No IMBB; Kylie Kwong and Jimmy Chok

It’s been an amazingly busy week. So busy in fact that I wasn’t able to find any time to take part in this month’s Is My Blog Burning? challenge. Of course, J over at K

uidaore created enough amazing dishes for a half dozen eager bloggers, so I doubt my lack of participation will even be noticed. Despite my crazy schedule, I did find the time to attend a pretty amazing dinner on Saturday night.

Aussie celeb chef Kylie Kwong is in town to take part in the Singapore Writers Festival. One of her events, and the quickest sell-out event in the Festival, was a dinner at Poppi, a Modern Australian restaurant in Legends (the former Fort Canning Country Club). The menu was a collaboration between Ms Kwong and Poppi’s head chef, Chris Millar. For starters, we were served 3 sharing platters of Sashimi of Kingfish and Ocean Trout; Salad of Squid, Chinese Pork, Baby Herbs and Nolans Rd Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil; and Tasmanian Spiced Chicken and Prawn Salad with Pomegranate, Figs and Cinnamon Spiced Almonds. For mains, we first had a Coconut and Lime Crusted Garoupa in a Smoky Coconut Broth with Asian Herbs. This was followed with a Crisp Skinned Magret of Duck with Fresh Ruby Grapefruit Sauce and Sauteed Asian Greens. This second main was particularly exciting because it was a variation of the amazing crispy duck that Ms Kwong serves up in Billy Kwong, her restaurant in Sydney. For dessert, we had Poached Stone Fruits with Creme de Framboise, Lime Curd and Vanilla Bean Anglaise. It was a good dinner with great company. I was fortunate enough to get seats at the table Ms Kwong herself was at. Other dining companions turned out to be famed New York Times writer RW Apple Jr and Makansutra founder KF Seetoh.

My luck only got better because Sunday, S and I had the great fortune of attending a private lunch in honor of RW Apple Jr (“Johnny” to his friends), prepared by one of Singapore’s best but often underrated chefs, Jimmy Chok. Here’s a picture of Jimmy explaining our menu to Johnny.

The menu, and the food, I have to say, was amazing. I’ve eaten Jimmy’s cooking many, many times. And I’ve always enjoyed his food. But it was never like it was today. Today, perhaps because he wasn’t cooking in a busy restaurant or perhaps because he was hoping to impress Johnny and then get written up favorably and famously in the New York Times or perhaps because he was just in a good mood, the food was particularly inspired. It was both terrific and inspiring. Here’s our menu:


Hot Seared Scallops with Prawn Ravioli and Clam Laksa Leaf Nage


Marinated Angel Hair with Australian Abalone


Tian of Lobster with Mango and Pea Puree, Lobster Bisque Emulsion and White Truffle Oil


Slow Cooked Chilean Sea Bass with Roast Duck Dumpling, Terrine of Duck Liver and Soy Mirin Reduction


Coriander Crusted Rack of Lamb

For dessert, we had a rather modern take on ‘goreng pisang’ (fried bananas). And to help wash down all this yummy food, we enjoyed some Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1996 and then some Torbrecks The Steading 2002. Jimmy is currently the executive chef of The Academy Bistro, which is on level 1 of the new Supreme Court building and just opened a couple of weeks ago. The Bistro is open every weekday for lunch and open Fridays for lunch and dinner. On weekends and on weeknights from Monday to Thursday, Jimmy is available for private catering. To reach him, you can email him at jimmy_chok@sal.org.sg.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his two kids!

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16 Comments

  1. deborah 29 August 2005

    Wow, what an amazing few days. I heart Kylie Kwong, and your write up about Jimmy Chok (and ofcours the photographs) are wonderful!

  2. boo_licious 29 August 2005

    Lucky you. It looked like great fun. I like Jimmy Chok’s food and recipes! Hence when I saw his new cookbook, I bought it straightaway.

  3. J 29 August 2005

    lunch was spectacular, as much due to jimmy’s inspired cooking and you & s’s masterful direction 😉

  4. augustusgloop 29 August 2005

    Fab shots! And the food sounds sensational. I can’t believe you got to sit at the same table as Kylie Kwong too. That’s a great shot of her as well.

    It all looks so good…

  5. Skrat 29 August 2005

    Oh looks like i missed out on booking and attending the dinner! The pictures great. I do like Jimmy’s food and thanks for the info on where he is now. I was wondering that for a while since Salt was closed.

  6. gwenda 29 August 2005

    wahh! great pictures, (as always)!

  7. tara 29 August 2005

    What an inpsiring few days. Absolutely gorgeous, and looks delicious. Thanks for letting us in on it!

  8. 2-minute Noodle Cook 30 August 2005

    Thanks for sharing the experience and the great pics! I like Kylie’s style of cooking, if only I can cook like her…

  9. Monkey Gland 31 August 2005

    man, oh man, that’s just not fair dude….

  10. Michèle 1 September 2005

    I am completely envious.. Kylie Kwong just seems so friendly and lovable, and your picture seems to have captured that too. The food looks and sounds wonderful, glad you had a great time!

  11. Shauna 1 September 2005

    I would have loved to be there. But your photos and writing made me feel as though I was.

    p.s. I just recommended you on my site for BlogDay2005. I love coming to see your latest adventures!

  12. keiko 1 September 2005

    Everything looks amazing, lucky you 🙂

  13. Karen 2 September 2005

    Your posts are very bad for my diet! LOL! Those pictures are very well-taken.

  14. mvo168 6 September 2005

    Wow!!! The menus from both Kylie & Jimmy both sound (and must taste) fantastic! The photographs are the icing on the cake – really, really wonderful!

    I just got back from Singapore but my food experiences were not as awesome as yours but it was good nevertheless! 🙂 Keep up those delicious lip-smacking photos!!

  15. cucina testa rossa 13 September 2005

    wow! what a treat! i am a HUGE Apple fan!!! lucky you! nothing cool like this ever happened to me when i lived in singapore!

  16. Stan 28 January 2006

    kylie – I watched your Shanghai special and loved the presentation and the recipies. But I was distracted by your glasses – you pushed them back on 16 times in 25 mins. Please either have the glasses removed or the ask the editor to be a bit more clever. I had laser surgery 10yrs ago, have no regrets and recommend it.

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