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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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