Most people aren't too fussy about the brand of their kitchen products - if it works, it works. But when it comes to V-ZUG, the Swiss boutique home appliance manufacturer, an oven isn't just an oven. It's a combination oven with an electronic steam system that's accurate to the degree - just one of the many products utilised by V Dining, the first-ever restaurant by V-ZUG.
Located on Singapore's famed Orchard Road and conceptualised by Chef Ryan Clift of Tippling Club fame, V-Dining features creations with a fun, modern twist brought to life by Head Chef Lee Jing Peng using professional-grade appliances designed for home kitchens. Walking in, you can already see some of these sleekly-designed contraption in the open kitchen, blending into background as well as fish in a sushi-ya.
Lunch menus come in from $48 to $90 while dinners go for $138 and $168. The dishes switches up every one to two months, and in a fast-paced food climate like Singapore's, Clift thinks the model will work well.
Their food is classic gastronomy with a modern, fun twist and our palates might as well have been taken on a journey. Laksa is reduced to a deep orange mousse with fried 'tau pok' croutons, dehydrated laksa leaves, and fresh shredded coconut, then served in a coconut bowl for good measure. There's also Chicken Rice, a poached chicken roulade wrapped with rice and tempura, and it's the most flavourful thing we've had in a while.
They make a fine Tonkotsu, but it's not ramen - not exactly. Handmade scallop noodles are cooked with V-Zug's oven for precisely eight minutes at 57 degrees, then tossed into gelatinous tonkotsu broth with leeks, black fungus, and bamboo shoots. Bonito oil is drizzled over, and you can imagine the blanket of natural umami all inside one bowl. The Wagyu Beef Tartare, presented with poached sakura ebi and garlic aioli, is just as luscious.
Our main course is an indulgent Beef Cheek cooked sous vide-style for 12 hours, then plated on gochujang risotto that's more fragrant than pungent, together with spinach puree, pickled cabbage, and fried enoki. The textures are quite spectacular. The dessert Rice goes full eastern. On the right, you get a tangy hojicha and yoghurt foam with a mildly sweet hojicha tuile, and on the left, a malty hojicha custard with black sesame rice crisps, toasty jasmine rice sherbet, and black sesame sponge. It's basically two sweet treats in one serving.
V Dining is located at 6 Scotts Rd, #03-13 Scotts Square, Singapore 229209, p. +65 6950 4868. Open Tue-Sat 11.30am - 2.30pm, 5.30pm - 9.30pm, Sun 11.30am - 2.30pm.
This article was first published in City Nomads.