With the way things are going, years down the line, our culinary scene might be transformed out of necessity. Known for its innovation, Johnnie Walker Blue Label collaborated with several forward-thinking chefs about the future of dining. To kick things off, the label got chefs Andrew Walsh (CURE), Mickael Viljanen (Chapter One) and Mark Moriarty (Diageo)to create a menu centred around the theme: "Air. Land. Sea." Here's how it went:
Taking place at CURE, the six-course dinner utilised AI-inspired digital artwork and 2D and 3D animations throughout the evening. Served on a table with projections exploring "sky, ocean and land", the entire endeavour reminds us of Le Petit Chef but this time, it is a more sombre affair.
Diners were proffered the question: what will the future be like in an era of global warming, overfishing and overfarming? What will the dining experience be like when certain ingredients are scarce? With this in mind, alternative elements were used for the dishes served. (Steak was replaced with red-earth cabbage!)
As diners contemplate the import of heirloom ingredients in a shifting industry and environment, the dishes were paired with exclusive Johnnie Walker Blue Label cocktails. While the menu was created solely for the evening's experience, the dessert, Velvet Cloud Yoghurt 2223, along with a Johnnie Walker Blue Label pairing, were made available to the public at CURE… albeit for a limited time.
In a world that's ravaged by corporations' greed, it's a sobering look at how we will eat. Especially, around the time of CURE's 8th anniversary. But it is Chef Andrew Walsh's hope that this menu would cultivate conversation. And that conversation would lead to acts, which would lead to positive change. It is a perfect alignment with Johnnie Walker Blue Label's commitment to sustainability and innovation. One that will be the stepping stone to a better culinary and spirited future.
Contemporary Indian restaurant, Revolver, returns with Bullet 10. For its 10th seasonal showing, Revolver whips up a culinary experience full of bold flavours and spices.
With a lifetime of know-how of Indian cooking under his belt, Executive Chef Saurabh Udinia, presents a concept menu that heightens Indian cuisine. Grab a seat for a view of the open show-kitchen. Watch Executive Chef Udinia and his team labour under the heat as they utilise the custom-built wood-fire and binchotan grills and the hand-beaten tandoor.
The Bullet 10 menu starts with the innocuous-sounding Snack Box. This has a Scallop Tartlet infused with pani puri and a Chettinad pulled duck on steamed dhokla. There's also the Japanese turnips are cooked over a fire for a slightly charred exterior. Beneath the skin lies a velvety flesh bolstered by artichokes and coriander seeds.
Using Goan Recheado Masala to marinate an Australian rock lobster, the crustacean is grilled afterwards and accompanied by fragrant Goan red rice. A Spanish Dorada is served on a bed of toasted fresh coconut and black pepper and for your main, an Iberico pork pluma dish that is adorned with a sweet and sour sauce.
The paneers served for Bullet 10, are flown in from Delhi. Presented on a bed of tomato relish, cumin-spiked onion chutney coats the paneers. Baked in the tandoor, Revolver's signature kulchettes are filled with Scamorza cheese and topped with a tandoor-roasted pulled quail.
Ending off the Bullet 10 menu is a lime and lychee sorbet. The dessert is backed with a light coconut espuma and that childhood perennial favourite: popping candy.
Revolver's Bullet 10 menu runs from now until 30 September.
For more information and to make reservations, visit Revolver.
56 Tras St
+65 6223 2812
Very little should surprise the well-travelled connoisseur. But the world of gastronomy always has little tricks up its sleeves, ready to catch a seasoned gourmand by surprise with sparks on his palate. It is a position he willingly puts himself into, over and over again, in pursuit of that intangible yet evident je ne sais quoi in taste. “A complete lack of caution is perhaps one of the true signs of a real gourmet,” the legendary food writer MFK Fisher tells us in her anthology of essays, An Alphabet for Gourmets. “He has no need for it, being filled as he is with a God-given and intelligently self-cultivated sense of gastronomical freedom.” Where then should a gastronome who considers himself an arbiter of taste go when he has tried everything? What restaurant can one go for flavours that can shock the senses?
Enter Chifa!, Resorts World Sentosa’s newest jewel in its decorated offerings of restaurants. It’s named after the word for that eclectic blend of Peruvian-Chinese food, “Chifa”, which is said to have come about after locals heard Chinese immigrants saying “chi fan” (“eat rice”) during lunch. As for the declarative exclamation mark, one need only walk into Chifa! to be confronted with its bold philosophy, with bright lights, neon lanterns and bright red furnishings that mimic the interiors of a temple.
The food is no less exciting than its exteriors, helmed as it is by chef de cuisine Rodrigo Serrano, a Peruvian native who has years of restaurant-helming experience across Peru, France, the Maldives and finally here, in Singapore. Each dish is made with Peruvian ingredients, glimmering with the Chinese and Cantonese touches that make Serrano’s dishes so unexpected, creative and explosive. The yellowfin tuna tamarind ceviche, for instance, is made with a tamarind leche de tigre (a citrus-forward seafood marinade), which dances on the tongue with its sharp sweet and sour profiles. Japanese cucumbers and daikon add a welcome crunch to the ceviche, which is balanced by the smooth fat of avocado.
Elsewhere, a hen “caldo criollo” chimichurri soup borrows Chinese techniques by long-boiling chicken broth with Chinese herbs and flower mushrooms, updating a traditional Peruvian chicken soup. What’s special is its pairing with ginger chimichurri, which adds a bright kick of freshness and spice to what is typically a simple soup with muted profiles. A kong bak bao, widely known as the Chinese version of a hamburger, is spiced up with a “chalaca” salsa, infused with mint and accompanied by sweet potatoes to round up a fuller-bodied palate.
China and Peru are on two ends of the world map, but go somewhere in the middle and you’ll find the Middle East—a land with diverse culinary histories and cultures going back thousands of years, perfumed with spices and rich flavours. It’s what inspires Morrocan-born Israeli celebrity chef Meir Adoni, whose first venture in Singapore, Aniba marries eastern and western influences in a daring declaration of Middle Eastern cooking.
Dimly yet atmospherically lit, Aniba harkens back to an archaic time with its gentle, sloping ceilings adorned with symbols, alongside a wall that stretches across the bar glittering like crystal formations on the face of a cave. The food, however, is anything but. Bringing with him all the artful expertise of world-famous restaurants Arzak, Alinea and Noma, Adoni’s menu includes gems like the eggplant carpaccio, with its fire-roasted eggplant slices served with tahini. But Adoni’s dishes are never as straightforward as that—date molasses and dried roses are unusual ingredients in our part of the world, which are expertly used to add an exciting sweetness to lift the dish. Generously drizzled in olive oil and made texturally interesting by pistachios, it’s a wonderful starter to the rest of Aniba’s offerings like the katayef, which is traditionally a kind of sweet dumpling dessert served during Ramadan. Adoni’s version is decidedly savoury, which sees grouper, pine nuts, harissa and fresh market vegetables enveloped within a preserved lemon semolina pancake. Never one to let your palate recede to complacency, Adoni serves it with an electric Thai-style vinaigrette to spark the imagination with its seemingly disparate yet sensuous blend of flavours.
Dessert is not to be missed either, with items like the malabi, a traditional milk pudding. It is updated with a plum and warm spices compote that adds a comfortingly fruity and earthy quality to the dessert, topped with a raspberry sorbet and caramelised shredded filotuile. A sprinkling of pistachio hibiscus powder and dried rose petals adroitly complete the presentation, concluding a meal that had just set one’s palate ablaze.
To add more excitement to the gastronomical experience is a trip to London, England, at HUMO with Colombian chef Miller Prada’s newest restaurant nestled in Mayfair. Prada isn’t swayed by one cuisine or the other, on closer scrutiny though, his Colombian roots and Japanese training under Michelin-starred chef Endo Kazutoshi become evident. What’s most striking about HUMO is the prominence of wood-fire cooking in Prada’s gastronomy, using different species of wood to deliver varying qualities of smoke and char. The result? Elegantly-plated dishes with bold flavour profiles for a titillating edge in one of London’s most refined districts.
Prada uses every technique in his repertoire to amplify flavours, such as ageing Ike-Jime Hampshire trout for 12 days cooked over HP18 oak, served with three month-aged caviar grilled in kombu kelp for a briny, electric start to a meal. The West Highland langoustine is undeniably a standout, which is grilled in direct contact with AB55 whisky barrels, HR2 applewood, and CM13 silver birch for an unparalleled char. Served with fermented Kissabel apple, it’s an explosion of flavours that fills one’s senses assertively. Elsewhere, Prada proves that vegetables are just as interesting as meat, with a cauliflower cooked under ash and served with Rokko Miso, yuzu, tarocco orange, nori and Spanish black winter truffle for both an acidic and umami punch.
“Gastronomy is the intelligent knowledge of whatever concerns man’s nourishment,” the great epicure Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savar indicated in his book, The Physiology of Taste. It is this savoir-faire that all chefs take to heart, even in Phuket at its corner of the world. At Hom, chef Ricardo Nunes channels the ancient art of fermentation, a notoriously tricky undertaking with vastly unpredictable outcomes and even more volatile flavours. Nevertheless, it is an art that has sustained generations through inhospitable winters and continues to nourish under Nunes’ gastronomic ethos—one that respects the seasonality and sustainability of local ingredients and strives towards a lower carbon footprint.
Jars of ferment line the bar at Hom, where cucumbers mature with bunches of dill in amber-coloured brines alongside vines of young peppercorns (or are those young eggplants, or juniper?) in dark liquids. It’s hard not to feel like you are wandering through a zoological lab with animals preserved in formaldehyde, which is probably the point—Nunes wants you to expect the unexpected. Nunes, who has several years of experience working in storied restaurants like Potong, Belcanto and Gaggan, works closely with resident zymologist Mateo Polanco to refine fermentation techniques that take centre stage in Hom’s 10-course menus.
There are no ingredients especially air-flown from different regions of the world; in the name of sustainability, it’s important to Nunes that every ingredient sourced is grown in Thailand. It also means that all ingredients are extremely fresh, allowing their pristine qualities to shine through in each dish. Take one of Nunes’ liquid amuse-bouches, starring an organic passionfruit that’s been fermented to accentuate its already-tart and acidic profiles. Served with ruby pomelo, local herbs and flowers, it’s the perfect starter to electrify the palate before taking in other unusual delicacies like the fermented wild boar belly. Never mind the novelty of wild boar meat—its fermentation is undoubtedly peculiar with an even more indescribable flavour profile, with intense notes of umami and acidity all at once.
Elsewhere, Nunes refuses to shy away from durian as he harnesses the smarting flavours of black durian with goat, pumpkin and his version of a Mexican mole, creating an eclectic blend of savoury, sweet and pungent flavours that will shock one’s palate. There’s only so much one can say, Nunes’ creations demand to be experienced, not read about; to surprise diners and engulf smell and taste so completely with the assertive maturity of fermentation, while always maintaining a balanced palate.
Like that first crack when you open up a fresh can of beer, Heineken has a refreshing take on a common concept. For the Dutch pale lager's 150th anniversary, they continue their creative collaboration, this time, with local fashion brand, The Salvages.
But this isn't Heineken's foray into the fashion scene. The label worked with Union, A Bathing Ape, Yeti Out and even with The Shoe Surgeon for kicks with beer-injected soles. For its collab with The Salvages, the fashion company took inspiration from Heineken's iconic imagery of Heineken. Using elements like the iconic red star and the striking viridescent palette, they are joined with The Salvages' unique pattern-cutting techniques. With a collection that tempts you into indulging in life's simple pleasures, the t-shirts have loose-fitting drop shoulders that are intricately cut and sewn together to form something new.
All Heineken x The Salvages t-shirts are vacuum-packed and stored in limited-edition Heineken cans. Just dunk the compressed material in water, let the fabric unravel, dry that sucker and wear it like a bawse.
These limited-edition bottles will be available as prizes across popular drinking spots from 29 June until the end of July.
As founder Freddy Heineken once said “I don’t sell beer. I sell gezelligheid (Good Times).” This ethos would become Heineken’s north star and is the tone for its 150th anniversary bash in Singapore. Speaking of which...
With the t-shirts available now, the first 50 purchases will get an invite to the Heineken x The Salvages Party. This is a by-invite-only event at an undisclosed location.
How do you demonstrate you know how a foreign-language word is pronounced without demonstrating that you’re an asshole? Here we introduce the Bruschetta method!
You sit down at the Italian joint, order your negroni, and grab the menu off the red-and-white gingham tablecloth in front of you. The antipasti are there at the top left, and before long, you’re ready to suggest a starter. But you’re not quite sure how to say it—or play it.
BruSHetta? BrusKetta? BruSKEHtta?!
Based on an extensive peer-reviewed study titled, “Listening to Random Americans I Both Know and Don’t Know Saying It,” I feel comfortable declaring that most would suggest to their table that they share a plate of “bruSHETTA.” There’s a ‘C’ in the word—bruschetta—but the ‘S’ usually dominates an ‘SC’ in English (muscle). In Italian, the ‘CH’ creates a hard ‘C’. The “SH” is highly common, though, and also wrong, and wrong in such a way that it does betray what you do not know.
Now, somebody once advised against mocking someone for mispronouncing a word because they likely learnt it reading. And maybe you don’t give a flying focaccia how the Italianos say it. But just in case you do possess the thin skin of an effete cosmopolitan always out to impress, here’s a little procedure to show you’re an American of culture without doing too much. After all, nobody wants to be the guy shouting “bruSKEHHHtta!” at a waitress, either. You want the ‘SK’ without the ostentatious accento (and, we can only assume, pinching your fingers in upward triangles). You’ve got to find exactly the right balance to show you know how the word is pronounced without showing that you’re an asshole.
You want “bru-SKETTA.” Call it the Bruschetta Method.
Take a word like croissant, a real landmine we took from the French. (The many words English has borrowed from other languages are sometimes known as “loanwords.” Think macho, or schadenfreude.) You’re at the coffee shop, you just took out a second mortgage to pay for your latte, and you figure you might as well put this line of credit to use on a pastry as well. But do you go with “KWASSON”? Surely that’s a bridge too far. The guy in the apron is going to throw you a look. But you do have to demonstrate that you know it’s not “KROYCE-ant,” or something. You’ve got to find that balance, and it might come down to personal preference—how far you want to go. You could go the extra half-mile with “kWass-AUNT,” but I might suggest that, for hopefully the only time in your life, you follow the lead of Kanye West in the tellingly titled “I Am a God”: “Hurry up with my damn cruh-SAUNTS!”
Nobody wants to be the guy shouting “bruSKEHHHtta!” at a waitress.
There are decisions to be made all over the place. Do you grab the Spanish ‘Z’ by the horns in “Ibiza” and end up with “ih-BEETHA”? I can’t recommend it, and I really can’t recommend going with the “EYE-BEETHA” you tend to hear on BBC Radio 1. (One of the great secrets of the modern age is that the Brits, whom we Americans consider more worldly by default, have a nasty habit of butchering foreign languages with a kind of imperial flair. Like all that land, they seem to think a word is now theirs as soon as they come across it.) Some, like “Gloucestershire,” aren’t much of a decision once you know how they go. (“GLOSS-ter-sure.”) Others are a learning process and then become a conundrum: do you go full dachshund when you meet your friend’s new puppy? Then there’s Havana, with its ‘B’-ish ‘V’. That’ll probably depend on whether you’re actually in Cuba, because you may not want to be rolling out “Ha-BAHN-a” this side of the Caribbean Sea. I’d sail clear of Ha-VANNE-a, though, too. That’s excessive gringo.
Sahara? You probably want to avoid “SaHAIRa” and get yourself some “HAHR,” and also leave the “Desert” off the back of it. (“Sahara” is “desert” in Arabic, which leaves you saying Desert Desert.) I grew up saying “Ha-WHY-YEE,” but that ain’t how the Hawaiians do it. Considering it’s an American state, the rest of us could make some sort of effort towards “Hawah-EE”—but perhaps without going all the way. Remember your training. And what about “gyro”? It’s not JY-roh, despite what you hear all over the place Stateside. In Greek, it’s “yee-roh,” though you’ll sometimes hear “jjjeero,” with a kind of ‘zh’ thing going on up front. That one’s a real crapshoot, man. Good luck at the food truck.
Ultimately, it’s about striking the right balance for you. If you’re a native speaker of the language in question, or even a Duo Lingo success story, you might go all out. It might also come down to who you’re dining with or travelling with or shooting the shit with. Are they friends of yours? Friends of your spouse? Her coworkers that she’s trying to impress? Your clients, who might be upper crust or hale-and-hearty? Are they happy-go-luckies or oozing put-upon sophistication? Are they from New Jersey? And do they have even the faintest idea how to really say “gnocchi”?
I can’t answer any of these questions for you. We’re all on our own journeys. Hopefully, yours will someday take you to Paris—very few Americaines can get away with “Pah-REE,” and that includes Netflix Emily—where you can sit down for lunch and find yourself eyeing a certain sandwich. The gears start turning again. The calculations send you spinning, mental math giving way to a fierce desire for a supercomputer. Is it “CROCK MONSYUR”? Surely not, no matter how much you might have loved Brad Pitt in Inglorious Basterds. But “KHrUHQUE MUHnSEEUUUHR”? Careful there, mon ami. You want to be the right kind of stranger in a strange land. You know the truth, the way, as well as your own limitations. It’s the wisdom of a worldly Americano—a citizen of the world who still knows the proper size of a kitchen appliance, if not how to measure it in centimetres.
From: Esquire US
While I'd like to talk about the best bomobolini in Singapore, I'm getting ahead of myself. Instead, let's start in 2020, where the world (well, most of the world) was on lock-down.
Stuck indoors, no light at the end of the tunnel, cabin fever settles like dust motes on a statue... as the world comes to a standstill, there's only so much Netflix you can binge on. (And chill? Well, that's between me and my God.)
But if there was anything that helped me through the pandemic, it was the discovery of new trying new food when Deliveroo and Foodpanda started upping their game. Stalls or restaurants that I normally wouldn't patronise suddenly became options that I readily indulged in. It was during this period that I got hooked on the bomboloni from The Fat Kid Bakery.
Those were the only thing they sold but they do it so well. Starting as a home-based food business, Ariel Tang—the founder of The Fat Kid Bakery—these sourdough bomboloni are rotund; befitting of the supposed etymological connection to an old-fashion grenade. It's light and springy; like chewing a nicely seared marshmallow. The filling is generous and didn't venture into overly sweet. It's actually rather perfect. No notes. I ordered a box of 10 and have been ordering from them since.
Business picked up for Tang and she had a brick-and-mortar in Ang Mo Kio. But this past April, she moved her operations to Amoy Street. With a new space, the bakery has a bigger kitchen and an expanded menu like the inclusion of brownies, cookies and soon-to-be-added, sandwiches. The sandwiches came about as a means to cater to the Central Business District crowd. Because Gordon Gekko-clones cannot live by bread alone, they also need to dig into a BLT while pacing and trading shares on a comically large cellphone.
While we wait for the sandwiches, you can still carbo-load more variety of artisanal bread. You have your milk loaf; country white sourdough loaf; ciabatta and focaccia. Will we get brioche? Or a lovely rye? Oh, the suspense!
And, of course, the bakery serves coffee as well. Using Yahava beans, you can get a latte, cappuccino, long black... y'know the usual caffeinated suspects. A little bean juice goes great with the pastries. Alas, there are no seats at the establishment but with the direction that The Fat Kid Bakery is heading, one can't help to think that it might be on the cards soon.
The Fat Kid Bakery is located at 39 Amoy Street, Singapore 069865 and accepts walk-ins and pre-order pick-ups.