Consumed: Osia at Resorts World Sentosa

Osia's open concept kitchen.

By all accounts, our meal at Osia should’ve been stellar. The restaurant has received accolades from CNNGo’s Best Eats and Singapore Tatler, both of which I have some regard for.

So why did our experience suck so bad?

We were at Sentosa to celebrate James’ birthday – we started off chilling on the beach, then headed to Auriga Spa at Capella for an extremely decadent spa experience. All that relaxing makes one extremely hungry, as you might imagine, and we were really looking forward to dinner at Osia.

The first false note struck even before we ordered. I asked the European waiter if the highly-publicised Signature Set Menu was available. He answered me with, “Well, I can bring you the Chinese New Year set menu, but you must know that it is more pricey.” That’s right – he insulted our spending capacity, and didn’t even answer my question. Perhaps it was because I asked for tap water instead of the proffered still or sparkling?

We had the Seafood Ice Experience – sashimi served on top of fruit/vegetable flavoured crushed ice. It was interesting, and I suppose it could be a great conversation starter for a first date. Also, the tube with oyster in it had me extremely intrigued about Osia’s oyster selection. But I still remain unconvinced that raw fish and slushies were meant to go together.

Seafood Ice Experience. I felt like I was taking part in a bizarre science experiment.

Osia serves a variety of flatbreads. We opted for the Roasted Garlic and Cheese, which came with a little toothpaste tube of pistachio cream cheese besides the usual butter and olive oil. Perhaps the funniest part of the whole meal was when the server made a big show of opening the little tube, piercing the opening with the top of the cap, and squeezing some onto the bread before ceremoniously setting it back down again. The bread was tasty and hot, but for a $9 piece of naan, it should jolly well have been all that and more.

Seriously. A naan by any other name...

James had the beef tenderloin, which came with blueberry risotto and greens. It was properly medium-rare: nice and red throughout the inside. I had a bite each of the beef and the risotto, and both were excellent.

I always forget to take a photo of the inside!

We didn’t go halves on our mains this time, for the simple reason that mine was just plain awful. I ordered the Atlantic cod – I’m a big fan of cod, and I always get it when it’s on the menu. But when my fish arrived, it was tough, chewy and dry. Not only on the outside, but all the way through. Even the sauce it came in did nothing to shake the impression that it was badly overcooked, and might have even been stale to begin with.

To the right: overcooked fish. To the left: a potato and mushroom loaf, which I wolfed down hungrily.

I couldn’t eat more than three morsels of the cod. It reminded me of the food you get at some catered buffet meals, when you show up late and have to settle for the dried-out scrapings at the bottom of the chafing dish. James took one bite and agreed that it was not ideal. So while I subsisted on the savoury potato and mushroom loaf, and bites from his plate, NO ONE from the restaurant came to ask how the food was. Considering that Osia positions itself as a fine dining establishment, we expected a little more by way of service. (Though it didn’t escape my notice that the aforementioned European waiter spent quite some time chumming up to a pair of angmoh diners seated not far away.)

By the time I caught the attention of the restaurant manager to tell him that the fish was rock solid and impossible to eat, James had already finished his meal. The manager asked if he could bring me another main, but by that time, my appetite was severely discouraged. So we opted to move on to dessert instead.

The hot Valrhona chocolate soup was excellent. It came with peppered vanilla ice-cream, which combined with the additional pepper in the molten chocolate to provide quite a spicy kick. I would recommend this highly.

Imagine a molten chocolate cake without the cake. Mmmm.

Meanwhile, the cassis mousse with mango sorbet and cassis jelly pop rocks was just so-so. For one, the mousse and the sorbet really didn’t go well together. And for another, the pop rocks completely failed to pop – unlike the pop rock tarts at Iggy’s – which made the cassis jelly cubes no more exciting than a pair of Ribena pastilles.

The mousse could also have been a little more cassis-y. Just sayin'.

The crowning moment of this meal came when our dessert dishes were cleared by a tall Caucasian lady, whom I inferred to be an owner or senior manager of the restaurant. She asked how the meal was, and I told her that I found the fish inedible.

Upon which she took the opportunity to launch into a tirade about how Atlantic cod isn’t the same as Pacific cod or sea perch, it has a meatier flavour, and that I must have been mistaken. I assured her that I was quite familiar with Atlantic cod, and that it had been dry and tough throughout. But the tirade continued for a good minute! She clearly thought she had a responsibility to educate me, the uninformed diner, on the properties of fish. And she would not stop until I looked her right in the eye and said, “I take your point, but I maintain it was tough, chewy, and I couldn’t eat it.”

Only then did she ask how the rest of our meal was. And offered, with a mildly ungracious air, to take the cod off the bill.

Kind reader, if it hadn’t been James’ birthday, I would’ve made a hell of a scene. To be fair, the other main was excellent – but we can always go to Morton’s The Steakhouse or even Black Angus for beef of that calibre.

Will we be back? Probably not. Life is too short to endure bad food and rude service, especially at a meal that sets you back $100 per head for three courses.

Osia (Festive Walk)
8 Sentosa Gateway, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore, +65 6577 6560

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  1. Tweets that mention Consumed: Osia at Resorts World Sentosa | Perfect Drivel -- - February 10, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Germaine, Callan Tham. Callan Tham said: Fail cod prep is #fail RT @germaine: Our disappointing meal at Osia, Resorts World Sentosa: […]

  2. Richie - February 11, 2011

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this review.. all in the name of balanced fair reporting without being snipey despite what sounds like really awful service.

  3. lolitapopz - February 11, 2011

    how terrible! thanks for the review. we were planning to check out the place!

  4. Kristine - February 15, 2011

    such horrible service! My sister went and she highly recommended it so was thinking of trying it out. I think I’m staying far far away now. sheesh

    • Ms Brightside - February 15, 2011

      I guess you could say that it’s really hit-and-miss. If you want to try it out, perhaps you should do so when the Signature Set Menu is available. That way, even if the service is awful, you’ll have spent much less!

  5. terminalcase42 - February 16, 2011

    Aiyoh, thanks for the tip-off.

    I hate being condescended to by supercilious service staff. That was inexcusable.

  6. Alli - February 18, 2011

    Favorite part: “I take your point, but I maintain it was tough, chewy, and I couldn’t eat it.”

    Also, I would have been turned off by food delivered in an ointment tube. The bit about the waiter piercing the opening with the cap… that’s how you open fungal cream or Neosporin. Weird.

  7. A-WOL - June 29, 2011

    I agree..even i had a bad experience with that European waiter…though i went again recently for a family dinner and the service staff seems to have been replaced…and so is the menu…i would say give it another go and yea the signature set meal prices help..:P

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