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Friday, February 24, 2023

Opus Bar & Grill Review @ VOCO Orchard Singapore

Whenever our wedding anniversary draws near, I will start cracking my head to think of places to bring my wife - by now you should know she's Lady M. Places that I have not brought her to. To be fair, we covered most restaurants with a view. Last year's at Artemis, we did LeVeL33, SKAI, CÉ LA VI, Monti, Riviera.. As you see, we always do Western at Marina area for some reason. So this year after some researching and filtering, we chose Opus Bar & Grill, conveniently located at the newly refurbished VOCO Orchard - once called Hilton. For once something different.
Limbeh and Lady M 5 years already lo!

VOCO does house some fancy luxury brands, but just to set expectations right, the entrance isn't grand. Just as with a lifestyle hotel. Cosy, small, a couple of check-in counters, unlike hotels like MBS or Shangri-la. The location of Opus can be easily spotted beside the check-in counters.
Okay, first impression. Busy Friday night, most tables are filled with crowds chatting loudly away. What do you expect, it's a bar and grill. We were seated promptly, but the table beside was uncomfortably close to us (imagine less than 50cm - how I miss the COVID restrictions), so we requested for a change of table at least thrice before we got our butts nestled at a nice corner.

We got ourselves their freshly shucked oysters (half dozen, $31), which is nicely dosed with plum vinegar, soya and spring onions. The freshness and tanginess from the sauce really hit the spot. But considering one of them cost most than five bucks, I'd say they better taste good. Speaking of which, I do miss the ones we had at the oyster bar in Perth. Cheap and good.
For soup, we had the Truffle Leek and Potato Vichyssoise ($18). Okay, to be honest I just researched what's "vichyssoise", and it basically meant cream of leek and potato, which is supposed to be served chilled. Opus' rendition was hot though but I'm not complaining here given that I get upset stomach easily from cold food before mains. It's my virgin experience on vichyssoise, thinking it's pureed smooth, but heck, it's fullllllll of leek fibers. Taste was great though, just a lot of teeth flossing after the meal.
When we saw the menu, the both of us were eyeing their Sous Vide Spice Lamb Loin ($44), paired with couscous, aubergine caviar (fancy name for eggplant dip with no actual caviar btw), yoghurt sauce, and tomato relish. Beautiful, tender, flavourful. I love how the flavours were so delicately balanced so you don't get overly jelak (surfeited). 10/10 would order this again.
Their grain-fed Angus rib-eye (250g, $58) was very well-done, as in the praise not doneness. Who eat well-done steak anyway? I told Lady M that there isn't many food that makes my eyes go wide and mouth goes "wow" the moment they went in. But this did. Succulent, tender. Thank God they didn't mix in the truffle sauce. It's overly salty and in any case, good steak is always best enjoyed with just salt and pepper.
Food was great, nothing to complain about. In fact, perhaps one of the better ones out there. But the service was inadequate. You see staff walking hastily around serving, but they tend to overlook guests who put up their hand to request for something. I've seen guests raising their hand for like a whole minute before giving up. I might as well walk to the waiter myself. And whenever you put on a request, they will reply that they will get back to you. Thrice for requesting a table change. Twice to get our photo taken. The only consolation is that they have one responsible, courteous, and amiable waiter. He is probably the oldest, but he made sure that our needs were taken care of. And even helped to take this pretty neat photo.
Also, usually higher-end restaurants like such would offer you a complimentary dessert if you indicate you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary, considering we spent more than $200. In fact, all the previous ones did. I don't want to sound like I'm a cheapskate or self-entitled, but at Opus you don't get it, so don't bother. We were thinking of getting desserts at their hotel bakery but they closed early, so we made do with a slice of Black Forest from BreadTalk. Delicious.

All in all, food yes, but service is a big no. And for that, I don't think we will be back at Opus.