Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gaggenau's White Truffle Hunt

Tis the season for some white truffles again. I have been a fan since the day I caught a whiff of the highly aromatic tartufo bianco. Dubbed the "white diamond of the kitchen", these rare white tubers can cost from $3,500 to $19,000 per kilo. Last year, I had the chance to host a white truffle luncheon at the Gaggenau Experience Center.

The best white truffles come from Alba, Piedmont region in Northen Italy. White truffles are costly because of its rarity, as they only grow underground and cannot be cultivated.

This year, as part of the celebration for the highly anticipated launch of its award-winning CX 480 full surface induction hob, Gaggenau presented the first-ever white truffle hunt in Singapore (or possibly the first in the world). Such ingenuity puts Gaggenau in a league of its own!

On 27th October 2011, I had the privilege to be part of this "amazing race", along with Sylvia Toh from The New Paper. For this truffle hunt, we had to visit several locations, but done in style with a fleet of Audi cars and our very own designated chauffeurs.

1st Stop - Gaggenau Experience Center

The meeting point for the hunt was at the Gaggenau Experience Center located at Bishan Street 21. Gaggenau invited one of its culinary ambassadors, award-winning Chef Ryan Clift of the famed Tippling Club, to design an exquisite sensory experience for the truffle "hunters". In the humidor next to him was $8,000 worth of white truffles.

Chef Ryan talked about white truffles while preparing breakfast for us using the latest CX 480 induction hob. Most people don't know that induction cooking is better than conventional gas cooker... as the precision in temperature control is a trait appreciated by professional chefs.

On the menu was scrambled eggs with white truffles. Forget about breakfast at Tiffany's. Make mine a breakfast at Gaggenau any day! White truffles are best served raw, shaved thinly over simple dishes such as eggs.

To kick-start our truffle hunt on a high note, we were served Ruinart Blanc de Blancs with our breakfast! I wish every morning could be like this.

2nd Stop - Les Amis

When I got to Les Amis, I saw my good friend Timothy Goh, Director of Wines for Les Amis group. He is also a very well-respected sommelier who has won numerous awards.

The hunt continued with us being ushered to the private dining room. Timothy conducted a short wine tasting session and gave us tips on how to pair wines with truffle dishes.

These elegant black tasting glasses are from Zwiesel 1872. These crystal glasses are handmade and mouth-blown by artisans in Germany. I appreciate the attention paid to the smallest details, down to the choice of glasses being used. We were also served canapes to go along with the wines that we were tasting.

3rd Stop - Oyster Bar

At Oyster Bar, a "truffle hunter" (played by an actor) shared his experiences from his truffle hunting days.

We were also served risotto with white truffles. It kept getting better with each stopover.

Final Stop - Tippling Club

The finale of the hunt was to find where the white truffle was being hidden in the special gigantic "forest" dessert that Chef Ryan created.

We were all given a chance to sniff out the "forest" dessert and make a guess where the real white truffle was being hidden.

Once the winner was determined (nope, I didn't win), Chef Ryan cut up the "forest" dessert to serve to the truffle hunters.

My sweet ending to a very interesting white truffle hunt. It proved that white truffles are indeed versatile enough to be served even with desserts. What a memorable sensory experience it has been! To top this experience would be a trip to Alba, Italy, to search for the real white truffles. Perhaps that would just be what I would do next year...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

H&M x The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The best form of compliment for any foreign film is when Hollywood decides to make a version of it. In my opinion, the original film in the foreign language always pack a better punch. For this reason, I am reluctant to watch the Hollywood's remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

I have watched the original movie trilogy in Swedish, based on Steig Larsson's bestselling 'Millennium Series'. At his death in November 2004, Larsson left three unpublished novels that made up the trilogy.

Part 1 - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Swedish: Man som hatar kvinnor (Men Who Hate Women)

Part 2 - The Girl Who Played With Fire
Swedish: Flickan som lekte med elden (The Girl Who Played with Fire)

Part 3 - The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest
Swedish: Luftslottet som sprangdes (The Grandeur Fantasy Blown Up)

The best fashion compliment a film can get is when H&M decides to launch a collection based on the main character of a film. In this case, the collection was inspired by Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, played by Swedish actor Noomi Rapace.

Trish Summerville is behind the costumes for David Fincher’s version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. To celebrate the movie, costume designer Trish Summerville has created a women’s collection for H&M, full of pieces inspired by the film’s anti-heroine, Lisbeth Salander. I think Trish looks like a fashionable version of Lisbeth.

The 30-piece collection has a dark urban feel that defines Lisbeth's character, with leather jackets and trousers, torn jeans and slouchy hoodies all in industrial shades of black, grey, worn white or dark red. The collection debuts exclusively at Colette in Paris on 28 November. The collection will be available from 17 December at H&M’s Divided department in Singapore.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Inspirations From The Sartorialist

Once in a while, I pop in to The Sartorialist to get some inspirations. Here are some pictures that caught my eyes today...

Lady in black with interesting shoes...

Autumn pop colours...

Go nude with white and black...

White shirt forever...

Perfect fashion mash up...

Black + Pink = Genius!

Heroine shoes...

Love the colour combo...

All pictures taken from

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The New Viet Friend

Les Amis Group has recently added am upscale Vietnamese restaurant to its portfolio. Nestled along its Monopoly strip at Shaw Centre, Annam is next door to its Italian sister La Strada. I went to check it out on its first week of opening earlier this month...

Love the cute plastic turtle chopstick rest. I can't resist snapping a pic of small things that bring a smile to my face.

Bright coloured decor, but in a more upscale Viet way.

I like the big arched windows and natural light

The ambience is warm and welcoming. The fact that the staff wear áo dài really gives it an authentic Vietnamese feel.

Yes, I do look at everything. Love the old school charm of the flower motif tiles.

Traditional Vietnamese coffee

Warm grilled salad of beef with watercress, lemongrass,
and soft boiled egg - S$26

Sri Lankan crab rolls with minced pork - S$26

Fried chicken wings with shrimp paste and lemongrass - S$22

Pho Bo, beef noodle soup - S$28

Sauteed beef sirloin with celery - S$38

Coffee creme caramel with crushed ice - S$9

Lotus tea ice cream - S$4

The food was great and the place was packed. Not too bad for a new joint, considering it was the first week of opening. I guess many Les Amis regular customers like me were curious to see how it could work its magic on Vietnamese cuisine. It would have been perfect if not for its slight mispricing of certain items, such as the appetisers... S$22 for 4 small pieces of chicken wings and S$26 for 6 tiny spring rolls.

Go check out this place if you like Vietnamese cuisine. Just be prepared that the bill may be a tad on the high side for Vietnamese comfort food.

For more information, please visit

Friday, October 21, 2011

Versace for H&M - My Shopping List

After writing the entries on Versace for H&M, I decided to browse through the look book again and shortlist the items that I might be interested in. If you are wondering if I would get priority to purchase the collection, the answer is no. It will be released to the public on 17th November. I never queue (the queues at H&M collection launches are insanely intense) physically but I will be trying my luck with online shopping.

Here's a look at my shopping list...

For more information, please visit :