Fine dining at Asian Masters

Diners can enjoy special dinners, cooking workshops and promotions during the event

The finest in Asian gastronomy is once again in the spotlight with the fifth edition of the Asian Masters gourmet extravaganza kicking off on March 1.

There will be a slew of food events - from specially designed dinners to cooking workshops - throughout next month, as well as monthly dining promotions which run until February next year.

It is organised by Sphere Exhibits, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings, and food and beverage consultancy Poulose Associates.

Kicking off the events is a highlight dinner on March 1 curated by The Straits Times' food critic Wong Ah Yoke and Lianhe Zaobao's veteran food consultant Alan Ng.

Called Hennessy Presents A Culinary Journey Through China, each dish in the eight-course meal represents a different regional style of Chinese cuisine - from Teochew to Cantonese to Fujian.

Both Mr Wong, 55, and Mr Ng, who is in his 60s, picked three chefs each to cook the dishes. Mr Wong says: "Chinese chefs hardly come together for such collaborations, so this is a rare opportunity that should not be missed."

Chinese chefs hardly come together for such collaborations, so this is a rare opportunity that should not be missed.

THE STRAITS TIMES' FOOD CRITIC WONG AH YOKE, who, with Lianhe Zaobao's veteran food consultant Alan Ng, curated an eight-course dinner called Hennessy Presents A Culinary Journey Through China. One of the dishes he picked is the braised sliced Irish fat duck from Paradise Teochew Restaurant

Dishes curated by him include braised sliced Irish fat duck from Paradise Teochew at Scotts Square; braised yellow crab roe with steamed egg white from Imperial Treasure Shanghai Cuisine at Ngee Ann City; and eight treasure double-boiled soup from Chef Kang in Mackenzie Road.

On his picks, he says: "The Teochew braised duck from Paradise Teochew is my favourite because it is made with fat ducks from Silver Hill Farm in Ireland. And although there are many good Cantonese restaurants here, Chef Kang comes to mind when you want a soup that is not commonly available.

"Imperial Treasure Shanghai Cuisine's crab roe dish is not served at the restaurant and is something special for diners at the event."

Other Asian Masters events include cuisine and tipple pairings, such as Chapel Hill wines with Peranakan food by National Kitchen by Violet Oon at the National Gallery Singapore on March 25; Ruinart champagne with Chinese cuisine from Cherry Garden restaurant in Mandarin Oriental, Singapore on March 28; and Schlossgut Diel wines from Germany with Thai food from Long Chim at Marina Bay Sands on April 4.

Another unique pairing sees Cantonese cuisine coupled with Shichiken sake on March 30 at the one-Michelin-starred Summer Pavilion at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore.

Its Chinese executive chef Cheung Siu Kong says: "I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting event, where the culinary and visual arts meld seamlessly to bring diners on a multi-sensory and innovative dining journey at Summer Pavilion. Wine pairings are common, but it is not often that Cantonese cuisine is paired with Japanese sake.

"The menu that I have specially crafted emphasises the natural sweet flavours of different seafood which complement the delicate notes of Japanese sake. And the presentation of the dishes is inspired by contemporary glass studio Liuligongfang's crystal pieces."

Dishes on the menu include double-boiled bamboo clam superior soup with broccoli, bamboo pith and beansprouts; pan-fried Canadian lobster meat with cucumber, turnip and chilli sauce served with fried buns; and South African abalone with braised rice, assorted mushrooms and supreme abalone sauce.

Culinary workshops conducted by chefs from top Asian restaurants here have also been lined up for March 4 and 5.

The chefs include Kenjiro Hashida from Hashida Sushi at Mandarin Gallery and Martin Foo from VLV at Clarke Quay.


The Flavours of Asia culinary workshops

Where: ToTT Cooking Studio, Sime Darby Centre, 896 Dunearn Road

When: March 4 and 5, 10am, noon, 2 and 4pm

Price: $25++, $20++ (HSBC cardholders)

Learn to cook from the very best over a weekend of cooking workshops.

Participating chefs include (clockwise, from top left) Chen Kentaro of two-Michelin-starred Shisen Hanten at Mandarin Orchard; Violet Oon of National Kitchen by Violet Oon at the National Gallery Singapore; Manjunath Mural of one-Michelin-starred Indian restaurant The Song of India at 33 Scotts Road; and Kenjiro Hashida of Hashida Sushi at Mandarin Gallery.

Chef Mural is also presenting a dinner at his restaurant on March 16 - Audi Presents The Royal Cuisine Of Rajasthan With Glenmorangie Single Malts - while chef-restaurateur Oon is doing a Tok Panjang Dinner With The Wines Of Chapel Hill on March 25. Each chef will demonstrate two Asian-inspired recipes and the hour-long sessions will be moderated by The Straits Times' food critic Wong Ah Yoke and Lianhe Zaobao food correspondent Ng Yimin on separate days.

For example, learn to make a snow pea vichyssoise sauce - instead of the usual thick soup made with potato and leek - from chef Hashida, 38.

The sauce is part of a dish with pen shell that will be served at Hashida Sushi on March 14 at a dinner called Hashida Presents An Omakase Evening With Krug.


Highlights

HENNESSY PRESENTS A CULINARY JOURNEY THROUGH CHINA

What: This eight-course menu is specially curated by The Straits Times' food critic Wong Ah Yoke and Lianhe Zaobao's veteran food consultant Alan Ng.

Each dish represents a different region in China, such as Teochew braised sliced Irish fat duck from Paradise Teochew; braised yellow crab roe with steamed egg white from Imperial Treasure Shanghai; and firecracker chicken nest with mango puree egg from TungLok Group's Lokkee restaurant, to represent Sichuan cuisine. The menu is paired with three expressions of Hennessy cognac.

Where: Jade, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, 1 Fullerton Square

When: March 1, 7pm

Price: $168++, $134.40++ (HSBC cardholders)


AN EVENING IN GION WITH HENNESSY PARADIS IMPERIAL

What: Indulge in the finest Japanese cuisine by one-Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant Shinji by Kanesaka's head chef Shunsuke Kikuchi. The dinner will highlight the rare Hennessy Paradis Imperial cognac.

Where: Shinji by Kanesaka, The St Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Road

When: March 7, 7pm

Price: $628++, $502.40++ (HSBC cardholders)


THE PILLOW BOOK DINNER WITH RUINART CHAMPAGNE

What: Inspired by ancient Chinese erotica, executive head chef Martin Foo of modern Chinese restaurant VLV whips up a menu featuring aphrodisiac ingredients paired with Ruinart champagne.

Menu items include a duo of fresh oyster with Ruinart champagne jelly and caviar, and pan-fried oyster with Chinese chives and egg (above); steamed coral trout in tongkat ali soya sauce; and double-boiled fish maw soup with pigeon and deer tendon.

Where: VLV, 01-02, 3A River Valley Road

When: March 9, 7pm Price: $158++, $126.40++ (HSBC cardholders)


AN ASIAN CULINARY SYMPHONY COCKTAIL DINNER FEATURING LYNNETTE SEAH

What: Lynnette Seah, Singapore Symphony Orchestra's co-concertmaster, is not only an acclaimed violinist, but also an accomplished Peranakan cook who runs a private dining service called Lynnette's Kitchen. Get a taste of her dishes - including assam snapper on banana leaf, honey pineapple and laksa leaves, beef rendang and bakwan kepiting soup - paired with a variety of cocktails.

Where: The Straits Room, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, 1 Fullerton Square

When: March 8, 7pm Price: $138++, $110.40++ (HSBC cardholders)


LIULIGONGFANG PRESENTS A CELEBRATION OF CRYSTAL AND CULINARY ART PAIRED WITH SHICHIKEN SAKES

What: Culinary and crystal art combine at this dinner, where Chinese executive chef Cheung Siu Kong of one-Michelin-starred Summer Pavilion pairs his Cantonese cuisine with sake, alongside a showcase of art pieces by contemporary glass studio Liuligongfang.

Where: Summer Pavilion, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, 7 Raffles Avenue

When: March 30, 7pm

Price: $198++, $158.40++ (HSBC cardholders)

• For more information and reservations, go to www.asianmasters.com.sg
• For more stories, go to http://str.sg/4skX

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 05, 2017, with the headline 'Fine dining at Asian Masters'. Print Edition | Subscribe