients bursting with flavor. Nonetheless Keystone got the overall balance spot on, as the duck liver was seared perfectly, while having a lusciously rich melt in your mouth sensation that was absolutely sublime. Slices of Iberico ham was actually wrapped around the foie gras, where the saltiness of the ham required no seasoning at all and really brought out all the natural flavors, genius much! The cubes of granny smith apple had a pleasant cinnamon spice to it, while balsamic gastrique somewhat nerved the richness of the foie gras and jamon in a good way as a counterbalance.

Line Caught Tasmanian Snapper, Prawn Calcannon, Lobster Jus, Baby Cress, Iberian Chorizo ($5 Supplement)

 A pity the Snapper was a little overcooked as the flakes of meat felt a little dry at times, despite a perfectly crisp skin. Nonetheless the Lobster sauce served alongside complemented the fish perfectly, with a hint of truffle oil for the smoky robust flavor that definitely elevated the dish to a whole new level. The consistency of the polenta served beneath the fish was rather amazing, considering i do not like polenta at all for its grainy texture!

US Kurobuta Pork Chop, Bone-in Corn Fed, Angel Hair, Tsukudajima Kelp, Rayo Oil

Most restaurants can execute great beef dishes, but that sadly isn’t the case for pork. Nonetheless the rack of kurobuta pork was grilled to perfection where the meat still had a tinge of pink in the middle. Each and every slice of the pork had the melt in your mouth texture, along with the delectable smokey flavor from the grill that one usually enjoys while having steaks! Having the pork was probably as good as having a steak, if not even better as each and ever bite just got better and better. I actually thought the Angel Hair pasta served at Saveur was excellent, but the one here was phenomenal with the use of Rayo oil. Definitely the best dish of the meal, and also a rather generous lunch portion!

Textures Of Chocolate, Pudding, Feullitine, Cryo Red Currents

Sometimes, fancy names often over-hype things and leave you disappointed. The textures of chocolate turned out to be an insanely rich chocolate mousse than was too dense for my liking.

Varlhona Genoise, Green Tea Sphere, Yoghurt, Wild Rice Popcorn

The second dessert wasn’t much better when it actually turned out to be a piece of chocolate cake, topped with Popcorn/corn flakes and a scoop of green tea ice cream which was nothing memorable at all.

Final thoughts? An excellent meal let down by very mediocre desserts, especially when the appetizers and entrees were so promising with tops marks for presentation for each and every dish. Nonetheless, Keystone definitely showcases the epitome of fine dining in a posh and classy environment as the participation of Keystone in the Palate Dining programme may just be the compelling factor for a return visit during dinner.