Sentosa is Singapore’s escape to an idyllic island resort featuring sheltered beaches, an old fort, golf courses, the iconic Merlion, numerous hotels, the Resorts World Sentosa and the Universal Studios theme park. Sentosa Cove at one end of the island is where the rich and famous make their home; a Chinese national is believed to have set the record price for a luxury bungalow there, with a hefty S$36 million price tag.
Sentosa Cove also features ONE°15 Marina, winner of the prestigious Best Asian Marina of the Year 2016 award, and home to WOK ̊15 Kitchen, where I was invited to a media tasting luncheon.
WOK ̊15 Kitchen fronts the marina, and the glass-wall offers million-dollar view of the luxury boats and yachts berthed there from within the air-conditioned comfort of the restaurant. It looks like a private club, but the restaurant is actually opened to the public.
The interior is nicely decorated classic Chinese style, with pleasing earth tones, and the obligatory tank housing the live (not for long) sea creatures. I find the decor perhaps a tad formal for a resort marina. Making it more casual might work better at attracting a larger crowd.
WOK ̊15 Kitchen serves Cantonese dishes with a modern flair, and is helmed competently by veteran Executive Chef Chum Kar Ho who hails from Hong Kong but has made Singapore his home for many years. The influence of his tenure in Singapore is visible in the menu, such as his signature Chilli Crab. The lunch menu obviously featured the Chef’s specialties.
The Japanese Greenhouse Tomato (胡麻酱芥末日本温室番茄 ) served with Wasabi Infused Sesame Sauce got us off to a good start. The sweet tomato was refreshing; generously coated with the sesame sauce that had just a mild hint of the wasabi, nicely plated western style.
One of the key benchmark of a good Cantonese restaurant is how well it does its soup; and WOK ̊15 Kitchen passes with flying colours in this depratment. The Double Boiled Japanese Chicken Soup with Himematsutake Mushrooms was chocked full of ingredients, with the unusual mushrooms lending a mildly bitter (in a nice way) but aromatic aftertaste. You can see the clarity of the soup. Most importantly, it was served piping hot.
No Cantonese restaurant is complete without its ubiquitous seafood. The Grilled Garoupa Fillet with Beancurd in Stone Pot was nicely done – the seared fillet was plumb and fresh with enough bite, and smothered gently with a sweetish soy sauce, and paired well with the textured braised beancurd.
We were told the star of WOK ̊15 Kitchen is the chilli crab, so it was with great anticipation that we tried the dish. It lived up to its reputation. Firstly, the dish was served on a wok with a burner to keep the sauce warm; a very clever touch. Chef Chum told us he adds his own secret ingredients to the commercial tomato sauce; the consensus around the table was that the tangy sauce was very well balanced, with just the right juxtaposition of sweet, sour and savoury. The two 1.2kg Sri Lankan crabs came with plumb meat that’s sweet and succulent. The freshly fried mantou were fluffy, and great for mopping up the sauce. We were told the regular price of the crab is $80 per kg but now the promo price is only $55, which is real a bargain.
For carbs, we had the Braised Vermicelli with Diced Seafood, Salted Fish, Shrimp Paste & Vegetables. A simple but tasty dish – firm strands of vermicelli infused with the sauce that’s not as overpowering as it sounds.
And finally the dessert of Double Boiled Snow Fungus and Osmanthus (椰盅桂花海底椰雪耳) Served in Coconut. I like this dessert very much – it’s lava-hot, with the ingredients nicely softened, and perfect for cleansing the palate after the fairly heavy meal. Scooping up slivers of the sweet coconut flesh infused with the liquid was a delightful exercise.
Overall, the WOK ̊15 Kitchen dining experience is very good. The Cantonese cuisine by Chef Chum is up to par, and combined with the exotic surroundings, it is certainly a place worth a visit; especially if your are hosting oversea guests. The trip to Sentosa Cove itself is enjoyable, as it passes by the gorgeous luxury homes. A stroll around the marina and surrounds is highly recommended after a meal at WOK ̊15 Kitchen, especially in the evening.
This lunch is a media tasting invite, courtesy of WOK ̊15 Kitchen.
WOK ̊15 Kitchen
11 Cove Drive
Level 1 ONE°15 Marina Club
Phone: +65 63056998