Artemis Grill makes a case for sky-high dining in the Central Business District
Views for miles
It is hard to ignore CapitaGreen Tower, the sleek office building on Market street designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito. The $1.4-billion skyscraper reaches out into the sky the same way a plant would, and is already sporting swathes of green intended to fill half the facade of the building in time to come. Since its completion, Ito's architectural gem — a green beacon of the sustainable architecture movement — has graced numerous design magazines the world over.
Architecture buffs might be drawn to the building's wind tunnels and sleek lines, but it is a restaurant tucked away on the 40th level of this building that baits a different crowd seeking green produce of the edible variety. Already a popular hunting ground for sharp-suited bankers in the Central Business District, Artemis Grill feels exactly like the kind of place Patrick Bateman and company would settle down for a meal. Flanked by floor-to-ceiling glass panels that frame the Marina Bay cityscape, the restaurant plays host to power lunches in the day. Come nightfall, the lights are turned down low and a 350-bin wine list bids you to linger beyond petit fours.
Your meal might begin with freshly shucked Tsarkaya oysters from France, topped with a generous dollop of caviar to draw out their briny brilliance. On the side, a selection of freshly baked bread is served with rich pools of olive oil and olive soil spiked with dukkah spices. The olive oil, bottled specially for the restaurant, makes its appearance across the entire menu — including dessert. There's pristine Patagonian toothfish, cradled in Tom Yum-inspired broth, and drizzled with rich lashings of this bold, fruity elixir. Then there's dessert, which sees the very same olive oil return as an ice cream, this time married to a classic pairing of chocolate in praline form, lifted with an acidic touch of bitter orange jam.
Provenance is a key driving force of the menu. Fish and seafood are sustainably sourced, as are meats that take their hormone-free status very seriously. Having access to top-notch produce makes Executive Chef Fernando Arevalo's job that much easier. Here, Iberico pork presa is swathed in a spice rub, baptised on the grill, and presented as paper-think slivers. It's incredibly tender, the perfect canvas for the bracing hit of spices that rival the rich flavours of the meat. Presented with smoky padron peppers, it's easy to see why this dish has risen as one of the signature calling cards of the restaurant.
It might be tempting to stay in carnivorous territory, but the seafood offerings here are just as masterfully crafted. The pristine flavours of Alaskan King Crab are framed with creamy crescents of avocado, sweet touches of tomato, and pimento peppers grilled till succulent and smoky. A generous cut of Spanish octopus dodges a dreaded rubbery end, emerging victorious as a perfectly tender curl sided with sour bursts of olives and sweet, earthy tomatoes.
Sweet endings here tend to take on a more savoury slant. Stilton cheese is resurrected as an ice cream, its sharp, strong flavours tamed to a creamy pungency, one that pairs surprisingly well with an apple compote mille feuille and generous dollop of boozy calvados cream.
Artemis Grill. CapitaGreen Rooftop. 138 Market Street, Level 40. Tel: 6635 8677