Saturday, October 12, 2013

The FIJI Water Expedition 2013 - Six Gourmet Restaurants Place Their Dishes on Permanent Menu

Last month, FIJI Water organised this helluva fun gourmet food trail all for the benefit of the Children's Cancer Foundation. The FIJI Water Signature Creations Expedition took 80 diners on a chauffeured tour of six excellent dining establishments. Each of these featured a dish singled out by key food critics in the media. And I'm very happy to learn that these dishes are now on the permanent menu.

Here's what the dishes were like. All photos taken with my iPhone 4S, as we were all busy Instagramming that day! (They amazingly gave away S$600 worth of dining vouchers to a winner with best photos)

Our first stop was Absinthe, which has moved to 72 Boat Quay. Chef Francois Mermilliod's Foie Gras Terrine with Warm Brioche (above) kicked off the journey with class. The generous slab of foie gras is luxuriously smooth! Dipped with the accompanying sea salt and spices, the terrine makes a fine companion for the soft warm brioche. Talk about a starter bread.

Each course was also paired with a wine - in this case, it was the Konrad Gewurztraminer 2010.

And then off we went to the next stop! 

Which was Hashi.

At 48 Bukit Pasoh Road.

Chef Tadashi Takahashi headed Nobu in London and Australia, but for Hashi, he's chosen to go back to his roots and offer traditional Kyoto-style kaiseki and sushi.

Fresh Live Prawn, Hokkaido Scallop and Mixed Vegetables with Japanese Jelly

The beautiful smoked dashi flavours in the cold jelly tie the seafood and vegetables together. The chef had grilled some eggplant over naked fire and peeled away the charred skin before serving it inside the dish. Paired with Evolución Chardonnay 2011.

The tour then brought us to the Tippling Club at 8D Dempsey Road.

Ryan Clift had something pretty special waiting for us.

Pigeon, Celery, Quinoa, Goats Curd
Oh my. This was almost too pretty to eat. But eat we did, and it's a party of flavours, with the goats curd lending a tangy hit to the rich gamey bird. I liked the fried bits of vegetables best though - something's really savoury and umami in them.

Served with Mount Fishtail Pinot Noir 2008

Next up - The Pelican at One Fullerton. It's a maritime themed seafood bar and grill, which manages to be fancy enough and yet cosily laidback at the same time.

Head Chef Isaac Tan was previously from Bedrock Bar and Grill.

Lobster Thermidor

The rich cream and Parmesan cheese in this sings along with the succulently sweet lobster. The Bomba rice is cooked slightly al dente but has soaked up all the seafood stock and brandy.

Served with Konrad Gruner Veltliner 2011.

The fifth stop was Fat Cow (1 Orchard Boulevard, #01-01 Camden Medical Centre). Oh, this wagyu specialist is one of my favourite places. See my previous review here. Oh the memories.

Here, Chef Dan Segall had prepared a Wagyu No Kakuni. Kakuni is normally prepared with pork, but here they've used wagyu instead. Does it work? Oh yeah.

The ginger, soy, dashi, mirin broth spiked with yuzu is intense, but I drank it all (slow sips). The beef has absorbed all the flavours in its simmer, but it retains a certain bite still. So as you chew, the meaty sweetness of the beef comes out and mingles with the savoury aspects.

Served with Chateau Timberlay Rouge 2008.

And it looks like they have started serving lunch (Mon-Sat, noon to 3pm)!
Click pic to see bigger version. Set lunches mostly sushi, sashimi and rice dishes.

And for our last stop, a great spot with a nice view of the Marina at Keppel Bay.

It's Privé Grill!

With a powerful Josper grill oven imported from Spain, Privé serves steaks, seafood and vegetables beautifully smoky from the intense charcoal heat.

Reservations are highly recommended, especially on weekends!

It was nice to see Chef Robin Ho again.

Hokkaido Corn and Shrimp Fritter with Lime Aioli - the very addictive final dish on the phenomenal trail. The huge prawns were cooked in the Josper grill for that nicely smoky charcoal touch. Interestingly, the lime aioli really livened up the crisp tempura-like battered corn. And the presentation is cute - the round slices of radish and the dots of aioli added a touch of whimsy.

Our six hour epic journey ended with satisfied tastebuds, 
a few new friends made, and interesting new dining venues encountered. 
Thanks, FIJI Water, for doing this. 
All proceeds went to charity, with FIJI Water paying for the ingredients, 
and the restaurants donating time and expertise.  
So it wasn't just tummies that felt good, our hearts did too. 


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