WE TRY: NIKKEI & ARGENTINIAN CUISINE AT THE SKY-HIGH 1-ATICO

Golden hour came and lit the pastel skies into a magnificent show as we started dinner at 1-Atico—its floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of Singapore’s retail heart. Taking over the former Salt Grill and Sky Bar, the new lifestyle destination houses three different concepts under its roof, making it perfect for fickle-minded diners or those seeking different experiences all in a single night.

The vibe here is luxurious yet inviting, with a two-storey layout reminiscent of a penthouse. On the first level, there’s FLNT, a sumiyaki bar and grill whose menu is influenced by Japanese-Peruvian cuisine, while the second level is home to contemporary Argentinian restaurant FIRE. Later this year, the eponymously-named ATICO Lounge will open, rounding up the trio. Brimming with gold and natural wood accents, the space offers a elegant backdrop for both buzzy social gatherings and intimate dinners.

Nikkei Ceviche.

Nikkei cuisine takes centerstage at FLNT, bringing with it Peruvian ingredients molded by Japanese cooking techniques. For the uninitiated, the culinary movement originated from Japanese immigrants, primarily from Okinawa, who arrived in Peru in the late 19th century. The classic ceviche, a hallmark of Nikkei-style dishes, is executed beautifully with fresh cubes of seafood tossed in lime, yuzu, tomatoes, shallots, roasted hazelnuts, and avocado for a refreshing starter. Next, the decadent foie gras taco treated our tastebuds with the rich flavours of grilled foie gras, which was nicely countered by tangy rococo yoghurt, flying fish roe, and a dash of kaffir lime.

From the restaurant’s sumiyaki grill came the wood-fired gindara misoyaki—a grilled cut of miso cod that retained its tenderness while soaking up the smoky scent of white and charcoal binchotan. The inka sushi, though nothing too unusual with its combination of flame-seared salmon and ikura, is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Throughout our meal, we refreshed our palettes with a duo of cocktails, the Mizuame and Nuevo Casa. The former was on the sweeter side, with cognac paired with Kyoho grape sake, blood orange liqueur, and cherry blossom syrup, while the latter offered a welcoming complexity with its mix of citrus-forward ingredients that had a slight bitter edge, such as kumquat, yuzu sake, and Yerba Mate orange tea.

Sourdough brushed with wagyu fat.

Onward at FIRE, our appetites were piqued by Federico’s Legacy, an alcohol-forward cocktail whose recipe was gifted by resident Argentinian ambassador Federico Barttfeld. If FLNT kickstarted our evening on a good note, then FIRE was designed to end it with a bang. As its name suggests, the restaurant prides itself on dishes prepared on an open fire pit and wood hearth parrilla.

The meal started with wood-fired sourdough brushed with wagyu fat and served with Yerba Mate smoked sea urchin butter—an indulgent snack that’s so good, you won’t want to share. Then, communal-style dishes made its way to our table, including Plato de Verduras, a platter of four vegetable dishes including heirloom carrots, new world potatoes “rescoldo”, and wood-fired pimentos with smoked salt. These sides paired wonderfully with the salt-baked whole rainbow trout, which was moist and flavourful at once, as well as the “devesa” Argentinian grain-fed rib, a must-order for lovers of grilled steaks.

Flan “Adriana.”

Although dishes like the mud crab “rescoldo” and patagonian red prawns “parrilla” proved to be rather forgettable, the overall experience was hearty and flavourful. Don’t leave without a taste of the choco torta, a rich chocolate cake served with gianduja sorbet, as well as flan “Adriana”, a custard dessert made with dulce de leche. My favourite turned out to be the alfajores and dulce de leche cookies, a delightful sweet treat to end my meal with.

More information here.

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