Spring omakase at Fat Cow
Spring has sprung at Japanese restaurant Fat Cow. Its Chef's Table Omakase experience, which showcases the country's spring produce for the next three months, takes me briefly to Japan.
The Sumire Omakase ($120++ a person) gets off to a bright start with an amuse bouche platter. It includes the in-season hotaru ika (firefly squid) sashimi with yuzu miso on the side; sazae (horned turban shell) cooked in sake, mirin, shoyu and ginger; and Miyazaki striploin tataki sprinkled with truffle sea salt.
Next, I slurp up noresore (young conger eels) served in dashi vinegar and ponzu, followed by a large and juicy hamaguri clam, which is simply boiled in a house-made dashi. These two items, along with the hotaru ika, are also available as a la carte dishes.
Other highlights include Yude Watarigani, which includes sweet flower crab, dashi-flavoured vinegar jelly, pickled goji berries and caviar; wagyu beef sukiyaki served with Japanese egg yolk; and Fat Cow's signature Surf & Turf sushi, comprising Hida beef tartare, amaebi (sweet shrimp), uni and ikura.
The meal comes with a Roku Gin & Tonic, or you can add on other cocktails ($18 each) that feature the popular Japanese gin. My favourite is the refreshing Roku Mohiso, with ginger syrup, lime juice and soda water.
Where: 01-01/02 Camden Medical Centre, 1 Orchard Boulevard
When: Till end June, noon to 3pm, 6 to 10.30pm, Tuesdays to Sundays, closed on Mondays
Info: Fat Cow's website
Creative dishes at Moonbow
A familiar face in the food and beverage industry, local chef Heman Tan, 52, helms the beautiful Moonbow in Dempsey, which opened in December.
It serves modern European cuisine with an Asian influence and chef Tan gets creative with many dishes.
Garden of Escargot ($23++) is an unusual salad of buttery snails with micro cress, truffle gelato, lychee pearls, mushroom "soil", mashed edamame and sourdough toast. The eclectic mix of textures, flavours and temperatures works well.
Jerusalem artichoke soup ($25++) and Cauliflower Bloom ($25++) showcase both vegetables in a few ways. The soup gets a lovely richness from the 64 deg C sous vide egg, while the cauliflower is done three ways - as a puree, couscous and dehydrated.
For mains, I like the Fermented Red Yeast Wine Filet de Barramundi ($38++), which features a bold pairing of red glutinous rice wine with grilled fish. The gravy will go well with the same four-grain rice used in another dish - Black Berry 4 Grain Healthy Rice With Roasted Pork Jowl "Ton Toro" ($38++). Chef Tan first created the dish for his diabetic mother. The grains - black berry, red, pearl and barley - are mixed with olive leaves and Chinese lup cheong for added bite and flavour.
Finish the meal with the dramatic Treasure Drawer ($32++), a selection of desserts including pistachio chocolate souffle and raspberry financier, as well as petits fours.
I look forward to chef Tan pushing more boundaries with flavours and ingredients.
Where: Moonbow, 01-21, Block 10 Dempsey Road
Open: 11.30am to 3pm (weekdays), 10am to 3pm (weekends), 6 to 10.30pm daily
Info: E-mail email@example.com
Build your own pizza at 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen
Pizza parlours are among the hottest food spots this year, and the recently opened Muslim-owned 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen dishes you value-for-money offerings.
800 Degrees is a Los Angeles chain brought in by home-grown restaurant management company Deelish Brands, which is behind halal-certified burger chain Fatburger's entry into Singapore.
You can customise your own Neapolitan-style pizza (10- or 14-inch). It is baked at 800 deg F (426 deg C), which is where the brand gets its name.
Pick a base (from $10) - Margherita (tomato sauce), Verde (pesto) or Bianca (no sauce) - and add on an array of toppings (from $1 to $5) including beef meatballs, prawns and cherry tomatoes. Top off with after-bake extras such as arugula (add $1) or a whole ball of burrata (add $10).
If you can't decide, go for the speciality options (from $15). I like the Tartufo ($17) - truffle mushroom pizza with lovely chunks of mushroom to chomp on. The pizzeria also offers roast chicken (from $12) and you can pick sauces and dips to complete the meal (from $18).
Where: 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen, 01-52/53 Kinex Mall, 11 Tanjong Katong Road
MRT: Paya Lebar
Open: 11.30am to 9pm (weekdays), 11.30am to 9.30pm (weekends)
Info: Order online at 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen's website