Review of Art at Curate 2018 Series 12 With Michelin-starred Chef Bee Satongun

If you’re looking to spice up your fine dining experience, Art at Curate 2018 Series 12 will definitely do the trick. Featuring Chef Bongkoch ‘Bee’ Satongun from the One Michelin-starred Paste Bangkok, the pop-up dining series will be happening at CURATE from now till 8 November 2018. But don’t tarry too long – only a few seats remain for 5 and 6 November!

Read on for a detailed review of Art at Curate 2018 Series 12’s highlights.

Bee Satongun x Benjamin Halat

Art at Curate 2018 Series 12

Chef Bee was recently awarded 2018 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants – Best Female Chef, and stands for modern, elegant Thai cuisine that awakens diners to the elegance of Thai culinary history. Likewise, CURATE’s Chef de Cuisine Benjamin Halat is known to create contemporary interpretations of European cuisine with deep roots in his German heritage. In addition to drawing inspiration from their cultures, both are unafraid when it comes to making use of bold flavours in their creations. Together, they will be presenting a line-up of full-bodied dishes that complement one another for Art at Curate 2018 Series 12:

Chef Bee Chef Halat
Peking Duck
Mango. Jicama. Roasted Sesame Oil.
Breton Lobster
Chamomile. Buckwheat. Mandarin.
Wild Seabass
Tumeric. Fennel. ‘Lon’ Sauce.
Pork Knuckle (Dinner only)
Sauerkraut. Dark Beer.
Carabineros Prawn (Dinner only)
Pomelo. Gapi Khoei. Chili Jam.
Sanddorn (Dinner only)
Seabuckthorn Sherbet. German Gin.
Panang Beef Curry (Dinner only)
Toasted Peanuts. Thai Sweet Basil.
‘Bombe Alaska’
Coconut. Kaffir Lime.

Amuse Bouche (Chef Ben)

Art at Curate 2018 Series 12

The first amuse bouche by Chef Ben is a malt biscuit topped with foie gras mousse and gherkin jelly, a variation of his welcome popular snack from Art at Curate 2018 Series 11. Mini pickles were left out this time, making for a light and sweet palate kick-starter.

Art at Curate 2018 Series 12

In the second amuse bouche, Chef Ben presents smoked herring fish that lends itself savoury and creamy, balanced out by slightly sour top notes of pickled apple in the mix. Lastly, a timut pepper brioche base is used to ground the bold flavours above.

Fun fact: the presentation of this dish was inspired by Bavarian beer gardens, where locals would dig a pit and fill it with coals to smoke fish. Right before the photo above was taken, herring oil was dripped onto heated charcoal in the bowl to give off whiffs of charcoal smoke – classic theatrical Chef Ben style!

Boston Lobster (Chef Ben)

Art at Curate 2018 Series 12

Comprising Boston lobster, chamomile, buckwheat and mandarin, this first course has a good mix of contrasting textures and flavours. The tangy mandarin, for instance, balances out the muskiness of the foie gras and lobster cake in the background. I was also particularly appreciative of how the roasted, earthy base notes of the crunchy buckwheat seeds juxtapose against the saline, succulent lobster in the foreground.

Peking Duck (Chef Bee)

Art at Curate 2018 Series 12

I’ll be honest: Peking or not, I generally don’t like duck because of its gamey taste. But that’s exactly why Chef Bee’s interpretation of the Peking Duck really surprised me. In this dish, a special fish sauce (brought all the way from Thailand), lime juice, palm sugar, chili, a variety of herbs, jicama and mango are tossed together with duck slices to form a zesty salad. Instead of a gamey taste, what I got was a slightly spicy tang that excited my taste buds.

Carabineros Prawn (Chef Bee)

Art at Curate 2018 Series 12

Undoubtedly the show-stealer of Art at Curate 2018 Series 12, this dish happens to be Paste Bangkok’s most popular dish, and is inspired by Thai pomelo prawn salad. Chef Bee adds betel leaves and roasted nuts in its spicy chili jam that is reminiscent of a cross between Thai red curry and laksa, and I was absolutely floored by its depth of flavour.

The only thing lacking? A bowl of rice or a fried mantou so I could finish the entire plate of sauce. But don’t take my word for how good it is: one of my lunch companions immediately made a dinner reservation just so her husband could try this dish 3!

Wild Seabass (Chef Bee)

Art at Curate 2018 Series 12

Prepared using a combination of old recipes from the 5th period in Thai history, this dish comprises a wild seabass fillet in a spicy ‘Lon’ sauce. I can’t quite put it into words – perhaps it’s the use of turmeric and other commonly used spices in Thai food with more ‘westernised’ ingredients like fennel, but this dish truly exemplifies Thai food with a modern twist.

As though Chef Bee heard us while we were having the last course of Carabineros Prawn, this dish came with rice. Needless to say, every guest on the table wiped his/her plate clean.

Coconut (Chef Halat)

Art at Curate 2018 Series 12

Ending off the meal is a Malibu liqueur-centred coconut ice cream encased in a chocolate shell. The Thai influence is also apparent here with the use of kaffir lime in a bed of pomelo, puffed rice and coconut shavings. They come together in a delectable mix of crunchy, crispy and melts-in-your-mouth textures with sweet, bitter and zesty flavours – the best way to end off a meal.

Final Thoughts

Midway through my meal, I thought to myself, “This has got to be my favourite Art at Curate Series to date.” Perhaps it’s because I’m more partial toward spicy food, or because, as one of my Japanese lunch companions put it, “Asian food is always so comforting” for Asian diners like myself.

Either way, Art at Curate 2018 Series 12 definitely causes one to rethink ‘fine dining’ as a western hegemony, and I can decidedly see why Chef Bee’s name precedes her with the event being almost fully booked by its first day.

DON’T MISS OUT!

Art at Curate 2018 Series 12 Featuring Bee Satongun
2 to 8 November 2018

  • 4-Course Lunch Menu at S$108++ (S$88++ for RWS Invites members)
  • 4-Course Lunch Menu with Wine Pairing at S$158++ (S$138++ for RWS Invites members)
  • 8-Course Dinner Menu at S$188++
  • 8-Course Dinner Menu with Wine Pairing at S$308++
  • Reservations are strictly required; make yours early to avoid disappointment

members enjoy up to 4% rebate.

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