Tag Archives: Set Lunch
For a limited time only, from 4 to 15 November 2013, Grand Hyatt Singapore plays host to guest Chef Min-Ku Kang from Park Hyatt Busan, who brings with him the art of traditional Hansik cuisine to be showcased for this year’s Asian Masters.
The menu of Korean specialties which include appetizers, mains, desserts and set meals reflects Chef Kang’s philosophy of food- well balanced rich flavors that are both tasty and nutritious. Diners will be treated to a diverse and delicate range of Korean dishes with both family and friends as they discover the unique characteristics of Hansik cuisine during this Asian Masters Korean Special.
Kick start the gastronomic journey with some appetizers. The Dong Rae Haemul Pajeon $18- a fried flat spring onion pancake brims with fresh prawns and squid, not oily and ideal for sharing while the Nakji Bokkeum $18 with its crunchy springy chopped octopus pieces was tossed with the ubiquitous korean chilli paste sauce that was good but lacked spiciness.
Alternatively, the Gungjung-Topokki $16 makes for a lovely tasting platter with sample portions of stir-fried rice cake, beef and vegetables. All main courses come with an assorted korean namul plate, somewhat like the usual Banchan of kimchi and pickled cucumbers which serves to whet your appetite and keep you munching as you wait for the other dishes to arrive.
This October, Executive Chinese Chef Liu Ching Hai together with Summer Palace present an exquisite 8 Course Dynasty Feast. Each of the eight dishes in the Feast is inspired by a legendary Imperial tale that has been passed down through the ages and as each story unfolds through century-old traditional Cantonese culinary techniques, Chef Liu seeks to take you on an engaging journey traversing the five major dynasties in Chinese history.
Drunken Dong Po Pork
The well-loved Dong Po Pork is given a textural makeover with its fried till crisp exterior that crackles open to reveal a contrasting meltingly-tender pork belly that had been slow braised till all the flavors have been thoroughly absorbed by the meat. With a sprinkle of gold leaves and dash of premium Chinese rice wine added to the mix, the royal factor is upped a notch.
Doubled Boiled Treasures Soup
Chef Liu’s version of the famous “Buddha Jumps Over the Wall” soup nourishes the senses with the addition of quality ingredients such as fish maw, conpoy, cordyceps and sea whelk. This iconic soup was believed to be concocted by the Chefs of the Qing Dynasty and impressed the poets so much that they drew an analogy of Buddha wanting to jump a wall just for a taste after getting a whiff of its aroma.
I have not been to Bangkok in the last 15 years and my unit of measurement for Thai food is at best comparing against the standards of Thai Express. So I am probably not your ideal person to comment on what is good and what can be improved upon when it comes to Thai cuisine. Thankfully, I had along two Thai foodies who know what constitutes a good Pad Thai and how to differentiate quality green curry so I must say this outing was somewhat a learning journey for me.
Prior to my friends’ vehement recommendation of Folks Collective, I had not heard of it before. But once we reached the restaurant, I knew I had to be an isolated case because it was packed with the CBD lunch crowd!
Upon entering the somewhat dark and and dimmed space, located along the row of shophouses of China Square Central, the communal bar counter of alcoholic drinks first greets you before the vintage mismatched furniture and quirky art paintings hanging on the wall do. The next thing that strikes you is that the staff all speak Thai, not only do they greet you in Thai (as do every other Thai establishment), they communicate with each other in Thai as well! I was impressed. One up for the authenticity factor!
The menu at the moment is still in their soft launch phrase but the options for Appetizers & Finger Foods, Soups, Curries, Mains and Desserts are considerably diversified and varied.
We ordered the Signature FOLKS Wings $6.90 which is supposedly one of their best sellers. Problem was, these were not wings but drumlets! My friend who is fan of wings, was very disappointed. Nonetheless, we moved on from that and ate it anyway. Taste wise, although the marinate was sticky sweet with a hint of spice and the chicken itself was fried to a crispy skin that was addictive to munch on, sadly between us, we all agreed it that this appetizer was marginally underwhelming.
The Pad Thai Goong $8.90 seemed promising with its fragrant notes and motley of colors that was extremely appetizing. At first bite, the rice noodles were chewy with the right texture and the overall consistency was not oily. The pad thai sauce however was much too sweet with the absence of a balanced tangy sourness from the tamarind.
The people behind JAAN certainly do have an eye for chefs. Previously home to Chef Andre Chiang, who has since left to start his own restaurant Andre, the fine-dining French restaurant is now helmed by Chef de cuisine Julien Royer, winner of the title ‘The One To Watch’ at this year’s Asia 50 Best Restaurants. JAAN itself was ranked at No. 22.
Perched at level 70 of Swissotel The Stamford, JAAN restaurant boasts of a panoramic view of the Singapore skyline that is simply postcard worthy and quite breathtaking. With no elaborate architecture or snazzy décor, the space itself is decidedly intimate with no more than 13 tables and is simply designed with clean finishes, allowing the picturesque view and artisanal menu to speak for itself.
Chef Julien Royer’s seasonal menu places a heavy emphasis on fresh and sustainable produce, a trait he picked up when growing up in France, as a descendent of four generations of farmers.
JAAN offers 4 different set lunches- the first which we went for, was a 3 course for $68, the second was a 5 course Degustation at $118, the third was the Jardin Gourmand also 5 courses at $118 and the last was the Artisanal Cuisine comprising of 7 courses for $158.
Our gastronomic journey began with an assortment of gourmet snacks, formally known as amuse bouche. We were treated to Smoked Unagi, Cantal Cheese Cromesquis, Chef’s Julien’s own Hummus with a rich and nutty flavor conferred by the Auvergne lentils and accompanied with paper-thin crisp sesame crackers. An extremely delightful beginning that was peppered with a myriad of earthy flavors which paid tribute to Chef Julien’s love for the unadulterated rawness of what the harvest has to offer with each season.
Next, we indulged in a brew of Wild Mushroom Tea, a soothing concoction of Cep Sabayon, bits of grilled Portobello Mushroom and Walnuts, complemented by the subtle sweetness of Lovage and finished with a frothy cap for a touch of elegance.
The bread basket followed soon after, with a concise selection of Truffle Rolls, Mini Baguettes, Walnut Raisin, Dark Rye and Mini Croissants for your pick. I could not get enough of the Truffle Rolls and indulged in at least three servings. Paired with luscious French butter and sprinkled with sea salt, the breads were a definite underrated part of the meal here.
Starting on our meal proper, 2 of us had the 55′ Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg as our appetizer.
Shoebox Canteen along North Canal Road is one of the latest additions to the CBD area to look out for. Diner by day and cocktail bar- Bitters and Love by night, this unique 30 seater space with clean finishes seeks to serve up fuss-free affordable fare to the office crowd. The concept here is simple. Orders and payments are made directly at the cashier before the food is served to your table and you can leave once you are done. This comes extremely handy especially when you have limited time for lunch and want everything to be done “chop chop” so you can be back in the office with a satisfied tummy but still before your boss steps in.
Serving up mainly fusion cuisine with both East and West influences, the menu here changes every 3 weeks or so, just to mix things up for the customers. Set lunches which include a Salmon Rillette + Cream of Mushroom Soup + a choice of main go for only $19 nett while ala-carte mains price from $15-$19 nett.
Our first main was the Ranch Beef Burger served with a homemade beef patty, onion rings and home-cut fries. Though the kitchen did not ask how I wanted my beef to be done, I personally enjoyed the result of having left that option to them. The patty was moist, juicy, made from good quality ground meat. And adding an element of spice was that gherkin relish that had an earthy mustard feel with a subtle sweetness to the burger. The home-cut fries too was enjoyable and I would have loved a bigger portion!