Monday, January 27, 2014

Javier de las Muelas visits Singapore

Javier de las Muelas at Four Seasons Singapore's One-Ninety Bar

Here in Singapore from Barcelona, Javier de las Muelas is considered one of the world's best cocktail masters.  He is founder of Spain's cocktail bar Gimlet and owner of the world-renowned Dry Martini.  He's recently partnered up with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts as a gastronomy consultant, making his mark with the relaunch of Four Seasons Singapore's One-Ninety Bar.  (read more about the modern luxury hotel in my article for Prestige's Gourmet section Nov 2013)

One-Ninety bar underwent a month of renovations, including a menu restructure that would include Javier's tropical cocktails.  The outdoor Terraza is also one of the few hotel alfresco areas in Singapore that permit smoking.  Terraza now includes an exclusive cigar bar.

Each cocktail is prepared according to a liturgy.  Only the highest quality water is used to create the cocktail's ice, and the collection of Droplets was concocted after three years of formulation, using only natural ingredients. (See video on Droplets, Javier's non-alcoholic aromatics for cocktails)

From 17 February to 30 April 2014, you can receive 20% off your cocktail bill with a maximum redemption credit of $250 nett per transaction (max 8 persons per table).  Meanwhile, Javier is here in Singapore until the end of this coming weekend, so be sure to drop by in order to meet the legend himself!

All photos by Adam Tun-Aung

One-Nintey Bar by Javier de las Muelas
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore 
190 Orchard Boulevard 
Singapore 248646
Tel: +(65) 6831-7671

Hours: 8am - 1am daily
Weekend afternoon tea 2pm - 5pm

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Last chance to try U Factory at Gillman Barracks

This Saturday (today!) and Sunday are the last days to try out U Factory's pop up food concepts at Gillman Barracks. 

Gillman Barracks, one of Singapore's latest destinations for contemporary art.

Food Entrepreneurs Jeremy Nguee (Rakusabā), Karen Cheng (The Travelling C.O.W.) and Ops Manager Muhammad Rizuan (Maison Ikkoku)


Pickled lotus root, pork confit, egg with shrimp paste and a "secret chilli", and salmon otak otak gratin.  The dish should be eaten immediately says the chef, "Stop with the photos!  Hurry and eat!"

Rakusabā photos by UFactory

"Rakusabā" is not exactly a Japanese word, but it's how someone with a heavy Japanese accent might pronounce the word "Laksa" (go ahead, I know you're saying ra-ku-sa-ba aloud in your head).  It's a deconstructed take on Laksa, and food-consultant-turned-chef Jeremy Nguee only makes 20 portions of his dish per meal.  He explains this is mostly because of preparation and on site storage restrictions, but he confides to us mischievously, “Sometimes I like playing the ‘nazi chef’, like the The Soup Nazi in Seinfeld.”  

After my meal, he notes that I hadn't finished my egg.  Whoops.  It was difficult, but I resisting eating everything in order to make space for the other pop-up concepts.  It seems Jeremy had noticed. "I remember every plate," the nazi chef remarks.  The set consists of wheat noodles that are lightly coated with chili, garlic, and ginger to prevent stickiness, and a rich laksa cream dipping sauce eaten tsukemen style.  I'm also particularly taken by the shrimp paste over the half boiled egg and the salmon otak otak  gratin. The salmon otak otak doesn't use flour and instead uses more egg and is then baked, resulting in a fluffier texture with more delicate flavors.  I'm clearly not an otak otak purist.

For closing weekend, Jeremy is preparing 100 bowls of Rakusabā instead of his usual 20.  So nice ah.

The Travelling C.O.W.


The ramen burgers are large and in charge.  It becomes a messy affair once you dig in.

Karen Cheng brings the first food truck concept to Singapore, finally dispelling rumors that food trucks aren't permitted on the island country.  Finding approved spots for food truck businesses are not without their challenges however, so The Travelling C.O.W. also participates in pop-up concepts and private catering. (read more about food trucks in my Esquire Singapore column soon)

The C.O.W. brings popular American concept, the Ramen Burger to Singapore shores.  Honing the recipe to suit Asian palates (including her own), Karen and the chef use ingredients such as their signature Korean bulgolgi in lieu of a traditional beef patty.  At $9 a burger, I'd say that's a pretty darn good deal in these parts.

Maison Ikkoku

Maison Ikkoku is the only concept of the three pop-ups that currently has a permanent restaurant space set up on the island (though The Travelling C.O.W. and Preparazzi do have plans to set up shop later this year too).  Maison Ikkoku has a special focus on coffee, which they offer at UFactory, along with  desserts, a wibby-wobbly eggs benedict, and french toast with sea salt caramel.

After you're finished noshing, you have the option to mosey on next door to the marketplace or UCafe where you can buy cool vintage glasses by Optics Premier or flip through non mainstream magazines that are otherwise somewhat hard to find your typical cafe in Asia (more information here).

For more information visit:

The Travelling C.O.W., Maison Ikkoku, The U Cafe
Gillman Barracks
Block 37, 38 & 39, Malan Road, Singapore 109452
Opening hours: Tue – Sun, 11am-7pm
Rakusabā operates on Saturday from 12pm- 10pm and Sunday from 12pm - 3pm

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

Looks like I'll be spending a lot of time in Singapore this year.
(Photo by Adam Tun-Aung)

I'll be updating soon with the ongoings for 2014.  It's been an exciting year so far and we're only halfway through January!  This year includes a lot of video/television and general camera work, which I've been nervous about... but more on that later.  In the meantime, you can get a glimpse of what's been going on via my social media networks:

So keep up to date with me there in the meantime.  Links to the full videos and my 2014 projects to come soon here on Gastronommy.


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