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Fine Dining I Favour

Fine Dining I Favour

When you feel like spoiling yourself, these are great places to try.
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua
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This is Wagyu beef rice elevated to epic status with foie gras and a flurry of green pea snow.
I loved how rich the grains of rice tasted and although I’m not too fond of peas generally, this was an exception as the preparation style was unique, and it complemented the meatiness in the dish.
At the end of the night, quite a number in our group of diners chose this as their favourite from the multi-course Gastronomic Menu Chef Aitor had prepared for us.

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Slippery and springy, these thick noodles are of a different species altogether. And I mean that quite literally as they are made from the skin of swine. Thus explaining the firm gelatinous texture and porky flavour. Chef Aitor serves his “pork noodles” with a juicy chunk of abalone and kabura (a type of Japanese turnip) in a light but richly flavoured broth of Jamon bone and pepper, poured on only in front of you. Once you give things a stir, a vibrant purple rushes up, colouring the contents of the small bowl. That’s from the dried beetroot lying in wait at the bottom.
I adored this dish. It’s easily one of my top three picks from the Gastronomic Menu at Iggy’s. My only complaint would be there was not enough (but I’m greedy like that 😂😂).
Anyway, if you are keen to try, please note this menu requires a group of at least 6 pax, and a few days’ advance notice as several of its dishes need a lot of preparation time.

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Sending a shiver of pleasure through me was this triumvirate of aburi Toriyama Wagyu, Kaluga Queen caviar and an ultra-light rice cracker.
Individually, the beef and caviar were formidable: the former was all melt-in-the-mouth outright sexiness while the latter pulled unsuspecting victims into the depths of creamy oceanic sensuousness. Placed together on the pristine white stage of crunch, I felt their duet drown out my surroundings with one bite. For that brief moment in time, reality fell away as my senses got pulled in. I was so very joyfully lost.
And now you know why it’s my favourite of the three marvelous snacks that preceded our Basque-inspired gastronomic menu proper.

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That’s cocktail hour right there, condensed into a quivering sphere.
With careful lifting, the caipirinha encased in the thinnest transparent skin and the slightly bitter, peppery shiso leaf upon which it rested, made it to my mouth safely (I am quite the klutz so it’s no mean feat). When the lightest pressure was applied, an explosion took place, flooding my mouth instantly in the cool, refreshing alcoholic liquid. I love how chewing the shiso leaf at the same time made this familiar drink so much more interesting.

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One of the dinner courses we had not too long ago was this very sizeable serving of “Foie Gras Torchon” which is something similar to a terrine but shaped and cooked slightly differently.
Woven through it were trails of coarsely-ground Kampot pepper from Cambodia, regarded by many chefs around the world as the best due to its complex and fragrant character.
I like that the thick disc of heavy, smooth foie gras was served with a slice of toasted milk bread. The lightness of it helped to offset the rich, dense creaminess of the peppery foie gras.

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These exquisite beauties were another of the delectable snacks from our dinner at CURE.
Cradled in the thin, crisp tart was beef tartare mixed with some Chinese celery mayo. Not that any of it was visible as purple sorrel was strewn across the top. The fresh herb didn’t merely prettify things but introduced a bright lemon flavour to each bite. We loved it.

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I N V I T E D T A S T I N G
When I walked into the restaurant, I was wondering why was there a patch of grass on every table. The moment Resident Head Chef Benjamin Halat appeared with a picnic basket and started unpacking, it all became clear. I was about to have a picnic! 😄 What a creative and playful way to launch a Spring/Summer menu.
After the picnic mat was spread, he and his team proceeded to bring over numerous snacks and drinks to lay over it. These were all very refined interpretations of his German heritage. That’s how with this opening course he’s named “Brotzeit” (literally it means “bread time” but figuratively, it is where one mixes and matches breads, cheese and cold cuts for a light evening meal), I got to try the following:
1) Sourdough with “obatzda” (cheese spread), “schmaltz” (a bacon fats spread) and butter.
2) “Krabben Broetchen” - the classic North German comfort food of shrimp sandwich was reborn here as a thin pastry shell filled with amaebi prawns and shrimp remoulade.
3) “Leberwurst Brot” - this single bite was composed of foie gras, house-pickled cucumber, dark beer bread chips, cucumber and cucumber flower.
4) “Radi & Rauch” - inspired by summer BBQs, this featured smoked trout with daikon.
5) “Schweinshaxe & Sauerkraut” - a little ball of collagen-rich pork knuckle with sauerkraut.
6) “Almdudler” - based on a famous lemonade made with 52 herbs that many would drink while hiking the alps, the mini bottle of liquid was concocted from scratch in-house.
7) “Radler” - Chef’s take on the popular shandy involved lemon espuma squirted onto a tiny mug of German beer. Very cute and super refreshing.
Besides the obvious photogenic qualities of this first course, I found it really interesting to experience classic German dishes redefined into elegant fine dining bites. It definitely set the tone for the rest of the meal.

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That isn’t lava bubbling up from the depths of the earth’s core. It’s marinated trout roe (ikura) cushioned with labneh, cradled in a crisp rice cracker.
Although a couple of the roe did try to make a break for it (I caught nearly every one), it was a tasty thing.
The coupling of the briny ikura and the strained-dryish yogurt couldn’t help but give me an impression of this being a cool take on classic lox and cream cheese, which I like very much by the way.
Loved that Cure spoils customers with such interesting snacks before the arrival of our selected courses.

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Here’s a snack that‘s a feast for the eyes and a surprise in the mouth. Why? Because the dumpling skin is actually cured hirame (flounder)! I recommend popping the entire thing in your mouth. Don’t try to cut through the extremely thin slice of soft, chewy fish as it isn’t easy. My fellow foodies Johnathan and Abbey can attest to that.
And although the filling is a soft-cooked, mildly-flavoured eggplant, the pool of sauce is a bold cocktail of mirin, shoyu and sanpai vinegar. So a little goes a long way.
Just to be clear, the kinome leaf wasn’t present for the sake of eye candy as it delivered a vital aromatic, peppery hit.

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Even my friend Abbey who claims to not be a fan of desserts, was quite taken by this giant opalescent pearl of a palate-cleanser.
Once that crisp sugar shell was tapped just hard enough, it cracked to reveal a luscious filling of peach compote, peach granita and peach sorbet.
All of us loved the refreshing taste of this and that its sweetness level was pitch perfect.

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My fellow foodie friends and I were bowled over by the food we had here. Starting from the opening act when new-ish Head Chef Kenneth Foong appeared with a snack of their take on the Linzer Cookie (made from Parmesan sable, chicken liver mousse and raspberry jam) until Chef-Owner Andrew Walsh came bearing a dessert of Chocolate Pandan Coconut. And what a stunner this was.
We were exclaiming non-stop from its appearance until its disappearance into our bellies, but there’re undoubtedly two big “wow” moments. First was when Chef-Owner Andrew opened the claypot to reveal the crackling cold nitrogen-frozen chocolate. The second was when we realised how divine pandan curd, coconut sorbet, chocolate tuile and coconut mousse taste together.
He later shared with us that his inspiration for this was from the kaya toast given by the uncle at “Tong Ah Eating House” located a few units down from them. It was his way of thanking Cure after they had donated a few pieces of furniture to him. Goes to show being a good neighbour can be really rewarding.

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I was completely dazzled by the finely-tuned flavours of this brilliant formation of Hokkaido scallop, caviar, fava beans and sunchoke-dill emulsion. Even my fellow diner Khai with his very discerning palate, voted it as his favourite of the night, along with the Handmade Agnolotti with English Peas.
A completely new creation by Chef de Cuisine Greg Bess, this was one of the courses in this season’s Chef’s Tasting Menu we had recently.
It is such dishes that lead me to always recommend the multi-course menu to those who message me directly asking what they should order at Spago. I honestly think it is the most wonderful way to get to know the unique cuisine served here.

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Can't cook to save my life but boy, can I eat! 😄 (I pay for all my meals unless otherwise stated)

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