Table at 7

When we heard that two reputable foodie scenesters were collaborating on a new venture, our taste buds pulsed quicker than our heartbeats. Chef Karl Dobler and Indonesian-born Eugenia Ong have birthed an unusual half-European, half-Indonesian dinner service-only restaurant.

We headed down on a recent Saturday evening excited at the prospect of a tryst with gastronomic excellence, and upon stepping in, were greeted by standard dark floors, gray walls and soft lighting; fortunately the visible theatrics of the kitchen provided some much-needed contrast. We opted for the iced gazpacho with tuna tartare and Bloody Mary sorbet ($18) and the twice-baked caramelized onion and gruyere cheese soufflé ($16) as starters. Both were pleasingly plated, creative affairs, although the former (a house signature) is a tad gimmicky; the Bloody Mary sorbet was electric, but the tuna tartare was a little flat and the gazpacho overly icy. The latter meanwhile, was predictably delicious. The light-as-air soufflé paired well with white wine fondue sauce.

The mains were a startling contrast. The char-grilled Chilean sea bass with garlic mash ($36) was ordinary, a tiny portion of underseasoned fish. On the other hand, the Indonesian yellow rice platter of beef cheek rendang, spring chicken opor, satay and acar ($32) was terrific. Although the opor gravy wasn’t quite as thick as we would like, the beef was indescribably tender and tasty, while the sticks of satay and satay sauce were immense with flavor. Even the rice was fragrant, fluffy and dangerously addictive.

One niggly thing, service, although warm, requires some serious work. During the 25 minutes it took to serve us dessert, we would have appreciated if someone had bothered to check on us. At prices like these, you’d expect better, more attentive service. If Table at 7 could sort that misstep out, we’d be tempted to return.

Have you tried the Manado-style Kurobuta pork at Table at 7? It’s one of I-S Magazine’s 50 things to eat in Singapore before you die (2011).