Sunday, February 25, 2024

Esora @ Mohamed Sultan Road - Celebration of the Organic Beauty and Purity Found in the Finest Seasonal Produce

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Located in the quaint conservation area of Mohamed Sultan Road, Esora, a Michelin-starred restaurant under the guidance of Head Chef Takeshi Araki, this modern Japanese Kappo Restaurant invites diners on a gastronomic journey inspired by kisetsukan – the changing seasons. Esora's cuisine celebrates the organic beauty and purity of the finest seasonal produce, harmoniously marrying traditional Japanese techniques with a modern flair.

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Foie Gras Monaka 4.5/5

Embarking on the Winter Dinner Menu ($368++), Esora unfolds a symphony of flavours, capturing the essence of the season. Each dish is meticulously crafted to showcase the beauty of winter's bounty and the artistry of Chef Takeshi Araki.

The dinner commences with the Foie Gras Monaka, a signature creation of Maison Mitteault foie gras takes centre stage, accompanied by the seasonal brightness of kumquat. Layered with black sesame paste, this dish is a dance of sweet and tangy notes adorned with myoga, kinome, and fresh kumquat slices.

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Snowcrab 4.2/5

The Snowcrab presents the Matsuba snow crab in all its wintry glory. This seemingly simple cold dish conceals intricate layers of white vinegar pickled red turnip, blanched snow spinach in dashi, and a base of black vinegar jelly. With the addition of kani miso and crab roe, each bite is a celebration of sweetness, expertly balanced.

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Fugu 4.8/5

The Fugu, or puffer fish, is a winter delight presented in a deep-fried masterpiece. Marinated with kanzuri, a Niigata fermented chilli paste, and deep-fried, it is served with a squeeze of kabosu, a unique citrus fruit from Oita Prefecture, offering a refreshing twist.

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Esora Winter Hassun

The Esora Winter Hassun artfully arranges seasonal delicacies on a 'snow' bed, showcasing Chef Araki's dedication to aesthetic presentation and flavorful cohesion.

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Himi Kanburi - Winter Yellowtail Fish 4.5/5

Himi Kanburi, or Winter Yellowtail Fish, takes the spotlight as a seasonal delight. With its heightened fattiness and creamy texture during winter, it is paired with negi shio to enhance its inherent sweetness.

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Ankimo - Monkfish Liver 4/5

Ankimo, also known as the foie gras of the sea, graces the menu. Paired with winter Kyoto Kujyo Negi, Akagai (blood clam), Koshin Daikon (watermelon radish), and Nuta, a sweet Japanese mustard, it is a testament to the richness of the ocean.

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Ruri'lro Nasu - Blue Eggplant 4.5/5

The Ruri'lro Nasu, a deep-fried blue eggplant, is a sensory experience. Cooked in dashi until tender, it is crowned with lobster butter, sea urchin, and wasabi, creating a flavourful crescendo.

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Kasujiru 4.8/5

In homage to winter comfort, Kasujiru, a sake lees soup, graces the table. Somen, dashi-braised awabi, daikon, carrots, and kuro shichimi are immersed in a sea bream stock, white miso, ginger, garlic, and sake lees broth, offering warmth and depth.

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Akamutsu - Black Throat Sea Perch 4.2/5

Akamutsu, or Black Throat Sea Perch, showcases Chef Araki's finesse in grilling. Lightly seasoned and grilled over binchotan, it is served with sautéed Chinese dragon chives, presenting a harmonious play of flavours.

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Omi Wagyu 4.5/5

The mainstay at Esora, the Omi Wagyu, is recognised as one of Japan's Wagyu masterpieces. Inspired by the joy of eating a sukiyaki in winter, it is paired with a sukiyaki sauce. Chargrilled maitake mushroom, charred pecoros onion, and shungiku accompany this A5 Omi Wagyu, offering a symphony of textures and tastes.

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Donabe 4.5/5

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The Donabe, evolving with the seasons, features anago (saltwater eel) cooked with eel stock. Topped with Japanese herbs, chargrilled anago, wasabi, seaweed, and dashi sauce, it is a testament to Esora's commitment to seasonal variety. Miso soup is presented alongside the rice.

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Setoka

Chef Araki introduces Setoka mandarin in a refreshing pre-dessert, a citrus fruit that heralds the transition from winter to spring. Served with white yuzu snow ice cream and sansho pepper, it creates a sweet, zesty experience.

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Sweet Potato 4/5

The dessert finale is a homage to winter nights, featuring Sweet Potatoes drizzled with kuro mirin caramel. Layered with vanilla ice cream, diced caramelised sweet potato, red bean paste, sweet potato tuille, and lemon jam, it captures the essence of winter warmth.

Esora, with its Winter Elegance menu, invites discerning diners to partake in a culinary journey that transcends seasons. Chef Takeshi Araki's meticulous approach to presenting the finest seasonal produce in a modern Japanese context transforms dining into a sensory symphony. Each dish, a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, echoes the organic beauty of nature's bounty.

Note: This is an invited tasting.


Esora
15 Mohamed Sultan Road
Singapore 238964
Tel: +65 8533 7528
Facebook
Instagram
Website
Nearest MRT: Fort Canning (DT Line)

Opening Hours:
Wed & Fri: 6:30pm - 10:30pm
Thur: 12pm - 3:30pm, 6:30pm - 10:30pm
Sat & Sun: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
(Closed on Mon & Tue)

Direction:
1) Alight at Fort Canning MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to traffic junction Clemenceau Ave and River Valley Road. Cross the road. Continue walking down River Valley Road. Turn left onto Mohamed Sultan Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 6 minutes. [Map]

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Lobby Lounge @ Conrad Centennial Singapore - The Return of the Strawberry Afternoon Tea Featuring Amaou Strawberries

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As January heralds in the peak season of Amaou Strawberries of Fukuoka, Conrad Centennial Singapore's Lobby Lounge has recently relaunched its exclusive Strawberry Afternoon Tea. Also known as the "King of Japanese Strawberries," delight in Amaou's sweetness from now till 31 March 2024. The specially curated menu features fresh Amaou Strawberries sourced from Fukuoka, farmed under stringent guidelines to preserve their exceptional flavour and deep red hue appearance, and includes exquisitely crafted strawberry-centric delights for a complete Amaou experience.

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Start your afternoon tea with Air Flown Japanese Strawberry with Valrhona Chocolate Dip while the chocolate is still warm. The classic pairing of chocolate and strawberries will create a perfect prelude to a relaxing afternoon. The Amaou strawberries, given their exceptional flavour, are just as indulgent on their own.

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Whipped Brie

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Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Bruschetta

The savoury items were delectable, with a well-considered blending of savoury ingredients and the sweet, fruity, fresh profile of strawberries. My favourite items were the Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Bruschetta and Whipped Brie. The bruschetta was layered with Citrus Cream Cheese, topped with sliced strawberries and seared duck, and sweetened with Cantaloupe Gel. The latter, featuring whipped brie, was topped with Balsamic Strawberry, Fruit Chutney, and Kiwis. The contrasting flavour notes and creamy mouthfeel amped up the lusciousness of the strawberries.

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Strawberry, Mango, Scallop Tart

Strawberry, Mango, Scallop Tart was interesting with saltish Pickles and sweet Candied Orange. Again, the juxtaposition of the sweet and savoury notes of the ingredients was delicious, and in addition to that, this dainty pink tart was packed with textural crunch as well. The strawberry tart itself emanated a delightful whiff of strawberry aroma each time I took a bite of the tart.

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Salmon Rillettes

Besides strawberries, Salmon Rillettes also highlights the use of Sustainable Caviar - Avruga caviar, distinguished by the Marine Stewardship Council's "Chain of Custody" certification.

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Strawberry Meringata

Moving on to the sweets, the Strawberry Meringata was well-received by diners. A balance of creamy, fruity freshness and crunchy elements was put together using decadent double vanilla cream and tangy marinated strawberry spiked with crisped slow-baked Meringue.

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Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake is a classic done right with softy and fluffy sponge cakes layered with Fresh Strawberries and Hokkaido Whipping Cream.

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Strawberry Mint

Strawberry Mint was gorgeous in a bright red hue - this strawberry treat was filled with Fresh Strawberry Mint Compote encased within a layer of Vanilla Whip.

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Tahitian Vanilla Whip

Tahitian Vanilla Whip, Strawberry Compôte is pretty with Strawberry Marmalade, Vanilla Ganache. Its sweetness was a bit too much for me.

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Scones

Homemade Strawberry Scone and Raisin Scone didn't disappoint. It wasn't too buttery, with just a hint of sweetness. Hence, the accompanying clotted cream and Homemade Wild Strawberry Jam were the ideal spread for them.

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The Strawberry Afternoon Tea is served at Lobby Lounge daily from 8 January 2024 to 31 March 2024 in two seating: from 1 pm to 3 pm and 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm, priced at $50++ per person on weekdays and $52++ per person on weekends, inclusive of a two-hour free flow of tea and coffee, with an option to include 2 hours of unlimited Prosecco at $28++. For more information or to make reservations at Lobby Lounge, please visit the website or call +65 6432 7483 / 7357.

Photos and words by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.


Lobby Lounge
Conrad Centennial Singapore
2 Temasek Blvd
Singapore 038982
Tel: +65 6432 7483 / 7357
Facebook
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Website
Nearest MRT:

Opening Hours:
First seating: 1pm to 3pm
Second seating: 3:30pm to 5:30pm

Direction:
1) Alight at Promenade MRT station. Take Exit B. Continue walking along Temasek Avenue to destination Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]