Perfect for casual get-togethers and pre-dinner meet-ups, VENUE By Sebastian is one of the first few restaurants to open at the swanky new Downtown Gallery in the heart of Singapore’s commercial district. Occupying 1,900 sqft space on the ground floor of Downtown Gallery, this 80-seat communal dining establishment is set to inspire you and your loved ones with its exciting contemporary European fare.
Helmed by Chef-Owner Sebastian Ng, former Chef-Owner of the now defunct Restaurant Ember, and Chef de Cuisine Jonathan Lee, former Head Chef of Artichoke, VENUE By Sebastian is guided by the chefs’ beliefs in serving unpretentious yet tasty and well-balanced meals for all diners. Curated with meticulous details over months of experimentation, the extensive menu at VENUE By Sebastian is a harmonious blend of modern European culinary techniques and quality ingredients, imbued with a refreshing touch of Asian flavours.
“VENUE By Sebastian represents a passion that has finally come to fruition after a fascinating journey of discovering food from all over the world. We have translated those ideas from my travels into reality in the kitchen with Jonathan. It is my hope that VENUE By Sebastian becomes the dining destination for friends and family to bond over great conversations and comforting and tasty food.In addition to new creations, regulars from Restaurant Ember days can also expect to see some familiar dishes such as the Chilean Seabass and Sakura Ebi Pasta on the menu“ says Chef Sebastian.
Running on a sharing plates concept, the lunch and dinner menus are designed to feature a mix of communal dishes in sharing portions across eight dish categories namely ‘Toast’, ‘Fritti & Greens’, ‘Pasta’, ‘Raw, Cured & Smoked’, ‘Pan, Coal & Roast’, ‘Sides’ and ‘Sweets’.
The lunch menu features a condensed selection of the dinner menu, whilst a special Bodega Hour menu serving bar snacks and attractively-priced beer and wine from 5.30pm to 6.30pm will be launching at a later date. Diners are encouraged to customise the number of their selected dishes according to their group size on the menu sheet, which is printed daily to incorporate seasonal specials or new creations.
A must-try from the ‘Fritti & Greens’ section is the Chilled romanesco with lemon vinaigrette, almonds and Parmigiano Reggiano ($12). Sourced from France, the dish offers a crisp and refreshing taste when paired with the citrusy and nutty condiments. Another great one from the list is the Cauliflower Fritti with spicy mint aioli ($10), served as small crunchy bites of florets that have been lightly coated and deep-fried.
From the grill, the Iberico Pork Jowl With Gremolata and Lemon ($18) stands out with its robust and well-balanced flavours achieved by pairing the herbaceous gremolata and citrusy lemon with a tender and flavourful cut of pork jowl that has gone through a 3-hour confit before going onto the grill.
For those with a preference for seafood, the Grilled Octopus With Bean Purée, Capers and Burnt Butter ($27) is a signature dish to try. The Australian-sourced octopus is cooked to a perfect tender texture and served alongside a creamy white bean purée and some savoury capers to top.
Regulars who were familiar with Chef Sebastian’s Chilean Seabass with Mushroom and Bacon Ragout and Truffle Yuzu Butter Sauce ($36) will be pleased to find this dish on the menu as well. Lobsters fans will enjoy the Grilled lobster, with Calabrian chilli vinaigrette or Burnt Butter ($24/$39). Served in half or whole portions, the imported Maine lobster is succulent and moist with a spicy kick.
Another notable dish is the Wood-grilled Chermoula Chicken with Lemon ($15), a succulent leg of chicken that is marinated in house-made chermoula for two days and slow-grilled for at least 40 minutes over wood
fire for an intense smoky flavour.
Available only for dinner, the selection of pasta available includes Hand cut pasta with duck and beef ragout and Parmigiano Reggiano ($21), as well as Chef Sebastian’s signature dishes like the Cold pasta with konbu and truffle oil ($22 and the Angel hair pasta with Sakura Ebi and Konbu ($24).
A selection of ‘Toasts’ (from $3) with condiments, ‘Sides’ (from $5) and ‘Sweets’ (from $6) are also available across the lunch and dinner menus.
VENUE By Sebastian boast of a seating capacity of 80 pax which includes 22 bar seats and 24 banquette seats. An open-kitchen concept invites you to check out the culinary magic unfurling behind the scenes. The interior design takes inspiration from the contemporary European cuisine and incorporates a soft and elegant colour palette of soft blues and white for an inviting and minimalistic chic dining ambience. Honeycomb patterns run throughout the restaurant from the tile design to the coasters, adding a sense of modernity and sophistication to the overall space.
To complement the concept of sharing plates amongst big groups, the restaurant features a 24-seater banquette in the centre. Smaller tables of four and six can opt to sit at the bar seats for an intimate and cosy dining experience.
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