RESTAU­RANTS

Wine & Dine - - Contents - WORDS CHAR­LENE CHOW, JOYCE­LINE TULLY & MICHELLE YEE

Check out the lat­est open­ings and new menus at: FiSK Seafood­bar & Mar­ket, Saint Pierre, WAKANUI, Ishi, La Pepa and Tep­pan by Chef Yone­mura

FiSK

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.