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This was the last savoury course by Chef-owner Shigeru Koizumi from our dinner last night.

A simple yet stunning dish, it featured Sanma (Pacific Saury) cooked with ginger and spring onions. After being presented to us as shown in my photo above, one of the chefs went promptly to work, breaking up the grilled pieces of Sanma to mix them in (rather aggressively I might add but not that I mind - aggression is sexy...) with the rice. By the time the contents of the pot was scooped into the waiting wooden bowls, the fish had become so fine and well-integrated with the rice grains, it was nigh impossible to tell them apart.

Fresh (not chilled, nor farmed) ikura was spooned on as the last touch. The taste was truly sublime. Of course I had to have seconds.

H O S T E D

Only until 15th November 2019 is the Aki Matsuri Omakase Dinner Menu available at Fat Cow. It is one designed for Wagyu lovers as Head Chef Shigeru Kasama and his team (including Chef Nigel Loh who served us when we visited) have flexed their creative muscles to develop a menu that showcases the best of Kumamoto beef in various preparation styles. Priced at $250++ per pax, the 12-course set is sheer indulgence as it comprises of:

1. Aki Chinmi Moriawase - this platter has a glass of Fat Cow’s own sake warmed up, shark soft bone, abalone liver, koji miso on Wagyu, cream cheese miso yaki and tsubugai umani.

2. Snow Crab Chawanmushi with kani miso sauce: the rich sauce is marvelous with the egg.

3. Shimofuri Wagyu Sashimi Negimaki: we found the raw slices of beef with leek, gold leaf and three sauces very delicious.

4. Kaki Ume Wan: comforting seafood soup with an oyster.

5. Seiro Mushi: one of my two favourites from the menu, the extremely soft beef tastes incredibly refine as it’s steamed with pure spring water from Kyoto.

6. Sukiyaki: the other favourite of mine is this course with beef simmered briefly in a sweetish sauce and served with raw egg and freshly shaved truffle.

7. Aki Tempura Moriawasi: this delectable assortment of battered ingredients include shiso leaf-wrapped Wagyu tenderloin, large, sweet chestnuts, gingko nuts and shimeji mushroom, sprinkled in some sea salt flakes.

8. Zabuton Grill: sinking my teeth into the thick, juicy slices of charcoal-grilled Wagyu chuck flap left me in a state of bliss.

9. The Fat Cow Wagyu Sandwich: the very soft toasted buttery brioche and breaded Miyazaki A4 chateaubriand tastes even better swiped through the accompanying tangy sauce.

10. Wagyu Striploin Aburi Nigiri Sushi: served in a glass bowl and topped with Bafun uni, this is “surf & turf” in premium form.

11. Chef’s Special Donabe Truffle Meshi: cooked using pure spring water from Kyoto, the supremely fragrant and appetising Japanese claypot rice has truffle shaved on right in front of you. If you decide to skip second helpings, Chef will pack the remainder in a box with more truffle for you to take home.

12. Musk Melon and Yuzu Ice-cream: ending the decadence with sweet fruit and citrus coldness is lovely.

Every guest is given an elegant sake cup as a souvenir too. I like the design a lot because to me, it looks like Mount Fuji when it’s upside-down.

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M E D I A T A S T I N G
“YES, YES, YES" is only answer when an invitation to Esora comes your way (thank you Annette!).
When I entered the restaurant, it was apparent Autumn had arrived with beauty and grace in their beautiful space. Framed by the updated floral centrepiece behind the open kitchen, Chef-owner Koizumi and his team worked quietly, as though in deep reverence of the fine ingredients they handle.
Our menu, curated by Chef himself, comprised of lunch and dinner items. We also got to try the tea-pairing as well. A few people had told me it elevates the dining experience - they‘re right. The five teas, of which only one was served hot, complemented the dishes very well, adding new flavour dimensions of floral, smoky, milky and vanilla-sweetened, to each deliciousness.
We began with Chef Koizumi's special dashi, an opener-of-appetite made of two kinds of kombu and a touch of yuzu. An airy-light monaka wafer sandwiching foie gras terrine, Japanese persimmon and a myoga salad was next. Then came the inevitably-breathtaking Esora Hassun, a tableau on a tray with the splendour of the season captured in six edibles nestled in fall’s vivid foliage. We enjoyed them in the recommended sequence, starting with the barracuda sushi in nori wrap and ending with the Shiitake mushroom flan adorned in abalone before cleansing our palate with a Japanese gooseberry. Chef’s wife Maasa arrived at this point, bearing a pot with a stunningly presented pigeon prepared in two ways, and plated with lime kosho. The closing carb of hairy crab donabe was exceptional - so comforting and sweet with plenty of shredded crab meat.
For dessert, we had a pretty pear sorbet that reminded Annette of her favourite Solero popsicle. After that was the magnificent wasanbon caramel ice-cream served with housemade kuromitso and an avalanche of finely grated Tokushima white truffle. It was ambrosial! Autumn’s petit fours tasted as lovely as summer’s (the melon ice-cream mochi was for me, the best of the lot).

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Somehow I was under the impression I would be having the same menu as on my first visit but nope, Chef-owner Rishi told me he would be swopping a few of the courses in my 7-course Tasting Menu for new ones since it was my second time at Cloudstreet. Yay!
Shown above is one of them - an outstanding creation of raw Spanish prawns in a pool of chilled Japanese tomato purée. The flurry of chunky olive oil and lemon juice “snow” that Chef covered it with upon serving, melted quite rapidly, to layer on silkiness to the tang. On the side was a single prawn head given a tempura treatment. Hot and crispy, it was the best thing to munch on after the cold components of the dish had slipped down my throat. I loved it! And judging by the reactions of my fellow diners, you can tell they were just as excited. I kid you not - another trip to the restaurant was already in discussion based on this course alone.
So I for one, am all for this practice of switching out courses in the Tasting Menu for repeat diners. It entices multiple visits since there is always that element of surprise to look forward to (well, on top of Cloudstreet’s fantastic constants such as their glazed licorice bread and porcini cream mushroom dessert).

Chef Ming Kiat is gifted in unshackling the DNA of traditional flavours and harnessing it, along with the “feeling”, to create shockingly sublime dishes that leave you staring at them in awe as you eat. The current menu (it changes monthly) has some of the most imaginative and delicious tasting Mod Sin (Modern Singaporean) creations that have ever landed on my palate. With each (details listed below), I was astounded, dazzled and ultimately, satisfied to no end. Here is the complete list:

1. Insanely good opener of seared local squid, in a laksa leaf pesto, enlivened with pickled green apple and a kerabu (Asian salad) of wing bean, mint and red onions.

2. Chockfull of Hokkaido scallop and fish maw, the chawanmushi was steamed in a stock of dried seafood and Jinghua ham, and topped with a very umami housemade X.O sauce. Extremely flavourful and a favourite of many.

3. Highly imaginative course of Ebi Katsu (crunchy prawn and fish patty) in a pool of Chef Ming’s tartare sauce which was concocted from fish chowder, turmeric leaf, laksa leaves, coriander and belimbing.

4. The herbal duck and Japanese mushrooms hot pot is a great example of minimal waste done to really tasty results. While the bones were brewed with Chinese medicinal herbs, the thighs were made into meatballs and the body meat, sliced and poached.

5. One of my favourites was the dish derived from Indonesian Soto soup featuring local grouper. Roast chicken stock was reduced to a “bumbu” (spice paste) and enriched with butter to become a velvety-smooth and terrifically aromatic gravy. Served with it, a smoked fish bergedil that was good on its own but better soaked in the gravy.

6. Chef Ming’s version of his mum’s Popiah Porridge is pure comfort food. The taste was sweet and savoury due to the simmering of turnip, carrots, cabbage, “hae bee” (dried shrimp) and Japanese rice in a potent prawn stock.

7. Peranakan meets Italian in the form of fresh egg noodles with buah keluak oxtail ragout. Adding sambal belachan and fresh lime juice brought the rich earthy flavours of the ragout to another level.

8. Nothing is straightforward with this team. For a palate cleanser, Chef Shin Yin made us a sorbet of cold-pressed star fruit juice and served it on Japanese muscat grapes and pomelo from Ipoh.

9. Baked a la minute, the piping hot orange sugee cake came with a scoop of spiced ice-cream that’s made in-house with cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. I doubt there could be a more perfect ending to this amazing meal.

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This was a very good recommendation for dimsum by our server Sook Xian.
Panfried on the outside, the “sandwich” of shredded yam and pumpkin was crispy on the outside. Once you bite through the lightly crunchy exterior, you will encounter gently sweet softness in-between. It is this lovely contrast makes it a most delightful item which I am sure many will find irresistible.

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H O S T E D
I find the new menu at the elegant Preludio to bounce, propelled by sweetness surfacing in a few of the courses, starting with the snack of chicken liver macaron with wild cherries and black truffle.
From the world’s biggest lagoon comes the next delicacy, the Obsiblue prawn. Having been vacuumed and steamed for a “marbled” effect, it is almost unrecognisable as a crustacean but tastes really good with chorizo and hazelnuts.
Earning my vote for the most fun dishes are the “Deadliest Catch”, a crab salad decked out in grilled piquillo peppers, avocado mousse, coconut jelly and corn sorbet, and “Make It Pop”, the coffee-glazed foie gras terrine that dares to play dress-up with passionfruit spheres, smoked olive oil powder, popping candy and a splash of @rachelletherabbit mead.
Following that, a course I liked a lot, the lightly-cooked Nantucket scallop on velvety salted corn cream inked with black garlic sauce.
Two of the three savoury courses which arrive after this were familiar to me as they have been on the menu since Preludio opened. Executive Chef Fernando explained that the “La Cortina” - butternut squash and amaretto agnolotti topped with Parmesan sauce, almond snow and 25-year-aged balsamic vinegar, and “Pata Negra” - the glazed Iberico pork with apple and white carrot purée, datterini tomatoes and mizuna, have become so popular he has kept them on the menu. Daring but enjoyable is how I would describe “Aneo”, the course presented between those two. Served in a prawn broth with white chocolate drops, the Patagonian toothfish has “scales” of thinly shaved almonds and macadamia.
The menu ends off with two divine creations by Pastry Chef Elena. First, an exquisite take on the “Strawberry Milkshake”. I love the crisp white chocolate layered with strawberry and vanilla, accompanied by milk ice-cream. The second is “Alba” - a sublime combo of stout cake, cherries, hazelnut, plum, black winter truffle and hazelnut ice-cream.
As lovely as the alcohol-pairing is (expect the likes of natural wines, sake and Spanish port), teetotallers can have a field day too as the non-alcoholic pairing is fueled with marvelous concoctions such as sparkling yuzu with ginger, pineapple kombucha and an earl grey-coffee with muddled cherries, preserved lemon and pop rocks.

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H O S T E D
Set in an intimate 15-seater space, this Japanese restaurant has a very specific seasonal menu by Executive Chef Fukashi Adachi. It employs precise preparation and cooking techniques for what is stated in their press release as “the rarest and best of breed thoroughbred Black Wagyu from Kyushu, Japan”. With experience spanning more than two decades at well-known restaurants in the U.S. as well as Asia, Chef Fukashi frames his omakase menu along the theme of the seven natural elements. Here is how you can expect the $220++ Wagyu Steak Special Menu to unfold:

1. First, the dreamily-named Sakizuke “Trio Elements” with mozuku seaweed from Okinawa, sake-marinated ikura and tomburi. Light, briny, lovely.

2. Then, very thin slices of #Wagyu carpaccio are topped with freshly shaved black truffle for an aromatic creation.

3. Piping hot Wagyu croquette with freshly grated wasabi comes next - crunchy coating, softness within plus pungent heat are a great combo.

4. The refreshing and protein-packed Wagyu Shabu Shabu Salad is to be mixed up with the onsen egg, mizuna green salad leaves, shredded mountain yam and shaved Bonito flakes to be eaten.

5. Main course of Kagoshima Wagyu A4 Sirloin is grilled over Japanese bincho tan till a perfect medium rare and served with vegetables and sauces.

6. Chef Fukashi thinks the beef is best enjoyed with rice so he serves a fragrant bowl of Takikomi Gohan that’s prepared with beef tendon and sweet corn.

7. Miso clam soup - steaming hot and comforting.

8. Dessert is a platter of Kyoho grapes, yuzu sorbet plus an interesting and delicious fusion panna cotta made with sake lees and coconut.

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Ranked no. 10 on #Asias50best and no. 59 on the #Worlds50best Restaurants list, as well as having been pinned with a MICHELIN Star, it’s little wonder “Burnt Ends” remains one of my all-time favourite restaurants in Singapore. Even friends who visit from overseas have this place on their must-try list, which is why a small group of us ended up there for a slap-up feast a few days ago.
We chose the “Chef’s Select” which means we left it to Chef Dave and his team to decide what we get fed. I prefer this arrangement nowadays as I feel it is the best way to try more items from their menu. Moreover it’s fun due to the element of surprise. All you need to do is let them know how hungry you are a.k.a. how much you are willing to spend (the gauge is between $180++ to $250++ per head) and of course, do inform them if there is anything you don’t eat as well. Then sit back, relax, order a cocktail and/or a glass of wine and be prepared to have your socks knocked off.
I loved all the food that came our way that night - from the classics (if these items were ever to be removed from the menu, it would trigger a riot for sure) to the new stuff dreamed up by the Burnt Ends team. Admittedly, I still have my favourites from this collection of greatness. They would be the meltingly-soft Onglet Steak served with bone marrow, burnt onion sauce and watercress salad, the Burnt Leek in burnt butter sauce plated with roasted hazelnuts and black truffle, the caviar-topped “Steak Frites” and the juicy Jamaican Chicken with lime crema. All of these were exceptional to the nth degree.
From amongst the onslaught of fabulous desserts that came our way, the tiramisu ice-cream puffs and sourdough ice-cream embellished with white chocolate and freshly shaved black truffle were the two that had us the most awestruck.

What. An. Epic. Meal. Truly,

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This dish of Western Australian Marron with Millet cooked in two ways - simmered in Sri Lankan Yellow Curry and toasted, was hands-down, my favourite from amongst everything we had.
The crustacean was exceedingly fresh and sweet, plus it was cooked perfectly so it had a nice bouncy bite to it.
The accompanying grains of millet, especially the portion cooked in the curry, was deeply aromatic, intoxicating in complexity, and had enough spiciness to keep it exciting.
I feel this course also happens to be the most obvious in terms of showcasing Chef-owner Rishi Naleendra’s Sri Lankan heritage, something I hope he continues to build on at Cloudstreet.

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Our very first snack set the tone for the rest of our dinner very well.
Swaddled in betel leaf and grilled, the warm oysters arrived on their shells, luxuriating in a bath of coconut milk and basil oil, and finished with pops of refreshing finger lime. So lush, flavourful, sensuous... this only made me even more excited for what was to arrive next.

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A seafood I like a lot is the octopus but some places don’t prepare it well, leading to tough rubberiness. Bar Cicheti is however, not one of those places. Their rendition of it was undoubtedly one of the most impressive I’ve had.
Besides boasting a spot-on tender bite to it, the natural sweetness of the octopus had the audacious company of a pull-no-punches salsa verde and a solid back-up chorus of chickpeas. Highly recommended.

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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