The Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and that meant one thing: Noche Buena – the traditional Christmas Eve family dinner. As a Filipino, this has always been one of the most important and most awaited gatherings with those dear to our hearts, to feel the warmth and joy of the festive season, to celebrate all that is good and He who is good.

Christmas Eve celebrations in my family are always special every year. It has been a tradition for us to travel especially on the holidays at most and enjoy our Noche Buena in the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring places that our destination had to offer. On 2014, we had our Christmas Eve dinner at Dubai, UAE, with Burj Khalifa just a few meters away from our table. 2015’s Noche Buena was even more majestic when we savored a 5-course meal aboard the lavish La Marina de Paris Siene River Cruise in Paris, France. And this year? It was at the renowned and world-class restaurant atop of the iconic Marina Bay Sands in Singapore: CÉ LA VI.

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Yes, you read it right, at the highest floor of Marina Bay Sands with the entire twinkling Singapore downtown as our backdrop. I couldn’t believe it; I was so thrilled and lucky to be able to get a reservation for me and my family on one of the most busiest nights on the year. (reservation made via email: reservation-sg@celavi.com)

Our reservation was for 10:00 PM, December 24, plus pre-drinks at their Club Lounge at 9:00 PM. So after a long day of strolling around Vivo City, we hurried home at around 7PM to change and get ready for the night’s festivities. (They have a strict “Stylish Chic” dress code policy. No shorts, slippers, tank tops, etc.) We made our way to Marina Bay Sands Tower 3, where the elevator going to the restaurant was located. There was a reception desk in front of the elevator, so you couldn’t enter without the staff validating your reservation. Soon, we were heading up, and in a matter of seconds, we were greeted by the most amazing view of Singapore… and a very strong and humid breeze brought about by the rain earlier that day. Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

One of their staff kindly guided us towards another reception desk inside CÉ LA VI Restaurant to double check our reservation details, then escorted us to the Club Lounge. Dance music and lights were pounding from the inside the lounge, and I was dumbfounded as we entered. It was craaazy – a blur of strobe lights and people having a good time paired with club music blasting from gigantic speakers. They lead us to a table with a “Reserved” sign on it, right in front of the DJ. It made us feel like such VIPs, haha.

Processed with VSCO with g3 presetProcessed with VSCO with g3 presetProcessed with VSCO with a4 presetAfter we had a few light drinks (family friendly, of course), we roamed around the vicinity and enjoyed the magnificent evening view of the picturesque Singapore.Processed with VSCO with g3 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

Before we knew it, it was already 10:00. A table for five was already waiting for us when we arrived at the restaurant, and my heart was elated with awe at the ambience of CÉ LA VI. The lights were dim, the chairs were cozy, and the mellow Christmas music that blended in the chatter of customers was soothing. Candles where lit at every table, giving a more solemn and romantic vibe to the restaurant. There were couples, families, and even bachelors that night who wanted to make their dinner as special as we did. The waiters and staff were ever-accommodating, that despite the place being packed, they were still able to attend to us without any hassle whatsoever. Even the service was faster than I expected.

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Our 3-course dinner was superb and impressive in every way: presentation, taste, and service. They had a huge variety of delectable dishes on the menu for the evening. Our jaw literally dropped at every plate – each had it’s own mouthwatering aroma that was appealing to all senses. We just couldn’t wait to dig in.

 

STARTER

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Crispy-sticky Baby Squid, Stuffed Chicken Wings, & Pan Seared Foie Gras

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MAIN

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Roasted Lemongrass Chicken
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Poached Chicken
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Slow Cooked Norwegian Salmon (personal favorite!)

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DESSERT

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White Chocolate Decadence
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CÉ LA VI Chocolate Fondant
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And of course, dessert is most enjoyed together with coffee and lattes!

 

We relished each meal and had such a great time that our dinner lasted through the stroke of midnight. We all greeted each other a merry merry Christmas, along with everyone else in the restaurant. All-in-all, it was a delightful experience that we would never forget. It made our Noche Buena and our entire stay at Singapore all the more memorable. Definitely a 10/10!

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A big shoutout to Ce La Vi, Singapore! Thank you for having us!

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Live, Laugh, Travel,

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