Are you dying for a delicious meal but calorie conscious, mama? Head to Tangerine Spa Cafe, helmed by international chef Ian Kittichai, to find your ‘guilt-free hideaway’
I was raving about the ‘spa’tacular cuisine at Tangerine, the spa café at Resort World Sentosa’s ESPA to my husband, when he remarked “Did you really visit a 10,000 square feet luxurious spa with onsen pools, a Turkish hammam and treatments galore, for the food?”
Truth be told, I did.
Tangerine really is a hidden gem, and on my second visit (to try dishes from their new seven-course tasting menu) I decided that this gem must be shared.
How do you get to Tangerine? Drive into Sentosa (or maybe you live there, lucky you!) and into the Equarius Hotel (follow the signs for ‘Hotel Drop Off’). Once there, walk towards ESPA, past lush greenery in pools of tranquil water, walk through the spa’s reception and the automatic doors welcome you into the minimalist cafe. Pick a table, any table, as most look out onto either Tangerine’s own herb gardens or towards a lush lagoon surrounded by spa villas and more greenery. Forget about the bustle city life, or the chaos of a house filled with little ones, life is incredibly easy here.
Tangerine’s is a menu of robust Asian flavours designed by Thai celebrity chef Ian Kittichai. Expectedly, everything on the menu is in line with what a spa restaurant should serve — wholesome fare of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, sustainable seafood, premium free-range poultry and grass-fed beef. Even so, they do not scrimp on flavour and generous lashings are bolstered by herbs from their own garden.
I would describe a meal at Tangerine as a ‘guilt-free hideaway’. There is a new seven-course tasting menu where each course is paired with a drink (herbal infusions, juices and teas, served hot or iced) for $98++. This is available for dinner only. While an excellent way for first timers to try the food, Tangerine is really most beautiful in the daytime, and the $38++ (three course) and $62++ (four course) lunch sets, or their a la carte menu, offer you the same quality and have many dishes in common.
The highlight of my meal was the The Asian Bouillabaisse, which is essentially a mild Tom Yum soup elevated with flavours of the sea. This is poured over blanched baby kailan, a Hokkaido scallop and seared sea bass. Chopped tomatoes, sliced radish and a few pearls of caviar top it off.
Another course features a sous-vide, first-born egg which wobbles gently before you pierce it to release the bright orange yolk, which makes a luscious sauce for the accompanying Japanese cold somen, blue swimmer crab and daikon.
It is not all lighter bites at Tangerine. The main of Seared Boneless Beef Short Rib is served with a salad of quinoa, shimeji mushrooms and green peppercorn. The beef is rich, as expected, so a paired drink of warm Hawthorn Berry Tea (which we hear is also good for the heart) is an excellent choice.
I would definitely return to ESPA, even if it is just for the food at Tangerine (although a couple of spa treatments would be more than welcome to this sleepless mama, however!).
Tangerine at ESPA, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269, Tel: (+65) 6577 8880, www.rwsentosa.com/Homepage/Restaurants/CelebrityChefs/Tangerine