Sunday, 14 September 2014

A Review of Jaan's Ultimate Krug Menu - The Triumph of Experience

After my maiden visit to Julien Royer's Jaan early last year, I wrote that while the meal was supremely enjoyable, I had the sense that the young Royer, who had just turned 30 at the time, was still in the process of finding his voice.  But a year is a long time in the life of a chef and a restaurant, and a visit a couple of weeks ago left me with conflicting thoughts: is Royer, with an extra year of maturity and experience under his belt, perhaps the best fine dining chef in Singapore today?

Friday, 5 September 2014

A Review of Shisen Hanten, Singapore - Is this Iron Chef quality?

The Wife and I met up with our favourite Singapore foodie Victoria and her husband M for dinner a couple of weeks ago. The venue: Shisen Hanten, the local branch of the Szechuan restaurant chain founded by Japan's "God of Szechuan Cooking", Chen Kenmin, and now managed by his son Chen Kenichi, the "Szechuan Sage" and "Iron Chef Chinese" in the cult Japanese gastro-sports series "Ryoori no Tetsujin".  Apparently, the Singapore branch is run by Kenichi's son, Chen Kentaro.

Now, the heroic deeds in Greek mythology were performed mostly by the children of the gods, not their grandkids.  I don't know, maybe their divine powers get too diluted after two cross-breedings with mere mortals.  Hell, even the grandchildren of the LORD were relegated to being nameless footnotes in a Dan Brown novel.  I was hoping that Kentaro could avoid the same ignominious fate.

Son of the Szechuan Sage: Chen Kentaro

Saturday, 23 August 2014

A Remarkable Peranakan Lunch with Candlenut's Malcolm Lee and Ascott CEO Lee Chee Koon

I was recently invited to a remarkable lunch hosted by young Peranakan chef Malcolm Lee of Candlenut Restaurant, and Ascott Serviced Apartments' CEO Lee Chee Koon.  The occasion was the launch of a Peranakan cookbook authored by Lee to celebrate Ascott's 30th anniversary, and which will be placed in Ascott properties worldwide.  I saw a delicious irony in Lee being enlisted by Ascott to celebrate such a significant milestone, given Malcolm's heralded Candlenut Restaurant is housed at the rival Dorsett Residences near Outram Park.  But evidently, neither Malcolm nor Ascott (nor Dorsett!) were particularly concerned about this.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A Review of Iniala Beach House, Phang Nga - Big Luxury in Little Paradise

So there I was, sitting at the back of my airport pickup from Phuket International and snacking on a caviar tin full of chilled passionfruit spherifications topped with a dainty mint leaf, when my friendly driver makes a throwaway remark.  "Oh Khun Julian, you are so lucky that you didn't fly in last night.  Last night, the police wrongly arrested a local village man for rape, so the villagers started demonstrating and blocked the bridge.  You wouldn't have been able to come to the resort!"

Bridge?  What bridge?