Wednesday, June 2, 2010

FiftyThree Is More Than A Number

“The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a star” Brillat-Savarin - a belief shared by FiftyThree, a joint venture between Les Amis and Chef Michael Han.

Potatoes with Coffee and Cocoa Powder

As you might have read in my earlier post about my feature in URBAN, FiftyThree is one of my favourite restaurants in Singapore. Located at 53 Armenian Street, a few houses away from the Peranakan Museum, the restaurant is housed in a two-storey preserved pre-war building that was built in the 1930s.

The interior design is simplicity at its best with classic oak furniture. A pop art painting by Andy Warhol that adorns the wall creates a stark contrast to the wooden interior. In the private dining room on level one, there is a stunning chandelier made of 253 porcelain fish (you can see it vaguely on the URBAN cover).

Enough for the intro. Let's get on with the cuisine. If I have to describe FiftyThree's cuisine in my own words, I would have to say it is a true gastronomic experience that transcends boundaries of classification (won't exactly say it's molecular and can't term it as French cooking etiher).

Chef Han sources for the ingredients from around the world to put on the plates the most creative renditions that bring out the best flavours of each individual ingredient. Inspired by our natural environment and its diversity, Chef Han uses ingredients that are foraged, raised and grown with ecological sound and sustainable practices and respects the delicate beauty of even the tiny, edible shoots, stems and flowers.

Chef Michael Han (yup, he's young and talented...)


Japanese Radish
(The “soil" is actually edible and I love the crunchy and sweet little radish)

Japanese Tomatoes and Cheese
(The sweetest tomatoes... a pity I have to eat less as it's bad for my blood type)

Scallops and Chicken
(Beautiful presentation, amazing taste)

Sweet Shrimps with Linguine
(A little spicy with pepper oil, but a great pasta dish)

Wagyu Beef Cheek
(Flavorful tender beef with a light broth)

Wagyu Beef with Bone Marrow Sauce
(This bone marrow sauce was so aromatic and yummy.)

Smoked Mackerel and Tuna
(Interesting dish with shaved radish ice... I think.)

Chocolate Mousse With Mangosteen
(Quite a messy sight but one hell of a plate-licking good dessert.)

Strawberry Pannacotta with Strawberry Soup
(A little sour in a plum way but amazing combination of tastes.)

Watermelon and Strawberry Sorbet with Cucumber Foam
(Refreshing and light, but yummy. It better be for the 3rd dessert at dinner)

If you don't want to spend too much on your first visit, go for the 3-course or 5-course set lunch. If you prefer the full gastronomic experience, go for dinner and try the degustation menu. It's omakase style at FiftyThree... so you need to tell the staff if you have any dietary requirements. Otherwise, you just get serve with what the chef prepares for you. If you love wines, you will be happy here as they offer an excellent wine selection. Wine pairing with the meals is also possible and Zach, the charming and knowledgeable sommelier, will be happy to assist.

* The food pics were taken using my old and new Blackberry Bold, the latter produced better quality and clearer pics.

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