Can Culture Be Tasted?
Singaporeans love food. This is a fact.
Our food culture has such a wide spectrum of different cultures from all over the world. After globalization, everyone gathers in this small island and our local food culture is slowly shaped from different sources such as Chinese, European, Japanese etc.
In recent years, many Asian countries have become bastions of high gastronomy. Especially Singapore, we have so many restaurants that make the world take notice of us and we are definitely proud of them.
In two days’ time, my country is going to play host to the inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards at the Marina Bay Sands resort.
Partnered with Diners Club International, the list is created from The Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 900 international leaders in the restaurant industry such as food critics, chefs and restaurateurs etc.
“If you believe culture can be tasted, you belong.”– Diners Club International
Diners Club International (read their blog here), which provides consumers with the most exclusive experiences, is the perfect partner for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. All DCI members will benefit from exclusive dining experiences at partner restaurants.
Ahead of the Award Ceremony on Monday night, congratulations to Jaan, preferred merchant of Diners Club International, for winning The One to Watch Award winner for 2013. The One to Watch Award goes to an emerging restaurant that our experts believe is most likely to rise up the list in future years.
Created by Chef de Cuisine Julien Royer, Jaan’s Artisanal menu is built around a passion to showcase the freshest ingredients through simple but beautiful dishes that reflect both culinary tradition and creativity. The result is an imaginative, innovative cuisine that celebrates and respects seasonality, terroir and the skills of the world’s best gourmet producers.
Having visited the restaurant just last year, I had a memorable lunch. He may be a young chef but he did not disappoint. Besides the exceptional service, Chef Julien has picked up a strong reputation for its beautiful views of Singapore and modern spin on French cuisine.
Take for example, Chef’s Stellar 55′ Smoked Organic Egg, paired with Jerusalem artichoke and chanterelles. The organic egg was cooked gently at 64 degree celcius for 55 minutes to maintain its creamy translucence, and it was accompanied with the salty crunch of iberico de bellota slivers and porcini nougat crumbs. Presentation is excellent, and what’s more, the egg is cracked in front of you, just like how we do it in normal coffee shops. One can totally relate to the dish and the flavours did not disappoint. It was runny and silky!
Another Diners Club International’s preferred merchant, Gunther’s at Purvis Street, has made a name for itself for bringing sophisticated French food to Singapore’s chic fine dining scene. Chef Gunther Hubrechsen’s down-to-earth yet deftly executed cooking demonstrates the kitchen’s ability to re-interpret classic dishes and flavours, breathing new life into them in terms of both taste and presentation.
Chef Gunther is very good creating unusual flavour combinations with delicate sensitivity, resulting in a novel, yet pleasurable, eating experience. One of his signature dishes, Cold angel hair pasta with oscietra caviar, is a dish that I have not tasted in many years, yet still remembers it very well.
The pasta is served delicately chilled, tossed with chives and truffle jus and with a generous dollop of oscietra caviar on top. Once it reaches your table, your can immediately smell the truffle and it hits your palate on the first bite.
10 years ago, do we even have a fine dining restaurant? Or will you spend so much on your food? I don’t think I even understand the term “molecular gastronomy”. But now, things are different. Asia is the next big culinary heavyweight on the scene. Singapore is already showing it and with Asia’s 50 Best happening in town, it clearly shows the high positioning of this country in terms of dining.
The inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, is just like the Asian version of Michelin awards. Yes we have a Miele Guide but this will be the first time anyone has tried to compile a list of the best 50 restaurants, 50 truly amazing dining experiences and 50 chefs who are trying to change the face of dining throughout Asia.
My predictions for the first Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list? I would love to see Jaan, Les Amis & Gunther’s in the list!
Which restaurant are you rooting for? Join in the conversation on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants at Diners Club International Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dinersclubinternational. Watch the Diners Club advertising showcase here.
This post is brought to you by Diners Club International.