Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Top Picks From Topshop

I need retail therapy. Hence, am planning a trip to Topshop tomorrow to shop for new additions to my wardrobe. Decided to browse online to shortlist some worthies. Here are my top picks from Topshop. Hope they are in store. More pics, less words. Enjoy.

The white blouse with an edge

The cocktail dress with an edge

The gown for the next gala

The clutch that can rival a Bottega Venetta

The top that looks like a Helmut Lang

A feather cape for whimsical days

A jacket that Blake Lively would most likely wear

The new denim I will be sporting

My touch of leopard for the season, Rachel Zoe style.

The antler necklace I have been searching for

Official Site :

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Life On The Fast Lane

I had a very good start to my F1 adventure. Thanks to G.H.Mumm, I found myself shuttled to the Paddock Club. Here's my access pass to gastronomic indulgence and people watching at the Singapore Grand Prix.

The fun started for me when our group explored the Jean-Georges Vongeritchen hospitality suite, open to all Paddock Club ticket holders. As an avid foodie more than a racing fan, meeting Jean Georges was a big highlight. I don't usually do this, but I actually asked him if he would take a picture with us. Even though he is a world-famous chef, he was really friendly and obliged happily. He was rather impressed that we even had our own professional photographer, and not using a Blackberry or pocket-size camera. What a surreal moment! Priceless!

Here's my culinary journey at The Paddock Club, created by Chef Jean Georges himself. This hospitality suite is the best place to see all the famous personalities as good food unites people. I saw Bernie Ecclestone, Ong Beng Seng, Christina Ong, a Miss Universe, and probably some drivers I am not familiar with.

This was one of my favourites... black pepper shrimps with sun dried pineapples.

Swimmer crab on toast

F1 Cheese Burger with brie and black truffle dressing

Croque Monsieur, Jean Georges style...

Duck in curry sauce

This dish was so amazing, I had 3 servings. Foie gras on brioche with jam on the side.

Black truffle pizza

What did we drink? G.H.Mumm Cordon Rouge, of course!

The exercise after a night of gastronomic indulgence was a walk down the pit lane. Besides the amazing food by a world renowned chef, the other factor that justified the S$8,500 ticket price was the pit lane tour. Roaring engines filled the air of excitement as we got to walk past the drivers and the theirs teams. I even spotted Sir Richard Branson. This is the closest one can get to the pit lane, garages and the circuit track.

It was a very fun Day One at the Singapore Grand Prix. I will be taking a break today, and gearing up for the race day tomorrow. I wonder what exciting things will be happen tomorrow. Perhaps seeing Miss Elliot in the Paddock Club or a glimpse of Mariah Carey? I shall keep you posted.

Official Site:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Tale Of Alba White Truffles

I always know how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing for a living. Yesterday was one of those exceptional days and it inspired me to write a tale of white truffles. I co-hosted a white truffle cooking demo and lunch presented by Gaggenau and Bonta. Hosted by Chef Luca Pezzera (co-owner Bonta, located at UE Square), the event took place at the Gagganau Experience Center. The Gaggenau Experience Center is not just a showroom, but a functioning state-of-the-art kitchen designed to showcase its range of cutting-edge products to architects, interior designers and homeowners. (I will talk more about Gaggenau in my next entry.)

Every September, gourmands all over the world await with much anticipation for the white truffle (tartufo bianco) season to begin. A culinary gem that renowned 18th century epicure, Brillat-Savarin, called the “diamond of the kitchen”, white truffles are costly because of its rarity. It only grows underground, cannot be cultivated, and are best found in the damp woods of Langhe in Alba, Italy. White truffles are the most aromatic and flavourful of all truffle species and is far too delicate for cooking, hence always served fresh; shaved raw over warm or cold dishes.

Comparatively, black truffles, which are more affordable and abundant, can withstand cooking. White truffles must be eaten within 3-4 days after they are dug out. Usually sold by the gram at about S$9,000 per kilogram, the white truffle is sought by truffle hunters accompanied dogs to sniff it out.

Sven Szensy, Marketing Director for Gaggenau, with Chef Luca Pezzera of Bonta.

Chef Luca Pezzera has been sharing the art of cooking and eating the stunning white truffles with his guests every year. We had the luxury of him preparing this special white truffles meal for us. We drank G.H.Mumm Vintage 1999 (vintage champers make a great pairing) in Zwiesel 1872 handmade crystal glasses. Truly a decadent day and I love my job.

Green asparagus with fried egg, sage and Alba white truffle

Homemade angel hair with Parmesan cheese sauce and white truffle

Grilled veal tenderloin medallion
with sautéed spinach, crispy Speck ham, Barolo glaze and white truffle

Vanilla Floating island with brown butter and white truffle

The best way to enjoy white truffles is to keep the dishes simple. My all time favourites are the asparagus with fried egg and the homemade angel hair pasta. However, I have a new favourite in the form of a dessert. It is my first time having a dessert with white truffle and it blew me away. Never did I imagine that white truffle will work with something sweet too.

If you would like to enjoy some of these yummy dishes, head on down to Bonta. Season started in mid September and will last through to mid December. :)

Official Sites :

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The G.H.Mumm Dining Experience (Part 2) - Table 66

The excitement is finally heating up, with the F1 weekend is just around the corner. Last week, I stopped by Table 66 (located at 66 Tras Street in Tanjong Pagar) to experience the G.H.Mumm Champagne (official champagne for Formula 1) pairing menu that Chef Vincent Teng created.

Chef Vincent held the position of Executive Chef at The Scarlet Hotel, before he started Table 66, a modern European restaurant in December 2009. His cooking style features the sous-vide cooking technique, French for “under vacuum”, a cooking method that involves vacuum packing ingredients then immersing them in a heated water bath for a period of time. Making use of ingredients from all over the world, he has created a menu that offers guests a lighter take on traditionally hearty European cuisine.

The four-course G.H.Mumm menu is priced at $98++ per person, will be available for lunch and dinner, from 1st to 26th September. Here's a pictorial look of the delicious meal I had. The main course is the option of sea bass or guinea fowl, and my dining companion and I ordered one each to share.

Trio Of Fresh Oysters
Served with assorted toppings of dashi infused with yuzu granita, tomato essence in shooter glass, and farmed sturgeon caviar and crème fraiche. Served with G.H.Mumm Cordon Rouge. This combo is a refreshing change from the usual ways that oysters are served.

Foie Gras
Seared foie gras, berry compote, sliced mango on sushi rice. Served with G.H.Mumm Rosé. The sweetness of the sushi rice is a good complement to the foie gras, which is traditionally served with brioche or toast.

Seabass Fillet
Served on a bed of seasonal vegetables monte in vanilla butter jus. Served with G.H.Mumm Vintage 1999. My dining companion loved the vanilla butter sauce. This was half a portion as we ordered it to be shared equally.

Sous Vide of guinea fowl
Poached and seared guinea fowl on garlic pomme puree, asparagus and compressed strawberries in aged balsamic vinaigrette. Served with G.H.Mumm Vintage 1999. This was half a portion as we ordered it to be shared equally.

Crème caramel
Earl grey tea infused crème caramel served with nut tuile. I love the earl grey flavour. As much as I like my desserts, this was a tad too sweet for me to finish.

Overall, I find that the menu provided good value for money. A 4-course meal with 3 glasses of G.H.Mumm champagne at S$98++ is an unbeatable price to sample Chef Teng's cooking, as well as G.H.Mumm's portfolio of champagnes. It is not just about Cordon Rouge (Brut), but one also gets to enjoy the Rosé and Vintage 1999. As much as I enjoyed all 3 champagnes with the pairing, my personal favourite choice is the Rosé.

Head on down to Table 66 this week if you are interested to try.

Official Site:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Famous 'Sex On The Beach' At Bo Innovation

When I told some friends that I will be checking out Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, one of the comments I got was "Oh, I heard about the 'Sex On The Beach'. Tell me if it's good." So, here I am sharing my gastronomic encounter at BO Innovation, with "Demon Chef" Alvin Leung at the helm.

Never judge a book by its cover, never judge the cuisine by the way the chef looks. Chef Leung's alternative rock look is a far cry from the usual picture you get when you think of a chef. Colourful streaked hair and tinted glasses, along with the in-your-face tattoo that says "demon chef" in Chinese characters. Born in London, raised in Toronto, based in Hong Kong, Chef Leung is a self-taught chef and well respected by his peers. Well, not surprising as Bo Innovation is the only independent restaurant in Hong Kong to be awarded two stars by the prestigious Michelin Guide.

Now back to the dining experience. It started out wrong, very wrong. I got there on time at 830pm for my dinner, only to be told they don't have my reservation (I really don't know how the screw up happened when the reservation was made three weeks before). Fortunately, they have a table (a very crap one) available at the terrace. It didn't help that the weather was hot and humid, and the only view I got was the back of a residential block and I actually saw people in their PJs watching TV. I was starving, fuming mad and super pissed off. I would usually just walk away in such situations, but the fact that Chef Leung came out to apologise made me stayed on.

After an hour at the al fresco table, we finally got a table inside the restaurant. Do bring something to keep you warm as it is freezing indoors. I don't know why they don't adjust the air conditioning to a comfortable temperature.

We opted for the Chef's Menu. Priced at HK$1,080 for a 12-course menu, with 2 optional courses (Dragon Eye and Sex On The Beach).

#1 Course - Green Onion

Oyster with lime sauce and ginger "snow". A refreshing start to a great meal to come.

#1 Course - Dead Garden

If you don't eat oysters, this is what you get. Morel, caterpillar fungus, lime and green onion. It looks gross, but it tastes really good. The edible soil adds to the crunch. It was served in a Jenaer Glas egg coddler. How cute is that?

#2 Course - Har Mi

Carabinero prawn on a bed of capellini tossed with chilli and sage. I love the golden brown powder made with "Har Mi" dried shrimps. This is an excellent pasta dish that I would like to eat again.

#3 Course - True 8 Vinegar

Tomato, pan fried foie gras, and ginger in a soup of vinegar. This dish reminds me of the traditional Chinese dish of braised pork trotters with vinegar. This is the first time I am having pan fried foie gras in this state. Very innovative and delicious. The waiter came by to tell us not to drink up the vinegar, as there's a part 2 to this dish once we ate the tomato and foie gras. The part two was when they added in ginger parfait to our leftover vinegar soup.

#4 Course - Scallop

Scallop on a potato with kaffir lime sauce and mango sauce on the side. Finally, Kyoho grape jello to add a sweet touch after the savoury taste.

#5 Course - Iberico 36

A slice of Iberico 36 ham wrapped around morel and vermicelli, topped with onion foam. Very creative and unique.

#6 Course - Molecular

This is Xiao Long Bao in molecular cuisine. A burst of Xiao Long Bao flavoured soup exploded in my mouth when I bit into this yolk-like jello. The thin red line is actually a slice of pickled ginger.

#7 Course - Hunan Ham

Thin slices of honey compressed winter melon topped with Hunan Ham powder and served half onion with Hunan Ham broth foam.

With complement from the chef - Caviar

Smoked quail egg on crispy taro, topped with caviar and gold leaves. Decadent!

#8 Course - Black Sesame

Hamachi cubes and sesame jello on a lettuce bed.

Palette Cleanser - Ginseng Sorbet

Clever idea but I hate ginseng, so had to give this a miss.

#9 Course - Squid

I was expecting grilled squid or squid meat balls, but I was so wrong. I was presented with a yakitori sweetbread ball and a piece of fried tofu on a bed of greens, only to be topped with squid soup. The best sweetbread I ever had.

#10 Course - Sichuan Vanilla

A chunk of suckling pig, peas and apple cinnamon ice cream on a slice of toasted man tou (Chinese bun). Chef uses a special way of cooking to remove the lard from the suckling pig so you can eat it guilt-free. Alright I confess, it is still fatty, just less fatty. There's no such thing as a healthy suckling pig.

Drum Roll... Here comes 'Sex On The Beach'

Holy sh*t! It's literally sex on the beach. The pink "condom" is edible and filled with condensed milk to resemble the remnant of a very good shag on the beach. It made me laugh when I ate the "condom".

#11 Course - Sandalwood

This dish was served in the Jenaer Glas egg coddler but with the lid on. Once you remove the lid, you will can see and smell sandalwood smoke. A pity I couldn't capture it on picture. Almond pudding with hawthorn.

#12 Course - Shui Jing Fang

If you are wondering why the dish is called Shui Jing Fang, it is because it had the Chinese white spirit named Shui Jing Fang in it. Thin slices of banana, vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, and raisins soaked with Shui Jing Fang.

Petit Dim Sum

Love the presentation of the petit four in a traditional Chinese basket.

I highly recommend for you to check out this restaurant if you are in Hong Kong. Chef Leung termed his cuisine as "X-treme Chinese" as he modernises old recipes with modern cooking techniques and ingredients. It is definitely an experience dining at Bo Innovation.

Official site :