If someone were to measure the number of celebrity chefs per square metre of land, I am sure Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) will be high on the list. Now, RWS has decided to put the best use of this congregation by organising the first ever RWS Food Affair. To be held between September 14-22, diners will get to sample dishes from specially designed menus by six celebrity chefs.
Thanks to RWS, I was fortunate enough to sample some of these creations. Here is a brief summary of what you can expect from each of the featured restaurants:
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, 6-course dinner at $180 ++
First stop, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Owned by the ‘Chef of the Century’ and most decorated Michelin-star chef Joël Robuchon (28 in total), my expectations of the food here was naturally high. Indeed, an amuse–bouche of foie gras custard with red porto wine & parmesan foam sneaked in by the chef de cuisine before the cold appetizer, blew me away. The richness from the foie gras custard and hint of salty goodness from the parmesan foam was a great way to start any meal.
In fact the amuse-bouche was so good that it stole the thunder of the cold appetizer of crab meat on turnip served with sweet and sour vinaigrette that came after. While the execution and presentation of the appetizer was impressive and the flavours well-balanced, it did not leave a lasting impression. Nevertheless, full six-course dinner featuring seared sea bass as well as French-style hanger steak are enticing enough for me to want to try the entire dinner.
Forest 森，6-course dinner at $148 ++
If you’re after a tranquil dining ambience amidst lush greenery, Forest 森 is your place. Helmed by Sam Leong, the lofty restaurant features high ceilings and lots of natural grained wood panels and pillars made to look like giant trees.
We had steamed cod fish with yuzu mushroom sauce. The cod was meaty and sweet – an unpretentious dish that was simply satisfying. But unlike many other traditional steamed fish dishes, the chef added yuzu to the mushroom sauce to give it a touch of sophistication.
Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, 5-course dinner at 158++
If you’ve watched America Iron Chef, you will probably know that Cat Cora is the only female chef that made it into the male dominated lineup. She is also the only female celebrity chef in Singapore after opening the Ocean Restaurant at RWS. We tried the main course of kurobuta pork belly & fried octopus with sauerkraut purée, cabbage roll and mustard there. The succulent pork belly was sous vide (slow cooked) for 12 hours to give it that melt-in-your-mouth texture, while retaining all the juices of the meat. I would have preferred my piece to be leaner and the skin more crisped. Also, I felt that the dish could be brought up a notch with a bolder and more acidic purée to cut the fattiness of the meat. Having said that, I enjoyed the dish overall and the amazing view of the Aquarium more than made up for any slight imperfections.
Last but not least, desserts. I must confess that I am not a dessert fan but Chef Kenny Kong’s medley of yuzu mango cremuex, gula meleka streusel and milky lemongrass sorbet surprised me. The molecular dessert not only showcased different techniques, it also incorporated Asian ingredients like gula meleka and lemongrass for a more interesting taste profile.
Chefs Dinner at Ocean Gallery at $288++
One of the other highlights of the Food Affair is the Chefs Dinner at the Ocean Gallery. In this one-night only dining affair, all 6 celebrity chefs will each design a course for diners. Items on this menu include Le Caviar Imperial by Joël Robuchon, steamed marble goby by Sam Leong, double boiled cordyceps flower by Chef Li of Feng Shui Inn, slow cooked salmon roulade by Cat Cora, beef short ribs by Douglas Tay and executive pastry chef Kenny Kong’s must-try dessert of yuzu mango cremeux. The six-course dinner plus the magnificent Ocean Gallery will set you back $288++.
For more information, go to RWS Food Affair.
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