Christmas came and went, then New Year’s arrived with a bang. Before we realize it, Chinese New Year is just on the horizon. To all my readers and friends celebrating the festivities, here’s wishing all of us a bountiful new year ahead!
I was invited to the press luncheon of the launch of the Lunar New Year Luncheon Menu at Sky on 57 last Monday however as I was in Hong Kong over the weekend, I was not able to attend. From what I see on the blog posts of some of the bloggers who attended the luncheon, it was quite the event with Kagoshima Governor Yuichiro Ito gracing the luncheon. Chef Justin Quek and his restaurant, Sky on 57, was accorded a Certification of Recommendation from the governor himself. The Certificate of Recommendation is an affirmation that the dining establishment is serving up worthy ingredients from Kagoshima.
However, all was not lost, for I tried the Lunar New Year Luncheon menu last Friday. Of course, it was good that work ended early and that Marina Bay Sands was a mere 5 minute taxi ride away.
Here’s a brief introduction to Sky on 57 – It essentially serves up modern French-Asian Cuisine in what has one-of-the-best views of Singapore. Unfortunately, when we were there on Monday – there was a storm looming and visibility was basically limited to perhaps 2-3kms.
Helmed by Singaporean Chef Justin Quek, he trained at some of France’s top kitchens, including Roland Mazere’s Le Centenaire in Perigord. He was the first Singaporean to be appointed personal chef of the French Embassy, and inaugural recipient of the Chef Of The Year award from World Gourmet Summit Awards Of Excellence. He gained quite a bit of reputation when he was helming the kitchens of Les Amis too.
Complimentary Bread that was served cold and unfortunately weren’t nothing of a shout-about. I forgot to ask if they were baked in the central kitchens of Marina Bay Sands or at Sky on 57.
Tossed sliced Kagoshima buri fillet & jellyfish
with vegetable salad in Mandarin orange dressing
The first course in the menu was the Prosperity Salad. To be honest, I enjoyed the appetizer. It was light in flavour and there was a subtle sweetness from the Kagoshima buri fillet & Jelly fish. There was the addition of the fried bits that gave the salad, texture.
Organic Japanese Pumpkin
Organic pumpkin veloute with crabmeat custard
The pumpkin soup was easily the Pièce de résistance of the meal. You know it is the star dish of a meal when your dining partner compares every other dish that came after the soup with this soup. (In case you were thinking…… dessert was not spared the comparison however weird that might sound.)
Personally, I loved the soup too! Texture wise, both the soup and the crab meat custard were velvety-smooth and were such a joy to have together. Taste wise, the natural sweetness of the Japanese pumpkin shone through and really needed very little seasoning to bring it a notch higher.
The addition of the crab meat on top was perfect too!
I could have easily gone for a second serving of the soup.
Green Pea Risotto
Sautéed Kurobuta confit,
green pea and bacon, natural meat jus
The green pea risotto took a while to arrive – thus the complimentary Xiao Long Bao (reviewed towards the end of the post).
But when it finally did, the pea risotto was less mind blowing than the pumpkin soup but still very much enjoyable.
The Kagoshima region exports one of the best Kurobuta pork from Japan and clearly that shone through. If I am to be frank, the pairing of the pea risotto did not quite augur well with both my partner and myself and the dish did come across as being somewhat heavier on the savoury end of the flavour scale.
The sweetness and slight acidity of the tomato did help to cut through the saltiness.
Wok fried beef cubes with fava beans and leeks in Asian pepper sauce
I liked the Wagyu. The beef was sooooooo….tender and was really cooked to perfection in terms of the doneness.
Perhaps, catering to the crowd in the restaurant, the “heat” of the Asian pepper sauce was kept to a minimal (as compared to your usual zi-char stall. Personally, I would have preferred it to have to be a little spicier to kick it up a notch.
‘Deko-pon’ Mandarin Orange
Marinated with Navan, orange and saffron ice cream
Dessert came in the form of Marinated-Mandarin oranges. I liked the Saffron ice cream much more than the the oranges per se. Together, they paired quite well.
My dining partner commented that the Saffron ice cream tasted similar to the pumpkin soup. Well, I didn’t ask the wait staff but Saffron pairs well butternut squash and pumpkins, so there could be saffron in the soup!
By the way, Navan “is the association of natural vanilla from Madagascar with fine French cognacs. – http://www.grand-marnier.com/grand-marnier-products/fine-cognacs/navan#_
The Luncheon menu comes with complimentary Coffee or Tea. Served alongside them are some petit fours.
This menu is available from now till the 7th of February 2012.
Do note: These items are not part of the Lunar New Year luncheon
JQ’s signature foie gras xiao long bao
As mentioned earlier, there was a rather long pause after the pumpkin soup and pea risotto thus the kitchen sent out complimentary servings of the xiao long bao.
The partner did not enjoy her xiao long bao but I certainly did! There was a hint of truffle in the soup and the foie gras xiao long bao was simply a delight to have. I couldn’t help myself but to compare the Xiao Long Bao with Din Tai Fung’s renditions and I thought the xiao long baos here came out the winner.
Sautéed mandarin orange segments with crepes
The kitchen sent out a complimentary serving of the sauteed mandarin orange segments with crepes.
Download PDF Menu here: Sky on 57 Chinese New Year Lunch Menu
Sky on 57 by Chef Justin Quek
SANDS SKYPARK, TOWER 1
+65 6688 8857
Glenn Lee first published his first blog entry as HungryEpicurean in December 2009. Glenn is currently an accounting and finance undergraduate in the University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. Born and raised in the sunny island of Singapore, he is by and large, a foodie. Like his fellow Singaporeans, he loves to explore and savour the magnitude of flavours that the many different cuisines offer. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.}