Sunday, May 30, 2010

S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant 2010


  • The S.Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurant & The Acqua Panna European Best Restaurant: Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Eckart Witzigmann.
  • Restaurant Magazine Chef of the Decade: Ferran Adrià, Spain
  • The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in North America: Alinea, Chicago, USA.
  • The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in The Middle East & Africa: La Colombe, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in South America: D.O.M., Sao Paolo, Brazil.
  • The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Asia: Les Creations de Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Chef’s Choice Award: The Fat Duck, Bray, UK.
  • The Highest Climber: Daniel, New York, USA.
  • Highest New Entry: Schloss Schauenstein, Switzerland.
  • Restaurant Breakthrough Award: Marque, Sydney, Australia.

Behold, the Top 50...

  1. Noma, Denmark (▲2)
  2. El Bulli, Spain (▼1)
  3. The Fat Duck, UK (▼1)
  4. El Celler de Can Roca, Spain (▲1)
  5. Mugaritz, Spain (▼1) mugaritz.comx
  6. Osteria Francescan, Italy (▲7)
  7. Alinea, USA (▲3)
  8. Daniel, USA (▲33)
  9. Arzak, Spain (▼1)
  10. Per Se, United States (▼4)
  11. Le Chateaubriand, France (▲29) +33 (0)1 43574595
  12. La Colombe, South Africa (▲26)
  13. Pierre Gagnaire, France (▼4)
  14. Hotel de Ville, Switzerland (▲2)
  15. Le Bernardin, USA (=)
  16. L’Astrance, France (▼5)
  17. Hof van Cleve, Belgium (▲9)
  18. D.O.M., Brazil (▲6)
  19. Oud Sluis, Holland (▲10)
  20. Le Calandre, Italy (▲29)
  21. Steirereck, Austria (▲9) restaurant
  22. Vendome, Germany (▲3)
  23. Chez Dominique, Finland (▼2)
  24. Les Créations de Narisawa, Japan (▼4)
  25. Mathias Dahlgren, Sweden (▲25)
  26. Momofuku Ssam Bar, USA (▲5)
  27. Quay, Australia (▲19)
  28. Iggy’s, Singapore (▲17)
  29. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, France (▼11)
  30. Schloss Schauenstein, Switzerland (New Entry)
  31. Le Quartier Francais, South Africa (▲6)
  32. The French Laundry, USA (▼20)
  33. Martin Berasategui, Spain (=)
  34. Aqua, Germany (New Entry)
  35. Combal Zero, Italy (▲7)
  36. Dal Pescatore, Italy (▲12)
  37. De Librije, Netherlands (New Entry)
  38. Tetsuya’s, Australia (▼21)
  39. Jaan par Andre, Singapore (New Entry)
  40. Il Canto, Italy (New Entry)
  41. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee, France (Re-entry)
  42. Oaxen Krog, Sweden (▼10)
  43. St John, UK (▼29)
  44. La Maison Troisgros, France (Re-entry)
  45. wd~50, USA (Re-entry)
  46. Biko, Mexico (New Entry)
  47. Die Schwarzwaldstube, Germany (▼24)
  48. Nihonryori RyuGin, Japan (New Entry)
  49. Hibiscus, UK (New Entry)
  50. Eleven Madison Park, USA (New Entry)

And the rest on the list (51-100)...

  • Maison Pic, France,
  • Jean Georges, USA,
  • L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, China,
  • Wasabi, India,
  • Robuchon A Galera, China,
  • Bras, France,
  • De Karmeliet, Belgium,
  • Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, UK,
  • Lung King Heen, China,
  • Rouge, Canada,
  • Etxebarri, Spain,
  • Tantris, Germany,
  • Akelarre, Spain,
  • GästeHaus Klaus Erfort, Germany,
  • Bo Innovation, China,
  • Zuma, London,
  • Marque, Australia,
  • Restaurant Sant Pau, Spain,
  • Chez Panisse, USA,
  • Quique Dacosta, Spain,
  • Ristorante Cracco, Italy,
  • Pujol, Mex,
  • Attica, Australia,
  • Rust En Vrede, South Africa,
  • Varvari, Russia,
  • La Grenouillère, France,
  • Langdon Hall, Canada,
  • Les Amis, Singapore,
  • Can Fabes, Spain,
  • La Gazzetta, France,
  • Plavi Podrum, Croatia,
  • The River Café, UK,
  • Mirazur, France,
  • Gunther’s, Singapore,
  • Doce Uvas, Russia,
  • Manresa, USA,
  • Enoteca Pinchiorri, Italy,
  • Quintessence, Japan,
  • JB Restavracija, Slovenia,
  • Amber, China,
  • Masa, USA,
  • Le Gavroche, UK,
  • Café Pushkin, Russia,
  • Semifreddo, Russia,
  • Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, UK,
  • Cépage by Les Amis, Hong Kong,
  • La Pergola, Italy,
  • Le Louis XV, France,
  • Le Pré Catelan, France,
  • Amador, Germany,

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Singapore: The Culinary Star of SEA

Singapore: The Culinary Star of SEA

Singapore continues to muscle its way into the world culinary stage with two restaurants on the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant 2010 list.

Singapore’s Iggy’s, which debuted on the list last year, has climbed up 17 rung to stand proud at number 28, just inches away from the Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Asia – the 24th seeded Les Creations de Narisawa of Tokyo, Japan.

Jaan Par Andre shares in the glory of being the only other South-East Asian restaurant to be on the top 50 list, thanks to Andre Chiang’s sensational creations of nouvelle French cuisine. The Stamford Swisshotel restaurant in Singapore impresses by taking the 39th position as a new entry on the list.

But after four consecutive years at the top (2005 through to 2009), Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli finds itself in second place this year as Copenhagen’s Noma took the coveted top slot with the most votes from the panel of international food experts and judges; Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck completes the top three line-up.

Organized by the UK’s Restaurant Magazine, the ‘Oscars’ of the global dining scene also acknowledge three chefs for their outstanding achievements: Ferran Adrià for Chef of the Decade, Heston Blumenthal for the Chef’s Choice Award, and Eckart Witzigmann for the Lifetime Achievement accolade.

PS: Andre Chiang will be leaving Jaan at the end of this month.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

stir-fried cockle with pineapples

2 tbsp peanut oil
handful curry leaves
2-3 tbsp chilli paste
180g-200g de-shelled cockles, marinated with the juice of one lime right before cooking
150g pineapples pieces
salt, pepper and sugar to taste
1 shot (30ml) rice wine
1 large onion, sliced
handful coriander, chopped

heat the oil in a skillet or wok and fry the curry leaves until fragrant and crunchy. add the chilli paste and saute on high heat until fragrant (be careful, it spatters. if it doesn't, your wok ain't hot enough). now throw in your cockles and pineapples. stir-fry for 2 minutes on high heat, season to taste and deglaze the wok with the wine. cook for a further half minute, stir in the onion and coriander and remove from heat. plate the cockles and sprinkle on some extra coriander for garnish, and flavour of course.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

braised vege pasta in tomato curry sauce

serves 2-3
  • 1/2 brinjal, cut into large cubes
  • oil for deep frying
  • 1 tbsps butter
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp curry powder, mixed with a little water to form a paste
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 2 cups vegetable/ chicken broth
  • 1 red capsicum, seeded and sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 chinese napa cabbage, cut into thick slices
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley or basil
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese
  • 200g pasta, cooked to packet instructions

  1. Sprinkle some salt over the brinjal and let sit for about 15 minutes to draw out its moisture, drain.
  2. heat some oil in a saucepan. deep fry brinjal for 2-3 minutes; drain on paper towels.
  3. remove and leave 1 tbsp of oil in the pan. add the butter and saute the onion and garlic until fragrant.
  4. add the curry paste and fry till fragrant, and mix in the tomato puree and broth; bring to boil.
  5. add the capsicum and simmer until it is limp, about 10 minutes.
  6. add the napa cabbage and reserved brinjal; simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. season to taste with salt and mix in the chopped herb.
  8. serve the braised vegetable over cooked pasta, with a sprinkling of fresh cracked pepper and parmesan cheese shavings.
* i find that drawing the moisture out of brinjal/ eggplant/ aubergine and then deep frying them before braising makes the vegetable (er, technically, botanically it's considered a fruit, specifically a berry. seriously, wiki it.) sweeter in taste and it retains its shape better instead of turning totally mushy during cooking.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

rambling about riedel

so i'm officially an employee of The Star now. got my confirmation letter on friday, signed and sent it back to HR today so, hmm, yeah, i guess i'm stuck there for a while. lol, commitment phobe.

covered the Riedel glass tasting on wednesday. got a one-on-one interview with mr. georg riedel, a very imposing character. well-spoken and commands a lot of respect, and respect well deserved considering how far he has brought the company.

Riedel (pronounced "reedle," rhymes with needle) is a family owned Austrian crystal wine glass manufacturer, headed by 10th generation glassmaker Mr. Georg Riedel. Claus Riedel, Georg's father, was the first in history "who thought about wine friendly stemware," believing that the shape, size and rim diameter of a wine glass can significantly affect the enjoyment of wines.

after attending the glass tasting at hilton kl, i have to agree that using the right glass for the right wine could significantly enhance the taste and especially the smell of the wines. as for the material of the stemware, that was an area that we did not delve into, although my online research seems to suggest that there is little or no difference between using glass or plastic stemware of the same shape, size and rim diameter, except for the aesthetics.

which brings to mind a very good quote from mr riedel during the tasting: "if you truly want to insult me, call my glass pretty." they are pretty, but they are functionally pretty. riedel emphasises on grape varietal specific stemware, and to date there are 12 riedel collections, beginning with sommeliers by claus riedel, 10 more by georg riedel (including the Vinum XL collection which the tasting highlights), and the O collection by maximilian riedel.

haha, ok, getting a little academic there, sorry. i guess i'm sorta plotting out how i'm going to write the story.

so after the wine tasting, riedel's distributor in malaysia, muihua sdn bhd treated the media to a wine dinner at senses. and i gotta say, chef michael elfwing is a genius when it comes to food (and a very amicable guy).

his signature "smoking allowed..." first course is fantastical and will rock your pants off. "table smoked tasmanian ocean trout & sugar salted salmon, nordic deep sea shrimp with sour cream & chives." yes, table smoked. they brought out a jar with smoke still trapped in it, and out of the jar comes our smoked ocean trout, which is seasoned just right with a good dill flavour and oh-so-tasty. hmm, the shrimp was a tad chewy though. but, the dish still rox. (paired with clifford bay marlborough sauvignon blanc).

then there was the "wild caught itoyuri & alaskan king crab." seriously, king crab souffle? genius. another very satisfying course served with the yalumba eden valley wild ferment chardonnay. next up, a glass of louis jadot gevrey-chambertin served with elfwing's "french quail & butternut tart." the quail was stuffed with foie gras and their homemade wagyu bacon. sounds quite heavenly but i found the foie gras's flavour a tad liver-ish. maybe not fatty enough?

then the "tomahawk steak baked with hay" made quite a strong impression with the diners as elfwing wheeled it out still in the clay shell and cracked it open to reveal the huge slab of steak beautifully cooked to medium rare (or was it rare? er, was kinda tired at that point so my memory's a lil hazy. haha, didnt take that much note at that point since i'm not required to write abt the dinner.) the steak was yummy, and the hay flavour quite subtle. it was paired with don melchor cabernet sauvignon, which works fine with the steak but i made the mistake of taking a sip of it after a bite of the "senses black forrest" and the acidity of the wine hit me like a huge slap on the face. big mistake lol. would have graciously accepted the coffee if it wasn't already 11pm and i have to get up for work the next morn.

all in all, a nice event from a PR perspective. mr riedel had issues with one of the wines that was provided for the tasting but i guess i see his point. after all, his guide for picking wine glasses was this: spend as much on a glass as you would on a bottle of wine. good advice, but might present a problem though. in malaysia, wines dont come cheap and most of the wines that are consumed don't come close to the price tag of a riedel. there is a market for his wares in this country, but it's not that huge. perhaps that would change in time...

yawn. still have to cover the malaysia barista championship finals tmrw. night night.