Check out the latest openings and new menus at: FiSK Seafoodbar & Market, Saint Pierre, WAKANUI, Ishi, La Pepa and Teppan by Chef Yonemura
Fisk is Norwegian for fish, and indeed the Norwegian connection is strong at the new FiSK Seafood bar & Market. The outlet is the brainchild of Norwegian businessman Frank Naesheim who founded and now runs fine seafood purveyor Snorre Food. As its name suggests, the sprawling 4,000 square foot is both eatery and well-stocked shop showcasing a veritable smorgasbord of Norwegian and coldwater seafood—fresh, frozen, chilled and processed—alongside a healthy selection of Norwegian pantry staples.
Not just good for seafood, the retail space also stocks Norwegian must-haves such as the famous brown cheese, whey cheese that’s traditionally enjoyed slathered on fresh, toasty waffles, and even bottled glogg, Norwegian mulled wine. In short, it’s very well thought-out and clearly designed for a one-stop shop. The one thing that makes it possibly even better in our book is its casual seafood bar serving classic Nordic staples in the day, and modern Nordic eats by night.
Helmed by Norwegian chef Markus Dybwad, the lunch menu is a breezy well-curated list of Nordic staples balanced with some local favourites.
Start with bar bites such as crispy salmon skin ($3 per piece) glazed with soy sauce and served with dollops of mayonnaise, trout roe and fresh dill for a fresh herby lift; salmon tartare ($6) with Roma tomatoes and topped with generous shavings of foie gras; and dill-marinated pickled herring coated in sourdough batter than deep-fried to a delicious crisp ($3.50 per piece).
For more substantial bites, check out the seafood bar selection such as raw hand-dived scallop ($26.50) spiked with calamansi and juniper gastrique, and topped with shaved fennel and a gentle sprinkle of wakame powder for a lovely balance of sweet and salty. The pan-seared langoustine tail ($29) paired with rich, umami-laden bone marrow sauce is another sound bet. But if sharing is in order, then opt for the tender, flavourful hot-smoked Greenland halibut that is served whole ($35 per person, minimum two) along with sides such as pearl couscous, Norwegian almond potatoes, Romanesco and cauliflower. Slather on some trout roe and horseradish sauce for added richness.
Dessert continues the seafood theme with uni ice cream ($16). Made inhouse with preserved salted uni from Japan, it is an icy, salty treat that makes for a fitting end to a meal at Fisk, although there’s also the more plebeian but equally delicious option of sour cream mousse with strawberry consommé ($14) should you so desire. —JT #01-01, 30 Stevens Road.
Tel: 6732 0711; fisk.com.sg
Renowned steakhouse WAKANUI from Tokyo recently opened its first overseas franchise in Singapore at the new Marina One complex. But contrary to what you may think, WAKANUI does not serve Japanese beef. Instead, the restaurant by ANZCO Foods, a New Zealand-based meat company, proffers quality beef and lamb from ANZCO’s five star beef feedlot, located on the coast of Wakanui, South Canterbury in New Zealand.
After the cattle are slaughtered in Canterbury, the meats are typically wet-aged for about four weeks before they are transferred to a chiller to be dry-aged for another three weeks, to allow the natural enzymes in the beef to break down the tissue, resulting in improved texture and flavour.
Start with the single lamb chops ($8) cut from racks of Wakanui spring lamb that are wet-aged for four weeks then flash-frozen for use over a year. Lightly seasoned with Christmas Island salt, then briefly seared on both sides to lock in its precious juices, and finished off on binchotan (Japanese white charcoal)—to impart a nice smoky flavour, the spring lamb was absolutely succulent and tender, most gaminess undetected.
The NZ ocean beef, which is available in three different cuts: sirloin, bone-in ribeye ($199 for 1kg) and ribeye ($79 for 350g; $109 for 500g), is also masterfully cooked and is a sublime combination of a fabulously charred outside with a succulent medium-rare red inside. Then there is the bone-in ribeye, impressively tender and with just the right amount of marbling.
For those who prefer leaner meat, try the Canterbury grass-fed fillet ($45 for 150g; $78 for 250g; $138 for 500g), which is chewy but full of flavour.
The meats are served with condiments such as salt, wasabi, and a special Wakanui sauce blended from soy sauce, garlic, mirin and seaweed, although we prefer to do without for the full natural flavours of the meat.
Apart from beef and lamb, Wakanui serves salads and some seafood items. We recommend the kikorangi blue cheese caesar salad ($14 for lunch; $22 for dinner) with romaine lettuce, endive, apples and walnuts tossed in a blue cheese dressing; and the hot smoked salmon ($39 during lunch as a main course; $24 during dinner as a starter) featuring fresh salmon from New Zealand smoked over cherrywood chips. In the former, the taste of blue cheese is mild and not pungent at all; as for the latter dish, the fish was delightfully smoky, and has a smooth, pliable texture.
For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the hokey pokey ice cream ($14), housemade vanilla ice cream streaked with caramel and honeycomb bits. —MY #04-02, Marina One The Heart, 5 Straits View. Tel: 6384 2665; wakanui.sg
It’s finally gotten its long overdue Michelin recognition, but regulars and fans of chef Emmanuel Stroobant know that stars or not, the cuisine at Saint Pierre is always elegant and inspired, technically superb and spiked with subtle touches that showcase chef Stroobant’s vast experience in Asia. And the best way to experience it is via Saint Pierre’s signature 12-course Adventure menu ($248) or for smaller appetites, one of the other degustation options (from $148).
Chef Stroobant’s latest menu does not disappoint with delicious highlights of seasonal ingredients such as Brittany blue lobster poached in butter and served with a rich glossy sauce of Sarawak peppers. There is also the new harvest oscietra caviar served with parsley royale; the smoothness of the latter is a perfect foil for the crunchy salty pearls. But the star of the show has to be the Hokkaido kegani, or hairy crabs, which are air-flown from Hokkaido daily. Steamed and beautifully scented with lemongrass and corn, they are the canvas for chef Stroobant’s expert marrying of East and West—in ingredients, techniques and culinary influences—making for a visually stunning dish that shows off the delicate briny sweetness of kegani on the palate.
Other Saint Pierre staples that prove they are better with age, albeit in fresh iterations: French royal pigeon roasted till just tender and paired with heady wild mushrooms; and haysmoked hamachi with piquant Japanese ginger and ponzu sauce. Last but not least, there is the one thing we never tire of at Saint Pierre—the petit fours trolley bearing chocolate and sweets and all things nice. —JT #02-02B, One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road. Tel: 6438 0887; saintpierre.com.sg
The coterie of celebrity restaurants at Resorts World Sentosa just got a little more fiery with the arrival of Teppan by Chef Yonemura. The first overseas outpost of one-Michelin starred Restaurant Yonemura in Kyoto, the restaurant serves up five- and eight-course dinner tasting menus ($168 and $198 respectively) featuring teppanyaki mains such a Japanese wagyu beef with turnip and zucchini. The setting is intimate, spanning two small dining rooms, an eight-seater and 13-seater. Chef Yonemura says, “After running my restaurants in Japan for 25 years, I dreamt of creating a new restaurant concept that combines the liveliness of teppanyaki with my signature French-Japanese cuisine.”
That he does with a slow build-up of refined plates, culminating in a ‘fire show’ on the teppan grill. The amuse bouche, a dish of konbu seaweed-flavoured flounder and pear wrapped with parma ham, is deceptively simple, but its flavours come alive with a dab of piquant basil puree, toasted pine nut paste and sake sauce. Appetisers that follow are similarly subtle and complex. Steamed crab meat with rice, for instance, is a beautiful stack of warm glutinous rice boiled with dashi stock, topped with cucumber, sweet peas, carrots and a pile of chilled Hokkaido snow crab meat. The warm rice is just the foil for bursts of sweetness from the fresh snow crab.
The main courses are prepared by sous chef Lam Ley who works the teppan grill with precision and skill. Theatrics of heat and flames aside, the A4 Miyazaki beef fillet accompanied by sides of turnip, zucchini and simmered deep-fried shallots, is tender to the bite and goes well with either the peanut butter garlic and ponzu sauce with grated radish or just a touch of salt. Those who can’t take beef will be served Kurobuta pork or live lobster instead. For dessert, options like crepe suzette flambéed with orange liqueur and served with vanilla ice cream make sweet endings to the meal.
Rare whiskies such as Hibiki 21- and 17-year-old and Nikka Taketsuru 35-year-old are available here, as well as premium sakes ranging from Dassais to boutique sakes such as Shichi Hon Yari Nigori Hiire, produced by Tomita Shuzo in Shiga prefecture. For teetotallers, enjoy rich sencha supplied by Fuji Marumo Tea Garden, a premium tea purveyor from Shizuoka prefecture. —CC Level 1, The Forum, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa.
Tel: 65776688; rwsentosa.com/ en/restaurants/teppan
La Pepa is the latest Spanish tapas restaurant, bar and gourmet grocer to open on Gemmill Lane. The space used to be occupied by European-Mediterranean deli-restaurant Delicacy by Food & Wine Merchants Singapore. Hanafee Wahab, formerly sous chef at the now-defunct FOC Sentosa by Nandu Jubany, helms the kitchen.
The menu encompasses a good mix of cold and hot tapas, communal-sharing paellas and platters, and hearty mains. These are complemented by a good range of Spanish wines, cocktails, ciders, beers and seasonal sangrias. Expect the use of unusual ingredients that are sourced across the Iberian Peninsula, such as mojama, an air-dried salt cured tuna loin from Cadiz, Southwestern Spain, here used to heighten the flavours of dishes such as ensalada pepa ($22) a garden salad with heirloom tomatoes, manchego cheese, fresh mandarins and Spanish Marcona almonds. There is also Mojo sauce from the Canary Islands comprising Palmera peppers, garlic, paprika and spices paired with a tender oven-roasted baby chicken ($22).
Traditional Spanish snacks like wild mushrooms croqueta
($8), and chorizo tortilla ($12), a chorizo Spanish omelette, are hearty, flavourful options. But our favourite dish is Arroz Negro (from $28), a squid ink paella that holds a fine balance of sweet and savoury notes. Its deep flavours are heightened by bomba rice that is slow cooked with a stock base that includes ingredients such as nora peppers and both diced squid and octopus head, and toppings of grilled tiger prawns and clams. This dish goes well with wines such as the intense, fruity 2015 Paco y Lola
No.12 white wine from the Rias Baixas wine region specialising in Albarino grapes.
Be sure to check out La Pepa’s petite retail section offering a range of premium produce such as olive oils, vinegars, olive teas, cured meats and seafood. —CC 10 Gemmill Lane.
Tel: 9830 0908; lapepa.asia
Ishi, meaning ‘stone’ in Japanese, is one of the latest restaurants to open at the new InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay. Owned by the people behind Izy Dining and Bar on Club Street, the sushi-ya serves omakase meals and is helmed by head chef Masaaki Sakashita, who used to work at Hashida Sushi.
Get comfy at the 12-seater hinoki-wood sushi counter where you’ll witness chef Sakashita’s deft knife skills as he prepares sushi and sashimi using produce sourced from Tokyo’s Tsukiji market, regional Japanese markets in Kyushu, Osaka and Hokkaido. Expect dainty pieces of sushi such as flounder with Shizuoka tomato and Spanish mackerel with Tasmanian mustard. A particular treat to savour is Sakashita’s chirashi don, brimming with seasonal, fresh ingredients like tuna, shima aji (striped horse mackerel), ikura (salmon roe), and tamago (rolled omelette).
Apart from sushi, Ishi emphasises cooked food items as well, as evidenced by the cooking area that is merged with the sushi section in the open concept kitchen. Sakashita serves up dishes like A5 Miyazaki wagyu with garlic chips and shirako (cod milt) chawanmushi, and will whip out unusual supplies such as yushio salt flakes pressed into ‘snow petals’ by a factory in Hiroshima.
Lunch sets range from a seven-piece sushi set ($48), to chirashi set ($68), to the luxurious omakase set ($180) featuring chawanmushi, sashimi, wagyu beef sushi and rice. For dinner, set meals range from suzuran ($180) comprising sashimi, hot dish, seven-piece sushi, and rice bowl, to chef’s omakase ($300), a six-course meal that includes premium sushi and sashimi flown in from Japan well as kaiseki-style cooked dishes. —CC #02-06/07, InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, 1 Nanson Road. Tel: 9829 8239; facebook.com/ishisingapore/
Executive Chef Markus Dybwad
Chef Emmanuel Stroobant
Chef Masayasu Yonemura
Chef Masaaki Sakashita