Meta @ Keong Saik Road: Asian-Inspired Dishes with a Modern Twist
Meta, a stylish restaurant serving Contemporary Asian dishes, has opened along the vibrant Keong Saik Road. Short for metamorphosis, the restaurant represents its culinary team’s evolutionary approach to the menu. Helming the kitchen is Sun Kim who hails from a family of South Korean restaurateurs. He combines his culinary training with his rich heritage to produce Asian-inspired dishes with a creative modern twist.
The space offers two seating options. The counter seating dominates the long restaurant and affords an up close view of the action in the kitchen. Parallel to the counter is a line of low-top tables for two which provide a more intimate setting.
At present, the restaurant offers a choice of three set dinner menus, namely five-and eight-course Tasting Menus and a five-course Vegetarian Menu. All menus will change according to the seasons. The 8 course menu ($128++) started with appetizers such as the Oyster with Pomelo, Lemon and Ginger and Amaebi with Yuzu and Apples. The former is a freshly shucked oyster seasoned with a lemon and ginger dressing, and finished with a sprinkle of pomelo flesh for bursts of sweetness. The amaebi dish on the other hand, features deshelled Japanese sweet shrimp served with a dashi jelly, trout roe, slivers of pickled beetroot stems and carrot, as well as a crunchy charred prawn head which is to be eaten last to provide a smoky finish to the dish.
My favourite is the Wagyu Tartare with Egg Jelly and Korean Pear Kimchi. Here, Chef Sun draws upon the traditional Korean beef bulgogi and reinvents it as a steak tartare. The cubed Wagyu beef is mixed with sweet and savoury bulgogi sauce (a combination of mirin, soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil) while the julienned pear is seasoned with Chef Sun’s homemade kimchi dressing. The creamy droplets of egg jelly help balance the acidity in the dish and a topping of puffed rice adds crunch to it. You get a textural contrast between the ingredients – the tenderness from the beef and crunchiness from the pears. Love it!
The Hokkaido Scallops didn’t impress. Served with shaved bottarga, sweet korean miso, endive and squid ink cracker, it looks good but the flavours were a little on the mild side. I didn’t quite like the combination of scallop and squid ink cracker. However, Sea Bass with Clams, Fregola and Basil is a comforting dish. Fish may change according to the catch of the day. Our sea bass was seared till you get a beauitfully crispy skin and moist white meat. It is presented atop a trio of clams in a clear broth and finished with drops of basil oil.
Equally toothsome is the Slow Cooked Tasmanian Grass-Fed Beef Short Rib with Parsnip. The beef is cooked sous vide for over 30 hours at 62 degree celsius to achieve the desired tenderness. It is then paired with pickled oyster mushrooms, charred spring onions and a smooth parsnip puree.
Vegetarians can look forward Korean Pancake with Seasonal Vegetables and Potato Gnocchi with Sweet Corn and Parsnip.
The delicious desserts also reflect the restaurant’s evolutionary culinary philosophy. I was awed by pastry chef Tammy’s Citrus Cheesecake with Blood Orange Bon Bon. Her interpretation of the classic cheesecake is creatively presented as a sphere with a gilded outer layer of citrus gel that encases citrus cheesecake and a dark chocolate shell with a blood orange liquid center.
Another standout is the White Chocolate Wasabi Cream with Sesame Sponge and Yoghurt which consists of black sesame sponge, yuzu sabayon and wasabi spiked white chocolate cream. Chef Tammy’s knack for fun desserts is similarly apparent in The Rock, a nitrogen-led surprise to end your meal with.
To complement the well-executed menus, the restaurant boasts a list of signature cocktails, including Metamorphosis, a concoction that changes every few weeks. Also noteworthy is the refreshingly crisp Whiter Than Pale. The floral, gin-based drink is made with elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, egg white and dried roses.
Address: 9 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089117
Tel: +65 6513 0898
Opening Hours: ￼￼￼Mondays to Saturdays 5.30pm – 12.00am. Closed on Sundays.