Savour 2014

March 9, 2014

I’ve known about Savour for 2 years but never got the opportunity to attend it. With 20 acclaimed chefs – both Michelin Stars and award-winning ones – featured this year, naturally I was super duper excited. Like, where else would you get a congregation of such amazing chefs and restaurants like Bo Innovation and Christophe Paucod?

 

Unfortunately the reality turned out less than ideal.

 

Grilling a whole cow

 

I’m usually rather excited at the sight of food, but being greeted by a whole cow grilled and carved up like that is just a little bit more than morbid.

 

Lugdunum Bouchon Lyonnais – Blood Pork Sausage with Caramelised Apples and Mash, Tatin style (S$14)

 

Prepared by Chef Christophe Paucod who holds 1 Star in his Tokyo restaurant, this dish sounded promising. I thought the idea of presenting a savoury dish like the classical sweet French tarte tatin was intriguing. Perfectly seared to a crisp and paired with the lightest mash ever, Paucod’s team nailed the most important ‘tatin’ components. Sadly they failed on their blood sausages. I don’t eat those, but my friend who had it commented that Paucod’s rendition was incomparable to those he tasted in Scotland. It had a mushy texture, which did not help with the composition of the dish, and tasted too raw for his liking.

 

Lugdunum Bouchon Lyonnais – Whipped fresh cheese with chives, garlic & parsley served with fresh baguette (S$0)

 

We had this for free because it was the last day of Savour 2014. I guess they wanted to reduce food waste. Simple and light, this was a pleasant munch; but nothing impressive.

 

Lugdunum Bouchon Lyonnais – Snails “Eclair Style” served with tomato, persil & garlic (S$14)

 

Yet another innovative dish. Difference was how perfectly executed this dish was. Even after days of service, the choux pastry was slightly crisp on the outside, yielding a softer interior. The escargots were lightly seasoned and cooked to perfection; the persil and garlic sauce was flavourful; and the tomato sauce added a slight tang to it all. Overall and extremely well-composed dish in terms of both texture and taste. It was my fave dish of the night.

 

&SONS.The Italian Bacaro – Roasted Cod Salsa Rubra (S$18)

 

I always thought cod to be a really safe dish. Sadly the team at &SONS proved me wrong. The cod was overcooked to the point that it was less crisp than hard, and lost all of its tenderness and omega-3 goodness. Any average home cook can whip up a better cod fish than that. Headed by Chef Beppe de Vito and located at 20 Cross Street, I expected better. If this is the outcome of as simple a dish as roasting cod, I’m not very optimistic about their other dishes.

 

Stellar@1-Altitude – Meat Lovers Platter: Smoked Angus Rib Eye, Braised Short Rib with Soy Caramel, Crispy Pork Crackles (part of S$50 platter)

 

This tastes as delish as it looks. Crowned Best Restaurant 2011 & 2012 by the Singapore Tatler, Stellar@1-Altitude boasted an amazing sounding menu that really piqued our interest. Their S$50 platter consisted of an oyster dish done 3 ways, a meat platter (featured above) and a dessert (below). Chef Christopher Millar did a wonderful job here, balancing the cool oysters with crackling succulent meat. Absolutely delish.

 

Stellar@1-Altitude – Chocolate Violette Earth with Strawberry Blossom Sorbet (part of S$50 combo)

 

Sadly dessert disappointed. Essentially just strawberry sorbet with chocolate crumb bits, dessert proved to be just a fancy name. I could not decipher what that blue liquid was, nor how it added to the dessert. The chocolate crumb bits taste suspiciously similar to Oreos, and where was the ‘Blossom’ in the sorbet? If any, the only decent thing was the sorbet.

 

Mikuni – Hokkaido Botan Ebi, Tenshin Sauce, Caviar (S$18)

 

I don’t know much about Mikuni, but they got me at Hokkaido prawns and caviar. I thought Chef Moon Kyung Soo came up with a pretty interesting pairing. What I didn’t expect was for it to be a cold dish, with the prawn tasting pretty raw. The light sweetness of the raw prawn, eaten with a slightly gooey sauce, was unimpressive.

 

Jason’s – Wagyu Striploin (S$40)

 

Surprisingly this was one of the better dishes that night. Prepared by chefs representing Jason’s Gourmet Grocers, the striploin was delicious and perfectly seared. Granted it was pretty pricey, but given the disappointing food the entire evening, it was worth every cent.

 

With all that hype and expectation, I must say Savour 2014 was a total disappointment. There were several hits, but mostly misses. I love intricate food compositions because they reveal the chef’s grasp and understanding of the ingredients; unfortunately many chefs at Savour 2014 seem to be overwhelmed by complexity, ruining even the simplest of dishes. It’s a wonder how a perfectly grilled piece of meat can outshine intricate award-winning dishes. As much as I’m sure Savour 2015 will feature and equally amazing array of chefs and restaurants, it remains to be seen if I will once again be enticed.

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