Beast & Butterflies Tasting SessionBeast & Butterflies Tasting Session
90 Robertson Quay
#01-00 M Social Singapore Hotel
Daily: 11:30am - 2:30pm (Lunch), 5pm - 10:30pm (Dinner)
This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, Chubby Botak Koala, The Arctic Star, Madame Chewy, Epicurious Caniggia, and Seth Lui.
|Ham Hock (SGD $28 / $38)|
Modern Fusion, Traditional Flavours
(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Ambience & Setting: 10
Food & Beverage: 8
Value for Money: 7
Budget about SGD $45 / $78 per person.
Light & Dark. East & West. Hot & Cold. Beast & Butterflies. Themed around 'Opposites Attract', Beast & Butterflies is the in-house dining restaurant concept of the M Social Singapore Hotel, which opened in June 2016. As befitting its name, the menu is crafted around 'Opposites Attract', thus, expect modern fusion and surprising flavours.
|Beast & Butterflies Signage|
Ambience at Beast & Butterflies is elegant whimsical. The place, along with the rest of M Social Singapore Hotel, was designed by reowned French designer Philippe Starck, who is known for simple but inventive structures. The result; a spacious living room style dining hall, laid out with sturdy wooden and marble furnishings, psychedelic lava lamps, colourful plush sofas, warm lighting, and even a pool / pocket billiards table! Glass panels allow you to view the action in the kitchen, while a long, well stocked bar beckons. Most surprising is the tablet wall, row upon row of tablet devices, playing various screensavers, as decor! Even better, staff tell us you can disconnect the devices to use, and even use the wall mounted chargers to power your devices!
|Beast & Butterflies Exterior|
|Beast & Butterflies Interior|
Service at Beast & Butterflies tries to emulate fine dining. Staff are of different nationalities, to cater to all manner of hotel guests, so language isn't an issue. Tableside service naturally, but they take it a step further. Several dishes are designed to be presented, with staff then performing the finishing touches right in front of you. As a dining experience, Beast & Butterflies is fantastic! As for the basics, staff are proactive and prompt in clearing away empty / dirty tables quickly, though I wish they'll extend this to topping up water glasses. Being a new establishment, not all staff have comprehensive product knowledge, though at least they make the effort to check and give you an answer. Oddly, most of the furniture and plates here are heavier than usual, so staff will possibly develop great arm strength!
|Pool / Pocket Billiards Table|
Food at Beast & Butterflies is modern fusion, influenced by worldwide flavours, including American, British, French, Italian, Chinese, Indian, Thai, and Japanese. They way it's executed here however, stands apart from other modern fusion places. Dishes will feature a Western component, alongside an Asian component, each with its own flavours. You can choose to eat it separately, which is alright as each component is well executed. But when eaten together, you'll experience how the flavours complement each other. Portions are large for individuals, and may be shared. Prices vary from affordable to expensive, depending on the type of dish you order. Generally, I find dishes at Beast & Butterflies to be priced lower than most other restaurants, while drinks are priced higher. Budget about SGD $45 per person for a decent meal here, and about SGD $78 per person if you order drinks.
The Cocktail Beast Scully (SGD $24) is naturally, a 'Beast' cocktail. Made with No. 3 London dry gin, cherry infused brandy, bitters, and sugar, this is strong, punchy, fruity bitter sweet. Wins points for presentation, arriving in a smoking, crystal skull, with dry ice billowing out like smoke!
|Cocktail Beast Scully (SGD $24)|
The Cocktail Devil's Horns (SGD $26) is a 'Beast' cocktail, and is made with Tennessee whisky, earl grey tea, cucumber juice, and rosemary herb. This gives it a strong alcoholic, burning taste, contrasted by the elegant, floral notes. Taste is complex, sweet, bitter, herbal, and fresh. Love the fierce looking mug!
|Cocktail Devil's Horns (SGD $26)|
Light bulb gone off? The Cocktail Enchanted Garden (SGD $26) is a 'Butterfly' cocktail, and just might give you ideas, with its blend of Sailor Jerry spiced rum, Pimm's No. 1 cup liqueur, watermelon juice, Mandarin orange juice, lemon juice, and mint leaves. Refreshing and fruity sweet with a slight kick, the serving bottle shaped like a light bulb certainly makes for a good conversation piece for this decent beverage.
|Cocktail Enchanted Garden (SGD $26)|
The Cocktail South Pol (SGD $28) is a 'Butterfly' cocktail, a blend of Belvedere rye vodka, Southern Comfort liqueur, and peppermint tea, served in a tea strainer, with a tea cup garnished with a caramelised lemon slice. The result is a surprisingly chilled drink with a cold temperature, like ice, yet tastes sweet and fruity, with notes of citrus. Interesting!
|Cocktail South Pol (SGD $28)|
True to its name, the Cocktail Asian Beauty (SGD $28), a 'Butterfly' cocktail, is a fruity sweet sour beverage with notes of floral. Made with Cachaca 51 sugarcane liqueur, yuzu juice, Mandarin orange juice, and mint leaves, this drink gleams in the light, its sparkling, dazzling, golden hue catching the eye.
|Cocktail Asian Beauty (SGD $28)|
The Oyster Shot (SGD $10 for 1 Pair) is served in a sea urchin shaped crystal shot glass, and looks wonderfully attractive! Essentially an oyster shooter, the shellfish is fresh, plump, and meaty sweet savoury, dressed in a Thai inspired sauce of basil leaves, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and shallots. Each order comes in a pair! Love the delicious, tasty morsel, but rather expensive for an appetizer.
|Oyster Shot (SGD $10 for 1 Pair)|
The Duck Crispies (SGD $18) are a fusion of French and Chinese, being deep-fried duck rillette wantons. Served with sharp sour pickled cucumber salad on the side, the dumplings have a thin, crisp skin that cracks satisfiyingly loud, then you get the chewy tender, savoury salty, shredded duck meat within. This was my favourite appetizer here. Highly recommended!
|Duck Crispies (SGD $18)|
The Crispy Spinach (SGD $8) bar snack feature crisp, crunchy spinach leaves, coated with a light flour batter and floral sharp garlic powder. Extremely satisfiying texture, yet light enough that it won't make you full. I must commend the fact that it was not too greasy when served!
|Crispy Spinach (SGD $8)|
The Simply Scallop (SGD $24) is an Italian inspired carpaccio of thinly sliced Japanese Hokkaido scallops, dressed in a yuzu and ginger marinade. The savoury salty citrus flavours are intense, drowning out the natural sweetness of the fresh, meaty scallops. Flavourful, but I didn't really enjoy this. This was my least liked appetizer here.
|Simply Scallop (SGD $24)|
The Boneless Wings (SGD $16) feature chicken wings marinated in a Chinese 5-spice powder and oyster sauce, coated in a crispy crumb batter. The chicken meat is juicy and tender, with a tasty savoury sweet flavour. Despite being nearly boneless (only the wing itself has bones), they've skillfully managed to keep the chicken wing shape whole. Good!
|Boneless Wings (SGD $16)|
The Collagen Soup (SGD $24) is a small but expensive bowl of soup for 1 person. Still, I can see why it's pricey, the effort to slow stew pork bones / tonkatsu stock along with fish cartilage, until all the essence has rendered down, making the soup / broth, rich, thick, savoury sweet, and creamy. A large, sticky piece of fish maw, and a mushroom ravioli that is earthy in taste and well folded complete this dish.
|Collagen Soup (SGD $24)|
The Ham Hock (SGD $28 Half / $38 Full) is a German inspired pork knuckle, with moist, savoury salty pork meat, topped with a crispy, skin that cracks beautifully when bit. Has a nice layer of easily removed fat under the skin. Served with a Nonya Peranakan inspired achar / Peranakan spicy pickled salad that is fruity sweet sour spicy, along with a Thai inspired nam jim dipping sauce that is herbal sour with a slight spicy taste.
|Ham Hock (SGD $28 Half / $38 Full)|
The Lamb Rack (SGD $36) features perfectly medium rare lamb cutlets, with a nice pink colour and a moist, tender texture. Taste is savoury sweet, yet lacks that distinct gamey flavour as a result of the Sichuan / Szechuan peppercorn marinade, excellent! Served over steamed Chinese glutinous rice that is savoury salty, with crisp lotus root chips and vibrant broccoli florets. Good!
|Lamb Rack (SGD $36)|
The Beef Ichiban (SGD $68) features moist tender American wagyu beef, marinated in a savoury salty blend of light soy sauce, mirin sweet rice wine, garlic, and natural beef jus. The makes the beef incredibly tasty and delicious! Served with an Indian inspired, baked potato masala gratin that is tender and savoury spicy, along with crunchy asparagus stalks. Rather expensive dish though, but you get good quality.
|Beef Ichiban (SGD $68)|
The Fragrant Sea (SGD $26) is a clear seafood bouillabaisse, with a thin yet sweet savoury herbal soup / broth, that is the result of steeping a jasmine and osmanthus tea bag in seafood stock and crab stock. The unique, yet highly appetizing floral flavour of the soup / broth is outstanding, and the dish is served with a generous amount of fresh seafood, including squid rings, clams, mussels, prawns, and crab pincers. A cup of crispy rice is served on the side, you're meant to pour the rice into the soup / broth just before eating. Thumbs up for taste, texture, and dining experience. Highly recommended!
|Fragrant Sea (SGD $26)|
Possibly the weakest dish I had here, the Chic & Chorizo (SGD $26) features a tender, moist sous-vide chicken breast that has been nicely grilled. While the chicken hits the spot for having the right texture, it's also unfortunately bland and tasteless. The fragrant scallion oil helps a little, not enough to save this dish. The chorizo sausage stuffed, mashed potato croquette was tasty, savoury salty with solid potato flavour, and was the best thing on the plate.
|Chic & Chorizo (SGD $26)|
The Chinese Teochew inspired Lobster Porridge (SGD $28) offers fantastic value for money! Featuring a thin, watery porridge broth of rice grains that are distinct yet still retain a slight bite in texture, with a sweet savoury seafood taste from the chunks of meaty abalone within. A large, half lobster dominates the stone bowl, having softer than usual lobster meat, that comes out of the shell easily. Satisfiying!
|Lobster Porridge (SGD $28)|
The best main course I had here was the Cody Mee (SGD $28). Featuring a Chinese style, steamed Atlantic cod fish fillet, in a salty savoury Hong Kong style superior soy sauce gravy, with tender, flaky flesh that has a nice fresh sweetness. Crispy egg noodles yee mee that crunch satisfiyingly when bit, tender carrots and broccolini, along with braised bailing mushroom / mock abalone that has a tender texture with a slight chew, complete this awesome dish. Highly recommended!
|Cody Mee (SGD $28)|
The MTM Laksa (SGD $16) here is good, solid laksa, but I'm not sure if it's good value for money, as locals can get equally good versions at cheaper prices. Thus, this dish would be more suitable for our foreign friends instead. The name, which stands for 'mee tai mak (MTM)', features the clear, silver needle noodles in a savoury spicy, rich laksa soup / broth that is incredibly tasty, with a nice balance of coconut milk, spice, and herbs. Garnished with large slices of fish cake, fresh meaty sweet prawns / shrimp, fresh cherry stone clams / chowder clams, and crispy tofu beancurd puffs / tau pok, that still retain a crisp texture after being dunked in the soup / broth.
|MTM Laksa (SGD $16)|
The Extravagance (SGD $25) feeds 2 people, and is a sampler platter of 4 signature desserts here.
|Extravagance (SGD $25)|
The Thai inspired Sawadee (SGD $12) is essentially mango sticky rice. With rich, sticky glutinous rice, made fragrant with coconut milk and black sesame seeds, topped with sweet chunks of fruity mango. I find this to be decent as a dessert.
|Sawadee (SGD $12)|
The best dessert we had here was the Yam Brulee (SGD $10). A creamy, thick pudding paste of yam taro, like the Chinese Teochew Orh Nee dessert, is topped with a caramelised sugar crust, which cracks beautifully. Topped with a scoop of creamy rich coconut ice cream, the flavours are sweet, yammy, earthy floral, and completely delicious. Highly recommended!
|Yam Brulee (SGD $10)|
The weakest dessert, in my opinion, was the Yoghurt & Lime Mousse (SGD $11). While the creamy, rich, zesty lime infused yoghurt mousse was nice, the sharp sour raspberry and strawberry emulsion was too intense. Garnished with almond crumble, fresh strawberry chunks, and a strawberry sugar crystal, I felt the overall dessert was much too sweet and cloying.
|Yoghurt & Lime Mousse (SGD $11)|
The Chocoholic (SGD $10) is meant to be a theatrical performance art dessert, with a Sichuan / Szechuan peppercorn infused, rich chocolate sphere, encasing tender sweet, caramelised mashed banana, served along with a bright passionfruit sorbet and moist chocolate brownies. Molten chocolate is poured over the sphere at the table, causing it to collapse in, drowning the dessert in a gooey chocolate gravy. Pretty good!
|Chocoholic (SGD $10)|
Individually, each component of the So Shiok (SGD $18) is well executed. The thin, crisp waffles, dusted with salted egg yolk powder, has a bready sweetness at the start, finishing with a hint of the salty savoury flavour of the salted egg yolk powder. The creamy thick durian pengat is rich in flavour, with a nice fruity sweetness, among the better versions around! The side of blueberries and strawberries are sweet and fresh. However, when combined, the stronger flavours of the durian pengat drown out the hint of flavour from the salted egg yolk waffle.
|So Shiok (SGD $18)|
Love how they serve the Wine Rose Tube (SGD $18), arriving in a test tube bottle! The actual wine itself is weak, young, and not very good though.
|Wine Rose Tube (SGD $18)|
Overall, Beast & Butterflies is a nice place for modern fusion cuisine, with flavours that complement, and not overwhelm. Love the ambience and service, and while it's more expensive if you order drinks here, I find the food to be affordable, and well worth returning for. Beast & Butterflies is a great place for long, lingering meals, or just simple relaxing!
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