i'd decided rather early on that it was to be a birthyay extravaganza (cue the sparkles and confetti) for booboo the weekend of his making one more successful trip around the sun.

the obligatory birthday dinner was, of course, obligatory. however, left to my devices, i took the liberty of booking us a gastronomical multi-sensory, fine-dining experience (in the words of the official website). seeing as how we both rather appreciate food, i thought it would be a lovely experience to gift booboo. little had i realised, it was to be our very first michelin star dining experience. HOLY BALONEY.

it'd been a right nightmare booking booboo's birthday dinner. stupidly, i'd decided to make use of my klook account for the first time since 2016 and i can honestly say that it was both a hit and a miss of an experience for me second time using the service. a miss for booking dinner which, following the traumatic experience, i've learnt my lesson— dinner bookings should always be direct with the establishment. but a hit for booboo's birthday experience (to be written about in the next post— wait for it). although to be completely honest, there was also a muck up with that on the day of.

but enough about klook (for now). in honour of booboo's birthyay extravaganza (and to make up for the total muck up of dinner plans), i decided to spare no expense and go pedal to the metal on our dining package. so the platinum journey it was! now, let's deep dive on these dishes!

the five course dinner began with "Biodome" which is described on the website as a smoked duck and lentil salad with squid ink risotto moon rock, pesto, roselle geodesic bubbles and aquitaine osetra caviar. i thought it was a really strong opener and the smoked duck was well and truly smoked to perfection. i wasn't entirely a fan of the moon rock component but thought, all in all, that everything worked on the plate. it was an appetiser that had me excited for more!

the second course that followed was "The Duo Nest." described (again, off the website) as a 63 egg with asparagus, parmesan cheese and mushroom duxelles as well as a chicken jus egg royal with king crab and truffle sauce; i was initially a little surprised to know that it was egg two ways. (but i guess i just hadn't read the description too thoroughly.) the minute this course was served, the room filled with a gorgeous smell. for me, the egg royal was a true delight and perhaps owing to the fact that i'm not partial to semi-cooked eggs, was not a fan of the 63 egg. in fact, to my memory, it was cold and i could barely taste the mushroom duxelles.

third dish of the night was both booboo's and my favourite: "The Sea." a roast jumbo hokkaido scallop accompanied by japanese turnip, samphire, red ogo seaweed and edible pearls. the presentation was exquisite though i was somewhat letdown by the description of edible pearls (plural) when all i could spot on my plate was a single edible pearl.

the next dish that proceeded this should have knocked it further out the park however, disappointingly, my "Popcorn & Chocolate" guina fowl with popcorn sauce was very, very dry and gamey and the pan seared foie gras with chocolate perfumed jus felt disappointingly overdone. so much so that booboo and i were quite confused as to whether it was genuinely foie gras or not. in the end, it was the dish i could not stomach to finish and had to hand it off to booboo to have the rest of.

rounding off the night for us was the dessert "The Egg." whilst i did not mind the white chocolate egg, booboo felt that the exterior was far too thick and difficult to crack into. the vanilla cream pâté i could hardly taste and the fresh fruits i felt served a more decorative purpose. the praline and dark chocolate fuilletine was sadly, forgettable. in my opinion, not the strongest dessert to finish off the night which was sadly quite a letdown as the first three dishes were so strong and did lend quite a formidable crescendo to the evening.

sadly, booboo's cake did not arrive at our table with a birthday candle and as for my personal feedback about the whole experience; it would be that i found the "narration" completely unnecessary— i felt it was poorly executed ergo, did not actually create an air of whimsy as intended. also, the entire "soundtrack" accompanying each transition was very odd and incongruous to the entire experience. there should be perhaps, the consideration for utilising instead ambient sounds. for example, rippling water during "The Sea" portion to emulate the feeling of being underwater or even just general atmospheric noises of a lively/bustling carnival during the "Popcorn & Chocolate" portion. if there was really a desire to level up the whole gig even further, maybe the visuals could be updated and even have the addition of piped in scents to further enhance the experience as a whole.

was it worth the price paid in the end? maybe for the fact that it was a special occasion and our very first dabble in experiential dining. if given the chance, would we do it again? maybe if there're any updates or improvements made to the experience as a whole. otherwise, i'd say been there, done that, got the 50myr vouchers and let's chalk it up to it having been "an interesting night."

happy (belated) birthday to the love of my life.