Chef Sebastian Ng, formerly of Restaurant Ember, makes a strong statement with Venue by Sebastian by showing that fine food need not be a stuffy affair.
Situated in the new Downtown Gallery where the old DBS Building used to be, this 80-seater casual communal dining restaurant serves modern European dishes with an Asian touch.
Painted in stark whites and blues, the venue felt a little cold and clinical at first, but hearty plates of food streaming in from the open-concept kitchen soon warmed things up.
The daily changing menu of sharing plates here are organised along eight categories such as ‘fritti and greens’, ‘pasta’ and ‘cured & smoked’. Find Ng’s signature dishes from his Ember days, like Chilean seabass with mushroom and bacon ragout ($36), angel hair pasta paired with sakura ebi and dollops of umami ($24), and cold pasta with konbu and truffle oil ($22).
We love the latter two, both of which feature firm yet delicate handmade pasta. New dishes worth a try include the juicy, succulent, smoky dish of wood-grilled chicken ($15) marinated with housemade chermoula ($15), and skewers of lamb riblets with piquant chimichurri rojo ($5 each).
The lunch menu is a more concise version of the dinner menu, while a happy hour menu, termed ‘Bodega Hour menu’ will be in place soon, offering bar snacks, beer and wine.
#01-02 Downtown Gallery, 6A Shenton Way. Tel: 6904 9688
Cover: Entranceway, Venue by Sebastian
This was first published in Wine & Dine’s June 2017 issue, ‘Restaurants’.