This meal you will probably see repeated in 24 blogs across Singapore. That many of us gathered for the annual food blogger's lunch. I was delighted to finally meet some of the people whose work I have been reading and enjoying for the past few years. Plus some new ones who are quite promising.
This year, thanks to the efforts of Ladyironchef and Hautestuff, we were treated to some of Gunther's best in a specially arranged luncheon. Chef Gunther Hubrechsen went Carte Blanche for our lunch, meaning he will take whatever is best available on the day itself and cook it for you. Yes, all of us signed up for a meal without knowing what we would get. But we knew we would not be disappointed. Gunther has established himself as one of the most respected chefs of modern French cuisine in the region.
Someone observed that it seems more like a photographer's convention than a blogger meetup. Not surprising given the number of DSLR cameras dotting the tablescape, and the endless chatter about equipment and techniques. Are food bloggers foodies first or photographers first? Hard to say, sometimes.
We began with French bread, served warm and with gently softened butter. This was refilled throughout the meal, which I thought was quite a nice touch. This tiny baguette may be slightly hard and chewy for those who prefer local soft buns and breads, but I enjoyed the texture.
We all thought this was an amuse bouche but it is one of the two starters. The Japanese tomato was drenched in a vanilla foam, accompanied by a lone fava bean and a thin sliver of toast. It tasted almost like a strawberry with that sweet foam.
Cold angel-hair pasta with oscietra caviar. It's also heavily doused with truffle oil and kombu (Japanese seaweed stock). Triple umami overload! Very slurpalicious. I savoured this slowly, and wanted it to go on for longer. Oh, hurrah, it's available on the a la carte menu!
Poached white asparagus, Bouchot mussels, Alaskan crabmeat and I believe the waiter said Hollandaise sauce, but I could be mistaken. And bits of sakura ebi too.
Grilled Cote de Boeuf, Japanese sweet-corn, sauce Bordelaise. This is one of Gunther's signature dishes. Beautifully done to medium rare, this tender slab didn't really need the sauce - only the coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper that was sprinkled on it.
Another view of the beef. The Japanese sweetcorn was provided sweet and juicy contrast to the beef. What I also really liked was the billowy tapioca cracker - it lent an aura of fun to the dish. Keropok!
Fine apple tart a la dragees, with Havana rum & raisin ice-cream. This has also been raved about. The thin crust reminded many of the Chinese red bean pancake dessert, but the entire combination is certainly more unusual. For one thing, I have never tasted rum & raisin ice cream like this before.
Each of us were given a door gift of a Singapore Sling cocktail drink. A very pretty bottle.
I really enjoyed the company that day, and I'm very glad I got to try many of Gunther's specialities in one sitting. Here's to the next annual food blogger outing, which I'm sure will successfully happen as it has in previous years. No committee necessary!
36 Purvis Street, #01-03, Singapore 188613
Sundays only open for dinner