We ate a S$168++ meal in S.E.A. Aquarium & saw a giant stingray pee in front of us. Nice.

Worth it or not?

Mandy How | January 24, 2021, 12:53 PM

Aqua Gastronomy is back at S.E.A. Aquarium from Jan. 14 - Feb. 28, 2021.

Photo by Mandy How

Much better photo by RWS.

The pop-up dining experience takes place in igloos pods, right in front of the aquarium's Open Ocean Habitat with more than 40,000 marine creatures swarming about.

It was also sold out for its first iteration, which launched in September last year.

Spring Edition

The Spring Edition is so named after its Chinese New Year theme, which features an "auspicious menu" and "modern Chinese chic décor".

Here's the five-course menu:

Non-seafood/vegetarian alternatives are also available. Image via RWS.

To make it pleb, here's what you'll be basically eating, and our rating of it:

  • A plate of smoked salmon (their interpretation of yusheng) — nice
  • One steamed king prawn with vermicelli — not bad
  • Mini pumpkin mantou — nice
  • Two pieces of braised beef ribs — not bad (getting full by this point)
  • Beef wanton soup (they call it consommé but you get the idea) — okok
  • A slab of steamed fish — nice
  • Chinese sticky rice — okok (really full)
  • A tangerine panna cotta-like thing with a bottom crust and some dessert paraphernalia (crumbles, chocolate, compote and the likes) — not bad
  • Pineapple tart — hmm. 

Photo by Mandy How. Not edited for colour to depict actual setting.

The first course under spotlight. Photo by Mandy How.

Photo by Mandy How

Shoutout to the tasty flatbread. Photo by Mandy How

Photo by Mandy How

Photo by Mandy How

Photo by Mandy How

Photo by Mandy How

Photo by Mandy How

Photo by Mandy How

Photo by Mandy How

The quality of the ingredients were, as expected, above average, as was the intricacy of the dishes' preparation process.

Dining in the dark

The venue was immediately impressive, what with the domes, lighting, and a colossal tank full of life. Everything we ate was elevated by the ambience.

But you're thinking: for S$168++ what was it actually like?

For a start, it was like dining in front of a giant screensaver, except it was very much alive.

Photo by RWS

And we can confirm that because because we saw a stingray excrete (urinate, if we had to hazard a guess) in the middle of our meal.

Delightful. But probably not for the fish around it.

It was a little strange to eat so much seafood (sustainable seafood, Resorts World Sentosa emphasises) in front of other energetically animated seafood, but ah well.

Some time during the two-hour session, two divers appear in the tank in the form of a dragon dance.

Photo by Mandy How

To top off the experience, each course is served with an accompanying voiceover (think announcements in the MRT stations), narrating a Chinese folktale.

There are a couple more surprises at the back, but we'll keep those as they are — surprises.

At one point, though, the novelty of the setting does wear off, and you're left squinting your eyes to make out your dinner.

Price evaluation

View from our pod. Photo by Mandy How

For the five-course menu above, it's S$138++ for RWS members and S$168++ for non-members.

There is a a minimum spend of S$600 nett per pod (accommodates up to six guests), or S$350 nett per table (accommodates up to four guests).

(Note: The tables, which are not housed in igloo pods, are in the same area, albeit further back.)

For all its branding and theatrics, we'd say it's not as highly priced as we thought it would be, but you should still be prepared to splash a fair bit of cash, especially after taxes.

One aspect that could possibly help to justify the cost is the fact that you're probably going to remember the meal for quite a while.

The experience is already fully booked for both seatings on Chinese New Year Eve (Feb. 11), and the Spring Edition will also be its last run, ever.

Details

Address: Open Ocean Habitat, S.E.A. Aquarium

(Accessible by a dedicated entry beside Ocean Restaurant, via the B1 West carpark)

Date and time:

Jan. 14 - Feb. 28, 2021

Thursdays to Tuesdays (closed on Wednesdays, except eve of Public Holidays or Public Holidays)

First seating: 6pm - 8pm

Second seating: 8:30pm - 10:30pm

Prices:

  •  S$138++ for RWS members
  • S$168++ for non-members.

Minimum spend of S$600 nett per pod (accommodates up to six guests), or S$350 nett per table (accommodates up to four guests).

To reserve: book via their website, call 6577 6688, or email [email protected]

Top image by RWS and Mandy How