It was truly a privilege to meet and interview one of the pioneer female chefs on television, Cat Cora. Chef Cat was warm, personable and definitely someone with a lot of passion for food and cooking. You can listen to excerpts of our Radio chat here where Cat talks about paving the way for female chefs in a male-dominated industry, her favourite ways to prepare seafood for her children and more on judging on Iron Chef.
But on to the gorgeous restaurant and the food!
Ocean by Cat Cora is situated in the largest aquarium in the world, the S.E.A Aquarium in Resorts World Sentosa. The restaurant offers a spectacular full ceiling-to-floor view of the aquarium with giant manta rays, baby sharks and schools of various species of fish swimming by languidly as you have your meal.
Price: $$$ – $$$$
We were invited to try some items on the new lunch and dinner menu, starting with these Fresh Oysters with Passionfruit and Watermelon Salsa.
The oysters were fresh. The ikura or salmon roe offered more savoury, interesting texture, and the fruity flavours were light and refreshing on the palate.
Next up, the Torched Brown Trout “Farbio” with Smoked Eel with crunchy cucumber and caviar vinaigrette.
While I enjoyed the citrus flavours in the dish, I found it rather unremarkable. Nothing about the textures or flavours screamed freshness or originality.
The next dish was a Sautéed Langoustine. It was served with a light crustacean cream, fennel, leak and topped with some crisps. The langoustine was fresh and cooked to a firm sweet finish. I found the chips slightly clumsy and distracting though.
And finally, my personal favourite dish of the day, the Charred Corn Soup with swimmer crab beignet. The corn soup was beautifully done. Just the right proportions of sweet, salty and creamy. Also, that swimmer crab in fritter was fried well, retaining the juiciness of the crab within. Thumbs up for this one.
Unfortunately, I had to leave to go on air at the time and was not able to try out their dessert for the day. But in general, Ocean serves up rather fresh seafood. I’m just not sure they’re doing quite the best things to the fish. Apart from the corn soup, everything else was quite average at best and does not really justify the hefty price tag.
Chef Cat was an absolute delight to speak with. But as with many of these celebrity name restaurants, it’s proven challenging to be hands-on in the creation of new menus or running of day-to-day operations. I’d like to see Ocean do better, if only because Chef Cat has her heart in the right place. And also because it’s a terrible pity to have an average meal at such a stunning location.
Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora
SEA Aquarium, Resorts World Sentosa
8 Sentosa Gateway
Tel: +65 6577 8888
Daily: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm