#NewNordic Brunch with Noma’s Mads Reflunds

Michelin Starred Chefs congregate for 4xFOURa high end Pop-Up Dining experience in Singapore. “4xFOUR is an exciting concept that brings together the art of gastronomy with the world of visual art. 4 distinctive cuisines by 4 internationally acclaimed chefs, all showcased in a purpose-built Pop-Up Restaurant.”

4XFOUR is showcasing for a 4 week period from 13 November – 7 December 2014. The 22-day event features both brunch and dinner sessions, with brunch sessions featuring a four-course menu with champagne, and dinner sessions offering a more extensive eight-course menu. Tickets are priced from S$168 and are available from 4XFOUR website.

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When I heard Mads Reflunds, co-founder of Noma (which ranks 1st in The World’s 50 best restaurant list by S. Pellegrino & Acqua Panna),  would be cooking in Singapore for the first time I booked my brunch immediately!

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The Pop-up is hosted at the tables of Singapore’s exclusive Temasek Suite at the F1 Pit Building. Specially built as the Prime Minister’s hospitality suite during the Singapore Grand Prix, this private dining room has only been visited by a select few.

The history of Singapore’ s F1 is enamoured over the entrance walls and a real treat to be seen for a first time visitor.

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A novice experience was the pairing of Michelin Star Art Gastronomy and Visual Art. The Visual Art really does add a je ne sais quoi to the dining, its clean, quirky and imaginative in true Northern European style and a truely similar description of the gastromony.

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Brunch was elegantly served on imperial style tables with your personal name place cards awaiting you. The dine-wear was very Scandinavian matching well the chef and ambience. The menu sounded refreshing and fitting for a Sunday Brunch.
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After a little welcoming speech from Mads enlightening his guests with his concept of #NewNordic cuisine and his love for digging up ingredients in forests, we were served up with his clean plates like clockwork. Mads clearly runs an organised kitchen with high standards, each course came out perfectly and exact to one another.

First round was Scallops with Cucumber & Buttermilk Horseradish. Visually bright and artistic and tastefully balanced. A perfect palate cleanser that set the pace for the following fine courses.

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Second course was very fruits of the forest like – Broth of Mushrooms with Egg Yolk & Seaweed, a suitable soothing dish for autumnal season.

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Pork Neck with Mushrooms & Black Garlic arrived as the pleasing meaty main.

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Ending sweetly we did with the fashionable Beetroot. Their doesn’t seem to be a Michelin Star chef who doesn’t love his beets! Mads served Frozen Beets with Yogurt & Rye and we devoured the lot of it.

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I know for sure now that #NewNordic is a cuisine that deserves its international recognition. Its series of raw flavours and ability to remain light yet satisfying gives it a unique place in the top notch global cuisines.

Check out http://www.4xfour.sg you won’t be disappointed.

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L’Eclair High Tea is the way you host a Pop Up!

Singapore’s Pop up events have started to take a real swing! 2014 has seen bespoke Cocktail Bars Popping up all over town with heaps of creativity and award winning mixologists mixing up notorious local flavours with hardcore liquor. Home-ware and boutique fashion markets appear available for browsing nearly weekly and of course interesting Food Pop Ups are stepping out constantly. Being a foodie city that specialises in local street food delicacies, Pop Up Food cartels in Singapore have high expectations upon them and rightly so. I recently dined at a wonderful pop-up cafe conecptulaised by two Singaporean ladies Michelle Looi & Sarah Tan of L’ÉCLAIR. The event is called DINETTE and is held at the Three Years In A Balloon Cafe.

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Dinette is running every weekend from 8-30 November between 1-6pm, serving a High Tea for 2, which showcases their spectacular eclairs and includes some light savoury bites, macaroons and coffee/tea. The ladies were inspired by the fine patisserie they had devoured in Paris and have since been driven to re-create the perfect eclair. After much research and experimentation they have created 8 unique eclair flavours. Their menu had us teased and boy were we pleased when presented with the swirl of mini-eclairs. Top 3 Favourites in taste order – Ispahan (Rose, Lychee, Raspberry), Madagascar Vanilla Bean & Caramelised Pecans and Hazelnut Praline. That said all the eclairs were divine but these 3 were so exceptional for me that I bought a box of eight of them to take away!

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It would be wrong to not mention the savoury offerings L’eclair provided as they were the best high tea savoury bites I have had in Singapore. No question these ladies are giving the hotel establishments a run for their money. I was still thinking about their Chicken & Bacon Basque pie the next morning. The pastry was Very Francais – butter, butter, butter!!  The “Peking Duck” mini sandwiches were peking good and  had me thinking why I had not made them at home before! The pistachio crumbed white bread really showed their ability to go further then the average high tea though. Hats off L’Eclair Ladies!

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Their creativity in this pop-up is dreamy and the flavour concoctions superb. Quite frankly the most stunning looking eclairs I have seen to date! Fear not if you are unable to get a table, it has been a booked event with a waiting list – (that does open up though – so try)! or else L’eclair are going to be at Naiise Xmas Pop-up Store on 6th & 7th Dec, 12-7pm at 72 Dunlop Street! IMG_0048

Singapore Heritage Afternoon Tea

The recently re-vamped Clifford Pier @ The Fullerton Bay Hotel hosts a wonderful Singaporean Heritage Afternoon Tea. Full of novel tea time treats that are spun off favourite Singaporean local flavours this Tea Time does not disappoint.

Singaporean cookbook author, Shermay Lee, curates a selection of 8 savoury and 8 sweet items to reflect Singapore’s multifavoured culinary past and present. The little ‘creations are handcrafted with a nod to traditional skills and are based on heirloom recipes handed down to Shermay from her late grandmother, Mrs Lee Chin Koon, author of the famous Mrs Lee’s Cookbook and widely recognized as the doyenne of Peranakan cuisine in Singapore.’

Like all Afternoon Tea rituals we commenced ours with a selection of brew and were thrilled by the local options. The deliciously sweet Teh Tarik being the most popular on our table I opted for the strongly brewed Moroccan Mint Tea.

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In good stead we kicked off with the 8 Savoury items which were topped up galore! Firm favourites were the nostalgic Kueh Pie Tee, Bak Kwa Jam Sandwich and Chilli Crab Bao. (for novel Singaporean eaters check the menu pic for the delicious details). 

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Being a condiment connoisseur I was excited by the choice of asian dipping pots – sweet and savoury were both demolished. The fiery local red garlic chilli sauce was yumtastic when accompanied with the sweet and sticky Kurobuta Pork Kong Ba Bao and Nonya Chicken Curry Roti Jala Wrap.

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The Tropical scones were surprisingly crumbly and moist (not a norm in Singapore’s humidity), and the Pineapple-Vanilla Jam and Kaya spread were very well paired. I would say a really good scone job done by Clifford Pier!

For those who have room – 8 Sweet Singaporean treats await you! The Hainanese Roti with Kaya got my attention first as did the Sugee Financier and Bandung Macaroon. The bright green Pandan Swiss Roll unfortunately didn’t deliver for me – a bit dense which was a shame as I love Pandan!

This is the Ultimate Tea for those who love to savour the culinary delights of Singapore or for those that want an intro into Singapore’s long love affair of blended South East Asian cuisine. The Clifford Pier’s colonial feel is a well suited venue for the Heritage Tea with its oppulent deck and great views of the Singapore River.

For reservations, email cliffordpier@fullertonbayhotel.com

http://www.fullertonbayhotel.com/latest-specials/culinary/heritage-afternoon-tea

Birdcage Afternoon Tea @ W Singapore

W Singapore housed on Sentosa hosts a modern afternoon tea with their – Birdcage W T Time. Seated in the sparkly purple Woo Bar, Birdcages of sweet treats decent to each lounge @ $58 per cage (for 2 persons).

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The Savoury beginnings were plentiful with staff continually topping up. Favourites were the Tikka Inspired Salmon, Mint & Spice Poppadum, Torched Double Brie, Pickled Cucumber Nigiri and the ultra favourite Chocolate Ganache Foie Gras Tartsextremely tasty and well balanced with a sparkling gold leaf topping!

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Being a fan of Chilli Crab I was excited by the arrival of The Double Cooked Hen’s Egg, Chilli Crab Mantou, tasty they were but slightly over done. Softer buns please!

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The desserts were decent – but lacking in some scones! In replace were some sort of jam fruit filo tartlets which I didn’t waste my time trying. The Chocolate tea cup and Fresh Berry Trifle Shot were far more appealing and tasty enough to leave appeased.

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All in all a relatively reasonable Afternoon Tea overlooking some prettiness of Singapore with all the dazzle of the W Hotel.

To book your Cage…..http://www.wsingaporesentosacove.com/en/woobar

 

Restaurant Andre, Fine-Dining in Singapore

Restaurant Andre situated off the foodie strip Keong Saik Road is a very special venue to celebrate a very special occasion. This occasion happened to be my 32nd birthday.

The restaurant is carefully hidden in a building that resembles the quaint chalk town houses off Georgetown in Washington DC. Elegant and matt and totally un-singaporean in style and feel, until you are greeted by the local staff. The restaurant seats 18 guests, its intimate and fine-dining in its true form. Service is above the usual Singaporean Fine-Dining level. A sommelier who actually knows his wine and bouncing at attention waiters.

The menu is set and takes 2 and half hours to complete. In usual fine dining manner we found our selves treated to many delightful pre-snacks which are full of pezazz and wow factor. Stand out dishes were the no salt round and charcoal fritters hidden within real coal logs!

We finished nicely with a bunch of tasty sweet bites, our favourites were the Sangria Lollipops and deconstructed Snickers bar. Chef Andre added some extra sweetness to the night as he made his rounds to the tables and conjured up quite pleasant conversation. Born in Taiwan, raised in France and Chef and restaurant owner in Singapore. He has achieved a stand out service with his place which provides the science and taste no other fine dining has delivered in Singapore to date. A well deserved spot on Asia’s top 50 restaurants. I would highly recommend if you are missing Heston’s innovative plates or true french fine dining service.

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