Saturday, September 10, 2011
Pan Pacific F1 Gourmet Safari
Are you excited about the F1 race this year? Many restaurants near the Marina Square and Marina Bay area are offering special menus just for the occasion. Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore has come up with a five-course dinner inspired by the night race. This F1 Gourmet Safari has already started - it's on daily from 5 to 23 Sept 2011 (except Sundays). What it gives you is the chance to taste all the hotel's fine-dining restaurants in one evening. Let's see what you'll get at each pit stop.
The Wine Vault is the "starting line". We were entreated to deliciously strong lychee saketinis (see first photo). These are also available at the ground floor Keyaki Bar (psst, sake-based cocktails at only S$9.99 during happy hours 5pm to 7.30pm, and these come with complimentary Japanese-style 'tapas')
The Wine Vault is where you'll get to indulge in pre-dinner drinks and amuse bouche starters, such as the Packham Pear Soup with Scallop Skewer. The pear soup is pretty unusual - mushroom-based with the sandy texture and sweetness of pear.
This was followed by Sweet Potatoes with Mushroom Truffle Cream. Fabulous combination. I asked if this would be available after the F1 racing period, but sadly the answer was no.
And off to the next stop - Keyaki, one of Singapore's most established Japanese restaurants, for some appetisers.
On this platter are tastes from Suzuka City, in the Mie Prefecture, home to one of the oldest remaining F1 tracks.
I think we were supposed to eat this from right to left. So, the items in that order are:
- Sakura shrimp chips
- Tea fish noodle with soba sauce, mashed prawn and tea leaf
- Herbal tea jelly with pear and water shield (also known as "junsai", a summer delicacy, and I absolutely love these, ever since I first tried them at Goto, where I had one of the best kaiseki meals in Singapore ever)
- Sea urchin on macha tofu
- Macha lily root ball
The artfully executed appetisers were paired with a brilliant sparkling sake. I officially like this better than champagne now.
The next stop was Hai Tien Lo at Level 37 for hot entree. You can see great views of the city from up here.
Pepper Salt Shanghai Small Yellow Fish on Green Mango Salad. The highlight for me here was the green mango salad - it's a burst of flavours. I wished there was more to the small yellow fish. It was pleasantly tender and you could eat it fins and all, but it was...small (picture is a close-up). Maybe some carb would have helped too.
The entree came with a glass of white wine - Réserve Perrin Côtes du Rhône.
We then adjourned to Zambuca for mains - the Blackmore Wagyu Trilogy, which we all enjoyed.
Top: a nicely grilled rib fillet (may be a little overdone for those who like it rare, but fine for me)
Bottom Left: Beef Wellington (very tender)
Bottom Right: Oxtail Roulade (wrapped with bacon)
Served with spiced parsnip, baby beets and brussels sprouts.
The red wine was a Torbreck 2009 Woodcutter's Shiraz from Barossa Valley. Very strong, oaky and spicy.
And finally, the "finish line"...dessert at The Atrium. It's back to the ground floor.
There are these huge yet cosy 'cabanas' along one end of the Atrium that offer privacy for groups. You don't need any special reservations for these. Just walk in and enjoy!
Dessert was mango parfait on coconut sable with soursop emulsion, lemongrass jelly and lemon balm herb. The mango in the centre is frozen like a sorbet, so it's quite refreshing. Meanwhile the soursop emulsion is a milky foam in the background.
The Gourmet Safari is a fine-dining take on fun food-trails. The dishes have been specially created for this dinner series, so you won't find it on the regular menus. There are service staff assigned who will escort you to each "pit stop" along the way. Don't worry, there is no time limit, so there's no hurry for you to race ahead. But reservations are a must (no walk-ins).
Available: 5-23 September 2011
Dinner at 7pm
$280++ per person (5-17 September),
$590++ per person with 2-way transfer in exclusive chauffeured sports car (19-23 September) with a very special surprise (we tried to pry, but they wouldn't tell!). Given that they have partnered Maserati for this event, I'm guessing you'll be travelling in that.
For reservations or enquiries, call +65 6826-8240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Mabeline and Alexandra of Pan Pacific Hotel for hosting us.
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