Monday, June 28, 2010
Tastings, Part 1 - Tetsuya Wakuda, Guy Savoy, Santi Santamaria
After the press conference with the celebrity chefs, we got to sample some of the signature items from the chefs' menus. I had thought it might be a sit-down lunch, which would do better justice to the food. But it was canape stations and everyone had to queue up. So it was really hard taking good photographs of the food, jostling with 300 hungry journalists and camera crew. I apologise for the quality of the photos, but some of the food is really worth sharing.
Let me start with Tetsuya Wakuda. His restaurant Waku Ghin will be opening soon.
Scampi in Sea Water and Lemon Scented Olive Oil - you pull the scampi out, and it gets coated with the olive oil. Down it and taste the freshness of the sea.
This is Tetsuya's novel recreation of the oyster - made of scallop carpaccio wrapped around foie gras, doused with lime. It comes really close. You know what, I like this better than real oysters!
A server came out bearing these on a tray. Tetsuya's bamboo clams with dried red pepper, inspired by Santi Santamaria.
Seared wagyu beef. I nearly missed this, because I didn't see it earlier. After we had eaten everything, Ladyironchef told me Tetsuya had some nice beef. I went back to check it out, even though there was a long queue. And this was the "Oh my God!" moment. This is what wagyu is, this is what it should taste like. Of course, the marbling grade of 9+ helped!
It's all prepared a la minute, and only a few at a time could be seared in the pan. But the wait is so worth it. I happily queued up a second time.
Can you tell I really liked this? Positively sublime, it was.
Tetsuya's team was also one of the friendliest. They had absolutely no pretentious airs about them at all.
Now for Guy Savoy. His eponymous restaurant is already open at Level 2 of the Casino Building.
Truffle-artichoke soup with grated parmesan cheese, served with truffle brioche spread with truffle butter. The soup is served very piping hot! They advise you to dip the brioche in the soup, but it was quite nice on its own too.
Touts Petit Pois en Demi - Poached quail's egg on green pea gelee, creamed green pea puree, and green pea with mustard cress salad, served with toast and basil oil. The multiple pea ensemble dominated the flavours with its vegetal notes.
Guy Savoy also had a beautifully refreshing Grapefruit with Tea Sauce. I didn't get a photo of it - it was just a deep pink block, but it really perks up your tastebuds.
Santi Santamaria has his daughter Regina in charge of Santi at Marina Bay Sands, and the kitchen is helmed by Daniel Chavez.
Seafood is a highlight at this Catalan chef's restaurant. This is octopus on potato with smoked paprika oil.
Gazpacho in shooters.
Summer truffle, quail's egg and Japanese breadcrumbs. I love all the ingredients in this dish, but somehow I'm not sure they work well together. It was a little bit dry.
Santi also had the little choux-like pastry balls, filled with melted chocolate. The skin is so thin, it just melts in your mouth.
Do you think cute chefs make food seem tastier?
OK phew, that's half the celebrity chef food stations covered. Stay tuned for Part II - signature samplers from Daniel Boulud, Wolfgang Puck, Justin Quek!
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