Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A meal to remember at Kite

C says:

Our meal at Kite on Sunday evening was a very bittersweet experience. We originally just meant for it to be our regular monthly (or thereabouts) visit, but then we found out that they're taking a break, and their last day of service is 27th January. We decided to pull out all the stops, and went for the 18-course omakase. Chef Dannel and the team really outdid themselves - we were wowed by some new dishes, and even old favourites were better than they've ever been before. So for posterity, indulge us as we document each dish in our last meal at Kite.

Chicken rice crackers - tapioca crisps with a chicken rice chilli and kicap manis dip

Chicken skin with bourbon glaze - definitely going to miss these

Arancini - risotto balls with dehydrated chorizo

Shaved frozen pineapple with candied kumquats and a hint of pepper and white chilli

Home-made lardo - cured Mangalica pork fat brushed with a whisky glaze throughout the curing process, torched and served with a dollop of pesto. A mouthful of pure flavour that just kept on giving.

Cured and aburi-ed saba. Beyond amazing.

More insane flavours - aburi swordfish with clams, chestnuts and coconut. So many different textures and flavours, yet none were competing for attention.

Red snapper kinilaw - a Filipino ceviche dish, with Okinawa seagrapes

42 degree ocean trout with apples, seaweed and furikake. Absolutely perfectly cooked, and all the ingredients so harmoniously balanced.

Mentaiko somen with unagi, scallop and tobiko. We've had this dish many times, and this was the best it's ever been.

Quail with carrot puree. This is retired dish, so we're really touched that Chef remembered how much we loved it, and included it in the omakase.

Seared foie gras with shaved peaches. Another new and absolutely amazing dish. Foie was perfectly seared and paired brilliantly with the fresh peach.

Iberico pork belly with bak kwa glaze. Unapologetically fat, flavourful and fabulous.

Mangalica pork collar with you tiao veloute and bak kut teh broth. One of the most creative dishes in Kite's repertoire, because of how they've reinvented, yet stayed true to, the humble bak kut teh.

Wagyu rump with bulgogi salsa and burnt corn. Again, had this a couple of times before, and it was at its best this time.

Welsh lamb with tamarind mango chutney and sliced potatoes.

Pre-dessert palate cleanser of sugarcane sorbet and yuzu zest

Forest floor - white chocolate custard, chocolate and nut soils, and passion fruit curd

A new dessert - yogurt with passionfruit, honey and pop rocks. An amazing dessert with so many different nuances with each mouthful.

Meringue with blackened lime powder

So there you have it. Kite's greatest hits, and then some. We're really sad to bid farewell to one of our favourite restaurants, but we're grateful for all the amazing things we've had the pleasure of tasting. All the best to the team - thanks for the memories.

A says:

One of our favourite restaurants in Singapore. And some of the best overall meals we've had anywhere. Their takes on local dishes and flavours are supremely creative and well-executed. And all the dishes deliver the pow of flavour I love, without being overwhelming. Perfectly balanced.

It's sad they never found their niche. Last day is 27 Jan so try to go if you can. If not, I'm looking forward to whatever Chef Dannel Krishnan does next.

Oh, and shout out to the service staff. Always so great to us. Thanks!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Jungsik Seoul

C says:

Jungsik Seoul is known for reinventing Korean flavours and ingredients with modern techniques. Just stepping into the tranquil yet not imposing dining room and we knew we were in for a treat. 

While we had good street food, Galbi and seafood in Korea, our lunch at Jungsik was, without question, the best meal of the trip.

We started with a whole array of amuse bouches. Some were tastier than others, but they set the scene for both local flavours and extraordinarily pretty plating that would be a theme for the rest of the meal.

First course was fatty tuna served with seaweed crisps, home-made soy sauce  and an array of accompaniments including wakame, kimchi and dashi jelly, for you to mix and match as you please. I thought the tuna was best eaten on its own, but everything else paired very well together atop the seaweed crisp.

Next up was abalone with a citrus mayonnaise. The tempura abalone was ridiculously tender, very fresh and the citrus mayo lightened the dish very well.

The octopus tentacle served with gochujang aioli was again perfectly tender with a great char, and the gochujang was a nice reminder that we were, after all, in Seoul.

Soy lobster came next - soy-marinated raw lobster served with rice and deep fried Sakura ebi on top. Bit surprising that a carb came so soon, but it was a small portion and very tasty.

Next was Ok Dom, which was red snapper with wakame. I love the wakame in Korea, and the one here was excellent. I also love how they prepared the snapper - they poured hot oil over the skin and scales, so they crisped up and were thin and delicate like filo dough.

The last savoury course was their version of Galbi served with sautéed mushrooms and buckwheat pancake. This was good, but probably the least interesting/impressive of all the courses. 

Pre-dessert was Sujeonggwa, which was a modern take on the traditional cinnamon and ginger tea that is served at the end of Korean meals.

Dessert was their signature Dolhareubang, the name of the ubiquitous "grandfather" statues all over Jeju that are considered to be protectors. The statue itself is green tea mousse, covered with a cookie crumb. There was also a black sesame sponge, and ice cream. Tasted as good as it looked. 

We ended with petit fours, and a selection of teas. A went with peppermint and I chose the buckwheat, which was a lovely end to an outstanding meal.

We had the 8-course tasting menu for KRW150,000; they also have 4 and 5 course choice menus for KRW50,000 and 80,000 respectively, but we felt that the tasting was better value all round, since many of the dishes in the tasting menu required top-ups to the choice menu. 

We'll definitely revisit whenever we come back to Korea. 

A says:

Best meal in Korea. The only dish that wasn't fantastic was the beef, which was above average. 

Will definitely be back.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Salted and Hung

C says:

Salted and Hung gets its name from the charcuterie that they cure in-house, but the food here is so much more than just good cold cuts. 

The pig's head terrine was quite brazenly gelatinous, and served with a great piccalilli condiment (a bit like a pickle relish) and amazing focaccia.

One of specials was a poached egg with shaved black truffle and porcini soil, served with uni. Each component was very good, but I'm not sure that they necessarily complemented each other. 

The next dish was called Burrata on the menu, but honestly it should have been labeled as Tomato instead. It was 3 types of tomatoes - cherry, green and confit - served on a very thin bed of burrata. 

The Kangaroo tartare with blood orange purée was surprisingly mild, and went very well with the juniper crumble on top. 

Another special, the Angus intercoastals (which is the area in between the ribs) with cauliflower and piccalilli, was very tasty too. The meat had the perfect balance of tenderness and flavour.

I've saved the best 3 dishes for last. The hamachi collar with lardo was outstanding. It's amazing how they achieved such moist fish with such a degree of char. The slices of lardo draped on top were good but, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but unnecessary. That's how good the fish was. 

Black mash, a jet black potato purée with squid ink and charcoal, was also ridiculously good. Incredibly flavourful, and also terribly addictive. 

The grilled Iberico Secreto with kohlrabi and pork jus was another winner. Sweet, flavourful and wonderfully marbled pork cooked perfectly medium rare, and beautifully charred outside. 

We didn't have room for dessert, but they surprised us with an Anzac biscuit topped with bacon caramel. An excellent end to a stellar meal. 

Already eyeing what we can order next. 

A says:

Great food that's relatively affordable. Could be one of our new go-to places. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016


C says:

Ever since Wolf closed, we've been looking for a place that does proper nose-to-tail cooking. Dehesa could well be it.

We started with the Dehesa platter, which came with a serving of sourdough and the most amazing aioli ever. The platter composed saucisson, chorizo, lomo Iberico, jamon, home-made lardo, fifi pate, pig's head terrine, rillette and crispy crackling. 

The duck hearts on toast came with a heavenly sauce that had hints of black pepper, balsamic and honey. 

Instead of crispy pig's ears, they have crispy tripe here, with fried garlic oil and a romesco sauce studded with chilli padi. With its flowery exterior, honeycomb tripe really does take deep frying really well - light and crispy, yet still retaining the slight chewiness of tripe. 

The Octopus is served on a bed of mashed potatoes, and blanketed with more lardo slivers. Just before serving, the chef comes with a hugeass blowtorch and torches the lardo so that it melts into the octopus. Aburi lardo. Divine. 

I expected the crispy pig's head to be more, well, head-y. Instead, it came as a croquette of sort, with egg yolk and lardons. Perhaps a little too generic for my liking.

We ordered the Frit Mallorquin because we've never seen it anywhere else. Basically it's a stew made from lamb offal (here, it was heart, liver, kidney and sweetbreads) and Mediterranean vegetables. It was interesting and pretty tasty, but at the same time it was quite heavy so I don't think we'll order it again.

We ordered one dish too many, so we didn't have space for dessert, which looked really interesting. We've already got a list of other dishes that we're going to try next time.

A says:

Great value and a surprisingly non-poncey place. Would go back, especially for the lardo.