Opus Bar & Grill

The hype: Opus Bar & Grill situated on the ground floor of Hilton Singapore needs no introduction—the modern grill specializes in prime cuts dry-aged in-house, and cooked over its signature charcoal grill for an intense, smoky aroma.

The vibe: Set to reinvent the idea that hotel restaurants are antiquated, Opus is all modern elegance, with mahogany fittings, plush seats, and deep tones furnishing the open-kitchen style grill. The newly renovated space includes partitions that turn the place from a laidback restaurant setting in the day for both hotel guests to enjoy buffets and visitors to dine a la carte—into a upmarket bar at night, separate from the dining area should you want to enjoy Opus’ grill-inspired cocktails in solitude.

The food: Start slow—the house bread (complimentary) and homemade butter set the meal off to a good start. If you want something a little more substantial, the tuna tartare ($17), made of avocado, chives, trout roe and extra virgin olive oil, is light and refreshing, and surprisingly not fishy.  

Any of the prime cuts, dry-aged in Opus’ bespoke Himalayan salt-tiled aging cabinet, are worth trying—especially with the “Steak and Wine” package, which entitles you to a two-hour free flow of selected reds and whites with every order of Opus prime cuts (from $58 onwards).

But while you’re there, go for the new bourbon whiskey-aged, 365-day grain-fed California Tomahawk steak ($128 for 1 to 1.2kg), a masterpiece tenderized by the bourbon whiskey effusing notes of vanilla and wood. Even the presentation is a work of art—the massive steak is lit briefly on fire before it’s left simmering for you to tear into. The meat itself is soaked evenly in the whiskey; every bite is a tease that surprises with the smoky whiskey essence.

The portion is meant for two, but is good for sharing among three—four, if you get the sides on the Opus menu. At $6 each, there’s the mac & cheese—indulgent, with a rich cheese that isn’t too overpowering—or classic truffle fries, addictive and a great snack for in between bites of steak. If you’re hankering after some veg, there’s also grilled green asparagus, Portobello mushrooms, and arugula with vine tomatoes and parmesan; all of which are gluten-free.

As for dessert, don’t leave without trying the charcoal grilled banana ($12), a decadent plate of smoked salted caramel, coconut and calamansi ice cream that’s just the right touch of sweetness to end your meal on a comfortable high.

The drinks: If free-flow wine isn’t your thing, the Opus bar is sufficiently equipped to pair your meal in other ways. The cocktails here are inspired by different aspects of the grilling process—from subtle wood smoke flavors to sweet caramel notes. Head Mixologist Yadhaven Santheran is the newest addition to the bartending team, and already has a newly curated cocktail menu (to be launched this month) up his sleeve. His signature drink, the Misconception ($18), is an easy and refreshing take on stuffy old bourbon—combining chalky three-grain Bulleit bourbon, homemade seven-spice syrup and hickory wood chips for a flavorful nightcap that’s surprisingly easy to drink. The hand-carved ice balls are a nice personal touch too.

Why you’ll be back: Great steak authentically charcoal-grilled, a good ambience away from the crowds, and free-flow wine deals that can’t be beat—Opus Bar & Grill makes dining in town an actually appealing notion.