High-end Kaiseki kappo-style in Singapore at Yoshiyuki

yoshiyuki sesame tofu

Last week, I had the immense pleasure of dining in one of Singapore’s most beautiful new restaurants. Yoshiyuki, named after head chef Yoshiyuki Kashiwabara, is a gorgeous Asylum-designed Kaiseki restaurant. Hidden in a discrete corner of Basement One in The Forum shopping centre, this 20-seat restaurant is set to redefine the high-end Japanese dining experience in Singapore. And given the credentials of the team behind Yoshiyuki, I have no doubt it will be a success. Chef Yoshiyuki was previously the personal chef to the former Japanese Ambassador to Singapore. His partner is none other than Ignatius Chan, whose restaurant Iggy’s is ranked by several internationally respected authorities as Asia’s number one restaurant.   Continue Reading →

Labour of love: Lunch at Kooka Café and a conversation with co-owner Lauren Chambers

Since a colleague introduced me to Kooka Café earlier this year, I’ve made the place my unofficial hideout, going at least once a week to clear my mind, unwind, and have a thoroughly pleasurable lunch. It isn’t a ‘sexy’ cafe by most definitions: the décor is simple, the menu is small, and the dishes are honest, unassuming even. What it does have is the one intangible ingredient that I think matters the most in any food establishment, the one thing that makes you want to return again and again – love. Continue Reading →

Friday Food Porn: Crabmeat pasta from Il Lido, Singapore

crab pasta from il lido restaurant

A quick snapshot of a good friend tucking into a plate of some amazing linguine with fresh crab at Il Lido restaurant in Sentosa (Singapore). Il Lido’s always been a favourite of mine and my wife’s. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: The Ultimate Lemon Curd – Pierre Hermé’s Lemon Cream

Meyer lemons

In all honesty, this post was prompted by the fact that I’ve finally found Meyer lemons in Singapore. For years, the Meyer lemon was one of those elusive culinary treasures that I’d read so much about but never tasted. And I never would’ve recognized the lemons as Meyers (given that they were only labeled with their country of origin, Australia) if I hadn’t happened to taste my first one just weeks before at the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival.

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&MADE, a new bistro by Bruno Ménard in Singapore

chilli crab toastoo at &Made

One of the best meals my gorgeous, foodie wife S and I have ever had was at L’Osier, the now closed three Michelin-starred French restaurant in Tokyo, helmed at the time by Chef Bruno Ménard. The food was original and perfectly executed. The room was warm, clubbish, buzzing, and filled with the laughter of happy patrons. Service was impeccable and memorable; at the end of the meal, umbrella-toting staff walked us around the block and helped us find a taxi. While we are sad that L’Osier has closed its doors, I’m thrilled that Chef Ménard now calls Singapore his home. Last week, we dropped by his newly opened sandwich and burger shop, &MADE. Continue Reading →

Enjoy innovative Modern Indonesian food at The Moluccas Room

chicken confit moluccas room

The culinary world can be a confusing place at times. It’s not uncommon for some restaurants, who serve so-so food, to become highly fashionable and hugely popular. While, concurrently, some other restaurants, who serve amazing and often highly original cuisine, remain very much off-the-radar, serving only a small handful of patrons, whose presence hardly accounts for even a quarter of the seating capacity of such establishments. Similarly, there are chefs that, by sheer force of personality and/or personal connections and most definitely not because of their very average food, become (minor) celebrities. While others who, by the nature of the outstanding food they produce, deserve to be celebrated but are consistently overlooked because they aren’t loud, or colourful, or gorgeous enough. Continue Reading →

Oxtail Bo Kho, a Vietnamese beef stew with Coke and Laughing Cow cheese

oxtail bo kho

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that, while attending the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival, S and I had eaten one of the best oxtail stews we’d ever had in our lives. It was prepared by Chef Mark Jensen of the very famous Vietnamese restaurant Red Lantern, which is in Sydney, Australia. Traditionally, Bo Kho is made with cuts like brisket or shank. It’s also one of those traditional dishes that has no really defined and universal recipe. While certain ingredients might appear in most dishes, all mothers (and grandmothers) and chefs who make Bo Kho seem to have slightly different ways of making theirs. And, of course, every Vietnamese friend you have will swear that his mother’s version is simply the best in the world. Continue Reading →

Enjoying extraordinary wines with sushi at Shinji by Kanesaka

Some things in life are a necessary indulgence. Shinji by Kanesaka (of famed two-Michelin starred chef Shinji Kanesaka) which exemplifies the best of Edomae-style sushi, essentially falls into this category. In particular, when one is bestowed the privilege of having Master Chef Koichiro Oshino cut for you. The evening was made even more special as some friends brought along some rare wine gems for us to pair with the sushi.

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Brandon seeks out Singapore’s best set lunches: Gunther’s Modern French Cuisine

It’s no secret that Gunther’s, affiliated with Roberto Galetti’s Garibaldi group, is one of the best restaurants in town. The Miele Guide 2011/2012 ranked it the 14th best in Asia, and The Peak magazine recently gave it a nod for Outstanding Service. Five years after the restaurant first opened its doors—and five years after it was featured on this very website—people still rave about chef Gunther Hubrechsen’s flair, and the depth of his cuisine. My entire family swears by his cold angel-hair pasta with Oscietra caviar.

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Le Comptoir du Relais, a regular Parisian culinary pilgrimage point

Each time I am in Paris, I am torn between trying out a new restaurant (and thereby discovering a potential gem) or returning to one of my old favorites in the city. On my most recent trip in May, I decided to succumb to my old habits in a city I have come to know well. It was a bright and warm spring day when I arrived from Brussels in the late morning at the Gare du Nord train station. I headed straight for Le Comptoir du Relais bistro at the Hotel Relais Saint-Germain  on the left bank in the 6th Arrondissement and  got there shortly before noon. A small queue had already formed outside the door (the best thing about Le Comptoir is that no reservations are required on a Sunday. For weekday dinners, the waiting list can stretch for several months in advance). Luckily, I managed to get a table inside the small and cozy 24-seater bistro. There are also seats on the sidewalk but nothing beats the cosy intimacy of the bistro’s ambience inside. Continue Reading →

An entremets primer: Japanese cult pastry chef Hidemi Sugino’s Fruits Rouges

Hidemi Sugino Fruits Rouge mousse cake

I first discovered Japanese mousse cake savant, Hidemi Sugino (along with many of his other fans within the blogosphere, it seems) through Keiko’s gorgeous blog. I found myself repeatedly returning to her beautifully precise renditions of his recipes in Le goût authentique retrouvé. And when I finally had the opportunity to taste the master’s work in Tokyo, I was enthralled by the lightness of his creations, as well as the subtle and sophisticated layering of complementary and contrasting flavours. They were simply the best mousse cakes I’d ever tasted (here’s Nick’s superb dissection of some of Sugino’s entremets). I promptly bought a copy of Le goût authentique retrouvé on that fateful first visit in 2007—disregarding the fact that the recipes were all in Japanese. I somehow figured that I would be able to decipher them based upon the ingredients listed in French despite the fact that I don’t speak French either! Continue Reading →