Restaurant Meta at Keong Saik Keeps Things Fresh with A Constantly Innovative Menu

Joining the smorgasbord of dining establishments along Keong Saik Road is Meta, a fusion restaurant that serves up a small selection of ever-changing set menus. This constant change is the inspiration behind Meta’s name, which is short for metamorphosis.

Meta at Keong Saik Road

Meta Restaurant Keong Saik - Restaurant Interior - Review by Gourmet Adventures

An ever-changing menu is a good thing, because that gives diners more reason to return, while allowing the small kitchen team to remain small and focused on just a few dishes. Menu items should thus, logically, get more attention from its chefs and maintain its quality despite lacking variety.

The menu is the brainchild of Chef Sun Kim, a South Korean who has worked at Tetsuya Sydney and Waku Ghin Singapore, and pastry chef Tammy Mah, who had most recently spent years at the Garibaldi Group.

Chef Sun Kim of Meta Restaurant

Meta Restaurant Keong Saik - Chef Sun KIM - Review by Gourmet Adventures

During our visit, we opted for the $128 eight-course seasonal winter menu, available till end-February. The other two options include a $88 five-course set, more suitable for lunches, and a $80 vegetarian option. As of press time, Meta also introduced a $128 Chinese New Year menu and a $150 Valentine’s Day menu.

Our metamorphosis begins with a pre-dinner cocktail of Whiter Than Pale – gin, elderflower liqueur and lemon juice shaken with egg white and garnished with dried roses for that light floral touch. A lovely aperitif to start the meal.

Whiter Than Pale at Meta Restaurant

Meta Restaurant Keong Saik - Whiter than Pale - Review by Gourmet Adventures

The first of our dinner was an amuse bouche of asparagus and keropok (that changes seasonally), followed by the first dish, a restaurant signature – a single oyster placed on a bed of polished stones, dressed in pomelo chunks and lemon and ginger juices that assisted in opening our palettes.

Oyster with pomelo, lemon and ginger at Meta Restaurant

Meta Restaurant Keong Saik - Oyster with Pomelo, Lemon and Ginger - Review by Gourmet Adventures

The second dish is amebi (Japanese sweet shrimp), served with ikura, yuzu and apple bits. The entire shrimp head is plated as well, and is meant to be eaten whole.

Next came the Wagyu beef tartare, another signature of Meta, which surprisingly didn’t taste raw at all, likely overwhelmed by the strong flavors of the julienned pear kimchi and egg yolk jelly, inspired by the traditional Korean dish; bibimbap.

Wagyu beef tartare with egg jelly and Korean pear kimchi at Meta Restaurant

Meta Restaurant Keong Saik - Wagyu Tartare with Egg Jelly and Korean Pear Kimchi - Review by Gourmet Adventures

Fourth on the menu is Hokkaido scallops served with endives, miso paste and rice crackers laced with squid ink – more for novelty than taste. We enjoyed the subtle sweetness of the plump, raw scallops combined with the pungent savoriness of miso paste.

Hokkaido scallops with endive, miso and squid ink at Meta Restaurant

Meta Restaurant Keong Saik - Hokkaido Scallops with Endive, Miso and Squid Ink - Review by Gourmet Adventures

Our meal then evolves with two main menu items – johndory served with perfectly al dente fregola pasta, followed by our personal favorite, beef short ribs, slow-cooked for three hours à la sous vide, bringing out just the right balance in texture of meat and fat.

It is through desserts where pastry Chef Mah truly shows off her creativity The first dessert is described as ‘blood orange cheesecake’ on the menu, but what is served is actually a shiny white chocolate ball nestled on a bed of crushed meringue – its citrus cheesecake core lies in the heart of the chocolate ball, blood orange sauce oozing out of its center. It is as delicious as it is fun.

Blood orange cheesecake at Meta Restaurant

Meta Restaurant Keong Saik - Citrus Cheesecake with Blood Orange Bon Bon - Review by Gourmet Adventures

The last item on the menu proper is a plated dessert of chocolate, sesame, wasabi and yogurt. You will be hard-pressed to deconstruct the flavors on your tongue, the ingredients seemingly melt into each another, exposing your palette to a barrage of refreshingly and fruity flavors that we very much appreciate.

If you had been eyeing the menu during your meal, you will also notice that the last dish is simply called ‘The Rock’. It is meant to be a surprise, so we won’t spoil the fun for you. Let’s just say it is a much welcomed, quirky offering that’s likely to induce more than a few giggles.

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Meta, 9 Keong Saik Rd., 6513-0898. Open Mon-Sat 6-11pm.

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Categories: Alcohol, Alfresco, Asian, Bar, Casual Dining, Dining, Fusion, Gastrobar, Korean, Modern Cuisine, New & Noted, Restaurants, Reviews, Small Plates

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