For the past three years, private investor Tan Yong Khim has been salivating over food articles and recipes by The Straits Times Life editor Tan Hsueh Yun.
The 50-year-old says: "Ms Tan has a knack for describing food that sounds more delicious than how the food tastes."
Keen to meet the veteran food writer in person, he jumped at the opportunity to attend Posh Nosh: An Omakase Experience, a dining session hosted by Ms Tan on Saturday at the Singapore Coffee Festival. It is on till Sunday at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre.
The sold-out dining session comprised eight courses that were curated by Ms Tan from the more than 70 food and beverage booths at the festival.
Each diner paid $88 to attend the session. There is another session at 5pm today and at 12pm tomorrow. Tickets can be bought at sgcoffeefestival.com.sg.
Amid boisterous chatter and rapid snapping of food to upload on Instagram, 24 diners tucked into dishes that included pulled chicken buak keluak kueh pie tee topped with belimbing chutney from Arbite, chilli crab croissant from Foxhole Cafe and foie gras poutine from Garçons.
Desserts included taro waffles with earl grey ice cream from Froth, mini choux pastry stuffed with coffee cream from Oriole Coffee + Bar, and Lithuanian dark chocolate from chocolate purveyor, Beans To Bars. Diners also sipped on white cold brew from 1degreeC and turmeric latte from Huggs Coffee.
The meal ended with a surprise sweet treat - a watermelon softserve ice cream sandwiched in a watermelon wedge from Foxhole Cafe.
Throughout the 90-minute meal, Ms Tan mingled with the diners who were seated at a long table. She shared about the provenance of the coffee and chocolates on the menu, how each dish was prepared, and also dished out cooking tips.
One of the diners, Ms Low Shoumin, 45, a music educator, says: "I enjoyed the variety of these out-of-the-ordinary cafe food, especially the taro waffles and chilli croissant. I have been reading Ms Tan's food article for 10 years and I can see that she took pains to think about the balance of flavours in this menu."
Another diner, Dora Oh, who is in her fifties says: "The menu had such creative dishes with a fusion of flavours. It is entertaining to hear Ms Tan explain about the dishes. You can feel the passion when she talks about food."
Ms Tan, 49, says:" It was wonderful to see such a lively group of diners share their love for food. I am heartened that they enjoyed my selections and gave constructive feedback on how the food can be improved."