Ikura, yuzu jelly and hojisho.
This took place roughly 12 hours after returning from Kathmandu, 30 hours before my half marathon attempt and 54 hours to my first day in a new working environment. What a week it had been!
Hirame with burrata, tomato and pomelo.
Of course, I was looking forward to this meal at Iggy’s (reservation was made 2 weeks in advance) but fresh memories of Kathmandu’s sights and sounds were distracting. I guess that had indirectly lowered my expectation of this highly praised restaurant. As we sat down, I quickly browsed through the December menu, decided on our orders and starting talking frantically about my trip. If I was at Kathmandu that particular hour (we’re 2.15 hours ahead of Nepal), I would have already visited a temple/durbar and had started looking for an interesting Nepali or Newari lunch spot.
Wagyu carpaccio with rocket, parmesan and truffle mayonnaise.
Off the menu was a complimentary amuse bouche. The fragrance of yuzu had tricked me into expecting a sugary taste of jelly, which naturally, should provide a nice contrast to the savouriness of ikura. But it was not! Tasting like light soy sauce, the jelly was a surprise and went down delightfully with the bursting ikura. The pairing was lightly perfumed with what I believe to be hojisho buds since it tasted very much similar to the Japanese perilla. A brilliant combination.
Tagliatelle with seasonal mushrooms and egg.
Cappellini with tomato and basil.
Lamb with ratatouille risotto.
The rest of the courses didn’t disappoint. Both the tagliatelle and capellini were exemplarily al dente. My soft piece of wagyu carpaccio came laurel-wreathed with arugula, parmesan and, my favourite part – truffle mayonnaise. I’m now inspired to make some truffle aioli to go with my fries or salads, even. Be it the execution or just pure bad luck, I’ve never had good duck dishes in non-Chinese restaurants. The meats were usually too hard and/or bland. Iggy’s pinkish duck piece that afternoon was soft, flaky and came with crispy skin that was lightly sprinkled with coarse salt to enhance the taste. The side of potato mash and chips (and mesclun mix) complemented the duck well, both in flavour and texture.
Duck with Yukon Gold potato and meslun.
Perhaps I’d made the wrong decision of selecting two rich-tasting desserts. In the end, both tasted rather similar. Having said that, to combine chocolate, cinnamon, mandarin and vanilla custard (quite unique a component, I think) was smart. Same goes for the pain d’epices. If only I’d replaced one of these with the soursop served with cherry, baby tomato and mascarpone, it would be even more fantastic, given the polarizing tastes of the main ingredients of these desserts.
Pain d'epices with bourbon, caramelized banana, nutmeg and toffee.
It was just one lunch, so I shouldn’t deduce as if I’d tasted the full-blown degustation dinner menu or like I’m a regular here. But from the menu that Friday afternoon, I feel that it’s not just about the freshest, most expensive imported ingredients. A lot of brainwork was involved in creating these exquisite, though simple-looking dishes. I’ll gladly return for more when I can afford it. Serving portions aside, if I may suggest, tea or coffee should have been included in the menu. That’s not too much to ask for a lunch tagged at S$85++, isn’t it?
Chocolate with cinnamon, mandarin and vanilla.
Just like Kathmandu and Iggy’s, I’m happy to report that both the half-marathon and first day at work went well. Now, if only every week can be just as fun and exciting...
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Orchard Road, Singapore
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