The UnProfessional Chef

A girl's commentary on food, cooking and all things delicious!

Name:
Location: Singapore

A closet food critic and wannabe chef who loves the art of cooking and enjoying great cuisine in the company of great friends!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

An Excessive, Cloudy Sunday

What better way to mourn the imminent end of the weekend than by having a four and half hour brunch? Upon the suggestion of my wine aficionado friends, five of us burnt out professionals headed for Saint Pierre, a French restaurant located at in the quiet locale of Central Mall for brunch on this cool Sunday afternoon. The occasion? A one-off wine tasting session pairing wines from Cloudy Bay winery in New Zealand with Chef Emmanuel Stroobant’s unique brand of fusion French cuisine. As you can see, a mega event justifies a mega blog entry with multiple pictures of dishes that were as beautiful to consume visually as they were to eat.

Oysters with Tobasco Jelly and Lemon Zest; Charred Salmon Belly with Cabbage Salad, Daikon and Fresh Wasabi; and Braised White Leek with Cep Jelly, Steamed King Prawn, Ikura and Caviar-infused Sour Cream Dressing

We commenced our decadent day with a lovely selection of canapés, although by the time they arrived, we’d already merrily finished at least two glasses of the crisp, bright Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2005 which was simply perfect for Singapore’s tropical mugginess. When the plate arrived, we did not know where to start. Oysters with Tobasco Jelly and Lemon Zest; Charred Salmon Belly with Cabbage Salad, Daikon and Fresh Wasabi; and Braised White Leek with Cep Jelly, Steamed King Prawn, Ikura and Caviar-infused Sour Cream Dressing competed for our attention. I’m not a big fan of raw oysters so my share of that was left to Mr UnProfessional Chef to slurp down with a satisfied grunt. The slippery semi-cooked salmon belly went nicely with the sweet salad with the fresh grated wasabi lending just the merest hint of spice without overpowering the fish. The jelly had an unusually bland flavour on its own but blended with the sour cream, prawn and ikura to form a harmonious tasty whole.

Seared Hamachi King fish with Scallop Yakitori, White Wine Emulsion and Prawn Quenelle

The second course was a warm seafood combination of Seared Hamachi King fish with Scallop Yakitori, White Wine Emulsion and Prawn Quenelle arrived soon after. It was paired with a Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2003. On its own, we generally did not much like the wine due to its overtly buttery oaky tones, but it complemented the rich seafood excellently. The dish was faultlessly done, in particular the hamachi king fish and the scallop which were cooked to perfection and retained the flavours of the ocean.

Cold Salad of Japanese Noodles with Julienne of Smoked Duck Breast and Pepper-crusted Foie Gras

We then came to the star dish on the menu – Cold Salad of Japanese Noodles with Julienne of Smoked Duck Breast and Pepper-crusted Foie Gras paired with Cloudy Bay Late Harvest Riesling 2002. All of us, save one healthy girl, were certainly candidates for gout after consuming this. We wolfed down the firm slippery soba with the creamily smooth foie gras in rapid time. The duck breast added a tasty, almost Parma ham like element to the dish without raising salt levels too much. The honeyed syrupy sweet Riesling balanced out the fattiness of the foie gras, fooling our certainly clogged arteries into freeing up our tastebuds for more of the same.

Blanquette de Veau

By this time, we were pretty stuffed, but the main course was still to come! Blanquette de Veau paired with Cloudy Bay Tekoko 2002 awaited. The veal was topped with baby carrots, a rich creamy sauce, shaved black truffles and mixed fresh mushrooms. We breathed in the fragrant, heady fumes of both the veal and the woody, smoky wine (an extremely unusual rendition of Sauvignon Blanc) before attacking the dish with the gusto of starving orphans in spite of our rounded bellies. The tender veal fell with the merest touch of the fork and was flavoured delectably by the robust truffle flakes. The equally weighty wine complemented the veal beautifully. Immensely satisfying

Assorted French Cheese Platter

The innocuously-titled Assorted French Cheese Platter with Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2003 offered further opportunities for us to go up two clothes sizes. A selection of five French cheeses ranging from mild Reblechon to a strong, tasty goat cheese was served up with crisp toast and a paper-thin baked apple slice. The flavour of the first three milder cheeses was brought out spectacularly by the Pinot Noir, which, as all of you whose knowledge of this grape variety stems entirely from watching or reading Sideways, is one of the most difficult to turn into great wine. This version did no disappoint. The only red wine in the selection, it was fruity and not too dry. It however did not combine well with the blue or goat cheeses. After some drunken experimentation however, we discovered that these cheeses went very well indeed with the Late Harvest Riesling! Who says there are strict rules for food and wine pairing sessions?

Petit Fours

The meal (if it could be merely referred to as a ‘meal’, it was a feast of Roman proportions) was fittingly completed with a selection of petit fours and a latte for me. The petit fours were little pieces of heaven: a semi-frozen lychee, a cloud of sweet meringue, a choux pastry stuffed with vanilla cream and a biscuit topped with raspberry and more cream.

Shocked into submission, our bodies slumped in our chairs – we were sated, full and satisfied with all manner and variety of great food and wine (thanks to the friendly wait staff who topped up our glasses unceasingly). It was at least a good half hour after our last bite that we were finally able to summon up ourselves out of our food-filled stupor and roll ourselves back home in time to recover for the week of work that lay ahead of us.

Brunch had been worth every penny.

Saint Pierre
3 Magazine Road, #01-01 Central Mall
Singapore 059570
Tel: 6438 0887
Fax: 6438 4887

2 Comments:

Anonymous kailin said...

very cool.
linked you to my page. will be dropping by more often. Cheers!

3:55 PM  
Anonymous fine-dining-in-singapore said...

Chef Emmanuel Stroobant’s flair for blending classical techniques and flavours with exciting modern twist makes for a perfect dining experience.

3:47 PM  

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