Wong Ah Yoke Food Critic recommends

Food Picks: Wong Ah Yoke recommends new spring/summer menu at Curate and bacon steak at Morton’s

Cheeses and cold cuts at So France.
Cheeses and cold cuts at So France.PHOTOS: MORTON'S OF CHICAGO, RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA, SO FRANCE, WONG AH YOKE
Cheeses and cold cuts at So France.
Australian Wylarah wagyu with potato gnocchi topped with black trufflePHOTOS: MORTON'S OF CHICAGO, RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA, SO FRANCE, WONG AH YOKE
Cheeses and cold cuts at So France.
Nueske's Bacon Steak With Peach Bourbon GlazePHOTOS: MORTON'S OF CHICAGO, RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA, SO FRANCE, WONG AH YOKE
Cheeses and cold cuts at So France.
Hida beefPHOTOS: MORTON'S OF CHICAGO, RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA, SO FRANCE, WONG AH YOKE

REALLY GOOD CHEESES

So France at Duo Galleria is a bistro and wine bar-cum-gourmet store where, after dining, you can pick up some of the food you like from the shelves and continue feasting at home. Everything in the store is French, of course.

Some of the cheeses here are really good, which you can sample in a platter ($28.50) that comes with cherry jam as well as bread and butter. Or get a cold cuts platter ($28.50) to share.

The hot food comprises mainly staple French bistro dishes such as slow-cooked beef cheeks in red wine marinade and veal jus ($26) and seabass cooked in a cocotte and served with ratatouille ($28).

It's all very casual, but you get very decent food for the price.

WHERE: So France, 01-51 to 56 Duo Galleria, 7 Fraser Street MRT: Bugis OPEN: Bistro hours - 11.30am to 3pm (Mondays, Wednesdays to Fridays), 6 to 9.30pm (Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays), 6 to 10.30pm (Fridays and Saturdays), 9am to 9.30pm (Sundays). Closed on Tuesdays TEL: 6909-6449


IMAGINATIVE CREATIONS

Curate at Resorts World Sentosa launched its spring/summer menu only last month, but seeing how it's always summer in Singapore, it doesn't really matter.

In my opinion, chef de cuisine Benjamin Halat is one of the most under-rated chefs in Singapore at the moment. His food is imaginative, visually appealing and boasts excellent flavours.

The latest menu is no exception. He goes back to his German roots for inspiration, but re-interprets the food he grew up with in a refined, modern way.

It's all sunshine and happy days as the eight-course menu starts off with a picnic basket containing the first of many snacks that arrive at the table before the proper meal begins.

You get small bites such as foie gras pate with pickled cucumber gel on a dark beer chip. And the popular combination of pork knuckle and sauerkraut is turned into a pork knuckle praline with a sauerkraut jelly on the side.

The main dishes are no less inventive. There is trout confit in pine needle butter as well as white asparagus coated in salted egg yolk cream with French gillardeau oyster and puffed buckwheat.

And for meat lovers, there is Australian Wylarah wagyu with potato gnocchi topped with black truffle.

WHERE: Curate, Level 1 The Forum, Resorts World Sentosa MRT: HarbourFront OPEN: 6.30 to 10.30pm (Tuesdays to Saturdays) PRICE: $188 a person TEL: 6577-7288


THICK-CUT BACON STEAK

Morton's of Chicago is known for USDA Prime steaks, but my favourite dish from a recent tasting of its new seasonal menu is, surprisingly, not one of the beef dishes.

Instead, it is the Nueske's Bacon Steak With Peach Bourbon Glaze ($20), a 12oz or 340g serving of thickly cut apple-smoked pork belly grilled the same way as a beef steak. The melting fat combined with the bourbon glaze smells heavenly and the pork tastes really good. It's listed among the appetisers, but I suggest you share it. Because you want to leave room for the restaurant's famed steaks and desserts.

WHERE: Morton's of Chicago, Level 4 Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue MRT: Promenade OPEN: 5.30 to 11pm (Mondays to Saturdays), noon to 9pm (Sundays) TEL: 6339-3740


JAPAN'S REGIONAL TASTES

Keyaki at Pan Pacific Singapore has been running promotions on food from various regions in Japan and it's the Tokai region's turn this month. The region in Honshu island covers the Aichi, Shizuoka, Gifu and Mie prefectures.

Two set menus, priced at $180 and $200 a person, comprise dishes prepared with ingredients from these areas.

From Gifu, for example, is the famous Hida beef, which is known for its beautiful marbling. It is cooked here in a stew, either with red miso and mirin or in a dashi broth with vegetables. There is also unagi from Aichi, served Nagoya-style - grilled and served on rice with a separate pot of dashi and condiments that you add to the rice according to your preference.

And I love the ivory shell among the appetisers. Simmered in sweetened soya sauce and served chilled, it is succulent and full of flavour.

WHERE: Keyaki, Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard MRT: Promenade WHEN: Till June 18, 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm daily TEL: 6826-8240

Book a meal at So France or Keyaki with Chope.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2018, with the headline 'Food Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe