More than just a pretty view, Sky on 57 offers a tailored dining experience unlike any other with wine pairings hand selected by one of Singapore’s leading chefs.
Fifty-seven stories above sea level at the highest point of Marina Bay Sands, Sky on 57 boasts unrivalled ocean and city views of Singapore from virtually every seat in the 12,000 square-foot restaurant. Located on the Sands Sky Park, a reservation at the restaurant is one of the few ways to gain access to this otherwise exclusive area reserved only for “hotel guests.”
Being open for breakfast, lunch and dinner gives full range of the day’s hours to experience a view of the world from God’s perspective. Surrounded by glass walls, the main dining area’s sleek, white design welcomes light from all angles, creating an expansive and flowing open setting – like an oasis in the clouds. And outdoor terraces offer a stunning vantage point to watch the sunset while enjoying a glass of fine rosé champagne or perhaps a chilled cocktail from the bar.
TRADITIONAL CUISINE – MODERN & REFINED
Aside from the heavenly view, one of the most unique characteristics of Sky on 57 is Chef Justin Quek’s phenomenal recommendations for wine pairings. It is what elevates an exceptional meal to an extraordinary experience perfectly executed. After all, if one is going to dine in the clouds, then it might as well be celestial. For such an experience, do not miss the signature foie gras xiao long bao, a dumpling filled with truffle consommé, minced pork and a touch of foie gras, served in a superior broth with julienned Iberico ham. Upon being served, you’ll actually be offered step-by-step instructions for enjoying this fine dish: pick up the whole dumpling, gently cradling it in the spoon and then take a bite, savouring the filling. Then shoot the remaining hot broth from the bowl and follow quickly with a sip of Riesling from the chef’s very own private label, for an experience so divine it’s like being reborn.
Another congenial taste is the harmonious complement of the Poupille, Côtes de Castillon merlot to the char-grilled wagyu beef M7 and Maine lobster, as the 100% merlot draws out the rich flavours of these surf and turf meats dressed in Asian pepper sauce. Indeed a meal under the guidance of Chef Quek is truly a gastronomic affair of finely tuned balance and sophistication for an enhanced quality of taste. As with the buri-oh ceviche,this delicate dish combines the subtlety of the various ingredients – the truffle, micro greens, dried seaweed and crunchy Parmesan tuile – to offer a luxurious flavour without being overpowering.
The restaurant places the highest priority on sourcing premium ingredients, which is one of the ways the Asian inspired menu takes traditional favourites and upgrades them to the level of white glove, fine-dining. Take the traditional favourite, Hokkien noodles, refined and served elegantly topped with lobster and accompanied by a side of lime and samba sauce. Simply drizzle the lime over the thick Vermicelli and yellow noodles and stir in a touch of rich and spicy samba for a distinctly local yet polished flavour resulting from the delicate balance of ingredients. Again, this dish also pairs nicely 73 with the Poupille merlot. While the baked miso black cod in savoury lime and ginger butter served with spring vegetables, organic greens and sprinkled with colourful, edible flowers dresses up an otherwise familiar and predictable fish.
Speaking of traditional favourites inspired by Asia, what meal wouldn’t be complete without Milo for dessert? Milo is a tasty treat enjoyed by all but Milo ice cream with “Jivara” crumble (a chocolate with hints of caramel, vanilla and malt considered to be of the finest in the world) and topped with chocolate whipped topping, is a dessert on another plane. But pair it with a glass of Emilio Lustau, East India Solera Sherry and that’s stellar fare – modern and refined, à la Sky on 57.
One of Singapore’s most beloved chefs, Justin Quek carved his niche introducing modern and creative interpretations of French cuisine to the Asian market. Classically trained in Europe, Quek began paying his dues at an early age in some of France and England’s top kitchens and later founded Les Amis, considered by many to be the “gold standard” of French cuisine in Singapore. Having built a truly international career, also founding restaurants in Taipei and Shanghai, he was invited by Marina Bay Sands to open Sky on 57 where he showcases traditional, local Asian dishes adding a sense of luxury, flair and refinement befitting to Asia’s rising affluent class.
You have a wealth of experience from your time overseas and you’ve created a dining experience that fuses East and West. How do you come up with dishes that do this?
I travel frequently and also attend a lot of roadshows as a guest chef. Mealsfrom my various travels inspire me, and I have always loved studying other people’s eating habits. All these experiences have attuned me to the kinds of dishes people like to eat. Sky on 57 is a truly unique spot to showcase my creations. Take for example, my signature Xiao Long Bao. I have tried several versions overseas, particularly when I was in Shanghai. It is a traditional dish I like so I put my own French spin on it 74 by adding a touch of foie gras. Only a touch, though, or it will be overpowering and too rich. This way, it is still delicate enough for the Asian palate.
Can you comment on your private label here, JQ Selection, and your suggested wine pairings for each dish?
My philosophy as a chef has always revolved around balance- this holds true for the JQ Selection wine pairings we do with various dishes at my restaurant. When you have the right wine pairing, the meal immediately takes on a refined elegance. The flavours are complimentary and clean.
Ok, let’s talk a little more about “balance.”
Balance is key. As a classically trained chef, balance is my foundation. This need for balance also extends to pairing my dishes with the perfect wine. A lot of fantastic chefs may not know much about wine, but for me, when I cook, I always think of the wine pairing for the dish I’m cooking. I am lucky enough to have my own label made from winemakers I know very well, which I serve at my restaurant. As a result, I am able to really control the quality of both elements, to achieve the ultimate balance.
How do you take French cuisine and adapt it to the Southeast Asian climate?
The cuisine presented at Sky on 57 is Franco-Asian – essentially, I am presenting modern Asian food using French techniques. I’ve worked in both Europe and Asia so I understand both cultures and palates and balance them well. I like to keep the authenticity of the dish in terms of flavour, but always search for thebest ingredients. So it’s about presenting Asian inspired cuisine in a European way, and consequently thinking of the wines that can pair with my cuisine. Take for example, the Lobster Hokkien Mee.
I first came up with the idea about 14 years ago when a tycoon came to my restaurant. He was looking for something luxurious, so I replaced the prawns in the traditional Hokkien mee with lobsters and enhance its stock. Not only does the dish showcase the flavors of a traditional Asian dish, at the same time, it was fitting of the tycoon’s social status. When you come to Sky on 57, you can taste local food but in a very refined way. Additionally, the holistic dining experience is very important to me. I want my guests to feel like they have been invited to my house for a meal – and so I do my best to host them at the restaurant, from serving the most authentic dishes to presenting them with the finest porcelain. I always stay true to my cooking philosophy: 75 using the best quality products and simple cooking techniques with a balance of taste, texture and flavors.
Sky on 57’s menu is Asian inspired but using premium ingredients and refined technique. Can you talk about this concept?
Today in Asia people are very wealthy – affluent. You start eating at the hawker stalls, then after you come up in the industry you work in, you want to upgrade. You want to drive a nice car. You want to live in a better place. You want to travel well. You want to “go up” but you still don’t want to lose the authentic taste of what you had when you were growing up. So people upgrade. That’s what we do – you can have a local dish but very well executed. Wow, it’s expensive but if you can afford that, it means that you’ve arrived. Of course Asians want to say, “I’ve arrived.” It’s a bold statement. When you come here you can taste local food but in a very refined way. The Japanese love it. They say, “It’s amazing. I can come here, I can have French and I can have Asian and I can drink great wine.” And it works.