I had the pleasure of tasting 2 courses of Fine Sicilian cuisine recently.
Course I – Deep Friend Sardine With Lime Sauce
The humble sardine is chokeful of vitamins and minerals. It was deep fried nicely with no residual oil on its texture, leaving it a delightful taste to the diner. I found the presentation or plating interesting and the piquant lime taste leaving if crispy on the outside and extremely flavorful on the inside.
Course 2 – Sea Bass With Black Truffles
Chinese New Year is celebrated differently in HK than in Singapore.
In Singapore, the varieties of cakes and cookies served are wide and varied, including our favourite, Bak Kwa. Bak Kwa is enjoyed by different nationalities other than Muslims as this is made of pork and non halal chicken.
I suppose if a Muslim decides to make halal chicken jerky, I think it would make a pretty penny in turn of sales to the Malay community as it would introduce a cultural exchange to their Hari Raya festivities.
In Singapore, the Chinese have adapted to serving much of the Malay cookies too. I remember tasting cornflake cookies once made by our Malay gardener but is now served in a Singaporean Chinese home.
There is also the ethnic mix of Kueh Bangkit, Kueh Tart and others. It is arguable though if these were also Peranakan orgins. The Peranakans or babas as we call them have an ornate life style adopting the baba language which also uses the Malay language!
Feasting is a must in Singapore as it is a foody paradise. There is the Lo Hei made of a variety of shredded vegetables mixed with molasses and dried fruits. This was started by the Four Heavenly Chefs; Sin Leong, Hooi; and I forget the names of the other 2 great chefs.
Today this dish is also much enjoyed by Hong Kongers. Hong Kongers travel alot and they have also come to enjoy our local Satay, Ice Kachang and other dishes.
Well, here is wishing all Singaporeans, “Gong Xi Fa Cai” and Hong Kongers, Gong Hei Fatt Choy!!
It grubs were edible then this personifies it!
I was amazed at the way the chef handled the creation of this grub that we often view as a pest, though we all know they all morph into moths of butterflies that ends up pollinating flowers.
Still, the usage of vegetable and salmon creates a beautiful art piece. This is what I like about Japanese food. It looks like an art piece, almost too pretty to eat!
The glaring eyes are made from the tentacles or suckers of the octopus.
This cake shop bakes the most ornate and detailed cakes. Somewhat reflective of the Baroque era, I found this cake well decorated.
But it does not come cheap!
The Edible Forest Floor continues with Course 6.
I was mowed when I saw how beetroot was served delicately like an art painting! The grandeur of the ornate frame with the red beetroot nicely plated in the center as if preciously telling the art appreciator that it took centre stage!
It did undoubtedly and I marvelled at the intricate style the beetroot garnered attention.
Lobsters are considered prestigious foods by diners across the world, more in Asia as it is deemed classy to be seen eating a lobster. Technically, we do now chow down the entire lobster but seek to harvest and devour the tail only!
Lobsters have huge heads and I often laugh at the disproportionate head against the tail! Like ” da tou wa wa” !
Do not mock the head as it is a precious art piece for chefs as it stands out making a grand entrance of a cold dish or a magnificent center piece.
Lobsters hail from Maine, Australia, Brittany or even from Brighton. Each lobster tastes differently from each region and I suppose this is due to the waters it is bred from in its natural state.
I have tasted seemed more flavorful in Australia than compared to Brittany. The sea salt absorbed in its natural waters makes the flesh taste like the sea it originated from. The one from Brittany tasted more bland in comparison.
This blog features Part 4 of the Edible Forest Menu and describes Course 2 and Course 3 of this fantastic menu.
Whilst this may look like dried leaves, it is actually chocolate made “leaves”- totally edible down to the last “leaf”.
As for the twigs, it is fashioned out of dough and you can dip it into the organic butter and eat it. Quite an interesting play of “savoury, buttery tastes with a hinge of sweetness should you decide to chew on the leaves :-)
The above picture shows how the Pumpernickel malt & organic butter is displayed. Carefully camouflaged against veggies, giving it the aura of discovering a beautiful dip that lies within. The butter is put on top of a chocolate wheel
Course 4 gets more intense as the tree bark shown above with mushrooms, and man made “toadstools” to create this delightful piece of log, rabbit pate, foie gras mushroom and smoked beef tartare. All the 3 items are served on the wooden bark of a tree as you can see in picture.
On the left hand side, it is rabbit pate and in the middle of the tree log, is the foie gras made in a shape of a mushroom. The last of 3 items is a strongly smoked Beef tartare that will only be noticed after you have placed it into your mouth and slowly chewed. You will obtain very strong smoked flavours. your palate and chewed.
The above picture shows how Brioche is stylishly served and how it complements all the 3 items described above.
Light yet sweet tasting, the Brioche when eaten in succession with the 3 items, lets you savour a very well paired and taste. Truly an excellent eating together!