Over the Vesak Day weekend, the kids and I were invited to Museo, a new boutique restaurant at Sentosa Cove’s Quayside Isle. The swanky fine dining restuarant, with its seamlessly integrated bar concept and painting studio, is by the same people behind Arteastiq Boutique Tea House at Mandarin Gallery, known for their luxury high tea and social painting.
We were invited for an art jamming session in the afternoon, as well as to have tea on the house. Problem is, the only jamming I know involves either music or traffic. What exactly is art jamming?
The concept of art jamming is pretty new in Singapore. Art jamming – which is about being in a relaxing and conducive studio environment and taking time out from the busyness life to a place of creativity and self-expression through art making – is beginning to be quite a hit here.
And here at Museo, it’s impossible NOT to relax. The stunning view from the restaurant overlooking the tranquil quayside and marina area provided the perfect backdrop to chill, with a capital C. And CHILL, we did.
Add to that, a comfy, luxurious daybed to sprawl and people-watch, funky acid jazz playing in the background, and their extensive selection of Specialty Tea Sets, I almost forgot we were there to paint!
Before the kids and I art-jammed, we decided to try their Mezzanine Set ($39) that comes highly recommended by all the people I know who’s been there. Museo does a twist on conventional fine dining by serving food in a cup, and the Mezzanine Set allows you to customise 4 out of 12 entrées to your liking.
It was hard to make a decision because all the food sounded so delicious just by reading their names on the menu. I loved it that all the items on the menu were named after famous artwork by great artists. In the end, I ordered The Great Wave (tuna tataki), Picasso’s Blues (deep fried prawns flavoured with lavender), Smile of Mona Lisa (deep fried camembert cheese served with cranberry sauce), and Joys of Life (smoked roast pork belly served with hot sauce), and a French Rose tea set. Fatherkao went with a smoked salmon salad and a cup of cappuccino for himself.
My favourite has got to be the deep fried prawns with the most delicious and fragrant lavender flavoured dip. Ben loved it too and devoured almost all the prawns, leaving me and fatherkao to try only one each.
Being a meat lover, Becks, my little girl, loved the crackling roast pork belly best. She didn’t have it with the hot sauce; she loved the cranberry dip so much that she licked it clean with every bite of the pork. The deep fried cheese was great but it was a pity I had to eat it without the cranberry dip, thanks to her.
The tuna tataki was freshness in a glass, dressed just right, but quite forgettable, really. The smoked salmon came wrapped in asparagus and was dressed lightly with a generous serving of microgreens. The honey mustard dressing was sweet and I must say, pretty refreshing.
When it was time to get down to art jamming, we were given two canvases, a set of paintbrushes and an iPad to choose any picture we would like to paint. The folks at Museo will print the picture for you in a jiffy, and you can head on to the social painting space and spend as long as you like there and let your creativity explode on canvas.
We started with one canvas first and my grand plan was to paint a picture of the sunset with the kids. Hurhurhur. I haven’t the slightest artistic vein in me, so I wasn’t sure if I would end up drawing an egg yolk instead. My plan was to draw it out and palette the paint first, then have the kids take turn to hold the brush with my guidance. Very ambitious, I know.
Halfway through my sketching, the kids got restless waiting for so long (I am not Picasso huh, deal with it, kids!) and started to monkey around as usual. When we finally started painting, they were upset that they had to wait for their turn and started their usual “hey-when-is-it-my-turn-why-am-I-waiting” bickering with me and each other. When they sat on my lap, they started to ruin the canvas by adding colours not meant for the picture and basically going abstract on me.
Now, I can get pretty task-oriented. Upon seeing my masterpiece go down the drain, getting upset was quite an understatement.
So I decided to let them to go free expression on the second canvas, and that kept them laughing and happy for a long while.
Until they couldn’t agree on what colour to paint their canvas. Becks had decided to paint it almost black, and Ben obviously got quite distraught that his portion got swallowed up in darkness.
That was when I decided, heck my masterpiece. I gave my canvas up to Ben who finally stopped sulking, and watched the two of them go impressionist, then surreal, then abstract, all in one sitting.
I’m glad that towards the end, they had some fun finally. They got very, very dirty, and very, very messy but it didn’t matter. They painted their masterpieces without their mother breathing down their necks. And I was honestly quite happy I didn’t have to wait for the canvases, probably layered thirty times over, to dry, or to bring them back (you have to pay an additional $20 if you want to per canvas).
Methinks art jamming is excellent for parent-child bonding but probably more suitable for older children who are able to follow instructions, appreciate art, and WANT TO paint something decent on the canvas.
- Museo is located at Quayside Isle (Next to W Hotel), 31 Ocean Way, #01-22, Sentosa Cove, Singapore 098375.
- You can get a free canvas for art jamming if you spend a minimum of $20 in your dining bill. Connect with them on their Facebook page for updates and specials.
Disclosure: We were invited to an art jamming session at Museo. We were given a complimentary drink and a passport with F&B discounts. All opinions and text here are Motherkao’s own.