The hype: The crown jewel of the newly refurbished Grand Park City Hall, Tablescape touts itself as a modern European restaurant and bar. Headed by Executive Chef Robert Chan (previously of The Carvery) the restaurant aims to strip back and redefine the fine dining experience; to return to the essence of a meal—the food.

The vibe: If its desire is to escape fluff, Tablescape is certainly betrayed by its luxurious setting. The interior, designed to be neoclassical, features Peranakan accents, pastel furniture, and plenty of natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows. Its location away from the main hub of City Hall affords it a sense of unspoiled exclusivity; perfect for a leisurely lunch.  

The food: Two- and three-course lunch and dinner menus are available daily, attractively priced at $32-$42 for lunch and $48-$58 for dinner. Before anything, make your selection of handmade European breads from the bread trolley—a nod to old-school fine dining culture, and complimentary with any order. Must-tries include the squid ink brioche and focaccia with cheese. We’re bread people, so the trolley alone makes Tablescape worth the visit.

For starters, definitely pick the refreshing Salmon Gravlax ($16), garnished with vegetable shavings, lemon myrtle oil and cream cheese ice cream. The Steak Tartare & Crispy Battered Poached Egg ($24) is an easy favorite, combining a European classic with an almost Japanese-esque innovation. If you’re a soup person, try something different—the Veal Sweetbread in 2-Minute Pea Soup ($18) is a flavorful upgrade from your usual mushy pea soup.

But the standouts at Tablescape are the mains; Chef Chan spares no expense to present decadent and beautifully plated creations. The Maine lobster ($38), served on risotto in lobster bisque with prosciutto ham-wrapped monkfish, is the most flavorful lobster you will ever taste;  an explosion of butter that manages to maintain a fresh-from-the-ocean cleanness. And if you only have room for one main, the Milk-Fed Veal ($38) is Tablescape’s standout dish—warm, crispy, and hiding a generous serving of foie gras inside. If you were previously averse to the idea of veal, this dish will change everything. Douse it in the accompanying Madeira jus and you’re all set.

There is a dessert trolley too, but this one offers a sweet selection at $12 each. For a unique treat, try the camembert cheesecake or the Spicy Mango mousse (laced with Tabasco sauce); we liked the martini glass of champagne jelly.

The drinks: Choose from Tablescape’s diverse bar menu—premium wines ($16-$24 a glass), craft beers ($12-$18) and quirkily named cocktails ($20-$23). For alcohol professionals, a vast selection of spirits ranging from gin to scotch whiskey and even sugarcane spirits should keep you more than satisfied. 

Why you’ll be back: Between the bread trolley and the veal, it’s hard to deny Tablescape’s appeal to anyone looking for an indulgent dining experience in town. You’d best hustle down for a taste before the hotel fully opens and your new favorite hidden gem loses its shine.