The Nautilus Project

The folks behind The Prime Society have come up with this semi‑fine‑dining outfit that is, well, nautical‑themed (no prizes for guessing). Terming their approach as “contemporary Pan‑Asian,” The Nautilus Project boasts the talents of corporate executive chef Jason Dell and head chef Lucas John McMillan. We decided to try it out for lunch after wandering around in the mall one weekend day, and were greeted with an airy, bright interior with big windows, wave‑like counters and a soothing color scheme. The menu here is small and contains culinary influences from California, the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia. The highlight, of course, is seafood (there’s even an oyster bar). After perusing the menu and sampling some unappetizing cold bread, we settled for the salt and pepper squid starter; that really tingled our tastebuds. We loved the batter—the squid was tangy, juicy and cooked just enough to keep it from becoming rubbery. Strangely, it wasn’t warm enough (this applied to all the dishes, was it the ice-cold aircon?) and was too small, portion‑wise. Our oceanic platter had some good variety but was far from being outstanding—we couldn’t taste the garlic in the garlic prawns for example. Thankfully, though, all the seafood in our meal was really fresh, even if it wasn’t always presented in the best way. Case in point: The herb yellowfin tuna—comprised two small slabs of tuna that were fresh, firm and clean‑tasting; but only jazzed with Pinot Noir syrup that did enliven the taste a bit but failed to make the fish truly sing. Service throughout was fine and we did quite like our drink and dessert—refreshing orange clove iced tea and ice‑cream cobbler. Overall, The Nautilus Project didn’t exactly tank, but didn’t quite rise to the surface either.