Tuesday, October 9, 2012

One-Ninety's Applewood Grill at The Four Seasons Hotel

Tajima Wagyu Sirloin 230g, marbling grade 8-9
The One-Ninety kitchen at the Four Seasons Hotel has got an applewood oven and this means Senior Sous Chef Nicholas Owen and his team are firing up some new dishes for dinner.

The grill uses intense heat to sear the meats, such as the Tajima Wagyu Sirloin above (230g, S$95), marvellously marbled at grade 8-9. You also get choices like 200-day grain fed Australian ribeye (280g, S$58), U.S. Prime Angus Beef Tenderloin (200g, S$68), Australian wagyu rump steak (220g, S$36) and a 1kg Tomahawk ribeye for two (S$139).

You know, someone told me recently wagyu is too rich to be grilled as a steak. I still think it can be done nicely, given the right portion and grilling skill. This Tajima baby proves it.

Mini foccacias - tenderly bite-sized and so fun to eat!
Let's start from the beginning - these mini-foccacias they serve are as cute as buttons and equally fun to eat. Very gently herbed and salted, tender and lovingly bite-sized.

Ask the friendly restaurant manager to recommend some wines
While you are there, ask the friendly restaurant manager to recommend some wines. They have some nice Spanish labels too.

One-Ninety Seafood Platter - oysters, lobster, Alaskan king crab, tiger prawns
The One-Ninety Seafood Platter with oysters, lobster, Alaskan king crab, tiger prawns (S$52) is good for two, but the seafood is so sweet and fresh, you might not want to share. Comes with three dips for you to play with, including an interesting yuzu mayo.

Baby Beet & Artichoke Salad with goat cheese, candied walnuts and orange segments
Baby Beet & Artichoke Salad (S$18) with goat cheese, candied walnuts and orange segments

I really liked this. Nice play of textures and flavours - tangy cheese, salty artichoke, crunchy sweet walnuts and a light fruity hint of orange. Scoop them all together for an amazing party in your mouth.

Ricotta Gnocchi with mushroom broth, black garlic and Shimeji mushrooms
Ricotta Gnocchi (S$17) with mushroom broth, black garlic and Shimeji mushrooms

The gnocchi is surprisingly lighter than most, and carries the intensely umami broth very well. We were all trying not to overload on this and get too full.

Foie Gras Pavė, with berry flavours and grilled rye bread
Foie Gras Pavė (S$26), with berry flavours and grilled rye bread

Oh, I am so coming back for this one! It's my favourite dish of the evening, and I am just blown away by how perfectly the mousse-like foie gras and berry gelee paired with the ultra-crispy salty bread. My description can't do justice to the dish; you have to try it to know what I mean.

You can still see the marbling of the Tajima Wagyu Sirloin
Back to the Tajima Wagyu Sirloin. Perfect doneness. You can still see the marbling; it's waiting to melt in your mouth.

Dutch Milk Fed Veal Chop 280g
Dutch Milk Fed Veal Chop (280g, S$58)

Well, we all knew what to expect from the wagyu, but this dish took us pleasantly by surprise. The veal is beautifully tender and juicy, with a certain aromatic sweetness that probably comes from the milk formula the calf was fed on. Yes, we reached for this one as much as we did the wagyu.

Mediterranean Ortobello Sea Bream Fillet 160g
Mediterranean Ortobello Sea Bream Fillet (160g, S$40)

Fret not if you don't take beef. There's three kinds of fish on the grill menu - Ahi Tuna Steak, Tasmanian Trout Fillet and the Sea Bream above. The beef rules, though.

There are some nice side dishes too, to go with your main event.

Smoked mushroom gratin, with herbed bread crumbs
Smoked mushroom gratin (S$6), with herbed bread crumbs 

Mousseline potatoes, green asparagus
Mousseline potatoes (S$6), - very light and airy mashed potatoes
Green asparagus (S$6) - simply poached to showcase its natural flavours

And if you still have room, dessert.

Coconut Sorbet as palate cleanser
A quenelle of Coconut Sorbet came as a palate cleanser. I'd have been happy with this for dessert (I love coconut ice cream).

Alphonso mango cheesecake
Mango fans will like the Alphonso mango cheesecake. The lightly tart mango cuts through the rich and creamy texture of the cheesecake. Add the raspberry sorbet for an even more tangy effect.

Chocolate dessert
You could ask them for a chocolate dessert too. But the food earlier was already too much for me, so my tastebuds waved the white flag at pre-dessert.

Still, I'm glad to see exciting changes afoot at the Four Seasons Hotel, firstly with Chef Alan Chan at Jiang-Nan Chun (see my earlier post on his creations), and now the the applewood grill at One-Ninety.

I always remember One-Ninety for its luxurious Sunday brunches, but never quite thought of coming beyond the brunch. I realise they have a Saturday Mezze now, and for lunch on weekdays, you can go for an appetiser and dessert buffet too. More to explore!

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
190 Orchard Boulevard
Singapore 248646

Tel: +65 6831 7250

Opening hours:
Breakfast: 6.30am-10.30am
Lunch: 11.30am-2.30pm
Dinner: 6.30pm-10.30pm
Sunday brunch: 11.30m-4pm
Saturday mezze: 12noon-3pm

Many thanks to Michelle Wan of the Four Seasons Hotel for the invite and for being such a lovely host.


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