Review: ‘Art at Curate Series 9’ With 2 Michelin-Starred Chef Emma Bengtsson

Art at Curate 2018 Series 9

Be transported to Europe with modern reinterpretations of classic Nordic and German dishes at Art at Curate 2018 Series 9, happening at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) till 18 January 2018.

Emma Bengtsson x Benjamin Halat

Following her appearance at The GREAT Food Festival (TGFF) last year, Swedish chef Emma Bengtsson of New York’s Two Michelin-starred Aquavit has returned to RWS – this time with exclusive ‘four hands’ 4-course lunch and 8-course dinner menus in collaboration with CURATE’s German-born Chef de Cuisine Benjamin Halat for 2018’s first edition of Art at Curate.

Art at Curate 2018 Series 9

Both chefs hail from relatively cold countries that use a substantial amount of pickling in their cuisine, making for a harmonious blend of flavours in the overall menus. Dishes in the ‘four hands’ menu include:

Chef Emma Bengtsson Chef Benjamin Halat
Gravlax & Sea Urchin (Lunch only) Soufflated Farm Egg
Foie Gras Ice Cream (Dinner only) Aged Duck Breast (Dinner only)
Char (Dinner only) Vacherin Mont D’or (Dinner only)
Mangalitsa Pork Collar Pear Helene
Peach Pecan (Dinner only)

Both lunch and dinner menus have the option of wine pairing carefully selected by leading wine critic Robert Parker Jr. and notable German reviewer Stephan Reinhart.

Some of our favourites from the series

Amuse Bouche (Chef Benjamin)

The amuse bouche comprises two components: a Swiss Cheese Fondue and a Beef Tartare with Onion.

Art at Curate 2018 Series 9

The German-inspired fondue is served atop a chive emulsion, to be eaten together in a single mouthful. The combination of flavours was reminiscent of sour cream and onion flavoured potato chips, exciting my palate as amuse bouche should.

Art at Curate 2018 Series 9

But I personally preferred the Beef Tartare with Onion, wherein the tartare and onion lift each other up in terms of both taste and texture. The soft tartare is largely savoury, topped with an onion cream that has a slight sour tinge, and crunchy onions bits cutting through the rare taste of the tartare which I was initially apprehensive of.

This whet my appetite even further, and I was all ready for the courses to come.

Gravlax & Sea Urchin (Chef Emma)

Art at Curate 2018 Series 9

Served with pickled sea berry, emulsion of sea urchin, coffee tuile and dill leaves, this gravlax dish brings a mix of sour, savoury and bitter flavours that dance on your tongue while transporting you to Scandinavia.

I particularly enjoyed the coffee tuile as they ‘reset’ your palate after each bite (similar to how coffee beans ‘reset’ your sense of smell when testing out different perfumes at the store) so the raw salmon doesn’t get cloying.

Soufflated Farm Egg (Chef Benjamin)

Art at Curate 2018 Series 9

Eggs are typically heavy on the palate and hence not served in menus with multiple courses. But by borrowing a technique typically used in desserts, Chef Benjamin ingenuously transforms an egg dish into one that is light and fluffy, whilst still allowing the yolk to be runny on the inside.

The dish is served atop a bed of full-bodied potato cream that anchors the flavour of the dish, while truffle shoots made into the shape of caviar add an aromatic, earthy finish to it. In the words of one of my lunch companions, “If you have truffle and egg, you can’t go wrong.”

Foie Gras Ice Cream (Chef Emma)

Art at Curate 2018 Series 9

I know what you’re wondering – foie gras can be made into ice cream? Evidently, it can. Because it is served with  a dulcet malt and honey syrup, crumble, blackberry and fruit candy, this dish is, in fact, more sweet and fruity than it is savoury, so much so that I forgot it was made of foie gras. If you’re like me and aren’t particularly fond of foie gras, this dish will pleasantly surprise you.

Mangalitsa Pork Collar (Chef Emma)

Art at Curate 2018 Series 9

Cooked to an immaculate tenderness, this Mangalitsa pork collar is topped with lardo and accompanied by fermented celeriac, poached apple slices and apple vinegar dressing. The result? A decadent but balanced main course.

The fermented celeriac, for instance, has a slight bitter taste that blends with the zesty apple vinegar and poached apple slices to prevent your taste buds from becoming attenuated by the rich, meaty flavour of the pork collar and lardo.

Perhaps it’s because I happen to be partial to both pork and apple vinegar, but this dish did everything for me.

Pear Helene (Chef Benjamin)

Art at Curate 2018 Series 9

There’s nothing like a chocolate-based dessert to end off your meal. And who better to come up with a reinterpretation of Pears Belle Helene than avid chocolate fan Chef Benjamin? Replacing chocolate syrup with a handmade chocolate custard, Chef Benjamin elevates the classic dessert by juxtaposing the smooth, velvety texture of the custard against the crunchiness of the poached pears.

It’s no wonder everyone at the table went ‘Mmm’ as they took their first bite.

But just how exclusive is exclusive?

Chef Emma tells us that her dishes listed above – Nordic classics she has chosen from different eras past – are no longer on the menu at Aquavit. This makes CURATE the only place in the world – and for a limited time only – where you still get to try Chef Emma’s innovative take on these Nordic classics. So what are you waiting for? Reserve your table (link below) today!

Coming up: Art at Curate 2018 Series 10

Art at Curate 2018 Series 10

We’re also happy to announce that Art at Curate Series 10 will be happening from 27 April to 3 May 2018, featuring Chef Tanja Grandits of the Two Michelin-starred Restaurant Stucki in Switzerland. Chef Tanja is known for her unique creations that use colours and spices with great precision, earning her 18 Gault Millau points and the title of Chef of the Year in 2014, as well as the inaugural Michelin Switzerland Female Chef Award in 2017. Stay tuned for more updates.

RESERVE YOUR TABLE TODAY

Art at Curate 2018 Series 9 Featuring Emma Bengtsson
12 to 18 January 2018

  • 4-Course Lunch Menu at S$88++
  • 4-Course Lunch Menu with Wine Pairing at S$138++
  • 8-Course Dinner Menu at S$155++
  • 8-Course Dinner Menu with Wine Pairing at S$275++
  • Reservations are strictly required

members enjoy 10% off lunch and dinner menus, plus 3% rebate.

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