Dinner at Table 66

Dinner at Table 66 (on a weekday which wasn’t even a Friday!) provided a nice reprieve during a hectic week at work. Located in a restored shophouse along quiet but brightly-lit Tras Street, it didn’t feel like we were still in the CBD area when we got there.
Shortly after we were shown to our seats, our waitress appeared with warm bread rolls and pats of butter. We appreciated the thoughtful gesture.
We began dinner with scallop and salmon sashimi with cold vermicelli wheat pasta topped with citrus zest and spicy seaweed lemon dressing. While the seafood was fresh and well-prepared, we felt the dressing may be a bit too sour for most tastes. Still, it was nicely chilled and was an enjoyable, refreshing starter. 
The most outstanding dish of the night was probably the dish which came next – the sous-vide eggs benedict, which consisted of a poached egg atop a grilled Portobello mushroom, accompanied by spinach and sundried tomato and gratinated truffle hollandaise sauce. The egg was perfectly poached, with the egg yolk of a consistency which made me long for some crisp toast fingers to mop it up with. Chef Vincent Teng told us that the egg was poached at a constant temperature of 62.5 degrees celsius – a level of exactness home cooks can only dream of replicating in their kitchens. The different textures and flavours of this dish complemented each other well, with the meatiness of the mushroom providing a good base for the other “lighter” ingredients in the dish and the sun-dried tomatoes providing a pleasantly tart note. This dish was simple, tasty and well thought out.
The next dish, a beef tartare with egg yolk (which had been marinated and cooked sous vide) didn’t quite inspire as the sous-vide eggs benedict did, but the following two dishes more than made up for it. Let us introduce them by giving some background to the method of cooking Table 66 specialises in.
When we were first invited for dinner at Table 66, we were told that the restaurant specialises in the sous-vide (pronounced “soo-veed”) style of cooking. “Sous-vide” is French for “under vacuum”, and is a cooking method where the food is sealed in airtight plastic bags and placed in a water bath at varying temperatures. As the cooking times are longer, the flavour and the integrity of the ingredients during the cooking process are preserved.
The (wonderful) results of cooking food sous-vide are probably most apparent when it comes to meat dishes. The beef tartare was followed by two of these: the first was a duo of sous-vide pork belly, where we were presented with a slice of braised pork belly with Tonkatsu sauce and another slice of pork belly which had been cooked sous-vide before it was seared. The Tonkatsu sauce had a bit of an unidentifiable aftertaste (although, Jon didn’t have any problems with his), but the texture of the braised pork belly was good – firm yet tender. The seared pork belly was much better in comparison. It was the right touch of salty (as any pork belly worth its salt should be) and the skin crunched agreeably when we cut into it. The only thing we didn’t quite like about this dish was the kimchi salad served on the side – it didn’t taste like kimchi at all!
The duo of sous-vide pork belly was followed by a confit of duck and smoked duck breast. Duck confit is traditionally prepared by poaching the duck in its own fat, so preparing it using the sous-vide method is a much healthier but not less tasty option (although some may beg to differ). Having been cooked sous-vide, the duck also sat less heavily in our stomachs.
We ended dinner with a hazelnut mousse praline, which was a little run-of-the mill given the emphasis on sous-vide cooking. We were waiting to see whether we would be served a dessert cooked sous-vide – it is possible to cook custards and pie fillings this way, so that might be something for Table 66 to consider, in keeping with the sous-vide theme. We’re sure Chef Teng will be able to come up with many more interesting dishes and desserts, given his many years of experience as a chef.
A quiet refuge in the heart of the city, Table 66 is a good place to unwind after a long day at work, especially if you feel like a mid-week treat (we were there on a Thursday). Do order the sous-vide egg benedict, but be warned – you’ll be thinking of having it for a late, lazy breakfast the coming weekend. With toast fingers, of course.

Table 66 dining room

Duo of sous-vide pork belly

Confit of duck and smoked duck breast

Beef tartare with egg yolk

Hazlenut Mousse Praline

Chloe Lee
WongPartnership LLP
Jonathan Lau
Allen & Overy LLP