An Evening of Fine Food @ RWS

Untitled

I’ve written about it and now i’m there to experience the first hand experience of  the RWS Celebrity Chef’s Cuisine!

To read me previous post about the Inaugural RWS Food Affair, click HERE

Last Wednesday, a group of Bloggers, Freelance Writers and celebrated Food Authors were invited to the Resort World Sentosa to experience dining at its finest in the Ocean Gallery @ S.E.A. Aquarium.

11477_673844349295111_849172066_n

We were greeted with Champagnes, juices and soft drinks while we chatted with the six Celebrity Chefs who made this event possible! Read about Chef Cora’s inspiration for cooking, Chef Leong’s thoughts on the Chinese Culinary scene and Chef Joel Robuchon’s ideas on whether to open another restaurant in Singapore!

My first interview was with Chef Sam Leong, Chef Consultant and Co-owner of Forest Cooking School. Interestingly, Chef Sam Leong has a personality of his own, that not only impresses me, but a lot of other writers per-se. During our interview, Chef Leong cannot stop, but emphasise enough of his wife that is his pillar of strength throughout his career as a Chef.

A celebrated Chef, Chef Leong also realised the lack of talents in today’s culinary scene. He mentioned that  “the younger generations are afraid of hardship, many do not have the perseverance to stay in the kitchen for long.” in fact, he briefly mentioned that being a Chef is not easy, it is not what you see on the television, but years and years of hardwork and determination.

Chef Leong also left with a quote for aspiring young Chefs’ “If you’re keen to join the kitchen, make sure you are committed to it, persevere and endure. However, once you reach he age of 25 and think that the kitchen is not for you, quit. Do not waste your time anymore.”

sam joe

Chef Cat Cora, the newest addition to the list of Celebrity Chefs at RWS was also present during our short interview and i managed to “squeeze” some questions for her!

Qn: Chef Cora, being the newest addition to the team of Celebrity Chefs at the RWS, do you feel pressured?

Ans: No, i do not. it’s just like being in the Iron Chefs Competition, it is always challenging and it forces me to really innovate and create dishes that are not only delicious, but presentable. In fact, it is my honour to be working side by side all the celebrity chefs in RWS tonight.

Qn: Chef Cora, i heard that you’ve got a Vegetarian Menu, which is your favourite dish?

Ans: ALL! Haha! Isn’t that what all Chefs would say? Joking. i personally really like the Cauliflower Puree with Basil Seeds and the Roasted Egg Plant Soup with Curry and Cotton Candy.

Qn: I see that you really enjoy using Asian Ingredients into your cuisine, so what do you love about Singaporean Food?

Ans: First and foremost, i really love Singapore! Not only does it have a whole diversity of races, for a Chef, it also meant a whole diversity of dishes! A typical morning for me in Singapore would be at a local coffeeshop or offer house with my half-boiled eggs and kaya Toast!

Cat-Cora-Disney-Restaurant-738121

Not forgetting, TDM never forgets to have an Interview with Chef Joel Robuchon!

Qn: Chef, were do you find inspirations for your cuisines?

Ans: I treat culinary as an art, in all my dishes, i look at it from an artistic point of view. Like a Painting, there must be a balance. Mixing elements to do with taste first. Most importantly, using only the best products,we try our very best to work with local produce, but if it is not available locally, we source it from other parts of the World.

Qn: There a are a lot of Culinary schools that have opened in Singapore, what are your thoughts on them?

Ans: It is great! Reputable Culinary Schools such as the Culinary Institute of America, Temasek Culinary Academy and At-Sunrise are examples of such schools that lays a basic fundamentals to cooking. It is a very good way to start your career as a Chef and a great stepping stone to the industry. Most importantly, it doesn’t only teach you how to cook, but also manage a restaurant in a whole.

Qn: Chef, are there any plans for you to open another restaurant in Singapore?

Ans: Currently, no. There have been many investors and Hotels proposing to collaborate with me, but currently, i realise that there are too many restaurants in Singapore which are really good. Furthermore, i personally i feel that it is not right to open another restaurant in other hotels, especially with my current two at the RWS.

joel_robuchon_banner

What an impressive start! Let’s see what we were greeted with the moment we stepped into the Ocean Gallery @ S.E.A. Aquarium for dinner!

dining

Here comes the FOOD!! – All by the sequence of their courses, not forgetting the amazing wines that was sponsored by Bacardi – Martini Singapore Ptd Ltd

Wines served for the Evening:

  • Penfolds Koonuga Hill Autumn Riesling
  • Penfolds 2 Shiraz Mourverdre
  1. Le Caviar Imperial – by Chef Joel Robuchon
  2. Steamed Marble Goby – by Chef Sam Leong
  3. Double-Boiled Cordyceps Flower – by Chef Li Kwok Kwong
  4. Slow Cooked Salmon Roulade, Hokkaido Scallop & Fried Octopus – by Chef Cat Cora
  5. Beef Short Rib – by Chef Douglas Tay
  6. Sweet Temptation – by Chef Kenny Kong

samjoe5

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

EK YAP Creative Director Photographer www.ekyap.com www.flickr.com/ekyap

grp photo copy

Meanwhile, for more information on the promotions which ends today, do not hesitate to join in the RWS Food Affair by clicking in the link HERE

 

Advertisements

Oushin Japanese Steakhouse @ Suntec City

“From Farm to Mouth”, that’s the idea behind Chef Fukushima’s theory to culinary. Drawing his inspirations from his Japanese roots, the Chef was also trained in Tokyo and further his exploration of “fine cuisine” while working for one of the top restaurants in Paris.

Cuts of Beef

Oushin today boast a whole range of meats selected exclusively by their team of professionals in Japan.

Iwate-Gyu – Iwate beef is from IWATE Prefecture, located north of Japan. Iwate faces the Pacific Ocean to the east and on the west is generally formed by the highest points of the Ou Mountains. They grow up in a relaxed environment amidst the great outdoors, grazing on highland pastures that are not treated with agricultural chemicals. Cattles’ feed are rice straw of IWATE JUNJYOU MAI. Under strict control of the monitoring system, they yield a healthy beef with high – quality protein and Omega 3 interspersed fats created the juicy melting texture that blow you away.

Omi-Gyu – (THE EMPEROR’S MEAT) “We keep quality and flavour of Omi Beef along with passion and selfless efforts of our forefathers in the past 400 years during the “Edo” era of Japan.” Said the ranch owners. Omi beef is one of the three most famous type of Japanese Wagyu (Omi, Kobe and Matsuzaka). It was served to the Japanese Emperor as the initial official Japanese Wagyu. Up to this day, Omi beef is the official beef of the Japanese Imperial Household. Each paddock keeps only 2 cattle in order to provide them with a companion and a spacious and stress free environment. Besides, the nature of Shiga Prefecture has contributed the most desirable, unpolluted, tranquil environment and the clear, clean water from the Mother Lake Biwa to raise the cattle. Those are the reasons why Omi Beef is so different from other Wagyu. amous type of Japanese Wagyu (Omi, Kobe and Matsuzaka). amous type of Japanese Wagyu (Omi, Kobe and Matsuzaka).

It was served to the Japanese Emperor as the initial official Japanese Wagyu. Up to this day, Omi beef is the official beef of the Japanese Imperial Household.

U.S Fillet Mignon

Iwate Beef Consumme (Pour 4)

Apart from the specialty beef dishes, Chef Fukushima’s menu also includes one of his signature Pork Belly that is carefully cooked for 48hours before grilling, giving it a tender and mouth-watering flavour.

48hrs Pork Belly 2

If that is not enough to tickle you fine palate, Chef Fukushima also flew in top quality Japanese Charcoal with Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Wood Chips from Japan, The MIBRASA® charcoal oven in layman’s term is the hottest indoor barbeque ever. It is the combination of a charcoal grill and an oven, when closed, ensures none of the natural moisture escapes from the food cooked in it while bringing out a unique taste. Being the hottest toy in town, MIBRASA® charcoal ovens will be grilling steak at more than 900 degrees!!

All in all, it is an experience worth to keep!

*Hint! A great place to bring your other half for a good meal!

CONTACT:

3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City Mall,#02-391/392, Singapore 038983 (Suntec Convention Centre) Tel:6884 4805

OPENING HOURS:

Monday – Sunday: Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Dinner 6:00 p.m. to 10:00p.m.

BURNOUT – A Tribute to the Food & Beverage Industry

networking-fatigue-frustration-burn-out

BURNOUT – physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. (Google)

TDMers, i know that i’m suppose to be blogging about Oushin Japanese Steakhouse, but prior to that, on a more serious note, i’ve got some thoughts that i want to pen down on this blog entry and i sincerely wish that you can share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms.

Last Friday, as i sat on the comfortable chairs with food on my table, many thoughts and memories came through my mind. I thought that it’ll be nice for me to share with you some of my thoughts and i hope that you’ll learn to appreciate and thank the people who are serving your breakfast, lunch or dinner in a restaurant or cafe.

Let me start off by saying…

Singapore’s Service Standards are like SHIT!

No, that’s actually not what i’m trying to bring across, but have you been one of the culprits who said such things before? Or perhaps you might have heard many of your friends and family judging our service standards in Singapore.

Before we jump into any conclusion, allow me to share my personal experience when i started as a junior employee with a restaurant group.

269149_215947238441495_4623224_n

A typical day working in a restaurant starts at 10am for me, the moment i step into the restaurant, i would have to start doing the daily administrative work, clearing the cellar, setting-up the restaurant and making sure that everything is ready for operations. At about 11am, we would normally start the day with a row call, which the chef would then explain the specials for the day or if there’s anything that is not available.

71640_167565269923024_8098780_n

11.30am, the restaurant opens for operations, as usual, we would be serving the hungry diners who are rushing in-between work or meeting to catch a quick bite, in fact, the lunch operations is always a challenge as many would require us to serve fast, be quick and hopefully, turnover the table for the next seating.

2.30pm, the last order for lunch, but that’s not it. Diners who are normally a little more free would prefer to stay a while longer to have their tea or desserts slowly, thus, we would be standing-by, waiting, waiting and waiting.

4pm, we finally cleared the restaurant, and that’s almost 6 hours since i started work. This is when i probably would have my 1st meal of the day.

5.30pm, all geared up, dressed in our uniforms, we are back to set-up the restaurant for the dinner service. 6pm, our second row call for the day, and the chef would now explain the items available for dinner as well as the specials for the evening.

734361_584077198271827_1259416692_n

6.30pm, our doors are open again for dinner, this goes all the way till 10pm- 10.30pm, depending on the chef or maitre’d who determines the time for our last order. Once the last order is made for normally desserts, coffee or tea, diners would normally stay a little longer while they sip their tea and chat with their partners or friends. A typical day ends (weekdays) at 11pm or (weekends) 12am – 1am. As usual, we’re not done yet, after all our guest have left the restaurant, it’s time to clear all the plates and wipe the wine glasses so that there will not be water marks. Next up, something that most service staff hates, wiping cutleries… all in all, these takes about an hour or so, depending on the night’s service. Having said that, most of the time when we are back home, it’ll probably be past midnight, or if you might agree with me, the wee hours…

This is not all, with the clamping down on foreign workers and the lack of Singaporeans who are unwilling to go into the service industry, we are facing lesser and lesser manpower counts. This meant that:

  1. Service quality would be affected
  2. It’ll take longer hours to complete the same task
  3. Lesser people doing more job scope

Conclusion? BURNOUT!

We spend up to 14 hours a day working in a restaurant with minimal rest, more often then not, we spend most of our time at work than to be at home. That’s not all, because of the manpower shortage, many restaurant chains are forced to have their employees to be on a six-day work week.

422084_360474533965429_240475545_n

I challenge any one of you to try being in their shoes. Take a week and try your hands working in a restaurant, then figure out if it’s an easy job.

So, what i’m driving at is for you to try and appreciate these people who are serving you. Many of them like myself started-off with passion, our priority is always to just do our best and provide you with the best service, at no time are we there to make your experience bad. In fact, despite the lack of time to rest, we always try to put a smile on our faces to make our guest feel welcomed and comfortable.

Like yourself, the service staff are just working hard to make ends meet for their families. We are all mature enough and i trust my readers are as well, let’s not complain so much and learn to be more patient and kind with our words. The next time you visit a restaurant or cafe, learn to recognise the employees, fill up the feedback form, be generous with your words, say thank you, these means a lot to them:)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Have a lovely Sunday:)

We Flew to Manila!

530500_669281396418073_1087845889_n

There are probably thousand and one things you can do in Manila, but i’ve streamlined to a couple of things and places to go that perhaps could shorten your need to research!

This trip to Manila was a little impromptu, in fact, unplanned for. Like mentioned in my previous posts, i’ve seen and met many Filipinos while i was working for the restaurants in Singapore, interviewed and spoken to them many times, but i’ve never had the chance to visit their motherland. For once i had the opportunity, so i took my bags, passport and off i flew!

Jetstar-Intl-787-8

Less then 4 hours from Singapore, i arrived in Manila, Ninoy Aquino International Airport T1, the oldest airport in the Manila, and perhaps (mentioned by our driver), the busiest airport because most international airlines still choose to land at terminal 1 instead of 2 or 3.

Man! This was indeed an experience, as i enter the country with fear, especially when many of my friends told me to be careful because Manila is really dangerous, i beg to differ! It’s perhaps safer than many other countries across the globe! I’ll tell you why later:) Meanwhile, i’ve collated some places of interest that i visited and perhaps it could give you a rough idea of where to visit when you do happen to be in Manila:)

To VISIT

Taal Volcano – Taal volcano is located in the southern part of Luzon in the Philippines. It is about 50km from the capital, Manila. Right in the center of the island is the main crater that holds a sulfuric lake. It is famous for having an island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Named as the second most active Volcano in the Philippines, i understand that the last minor activity was dated five years ago with hints of smoke and rumbling sounds heard by the residents living close to the area. To get to  the Taal Volcano you have to travel across by boat from Talisay, Batangas and hike up to the crater. On the other hand, for the travellers who wish to have a little more comfort, there’s always a horse-ride available that brings you all the way up to the crater:)

taal-volcano

The Archdiocesan Shrine of Jesus – The Way, the Truth, and the Life
Central Business Park – Located right in front of the SM Mall of Asia and beside the SMX Convention Center, the church holds regular mass sessions and if you’re lucky – like me, you probably can catch a glimpse of a traditional wedding ceremony!

53_big

1185540_667554996590713_89781148_n

PhotoGrid_1379045472707

Museum of the Filipino PeopleDO NOT BE FOOLED! Tell the driver the National Museum and he will bring you to the art gallery which is currently undergoing a major renovation (my personal experience). Make sure you tell your driver that you want to head to the Museum of the Filipino People, a division of the National Museum. Over here, you will be able to understand a little more about the cultures and history of the Philippines. Also, this is where over one million archeological treasures and masterpieces are kept from the remains of the San Diego Sinks. pambansang museo

IMG_4601

PhotoGrid_1379045790646

SHOPPING & FOOD

168 Shopping Mall – It’s perhaps THE MALL to go to if you visit Manila. Think about Platinum, MBK and Chatuchak Market in Bangkok combined into one in an air-conditioned complex, that is 168 shopping mall. You can almost get anything you want! Most importantly, it is much cheaper compared to the rest of the places. Nevertheless, if you are cool with the heat during the day, try the Divisoria Market which is located just outside of the 168 Shopping center, i heard that you might get the same item for a cheaper price, not much cheaper though, but perhaps you’ll enjoy the thrill! *One tip, as most of the shops are owned by Chinese Nationals, if you happen to speak Mandarin, my experience shopping there proves that you’ll probably get almost half the retail price! What i understand from my driver is that if you were to speak in English, they’ll mark-up the prices to a hefty price tag, if you speak Tagalog, they’ll mark-up by just a little more above cost, but if you speak MANDARIN, like i’ve mentioned, almost cost price! So remember to BARGAIN!!

999 Shopping Mall – Situated just beside 168 shopping center, 999 sells relatively the same items as what 168 offers, i personally prefer to shop at 168 because of the wide variety of items available. Nevertheless, 999 is where the ladies can shop for their cheap accessories such as hair bands, clips, etc… for the guys, just stay at 168, you’ll probably be able to get a lot more stuff there:)

168-Shopping-Mall-in-Divisoria-500x373

168 Mall, 999 Mall & Divisoria Market

SM Mall of Asia – A huge mall that is worth to visit, you’ll be able to get many locally-made products and International brands here in the mall. Opened by a group of Chinese businessman (one of which is the richest man in the Philippines), you’ll definitely see a lot of SM malls all around Manila, but the one that you should really visit is the SM Mall of Asia, the biggest mall in the Philippines and also apparently, the World’s third largest malls with 4 hectares of shopping, leisure and entertainment facilities such as an ice-skating ring, IMAX theatre, bowling alley, hypermart, departmental store, etc…  all in one location!

SM-Mall-of-Asia-sideview

SM-Mall-of-Asia

homepage_r1

Bonifacio High Street – Food, Shopping, Shopping and Food, these are probably the two main things you’ll enjoy in Bonifacio High Street. A heightened experience of gallery-designed offices, avant-garde/fashion forward boutiques, and chef-based restaurants it offers consumers a variety of International brands such as MUJI, La Senza, Springfield, Topshop, etc… and for the Singaporeans, if you think that Charles and Keith is the only Singaporean brand at Bonifacio High Street, you are wrong! Guess what i saw? WEE NAM KEE HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE! Lol!!

PhotoGrid_1379045605517

Designer-novelty-shops-along-Bonifacio-High-Street

Bonifacio-4

TRANSPORT

There are probably more public transport than you can actually think of, you’ll see a lot of Taxi, Jeepney, Tricycles (Motorbikes/ Bicycles with sidecars), Tranvia (horse trams), LRT, MRT and PNP (which are basically acronyms for train services.

But for your own security and comfort purpose, just go ahead with the taxi services, they start at 40Peso (SGD1.16) and increases about 15 Peso/KM

Most importantly, you need not squeeze with the crowd on the Trains and Jeepney which in my honest opinion is almost unbearable.

462456546_1357697469

SONY DSC

SECURITY

Security is perhaps one of the most important thing on all of your minds before travelling. But don’t worry too much, because in all major malls, banks, restaurants and hotels, there’ll be security guards on duty. Armed with pistols, rifles and handcuffs, you’ll perhaps worry more for the robbers and burglars then yourself! Oh! Also, most malls have only one entrance and exit point, and they are taken care of by the well-trained security guards. Holding a drum stick on their hands, all bags have to be checked by them prior to you entering the building:)

Philippines Bus Explosion

Life after Philippines:)

I’m so excited to write about The Philippines!

Trust me, i’ve got so much to share with all of you!

But… it’s back to the Appetite’s office today to get ready the whole list of wines sent in by our local suppliers for the Appetite’s Grand Wine Tasting – Pinot Noir in the November issue!

Don’t worry, i’m in the midst of working on the draft for my Philippines trip and after a little more work editing the pictures and text, i should be posting it anytime this week! So stay tune to this space!

By the way, to make you understand what stood in-front of me the moment i stepped into the office, here’s a little picture i took today:)

IMG_20130911_222229

Crazy! With over 60 wines to taste from all over the World, it’s gonna be an experience!

OHHH!! Yeah, before i forget, the Appetite team recently did a Cider tasting in our office and it’s out on this September’s issue! Not forgetting also, Appetite just revamped the whole magazine! Check out the new look this Sept!

Grab your copies now!! – Click on the photo to enter into Appetite’s Website:)

subscribe_today_cover_201309

 

One more thing!!!

I’m extremely excited and honoured to announce that The Drinking Market have finally gotten our own *limited Edition T-Shirts!! HURRAY!!

533232_668088966537316_786351557_n

We’re planning to give out one of the t-shirts to our readers, unfortunately, it’s a free size, thus, it can be a little baggy if you don’t mind:)

The only available colour for the T-Shirt that we will be giving out is in White with the exact same letters (design) in Black! – Basically just the opposite of what you see in the above picture:)

How to get it?

Simply copy the below questionnaires and send it in an email to us at: thedrinkingmarket@gmail.com

Qn1. How do you get to know of The Drinking Market?

Qn2. What do you love about the current content of The Drinking Market?

Qn3. What do you like to hear or see in the future post in The Drinking Market?

We’ll love to hear from you soon!

Sneak peak into The Philippines

Sneak peak into The Philippines!  I’m so excited to write about it!!

See all ya’ soon!!

image

image

image

Image

OFF to Manila in 24hours!

OFF to Manila in 24hours!

Finally, all i’ve been wanting and waiting for, my VIRGIN experience to the Philippines after working with so many of the locals since i started running restaurants!

Looking forward to the many good food and kind people!

Woots~~!!

Billykirk-166-Carryall-canvas-bag-Road-Test-35