(THE NEW PAPER ) - The latest place for a romantic, wow-worthy view is at the newly opened Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena.
From its all-day dining restaurant Sky 22, you will get an unobstructed view of the district. In the distance, there is the former Mediacorp compound at Caldecott Hill. Squint a little and try to spot Singapore Press Holdings' News Centre in Toa Payoh North.
There are rows and rows of roofs, giving you a sense of how the district is structured.
But you cannot sell a restaurant based on view alone and Sky 22 offers a healthy slant to its food.
It has a Build-Your-Own-Bowl concept ($16) - basically a buffet in a bowl. This is good for light eaters or if you are there just for the view.
But do take a look at its a la carte menu because there are some winners there.
While healthy is the theme here, the Sky 22 Tiger Prawn Laksa Lemak ($24) seems determined not to be and it is one of the best dishes. The gravy is like a blanket of spicy coconut milk - you do not even need the noodles to feel full.
Much lighter but equally tasty is the Oven-Baked Camembert Cheese ($18). This vegetarian option impresses with beautifully cooked portobello mushrooms and walnut pesto.
The Iberico Pork ($36) is well seasoned, tender and juicy, with a lovely side of Chinese spinach.
Less winning is the "Nasi Ulam" Wild Rice Salad ($22). The name prepared me for a bowl of herbal scents and flavours, but this version is oddly bland in spite of strong flavoured ingredients such as ginger flower and toasted coconut. Perhaps, among the sea of flavourful dishes, the subtlety of it stands out for the wrong reason.
The Sky 22 Bubur Cha-Cha Cup ($12) delivers what it promises - a dessert that tastes like bubur cha cha, just deconstructed. The bits of yam and pandan jelly with a rich coconut ice cream makes this a delightful treat.
Overall, this is a nice place to chill out with good enough food to make the trip to the area worthwhile.
Call ahead to book a table with a view if you are on a date. If conversation falls short, at least you can gaze out the window to buy time as you think of topics to talk about.
Where: Level 22, Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena,
99 Irrawaddy Road; tel: 6378-2040