An 8-course dinner that will wow different taste receptors in every course.
That’s what one can expect at Art at Curate Series 8 with Chef Alexandre Dionisio, who is here in Singapore from 5 to 12 October 2017, showcasing the stellar cuisine from Brussels’s two Michelin-starred ‘La Villa in the Sky’. This is the perfect chance for gourmands to meet Belgium’s rising culinary star as well as tuck into his style of European cuisine poised between classicism and modernity.
We got invited to the year’s final edition of the Art at Curate series at CURATE, Resorts World Sentosa, and here is our review.
For Art at Curate Series 8, Chef Dionisio is serving a well-balanced 8-course dinner (with the option of wine pairing) of seafood, meats and dessert:
- King Crab
- Lacquered Duck and Goose Liver
- Creamy Smoked Celeriac
- Parmesan Siphon
- Wagyu Tenderloin
- Creamy Crumble Choco Ice Cream
Our favourites from the menu
Light, elegant and tantalizing, this king crab salad comprises generous chunks of fresh king crab meat, jelly made from shrimp consommé (bouillon), Russian caviar chive and a zest of lime.
I was particularly curious about how the savoury jelly would turn out, and was pleased to find it neither overpowering nor bland – only marginally briny with a subtle seafood taste to complement the king crab.
While I found the caviar rather forgettable (I never quite learnt to appreciate caviar), I thoroughly enjoyed the luscious, lightly salted chunks of king crab. Apart from being extremely fresh, they gave a piquant kick that excited my palate for the next dishes.
This first course is paired with Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut NV champagne that likewise serves to whet your appetite.
Served atop a texture of potatoes, avruga (a substitute for caviar) and a kaffir lime espuma, are two whole scallops that are seared just right, leaving the insides semi-cooked so they do not become rubbery in texture.
A wave of umami hit my taste buds the moment I bit into the seared scallops thanks to the Maillard reaction wherein amino acids and reducing sugars in seafood/meats react to release a distinctive flavour compound that differs with the type of meat/seafood being cooked, giving browned food a unique flavour.
The texture of potatoes is a welcome complement that aids in balancing out the scallops’ full-bodied flavour, but can be quite cloying as well due to its buttery nature. In an inspired pairing, Chef Dionisio’s kaffir lime espuma is just enough sour to invigorate the taste buds, allowing diners to savour the entire dish without getting overwhelmed.
Served with candied chicory (a herbaceous dandelion), creamy beet and drizzled over with a potatoes soufflés bigarade (bitter orange) sauce, the wagyu tenderloin is grilled to a medium-rare doneness (guests may request the doneness of their steak at the beginning of their meal).
For someone who usually prefers his steak medium-well, I was pleasantly surprised by how I enjoyed the tenderloin for its smooth texture. While I particularly liked the zesty bigarade sauce – reminiscent of a cross between wine and bitters – because it enhances the depth of the tenderloin’s flavour, others on my table loved the creamy beet for its consistent texture and its sweet and savoury notes. Fans of caramelized onions will also find the candied chicory a refreshing accompaniment to steak.
This dish is paired with Chateau Corbin Grand Cru Classe 2010.
Creamy Crumble Choco Ice Cream
Topped with toast and bitter baguette before it is drizzled with olive oil, this deceptively simple dessert was surprisingly the menu’s standout dish for me.
After a bite of the crumble, the word ‘amazing’ continually resounded in my mind. It was as though a master pâtissier was at CURATE, rolling and baking the crumble à la minute especially for me.
In terms of the dessert’s other components, the bitter baguette isn’t bitter per se, but certainly helps to balance the sweetness of the crumble, chocolate mousse and ice cream. The olive oil doesn’t bring a clash in flavour to the otherwise sweet dish either; it merely adds to the already silky texture of the mousse.
Overall, I would describe this dessert as a brilliant mix of creamy, crispy and crunchy textures, and one that is not heavy on the palette at all despite the richness of the chocolate mousse. In fact, I finished the course wanting more – perhaps the best way to end off a meal.
Pamper yourself with a two Michelin-starred experience
Some 8-course dinners start off well but leave your senses inundated after repeatedly bringing the same flavours to the table with each course. Chef Dionisio’s dinner menu, on the other hand, hits different taste buds with every course, promising to delight you all the way through.
Check out photos of PAST EVENTS.