Iggy's, The Regent Singapore
Iggy's (1 Cuscaden Road, Level 3, 6732-2234) is one of those places that has been put up on a pedestal and raved about lately, especially after British Restaurant magazine named it to one of the top 100 restaurants in the world last year (98th, to be specific). I wasn't completely convinced though, seeing that my criteria for food are usually quite different from those of high-end restauranteurs; I really don't care if the food looks pretty, if the decor is elegant, or if the wine list is well paired. If it doesn't taste good, then plain and simply, it's a waste of money to me, regardless if it's $1.50 or $150 (the latter of which in Sing dollars was the price of the 8-course tasting meal here, with the option to pay S$25 more to upgrade to the truffle-based course...that translates to US$95 and US$110 courses for stateside readers).
So how was this place? Perhaps not surprisingly, many things here were very much "truffle this, truffle that," even on the non-truffle menu. Each plate that arrived of course was aesthetically pleasing, used exotic ingredients, and was certainly very original. They also came in very small portions, which probably wasn't any huge surprise, but nonetheless became a bit frustrating after a while given the pace at which the dishes came out. I did like most of the food though, most notably the slow-cooked salmon, which was very rich and tender, all the while having a very subtle bite of salt on the side for extra character. Many of the other dishes were indeed quite innovative too, and you've gotta give these guys loads of respect for that. There's no way in the world that I could have done any of this, even if I had a gun pointed at my head.
Still, that was pretty much the extent of it for me. The entire course took a whopping 2.5 hours to complete, which in many ways was just as painful as the actual dollar amount required from my wallet. If you're one of those folks that enjoys spending time over a slow meal, contemplating the virtues of one vintage of wine versus another and that recent real estate investment that you just made, then this place is for you. But if I had to spend this much money again, I'd rather go to Morton's. The food there is by no means innovative, but to me is so much more satisfying and filling (both physically and emotionally)...and I could probably even save a few bucks in the process.
Regardless, lots of respect is in order for this place, and yeah, I suppose that the 98th ranking is well deserved here (I don't regret coming). But admittedly my proletarian stomach did think a couple times about Pepper Lunch down the street as we tapped our fingers tonight waiting for the next truffle-laden plate to come out of the kitchen.