Saturday, 28 November 2015

Reviews of Melbourne's Minamishima and Tipo 00 - Two of the City's Hottest Restaurants

I was recently back in the Land Down Under to try out some new restaurants spend some time with family.  My choices: the sushi specialist Minamishima, a winner of two hats and Victoria's Restaurant of the Year, and the one-hatted Tipo 00, named Victoria's Best New Restaurant.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Sweet Singapore 2: Frederic Deshayes of Do.Main Bakery, Tanjong Katong

A trek down Tanjong Katong Road from Paya Lebar MRT found me outside the almost-year old do.main Bakery, run by globetrotting patissier and boulanger Frédéric Deshayes.  The 45-year old native of Rambouillet, France (perhaps best known in recent times as being the venue for diplomatic discussions on the Yugoslavia-Kosovo conflict) set up do.main, his maiden Singaporean venture, after some nine years as chief pastry and bakery instructor at at-Sunrice Cooking Academy.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Review of Bacchanalia, Hong Kong Street, Singapore - A Hipster to My Taste

I hate hipsters.  Scratch their pretensions, their logos, their self-conscious badges, and you often find little underneath.  

Singapore is a curious mirror through which this wanker culture is reflected, because of its wealth, generally young and mobile population, Western-oriented aspirations and its obsession with food.  You only need to look at Singapore's ridiculous, uncritical ape-ing of dining trends in the "West" to get your hackles up.  As a food writer, I try to shelve my prejudices and simply focus on the quality of the proposition, but the product is almost invariably rubbish. 

Bacchanalia is one of the few exceptions to that rule.


Saturday, 10 October 2015

Sweet Singapore 1 - A Dessert Degustation by Cheryl Koh of Les Amis

I have 32 sweet teeth.  I also have a dessert stomach.  Hell, I recently catalogued my wine collection (such as it is) and found I had more sweet wines than table wines.  To make matters worse, my family also has a strong diabetic history.

I believe these characteristics make me eminently qualified to write this, the first post in a series which I have titled "Sweet Singapore".  I want to shine the spotlight on the talented pastry and dessert chefs of Singapore, whose emotions are recollected in tranquility rather than the rough-and-tumble of the hot kitchen.  More often they are not, their works, however ephemeral, are overshadowed by the savouries.  I say now, "this ends here".

To start this series, I visited Cheryl Koh of Les Amis, a born-and-bred Singaporean chef who has been seducing diners with her mix of classic technique and bold yet sophisticated flavours. Having worked at the Raffles Hotel, the Michelin-starred Laserre and then most recently Cepage in Hong Kong, she has been leading the pastry programme at Les Amis since her return home in early 2013.