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Food I have enjoyed at pop-ups and events.
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

H O S T E D
Being a sucker for pork, I was immensely curious about the taste of Budou-buta, the “Grape Pork” from Japan that Bedrock has brought in for this festive season. So I said yes at once when I received the dinner invitation.
Of the three dishes featuring the premium pork created by Executive Isaac Tan and his team, the Pulled Pork and Shrimp Sandwich ($48++) was the one that swept both my dining partner and I off our feet.
It’s an extraordinarily tasty combination of the very tender Japanese pork with just the right amount of truffle mayo between slices of brioche. Now, the brioche itself deserves special mention because it‘s crazy buttery in fragrance and possessed an otherworldly airy-lightness.
Honestly, I found the sandwich impressive enough to warrant a return visit but its accompaniments sealed the deal. The in-house pickled cucumber and chillies provided the perfect counterpoint to the rich sandwich while the highly-addictive crispy-fried potato straws contributed extra texture to the overall. I am glad @momofuku doesn’t do potatoes because it meant I could inhale the entire heap freely.
It may not be obvious in my video but the portion is huge. If you have a smallish appetite, sharing might be a good idea. But make sure you don’t miss out on trying other items when you’re at Bedrock, like the deliciously complex Smoked Tomato Soup, the ever-popular and decadent signature Mac ‘n’ Cheese or the well-seasoned Roasted Bone Marrow.

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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 P R E V I E W
To put things in perspective, as much as I enjoyed myself at the pre-event tasting for @whiskylivesingapore thanks to the unbridled enthusiasm, passion and incredible knowledge of Maison Du Whisky’s Trade Marketing Manager Sebastien and Bar Manager Joey, I know in my bones it was but mere fumes rising off a whisky distillery when placed in context. Afterall, we are talking about the event being “Southeast Asia’s largest premier whisk(e)y and spirits showcase”.
Organised by French spirits house La Maison du Whisky, #WhiskyLiveSingapore will take place on the 9th and 10th November at Andaz Singapore, and promises to be extra special as it’s their 10th edition. So all stops have been pulled as they aim to drop jaws and floor everyone with a multi-faceted celebratory extravaganza.
Whether you are a connoisseur or beginner (I am definitely the noob while Burppler Kenneth Lee and Burpple Tastemaker Russell fall somewhere in between), you can look forward to treating your tastebuds to more than 70 brands of spirits from artisanal to rare collectibles, and to rub shoulders with master distillers, producers, brand ambassadors and industry experts. I suggest clearing your schedule to “Sip, Share & Shop” your way across the six immersive experiences lying in wait - the Masterclasses, Cocktail Class Rooms and the Collectors Room with its rare and old whiskies sound particularly exciting to me.
There is no doubt #WhiskyLiveSingapore is determined to be an event to remember. Or not, depending on how much you enjoy yourself😜.

To find out more and to book your pass, please visit www.whiskylive.sg

You can also purchase the passes at La Maison du Whisky at 80 Mohamed Sultan Road, #01-10 The Pier, Singapore 239013. Or at the door on November 9th and 10th.

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Even though I had plans that night, there was no way I wouldn’t stop by the “Kebab Party” thrown by Meatsmith Little India. I mean, how often do you get to stuff your face on freshly-made, warm chickpea naan cradling different delicious fillings by Resident Chef Kurt Sombero and his Guest Chefs, right? (The correct answer is about once every 3 months but that isn’t the point here 😆).
Not that it was in any way a competition but I‘d say Chef Kurt’s “Butter Chicken” resonated strongest with me. Big, tender pieces of smoky grilled meat came smothered in a kickass curry gravy rich in Indian spices, and juxtaposed by cool, crisp pickled veg - what a mouthwatering combo. That’s irrefutable proof right there again of Chef Kurt’s knack for spinning palate-dancing flavours.
The Lokal’s Chef Darren Farr’s Vietnamese-inspired “Pork Banh Mi” leaned towards a lighter, cleaner taste profile with slices of the meat dressed in a pretty melange of fresh herbs and sauces. Keeping in line with Chef Darren’s style of cooking, he made everything from scratch too. I am glad I started with his creation as it allowed me to appreciate its flavours better.
The third was the “Sabab” by Japanese Chef Sho Naganuma. It featured a hefty piece of spice-rubbed, grilled mackerel. T’was a rather interesting mash-up of condiments on that naan but it was the smoky fish that I was drawn to the most.

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H O S T E D
Wagyu fans, this is for you.
Located on the 55th level of ION Orchard (yes, spectacular views of Singapore are guaranteed when you dine here) has created a special “Meat To Share” platter. It features 500gms of prime Wagyu Ribeye blanketed in Manjimup Truffle, accompanied by the tastiest of sides.
The steak is from @Westholme, an Australian company that has bred Wagyu cattle for over two decades. The proprietary nutritional feed and free-roaming arrangement for their cattle to graze on pristine tracts of native grass result in meat that’s highly impressive in quality and flavour. Executive Chef Jake serves it carefully charred on the outside but still a gorgeous pink within, so you can be sure every bite of that smoky, ridiculously tender juiciness segues into a knee-weakening #beefgasm.
Now let’s examine the company the Ribeye keeps. There’s a serving of hand-cut chips (a.k.a. chunky fries) dusted with herb salt, a vine of slow-roasted sweet tomatoes glossed in aged balsamic, as well as perky crisp baby romaine lettuce over which buttermilk-cured yolk is crumbled.
As for sauces, you have chimichurri, Madeira jus and aioli fighting for your attention. I must admit though, I loved my steak bare as the default sprinkle of sea salt flakes was all it needed to make my mouth water.

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H O S T E D
With everything that is going on in Hongkong right now, it was a touch-and-go situation for the scheduled 4-hands by Executive Chef Daisuke of One MICHELIN Starred “Takumi by Daisuke Mori” and Chef Benjamin Halat of CURATE. Fortunately, things turned out favourably and the dining event is proceeding as planned, starting from today till 22nd August.
An alumni of Three and Two Michelin Starred restaurants in Tokyo and Paris respectively, Chef Daisuke brings his style of exquisite French haute cuisine showcasing Japanese ingredients to the “Art at CURATE” collaborative menu (4-course lunch: $138++ per pax, 8-course dinner: $308++ per pax). Included are dishes such as his iconic squid ink barley risotto with lotus root and squid, topped with shimmering flakes of silver leaf, and his shabu-shabu-style of Kinmedai in hot dashi swirled with mushroom puree.
Chef Benjamin presents creations that draw from his German heritage, personal memories and inspiration from his travels. Hence, you can expect courses such as an amuse bouche of a Japanese-inspired shiitake and shimeiji mushroom chawanmushi with tarragon dashi, crowned with ikura from Hokkaido. And for dessert, the latest interpretation of his eternal favourite chocolate, the Snickers bar.
Make sure you don’t skip the breads served at the start because those “snails” and “pave” are fabulous schmeared with loads of salted French butter.
You can also trust RWS Sommelier Takayoshi Aoki to choose the best wines for pairing to heighten your enjoyment of the meal (S$198++ for lunch, S$428++ for dinner).

Reservations can be secured by calling‪ 6577 7288‬ or via an email to [email protected]

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M E D I A T A S T I N G

From now until 25th August, Australian Black Perigod Black Truffles from Manjimup, a town in Western Australian, are starring at Osia Steak and Seafood Grill. Celebrity Chef Scott Webster and his team have put together a new menu to cast the spotlight on how the truffle’s invigorating earthy aroma pairs wonderfully with the choicest ingredients, including certain Australian exclusives.
The four-course dinner menu begins with the freshly shaven truffle falling upon delicate steamed green asparagus served with a 62-degree hen’s egg and bacon beurre blanc.
For the soup course, the truffle is swirled into rich mushroom soup with wild rice and “humid soil”.
The main course sees the black petals of truffle adorn a lightly-smoked piece of Black Angus tenderloin accompanied by butternut purée and banana shallots which are sourced from the all-natural St. Andrew’s Farm in Western Australia.
Bookending the special seasonal menu are two long-time favourites at Osia: the signature stone hearth-baked Flatbread with a tube of bush tomato paste, and the Hot Chocolate Soup with Black Pepper Ice-cream.

Please Note: The food shown above is not reflective of the full sized portions served in the actual 4-course Dinner Menu as they were sized down slightly for the media tasting.

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Chef-owner Malcolm Lee of One MCHELIN Starred Peranakan restaurant “Candlenut” is the guest chef for the month of July at PBD. And he has given us the fantastic opportunity to sink our teeth into his notoriously exclusive Buah Keluak Cheeseburger (only his team mates at Candlenut have had the privilege so far, is what I heard). $1 of the proceeds from each of the sold (price: $28) will go to Chef Malcolm’s chosen charity: Good News Community Services. Which is a win-win in my humble opinion because this fried egg-topped cheeseburger is a uniquely Singapore creation that is darn delicious!
You must like or at least appreciate buah keluak though because the black nut takes centrestage with its inky flesh mixed into the beef patty and rendered into a sauce to give the meat a lovely glaze on both sides. The addition of spicy sambal ikan bilis and a smear of chicken curry gravy to the ensemble makes the taste profile even more interesting and complex. What I thought was a particularly smart touch was Chef Malcolm’s inclusion of chopped up chicken cartilage in the patty. Its crunch totally broke up what could have easily become a snooze fest of mushiness.

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BY CHEF’S INVITATION
From the collaborative lunch event at this Japanese restaurant, this still managed to be one of the standouts for me in the parade of deliciousness by Head Chef Taro Takayama.
In the bowl were a tender and juicy seared scallop, a piece of deepfried Japanese eggplant and silky Japanese beancurd wallowing in an umami oyster and clam ginger broth. Oishii maximus this was, warming the cockles of my heart with every sip and nibble.
Paired with it was a dry sake served at room temperature in a @kimoto_glass_tokyo sake glass by the design name of “Jun”. Mmmmm...

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H O S T E D
French Master Chef Roland Durand was in Singapore to share his style of classic French bistronomy for 3 nights - 18th to 20th June, at @ginettsingapore. At the dinner organised for the media, we had the opportunity to taste all of the courses he had created for the already-sold-out event (I’m pretty sure his fame as the chef-patron of Michelin-starred Le Passiflore in Paris may have something to do with that).
The dishes displayed above (swipe for the others) were the ones I liked most. The first two are his desserts, the “Sablé Aux Fraises Et À La Rhubarbe” – a crisp buttery biscuit base embellished with strawberry, rhubarb and orange coulis; the second, the “Le Merveilleux Riz Au Lait A L’angelique De Roland Durand” – Chef Durand’s signature rice pudding whipped up with angelica and dressed with almond milk and pumpkin marmalade. Although I was feeling full and sleepy by this point in the meal, I couldn’t help but scrape my plates clean.
What I enjoyed a lot as well was one of Chef Durand’s appetisers, the “Ravioles D’escargots” which featured #escargot wrapped in fine, handmade pasta and cooked in a delectable broth of sweet garlic and fresh herbs.

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Good things must share!
From 22nd April to 4th May, you can enjoy this 1-for-1 deal with #BurppleBeyond at “Meatsmith Little India”.
How awesome is this - a mouthwatering combo of crackling-skinned suckling pig and aromatic nasi biryani. The usual price of this main course is $48++ so that’s pretty amazing value right there.
Being brined and smoked on site before it goes on the tandoor grill has the meat of the suckling pig superbly juicy and tender. It pairs really deliciously with the fluffy, flavourful rice.
This promotion presents the perfect opportunity to gather a few good friends for some serious feasting, don’t you agree? Do note you’ll need to hustle though because this #BurppleBeyond 1-for-1 deal is only available for 2 weeks.

Like fashion that has shrugged off autumn and winter’s deep hues and the cocooning warmth of rich wools to breeze around in spring’s ethereal floatiness and pretty colours, Spago too has left the deeper, richer flavour facets of the past season to bounce into the present one with new creations such as the dish pictured above.
Found on both the 7-course dinner tasting menu ($175++ per person) and a la carte menu ($32++), this gorgeousness features seasonal white asparagus with big chunks of sweet Maine lobster, springy bamboo clams and ripe mangoes. As wondrous as the crisp clean and bright flavours of these exceedingly fresh ingredients are, cloak them in the accompanying light coconut cream and you’ll be transported via that kaffir lime oil-scented and stealthily spicy velvet sauce into a different Thai-mension (pun completely intended 😊).

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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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