Wednesday, 11 July 2012

DISH OF THE MONTH JULY 2012 (and possibly the year so far) - db Bistro Moderne's Boeuf Bourguignon and "Mac and Cheese"

TECHNICAL DETAILS

CREATOR: STEPHANE ISTEL, EXECUTIVE CHEF, db BISTRO MODERNE, SINGAPORE
INGREDIENTS: BEEF, PASTA, TWO TYPES OF MUSHROOMS, FOUR TYPES OF CHEESE, TWO TYPES OF ALCOHOL
CALORIE COUNT: ASTRONOMIC, BUT WORTH EVERY INCH ON THE WAIST, THIGHS, ETC.
PRICE: AROUND S$36++ (US$29) FOR A MAIN COURSE-SIZED PORTION
DATE TASTED: 30 JUNE / 1 JULY 2012
VERDICT: BRILLIANT


Stephane Istel, creator of our inaugural "Dish of the Month" 
(photo courtesy of Marina Bay Sands)

I returned to db Bistro Moderne at Marina Bay Sands a couple of weeks ago.  Executive Chef Stephane Istel popped by our table and very kindly offered to cook for us “family-style”, describing excitedly the various delights he had planned.  And so they came: a little heirloom tomato salad inspired by Provence, a pristine seafood platter featuring some gorgeous Gillardeau No. 3s and little clams lazing in a liaison of reduced clam jus and crème fraîche, a beautiful bouillabaisse with four types of fish just delivered by his fisherman friend in New Zealand.

Then the pièce de résistance, an off-menu order of boeuf bourguignon with “mac & cheese”.  But this is a casino, and Istel is a damned fine chef, so chunks of Kagoshima A5 wagyu brisket are marinated in port and burgundy wine for two days before being braised for 6-7 hours.  Chopped girolles and morels added their earthiness and crunch to a wonderfully silky sauce, and the lot was finished with a sprinkle of micro croutons and parsley.

On the side was a monument to our gluttonous folly, resting innocently in its little Staub pot: “mac & cheese”.  But again, this is a casino, and Istel is a damned fine chef, so al dente orecchiette with more girolles and morels are doused in a sauce albufera (Armagnac, port wine, chicken jus and truffle jus with a little foie gras) before being gratinated with a mixture of raclette, gruyère, parmesan and morbier.

It’s a paradox; luxe and remarkably sophisticated in its construction yet peasant-simple in its allure.  Flavours were unapologetically intense and layered, from the deep, reduced bass notes of the bourguignon to the morbier's pungent soprano.  The textures - pasta au gratin, unctuous brisket, mushrooms and crunchy croutons - worked marvellously well together.  As I was mopping up the sauce with a chunk of baguette, I was praying silently that a salad would miraculously appear to break up the unceasing, unrelenting richness.  On this night of gastronomic debauchery, this was my one plea that went unanswered (ok, maybe I should have just ordered it!).

This is not a dish you can eat every day.  Actually, it's not a dish you can eat every week, or even every fortnight, unless you are blessed with an Olympian’s metabolism.  As it’s not on the regular menu, ask to look at the daily specials (Istel puts on around 3-4, adding his modern spin to bistro classics).  And if you see my beefy slow-braised friend on there, you…will…order…him.

WHERE TO ENJOY IT

db Bistro Moderne
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Avenue #B1-48
Singapore
 018956
Tel:  +65 6688 8525
Email: dbreservations@marinabaysands.com
www.danielnyc.com/dbbistroSingapore.html


The writer paid for his meal in full.

Related Posts:

db Bistro: Mondays in Alsace - http://julianteoh.blogspot.com/2012/04/db-bistro-moderne-mondays-in-alsace.html

2 comments:

  1. Hey Julian, great storytelling there! I will definitely go visit some of the joints that you have covered. Bookmarked! =)

    Chris

    ReplyDelete