Italian-American ‘vibe dining’ concept, LAVO, opened its first restaurant in Las Vegas ten years ago and is still as popular. They have another restaurant in New York which was launched seven years back and have now expanded into Asia with a restaurant on the 57th floor Skypark of the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel Tower 1 in Singapore.
LAVO Singapore is a collaboration between Marina Bay Sands and Tao Group. The latter is one of America’s most profitable nightlife, entertainment and dining businesses, with more than 30 venues to its name. Lavo Singapore is the Tao Group’s first venture into Asia.
What make LAVO stands out from other restaurants is their “vibe dining” concept of making dining a mix of club and entertainment. As you step into the restaurant, it feels more like you are entering a hip nightclub, with live music and cheery wait staff waltzing through.
LAVO Singapore was launched on New Year’s Eve in 2017 with a private party hosted by actor-singer Jamie Foxx, with hip-hop DJ Ruckus spinning. It officially opened to the public from 8 Jan, starting with dinner service and with lunch and brunch added along the way. Since then, LAVO has built up a solid following and was packed when I visited for a tasting session on a Friday evening.
Music and entertainment aside, the restaurant serves Italian-American fares in huge, hearty American-sized portions. Their signature dish is their one-pound meatball (S$38) made from ground wagyu, veal shoulder and Italian sausage. This was really good and I would recommend it as a must-try item when dining at LAVO.
What’s great about LAVO is that there is no pretentiousness on its part to be a fussy fine-dining establishment, serving up jumbo portions of comfort food which you are welcome to indulge while moving to the groove of the live music.
Other dishes I tried include:
As you can see from the presentation of the dishes, there is nothing over-the-top or too fancy about them. What matters is that they taste good, comes in huge, hearty portions and you can have a fun dining experience.
The standout dishes for me were the meatball, octopus and the mains. The meatball is succulent and flavourful with hints of sweetness from the sautéed onion used while the octopus was grilled to perfection.
For the mains, the steak is served with LAVO’s house steak sauce, grilled lemon, roasted garlic clove, fried peppers and crispy thyme, presenting both savoury and sweet flavours with hints of bitterness from the char broiler. The black cod is marinated, pan-seared and finished in the oven and paced atop a bed of heirloom cherry tomatoes in a creamy and tart butter sauce, accompanied with crispy fried portobello mushrooms.
I am not a fan of desserts, but if you like desserts, LAVO’s various dessert creations will be a hit for their huge serving – order one and it’s enough to share around the table for a few pax. Just look at the size of their 20-layer peanut butter chocolate cake:
All the dessert items seem to be deliberately crafted to be sinfully indulgent, challenging you to finish it all up on your own.
The 20 layer cake features layers of cake with a creamy peanut butter mascarpone tucked in between and stacked twenty layers high; finished with a chocolate ganache and peanut brittle for the extra crunch to the soft fluffy texture.
The Nutella Budino is a creamy custard-like hazelnut and chocolate pudding topped with crushed pistachios, sea salt and whipped cream.The New York Cheesecake Sundae looks like a deconstructed dish, with bits of cheesecake dipped in white and dark chocolate, surrounded by a scoop of home-made strawberry gelato, topped with balsamic macerated strawberries and finished with strawberry coulis, whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
The full starter and main course menu is available here and the dessert and drinks menu here.
Prices may seem steep at LAVO, but for the Marina Bay Sands rooftop view, live music and entertainment plus the hearty portion sizes, it’s reasonable and probably the reason why the restaurant is quickly building up a following with the night out community in Singapore.
LAVO Italian Restaurant & Rooftop Bar, Hotel tower 1, Sands SkyPark (Level 57) Marina Bay Sands