Just a few weeks ago, the 2013 edition of The Miele Guide to Asia’s Finest Restaurants was launched. With that came the annual announcement of the year’s list of the 20 most highly ranked restaurants in the region–as determined by a popular and a juried vote. The highest-ranking debut on the 2013 list was Waku Ghin in Singapore, which debuted on the list in second place. For many of his fans, that Chef Tetsuya Wakuda’s restaurant would attain such a high rank so quickly, was perfectly understandable. Many people I’ve met have claimed that their meals at Waku Ghin have been their best in Asia.
This past weekend, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore hosted its first Epicurean Market. I have to admit, although I have mixed feelings on the success of the festival as a whole (which I will elaborate on later), I had a wonderful time when my wife S and I visited–mostly because of the generosity of the participating chefs and the sheer deliciousness of their food.
I am a cookbook junkie. I have an entire bookcase of cookbooks and food related non-fiction titles. And I have been trying to wean myself from this addiction. Unfortunately, in 2012 there were so many exciting new cookbooks introduced that I couldn’t resist. After reading about so many in my “go-to” food magazines, websites and blogs, I narrowed it down to the top six cookbooks of 2012. These were the most recommended, most blogged about, most inspiring cookbooks of 2012 – and I acquired them all. I simply couldn’t resist and I am glad I didn’t because now I am experimenting with all sorts of cuisines I love but had previously rarely made at home.
A couple of years ago, after finishing an exhibition set-up at Marina Bay Sands, my friend M and I decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner. We dragged our tired souls to DB Bistro Moderne. While we waited for our appetizers, we were presented with the bread basket. The first piece of bread that I chose was this dark oblong roll. The moment I bit into it, my brain screamed “pretzel”. The bread was warm, chewy and savoury. It was delicious on its own and you don’t even need any butter.
Tis almost the season and in preparation of the holiday period, I’ve been planning what to serve family and friends who come-a-visiting. My own two favourite holiday treats are eggnog and Mexican wedding cookies (pictured above). Another great holiday tradition is Dream Academy‘s Crazy Christmas show.
This is an awesome recipe for a super-quick pizza. I’d go as far as to describe it as the perfect spur-of-the-moment pizza recipe. I used it to make my toddler, T, pizza in 90 minutes flat. T, as well as CH and my fabulous mom-in-law (a discriminating diner, to say the least), gave it the thumbs up. So, this pizza recipe is a real keeper.
In the heart of Harlem, a new restaurant called Red Rooster is quietly making waves. During a recent visit to the Big Apple, I decided to make the journey uptown to Lenox Avenue to check out the comfort-food restaurant launched by Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit fame. I was hugely impressed, both with the quality of the food and the total experience.
I’ve known Hossan Leong for quite a while now. I really admire his determination and his passion, both on and off stage/screen. When it was announced that he’d be directing a Dream Academy production of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Company, I was really thrilled. I’m a big musical theatre fan and Stephen Sondheim is my all-time favourite composer-lyricist. Company is opening here in Singapore on 1 November 2012 and will run until 11 November (please, please, please support Hossan and Dream Academy and buy tickets for this show). Hossan was kind enough to chat with me a bit about Company, Sondheim and French food.
“There is no such thing as the best (chef)”, writes Ferran Adrià, who knows a thing or two about good chefs, “but it is possible to point out something more important – the chef who is the most influential, the one who establishes the way forward.” During my gluttonous tour of restaurants in Singapore and New York (where I lived for close to four years) I’ve encountered very few chefs who can challenge for such a lofty title; but, when I do find such culinary mavens, I’ve noticed that each one of them seems to have a unique philosophy, a kitchen ethos that both defines them and challenges the boundaries of dining. Recently, I had the unmitigated pleasure of speaking to one such chef – Singapore-based Andre Chiang of Restaurant Andre, who, to me, is one of the most inventive, innovative restaurant personalities in the world.