Keystone Restaurant

The buzz: This two-month-old fine dining establishment in the CBD serves up progressive modern European fare (don’t let that scare you off though).

The vibe: Urbane chic. Instead of the usual been and done décor, owner and director Eddie Han wisely decided on varying shades of muted gray, punctuated with bold splashes of red to keep the feel of it distinctly classy.

The food: The main man in the kitchen is chef de cuisine Mark Richards, who whips up appetizers such as golden Reblochon cheese with jamón ibérico, Spanish rock melon gel and passion fruit sorbet ($28). The “progressive” aspect of it comes into play as Richards uses some molecular techniques in his dishes, so expect to see a few more unusual elements making an appearance. Other noteworthy creations include olive-roasted monkfish in a crustacean bisque ($44) and Rangers Valley filet mignon accompanied by brown butter béarnaise and miso yaki eggplant ($58). For those with a sweet tooth, dessert offerings like Nutella bar with milk skin ($16) and black ash pudding (also $16) should do the trick. If you’ve got the time, and the moolah, we reckon the five- ($88) and eight-course ($118) degustation menus are the way to go. The set lunches are a good deal, and will set you back just $38 for three courses.

The drinks: Thanks to Han’s love for wine, there’s an assortment of new and old world choices including Bollinger Special Cuveé Brut Imperial ($24/glass, $115/bottle) and 2007 John Duval Plexus Shiraz Grenache Mourvédre ($23/glass, $112/bottle). Those more into the hard stuff will appreciate the range of premium spirits, as well as a few signature cocktails like The Green Goose ($20).

Why you’ll be back: Food here is genuinely good, and pushes the envelope just enough to excite but not alienate; service is spot-on, too. On top of that, the locale and elegant set-up make it ideal for an important business meeting, or perhaps a dreamy evening with a certain someone.

Have you tried the filet mignon at Keystone Restaurant? It’s one of I-S Magazine’s 50 things to eat in Singapore before you die (2011).