Saturday, October 27, 2012

A heavily pregnant cow about to deliver.
Ouch. This cow is heavily pregnant and about to deliver. Yes, guys, you can't get milk unless a cow first gives birth and produces milk for its baby. That udder looks like it's about to burst (hopefully with life-giving milk, unless the calf has found a way to snuggle there).

So with that image nicely seared in your mind, let's take a look at how milk is produced and processed.


Greenfields in Malang, Indonesia, is an Australian-Indonesian joint venture
We learned a lot of things on our media familiarisation tour of the Greenfields integrated dairy in Malang, East Java, Indonesia. Things that shattered our perception of "fresh milk" and what really goes on behind the marketing of milk.

I wrote a feature summarising my discoveries about "fresh" milk for Yahoo Makanation:
http://sg.entertainment.yahoo.com/news/truth-fresh-milk-110519384.html

Never mind that so many dairies use additives that make milk less than 100% milk, but did you know "fresh milk" from Australia and New Zealand suffer such long shipping periods that they require double pasteurisation - one time as they leave the dairy, and another as they reach the destination? Yes, because enough bacteria has built up that needs to be destroyed. Nutrients obviously are lost along the way. So what we think are superior "fresh" products from big names might not be all that better.

So distance matters (that's why we don't even get milk from Europe or the U.S. - it just won't survive the trip). For us, Greenfields is one of our nearest dairies. It's kinda next door.

But you must be asking - why would anyone build a dairy in the remote area of Malang, Indonesia?


The beautiful surrounds of Gunung Kawi near Malang, Indonesia
Firstly, at 1200m above sea levels, the weather is awesome for dairy cows! It's constant all year round (13-24 degrees C). The reason the rest of South-East Asia doesn't have that many dairies is because we are too darn hot and humid. Yes, apparently humans are not the only ones that get grumpy and unproductive at work when it's sweltering. Cows get really stressed out with heat.

Secondly, Malang is actually the second largest town in East Java, and is home to almost 1 million people, with a history dating back to the Mataram Kingdom. It's got surprisingly decent infrastructure, and is close to Surabaya, a major shipping port. Getting your product out quickly mattters when it's something as perishable as milk. From Surabaya to Singapore, it's only 2-3 days by sea (compare that to a week's shipping time from Australia).


Friesian Holstein cows
Greenfields is the largest integrated dairy in South-east Asia. By integrated, they mean everything is done in one location - herd management, milking of cattle, processing and packaging. The more milk suffers transportation, the more bacteria are gleefully breaking down the nutrients and enjoying it before you do. Other farms may need tankers to bring the milk to processing plants, but here, it's all done in one place.

The dairy was built in 1997, and is a joint venture between Australian and Indonesian entrepreneurs. Greenfields today produces an average of 20 million litres of fresh milk a year.

They have about 6,000 Friesian Holstein cows. The original stock was brought in from Australia, but most of them are bred locally now using pre-sexed bull semen from the United States. Yes, the semen practically guarantees 90% female cows (XY chromosomes?). After all, only females give milk. Male calves are probably headed for the veal section.


Friesian Holstein calves at the nursery
Look at the cute calves in the nursery. It seems almost cruel to deprive them of mommy's milk, but they actually thrive better on special formula. After a few days of essential colostrum from their mother, they are put into a nursery for two months, and then to another holding lot where they will be raised until 12 months.


Maternity ward for cows!
After 12 months or so, the heifers can start breeding. Cows go through nine months gestation (just like humans). At 24 months, most of them would be milk cows and would have experienced the Maternity ward! The warning sign in red there says, "Do not argue or quarrel in the cattle birthing area" - you don't want the cows in labour even more stressed out!



Jan and one of the staff show us what the cows eat
What the cows eat is critical. Here, Jan Gert Vistisen (Head of Marketing and Sales, on the right) and one of his Indonesian staff show us the special compound feed (soy, maize, etc) that's blended to yield optimum milk flavour. The cows also feed on locally sourced king grass, alfafa hay from the U.S. and imported grains. They are fed three times a day, so the feed is kept fresh and cool.



Fanning up milk production
Greenfields is also going one step further with climate deliberate barns. What looks like rocket propellers are huge fans that up the wind chill factor in these hangar-like barns.


Inside the fan-cooled hangar, it's about 16 degrees which the cows love
This is what it looks like inside. So the temperature in here is even cooler than outside, resulting in even happier cows. Milk production is up significantly, so it looks like these are a worthy investment.


Cows walking back to their feedlots after milking
From the barns, the cows make their way to the milking parlour three times a day. While they are being milked, their feedlot and soft sandbeds get cleaned. Then the cows come home, literally. They do this cycle almost automatically, instinctively, obediently, three times a day almost without any prodding. It's amazing how habits can be cultivated like this.


The milking parlour where each cow gets a few minutes
This is the milking parlour. Each cow knows its own place and goes in there automatically. We're all still incredulous.


The teats are diligently cleaned and disinfected before the pipes are attached
The teats are gently but diligently washed before pumps are attached.


Milking in progress
Each cow gets a few minutes milking time, and gives about 30 litres of creamy goodness. The pump has a sensor that detects when milkflow slows down, and automatically detaches from the udder.


The milk from the cows are measured here and flow to the filtration room, all by gravity (it's a sloping room)
From the pumps, the milk flows to an underground area where the quantity is tracked. The pipes still feel warm, as the freshly extracted milk is the same body temperature as the cows.

It's slightly surreal in here, as it's a sloping room. This is to enable the milk to flow, purely by gravity, to the filtration and cooling room next door. No pumps required, and this means less parts to clean and maintain, and certainly even less human contact. In fact, the whole process is designed that the first time any human touches the milk is when you pop open the seal of the packaging to drink it.



This is where milk is filtered and cooled
The milk is immediately cooled to 4 degrees C, after impurities are removed. It is then piped to the processing plant which is the next building.

The global codex for raw milk permits a bacteria count maximum of 300,000 cfu/ml before processing at the plant, but with the integrated dairy, Greenfields is able to maintain much lower levels of 8,000-10,000 cfu/ml.


Fresh mozzarella made right here
Oh, we got to see how the fresh mozzarella is made. Greenfields had an Italian cheesemaker come and impart his skills to the team here. The fresh milk is pasteurised, and it is churned after culture is added. The solid curds are separated from the whey and then the curd is sliced into strips, and then stretched to produce a delicate consistency - a process known as pasta filata.

Then they are placed into a cheese mould to form large blocks which are then cut into either 200g or 1kg portions. A soak in chilled water and a brine bath later, these tofu-looking blocks are vacuum-packed on the spot and brought to a cool room to sit for two weeks. This allows the cheese to stabilise and reach optimum melting and stretching ability.


Yes, we had to don all the hygiene protection gear
Yes, we had to wear all the hygiene protection gear. They don't often allow people traipsing in here.


The processing plant pasteurises and homogenises the fresh milk
The processing plant pasteurises and homogenises the fresh milk. It smelled like steaming hot cream in here! Oh, I learned that milk is separated by centrifugal force. Fat is removed to make skim or low fat milk, and the cream is made into whipping cream.

Pasteurisation is at 72 degrees C for 15 seconds to get rid of bacteria without compromising the taste of milk. After pasteurisation, the bacteria count is down to 0-1,000 cfu/ml (the global codex allowance is 30,000 cfu/ml).


The freshly packed products (whipping cream here) comes out to be sorted and packed
The freshly TETRA-Pak'd products (whipping cream here) comes out to be sorted and packed. Basically, the milk gets packed pretty much within the same day. It then makes its way from the dairy to the port already packaged without any need for further pasteurisation. Greenfields ships products to Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Myanmar and Cambodia.



Greenfields has a small R&D lab at the dairy itself
Within the dairy itself is a small research lab where they do quality and safety testing, nutrient analysis and bacteria count.


As coffee chains make up an important part of their clientele, Greenfields has full coffee-making facilities in the lab too
As coffee chains (like Starbucks) make up an important part of their clientele, Greenfields has full fledged coffee-making facilities in the lab too. Milk frothing ability is very important for coffee chains, and it decreases the more bacteria multiplies in the milk.


After the tour, we were treated to Chef Fahmi's creations featuring Greenfields products
After the we were treated to Chef Fahmi's delectable creations featuring Greenfields products. Chef Fahmi Widarte is their Corporate Chef and is quite well-known in Indonesia. I'm hoping he will develop more recipes to share with us in future.


It's East meets West - dishes from both sides of the world
Dishes from East and West. You can use the milk or cream to replace coconut milk in rendang. The mashed potatoes are extra creamy. And the mozzarella fruit salad is a nifty idea. He also made interesting drinks for us - some minty vanilla thing.


Greenfields mozzarella and milk products
Honestly, I have to admit that when I first came across the brand, I had my reservations about milk made in Indonesia. But my family switched to Greenfields after trying them at FHA 2012, back in April. Back then they had just launched their mozzarella, and the very idea of mozzarella made in Indonesia was bizarre, but after tasting it, I'm quite happy to say I'm glad we have good fresh mozzarella made right next door.

The milk too, tastes very close to what fresh milk ought to. It is one of the very few brands out there that has NO additives. Zero. No preservatives, no hormones, no antibiotics, no milk powder, no permeate/whey, and certainly no colouring. No reconstituted or rehydrated milk. It's just milk.

The only thing that does get added is the chocolate malt flavour - and oh my, it's the best chocolate milk I've tried. Seriously, try it. Someone told me they like it better than Meiji's chocolate milk.

Interestingly, there is no single Asian government standard on what fresh milk is.  The AVA doesn't allow skimmed and low fat milk to be called "fresh" milk, but allows it for double-pasteurised milk because it's sanitised. In Hong Kong, the term "fresh milk" is only applicable to single pasteurised milk.

So now when I look at milk, I check the ingredients to see how pure it is, and bear in mind the distance it's traveled.


Go like the GreenfieldsMilkSG on Facebook for updates, news, promos and recipes!


Friday, October 26, 2012

The Bosch VeroBar in Titanium
Bosch has two new machines for you to drool over this coming festive season. Firstly the ultra luxurious VeroBar that gives you barista-styled coffee in a matter of seconds, be it an espresso, lungo, cappucino or latte macchiato. Bosch teamed up with a coffee roastery to find out how to achieve the perfect crema and aroma in its espresso machines. It's really quiet, so that's great for offices too.


The Bosch silver VeroBar with separate milk container
Here's the silver model (the first one is titanium, I believe). Both very stylish with curved front panel in chrome and solid metal.

The VeroBar is German-engineered to offer high standards of hygiene (because milk is involved and you don't want residues lingering in the pipes), convenience of use and maintenance. A stainless steel milk container holds a milk jar that detaches for storage in the fridge.

The VeroBar is already in the stores. Prices from S$2,199. Ahhh...I can only dream.


Hey, wait, there's a festive promo going on!
VeroCafe                                        Now S$1,899    UP S$2,099
VeroBar 100    (TES70121RW)    Now S$2,399     UP S$2,699
VeroBar 600   (TES70121RW)     Now S$2,999     UPS $3,299

From now til 6 January 2013, you can bring home 12 tins of Illy Coffee beans (worth S$270) free! Click to see full size picture.





The other one that has got me lemming is the Bosch Filtrino Hot Water Dispenser. This Red Dot Design Award Winner 2012 is a water filter and hot water dispenser in one. It offers five temperature settings so you can enjoy your favourite hot beverage at the optimum temperature: 70° C for white teas, 80° C for green teas and at boiling temperature for fruit, herbal and black teas. Instant coffee and hot chocolate mixes taste best with water at 90° C, while instant soups and noodles are best prepared with boiling water.

Right now, I have a separate water filter jug. And my current hot water dispenser (which shall remain unnamed) only does three temperature settings, which I don't even think are accurate (my teas seem a bit weak). And it's almost sputtering to cough out water even when the indicator says it's three-quarters full. Why don't appliances work like they should? Sigh.

This one sounds good also because it saves energy and time. Conventional air pots consume considerable energy with constant re-boiling, but  the Bosch Filtrino only heats up the exact amount that is actually needed, saving up to 50 per cent of the usual electricity and time taken. The integrated BRITA MAXTRA filter helps improve the taste of water, and there's a child-proof lock to boot.

It retails at S$279 at leading retail outlets island-wide, from 1st November 2012.


Chef Veronica Cherry showing us how to make eggless tiramisu
At the launch of the Bosch VeroBar, we had the pleasure of Chef Veronica Cherry from Food-To-Serve demonstrate to us an eggless tiramisu using the tasty and very strong espresso from the VeroBar machine.

I thought I'd share with you the recipe. Thanks to Veronica for allowing me to publish it.

EGGLESS TIRAMISU


Ingredients:
150-175ml strong espresso
20-25 pieces of sponge fingers
200ml double cream
8 tbsp icing sugar
350g mascarpone cheese
4 tbsp rum/brandy/Bailey's (optional)
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (for topping)

Method:
1. Prepare the strong espresso coffee, set aside to cool. Add the alcohol if using..
2. In a medium bowl, beat together the mascarpone cheese and 4 tbsp icing sugar until light and creamy.
3. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream and 4 tbsp of icing sugar until you get stiff peaks. Gently fold in the mascarpone cheese and set aside.
4. Lightly dip the sponge fingers into the coffee mixture. They should absorb just enough liquid without getting soggy and falling apart.
5. Arrange a single layer of soaked sponge fingers at the base of a dish.
6. Cover with a layer of mascarpone cream mixture. Continue layering alternately with sponge fingers and mascarpone cream, finishing with the latter.
7. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.


Eggless Tiramisu using espresso from the Bosch VeroBar

Monday, October 22, 2012

Chicken briyani
Oh yes, I went back to my favourite briyani stall again - Masala Tandoor inside the corner of a kopitiam at Marine Parade Central (diagonally facing the Polyclinic). Chicken briyani with flavoursome, fluffy basmati rice (not greasy at all), complemented by freshly made, crunchy pickles.


Mutton briyani
I also got to try the mutton briyani, cooked dum style. What a generous chunk of mutton. It's pretty lean and very aromatic, but isn't too gamey. What's really good are the accompanying curries and sambal (in bowls). Mix some in and it absolutely changes the flavours of the dish.


Chicken tikka
The owner Rashid also recommended the chicken tikka and it is fantastic! The chicken pieces have soaked up all the gorgeous spices and marinade, and the grilling seems only to have concentrated and amplified the flavours.

Yes, yum. I blogged about them before, and wrote a more detailed piece for Makanation too. I like the food a lot, and I'm going back there again tonight.


MASALA TANDOOR
Block 81, Marine Parade Central (facing Marine Drive), #01-654
Singapore 440081
Open daily 7am til 10pm

Thursday, October 18, 2012



[Update 2; 19 Oct morning: YES! The page is down! THANK YOU everyone, on Facebook and Twitter (@mrbrown, @miyagi, etc) who helped spread the word and reported it as a scam! I was very heartened to see people posting on the page -- click to see screen shot on the right -- to tell TRS to take the page down. TRS kept deleting those comments, which really just proves they have sunk to an all-time low. Facebook reviewed our reports and removed the photo]

[Update 1; 18 Oct evening: it looks like I have been blocked on TRS pages, and my previous comments stating the truth all deleted. But thank you, everyone who helped put the link there on their page and pressured them to take down the post. You can also report the photo as spam/scam]

-----------------------------

My friend Edwin alerted me to this photo of Nadine being posted on The Real Singapore (TRS)'s Facebook page. Someone called Sara tried to put up a bleeding heart meme, using Nadine's photo as a child with Down Syndrome. Saying (absolutely untruthfully) that Nadine doesn't think herself beautiful, and asking for likes so that she can show Nadine later "that she is truly beautiful”.

That is utter bullshit. Nadine has no such negative concepts about herself, and I don't know who this Sara is - we know everyone who knows Nadine.

And that photo is from four years ago, taken at Ya Kwang (which has long since closed shop) when Nadine was only two years old. You can see the original photo in my post here about Down Syndrome awareness. I have plenty more recent photos of Nadine. Does Sara really know Nadine?

While the intention may be sweet - getting people to show affection for a kid with Down Syndrome - and the comments (plus over 11,000 likes) have been enormously heartwarming, this whole thing is totally false. I feel bad that readers are being hoodwinked this way. And I really hate that someone flagrantly used a photo of a real person without permission to falsely represent a young child, one with special needs at that who cannot respond to rectify the matter.

We alerted TRS admin and they've apologised, but it's taking a while to get the photo removed as they "can only hide it until everyone who shared it has been notified to remove it from their walls."

Well, it's not being hidden. I don't know why it should be so complicated - can't they just delete their own wall photo? But this whole thing just underscores how much we need to respect the use of photos of other people. They have photo release documents for that very reason alone.

I'm posting this as further verification that I, Catherine Ling, own this blog and am indeed the parent of Nadine shown above.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Steamboat is such a wonderful way of enjoying fresh ingredients, but all too often the experience is less than ideal because we're too busy eating and chatting to really cook the ingredients properly. The avid foodie restaurant managers at Man Fu Yuan came up with the ultimate way to enjoy steamboat - and that's to have a dedicated server prepare the entire meal for you, starting from the stock (frying chicken in a specially blended Chinese herb-infused wine for a clear herbal soup), progressing course by course with luxuriously planned ingredients, and finishing up with a lovely surprise at the end.

My story on Makanation has the full details with step-by-step photos! http://sg.entertainment.yahoo.com/news/decadent-steamboat-experience-134422181.html

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

winefiesta

The Singapore Wine Fiesta is back for its 5th year, presented by The Straits Wine Company in partnership with DBS Indulge, is the largest outdoor wine fair in the region.

The event features over 60 winemakers from around the world, this year’s line-up is more exciting and interesting than ever.

This year, the fiesta is buzzing with brand new finds, hot trends and undiscovered gems. Expect trendy rosés (AIX), a stunning find from the shores of Japan (Grace Wines), a Michel Rolland project from India (Grover Vineyards), a Lebanese legend (Chateau Kefraya), gems from Portugal (Quinta do Crasto), a Cava icon (Raventos i Blanc) even a foray into the world of Croatian wines.

The old favourites are back with some new additions to the Straits Wine family. Those with a palate for Italian tipples will find exciting new offerings (Barone Ricasoli, Vietti, Marco Feluga), while new world lovers can look forward to icons of their own (Leeuwin Estate, Logan). If you’re fond of a nightcap, look out for our artisan collection hand-crafted Armagnacs, Calvados, the famous Chartreuse and a vodka in a league of its own, Beluga.

The Singapore Wine Fiesta details:
Friday 2 November 4pm-10pm
Saturday 3 November 12pm-10pm
Sunday 4 November 12pm-9pm

Venue: The Custom’s House Pavilion, No. 70 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049323

Tickets on Sale at $38 per person, one day entry.

DBS / POSB Cards Exclusive :
· Exclusive 10% off tickets or 15% off ticket purchases of 6 and above at www.sistic.com.sg
· Receive 2 free tickets with every 2 tickets purchased at The Straits Wine Company
DBS/POSB Cardmembers also get 10% off all purchases at the Wine Fiesta.

Ticket Giveaway!

DBS has kindly given me two pairs of tickets to give out. Just share this post on Facebook (see row of buttons above left) and leave me a comment with the link to your Faceboook post. You can also share my Facebook fan page post here for a double chance to win. I will pick winners by random draw on Sunday 21 October 2012 (23:59hrs).

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bob Blumer dishes out his take on heritage cuisine
Hey this guy - you've seen him. Foodies know and love the star of The Surreal Gourmet and Glutton for Punishment, both shown on TLC (StarHub TV Channel 427).

The amazingly candid and amiable Bob Blumer was back in town earlier this month to dish out his take on heritage cuisine at Starhub's Hubalicious event. Bob is Canadian, but he also likes making fun, crazy things to eat, so the special dinner at the Jewel Box was a fusion of both.



I had a HTC One X to play with for the dinner
Starhub gave me a HTC One X to play with for the dinner. All the photos in this post are taken with this Android phone. I'm presenting them "as is", unedited, so you can see the quality. I was quite surprised at how well it did in such low light conditions, and also when taking harsh stage lighting.

They also have a FooD.I.Y app which gives you cooking videos and recipes from Starhub's lifestyle channels.


Bob Blumer is back in town
Bob and the host (left in green) kept the audience very much entertained throughout the evening.


Bob Blumer gives everyone a fabulously entertaining evening
Diners were treated to not just talk, but very much a live show. Bob related a true story from his early days when he was invited to Australia to do a late night show and demo.


Halfway through, Bob starts donning a fireman's jacket
Halfway through, he starts donning a fireman's jacket and talks about how his cooking went awry with one audience participant obtusely mucking things up.


He recreates one of the most harrowing experiences from his early days
That participant literally had his arm on fire and Bob thought it was the end of his career. Little did he know, the station had deliberately planted a stunt guy as the participant just to create a bit of drama. Poor Bob. He says it took him ten years to get over that traumatic episode.

But of course, we all wanted to see what he would be presenting for dinner that evening.

Deviled Eggs, Cucumber Shooters, Salmon Gravlox Roses
Deviled Eggs, Cucumber Shooters, Salmon Gravlox Roses - food from the era that he grew up with, plus a bit of a twist.

I really like the Deviled Eggs - I'd never have thought to snip off the ends of chilies for devil horns, and they lend a really nice spicy effect to the whole ensemble.


Steak Au Poivre with Polenta Fries
Steak Au Poivre with Polenta Fries

This was the dish he was demonstrating with the fire - lots of cognac. It smelt so good when he was browning it.

Of course, Bob being Bob would definitely want a competitive showdown, in the style of Glutton for Punishment.

In the West, he'd do something involving cooking a dish from scratch that didn't take longer than opening a can of Spaghetti-Os and heating that up.

For something quintessentially Singapore, he picked this challenge - instant noodles. He wanted to show that he could prepare and cook a tasty pasta dish (involving almost a dozen ingredients) in the same time it took someone to cook instant noodles.



We had this audience member as a sporting participant to cook the instant noodles. He made us all laugh when he got asked a question about a certain ingredient.


Bob gets a jab in the heart as one of the judges prefers the instant noodles, but he still won overall
Bob indeed managed to finish his speedy pasta (gosh, it was a whirlwind of prep and stir) just a couple seconds earlier than the instant noodles. And for the ultimate test, we had three judges to see if the pasta dish was tastier. Bob takes one to the chest as the second judge meekly said he liked the instant noodles. But he still won 2 out of 3 in the taste test.

So, healthy cooking and eating, everyone! The only thing is - cleanup takes much much longer with so many ingredients!


Pearls of Wisdom - white chocolate with different fillings
Dessert was "Pearls of Wisdom" - giant pearls of white chocolate, each with a different filling (champagne, tiramisu, and chipotle), all on real oyster shells, and sandy blue sugar. Served with candied orange strips. So pretty and whimsical.



There was a special birthday cake for Bob's fan
There was a nice gesture of a special birthday cake with song and kiss on cheek for one of Bob's fans - this lady here, who happened to be sitting next to me! Hey, can it be my birthday too?


LeRoy, Bob and I
Nice seeing you again, Bob. Will you be back next year? We hope so.

Anyway, he's got a new series coming up - World's Weirdest Restaurants. Not so much about weird food, but themes and concepts. I remember trying my darndest contributing to their research for the Singapore leg, but am not sure if we're weird enough. We could really do with more quirky stuff in Singapore. But I can't wait to see what unusual stuff other countries offer too. We had a sneak preview, and it looks cool. Watch for it in early 2013.


Many thanks to Starhub for the Hubalicious invitation. We love the extra special touch being chauffered to and from the event! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

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!



ONE-NINETY
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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