No stranger to the food scene with a career spanning 30 years, and some in the kitchens of Michelin-starred restaurants around the globe – Chef Justin Quek’s delightful creations are a sight to behold and an experience to savour.
Whipped up with flair yet refined on the tongue, come taste his interpretation of Frano-Asian from the 12th to 15th of July at The Library at The Ritz-Carlton – and find yourself completely taken by this gastronomic adventure.
The Hors D’oeuvres
Cauliflower Puree, Oscietra Caviar, White Chocolate
Opening the meal with a light and frothy concoction, the sprinkling of salt was a bit of a surprise at the beginning. But let it mellow out over your tongue, bringing to contrast the subtler and sweeter notes of the cauliflower puree that readies your palate for the sumptuous meal ahead.
Served as you would expect a shot of coffee, this was every bit as smooth and delightful as it sounds. Strong and aromatic, this beautiful blend of basic button mushrooms and ceps glides like velvet across the tongue and down the throat.
Duck foie gras xiao long bao
Easily the favourite of the table and a signature dish of Chef Quek, the dumpling wrap had just the right amount of thickness to it for texture but never crossing the line to becoming doughy. Still, the star of the show had to be the burst of flavours in one bite – courtesy of the truffle consommé and luscious duck foie gras.
Duo of Maine lobster
Soft and tender lobster flesh with slivers of wild mushrooms swim in a beautiful cream sauce with a light alcoholic bite to it – a clever addition of the Asian yellow wine (huangjiu) steers it from becoming cloying and is a surprisingly pleasant complement in terms robust yet elegant flavours.
Crispy scale blue cod fillet clam and herb fondue
The scales are unbelievably crispy, creating a nice contrast to the tender white flesh of the fish – every mouthful accompanied by a subtly sweet clam and herb broth so silky, every drop begs to be mopped up.
Asian braised Angus beef and seared Wagyu beef
Showcasing two very different styles of cooking on a plate, the seared Wagyu beef tends towards the fattier side but does retain a lovely smoky undertone to the meat. Meanwhile, the braised beef with fu yu (fermented soya beancurd) was absolutely flawless – creamy and tender all at once, every bite melted away.
Chocolate and mint floating island
A dessert to cleanse the palate and satisfy your sweet tooth just right, egg whites are beaten till they are light and airy – resembling the texture of a frothier marshmallow. While I’m not typically a fan of mint, a special kind is used here so that the fragrance permeates your mouth while remaining light enough on your taste buds – with sprinklings of crispy rice for added crunch.
There’s nothing quite like crispy caramelised almond bits to nibble on as you lose yourself in conversation with a warm cup of tea or coffee.