Level 33 was the destination for our August L.A. Lunch. Perched atop tower 1 of the Marina Bay Financial Centre, its imposing loft windows running the entire stretch of the dining hall affords unparalleled views of the CBD skyline and busy port. Naturally, this place attracts the executives and the well-heeled. Reservations are a must, as this restaurant is quite the popular hangout. If you're entertaining a large group, it's best to book at least 2 weeks ahead.
Level 33 aims to change the way you look at beer. The restaurant cum craft brewery pairs artisanal beers with modern European cuisine. On weekdays, it offers a semi-buffet Executive Set Lunch ($33++) that's extremely kind to the wallet. The main courses are cooked a la minute while appetizers and desserts are self-served buffet-style at the Ploughman's Table. Quality of the buffet is maximised as the selection is "capped" small at just about 20 dishes. I like it better this way. Besides, who wants to return to the office a bloated overstuffed cow, right?
There are about 5 types of salads, 3 of the leafy variety and the remaining 2 pasta-based. They were pretty good. Fresh, crisp and refreshing. Romaine Salad with Beetroot Mash
Arugula with Pine nuts and Raisins
Mesclun with Portobello and Corn and Apricots
Macaroni with caramelised onions, corn and sage and kidney beans
Tuna Mayo Penne with oregano and cashews
There was a bunch of cold cuts, which, in my view, can do no wrong. I mean, what's not to love about full-on flavoured cured pork? The Pastrami is my favourite, for its meaty texture.
A couple of chilled seafood lent themselves wonderfully with to the salads. Smoked Salmon
The Poached Prawns, deshelled for convenience, were a tad tasteless but they had good crunch.
A limited Cheese Platter with an assortment of fruity accompaniments.
Cheese drizzled with balsamic vinegar for a piquant lift.
An array of Fresh Cut Fruits to cleanse the palate.
A limited range of desserts, all bite-sized so you can sample everything.
The Peanut Butter Cheescake was topped with a strawberry wedge for a fruity accent.
The Oreo Cheesecake was my fave, with its moist texture and nuanced sweetness.
The Swiss Roll was surprisingly moist but I ain't no big fan of swiss rolls.
The Bundt Cake, with its kueh-like texture, was moist and chewy and soft.
Generic Bread Rolls to fill you up. I would have liked these to be served fresh out of the oven. These were cold and hard when they should have been warm and soft with a crusty exterior.
There aren't a lot of choices for the mains, and methinks you'd do well to stick to the familiar stuff. Classics like the Burger & Chips, a hulking chunk of chargrilled pale ale-infused Angus patty topped with a sunny-side up quail's egg, crisp bacon, crisp lettuce, tomatoes and held together by aged cheddar, truffle mayo, and a chilli onion marmalade, was the best of the lot. This was substantial, meaty, succulent and delicious.
A trio of fat cut chips served alongside a unique dip of blond lager-infused ketchup.
If you aren't up for meat, the Fish & Chips, would be my next pick for the mains. A fillet of fresh creamy dory, lightly battered and flash fried was served atop fat cut chips, crushed peas and house-blend tartare.
The Roasted Angus Sirloin Sandwich with a caramelized onion marmalade, wholegrain mustard and peppery watercress, paled in comparison to the burger. It was lacking in depth and flavour. Again, fat cut chips and the blond lager-infused ketchup were served as sides.
There's a rotating stable of weekly specials for the mains. The Pan Baked Fish Fillet with tomato and black olive ragout, capers and basil oil was pretty good, but I would have thought, based on the description, that this wouldn't have been battered. I would have preferred this grilled instead. Still, it was fresh, moist and well done.
The Preserved Lemon Risotto with zucchini tempura, beetroot and feta puree and dill garnish, was very poorly executed. It was soggy, mushy and waaaay overcooked.
#33-01 Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1
8 Marina Boulevard
Tel: 6834 3133
Open daily from 12noon to 12midnight