It's not my style to attend food festivals. They're usually open-air (read: non-air-conditioned and hot), the food's overpriced, there's hardly any proper seating, service is practically non-existent, and worse of all, queues are a guarantee. But, I was recently gifted with a couple of complimentary tickets to Savour 2014, courtesy of my favourite kitchen and cookware retailer ToTT and the good people of FoodNews PR.
I've mentioned before that I love the stuff at ToTT, where you get maximum bang for your buck in fitting out your kitchen. I mean, my home kitchen is like a mini ToTT, so you can't say I don't put my money where my mouth is. Granted, the way their gleaming Sime Darby Centre showroom looks like a high-end kitchenware shop, you'd never believe how affordable their price points. But it so is!
This year marks ToTT's inaugural participation at Savour 2014. They have a booth at the gourmet food festival, with product demonstrations (so you get to see and learn first-hand how to use their ah-mazing products), a QR Code shopping wall (it links you directly to their website), a select bunch of their kitchen/tableware, and an iPad station for you to browse their extensive online shop. And from now till this Sunday night, ToTT is offering free delivery with a minimum spending of only $80, instead of the usual $200, on purchases made through their website here. Sweet!
We were introduced to one of their baking products, Magic Sparkles, glitter that looks just like what we all had/have in our makeup stash, but it's all edible baking products!
The jewel-toned sparkly sprinkles enlivened the cutest baby cupcakes. Because they're all-natural, GM-free and tested for common allergens, these sparkles are great for kids. No worries about loading your kids with artificial crap here.
As for the event itself; Savour 2014, I brought Lips with me (the Hubs had some hob-nobbing to do with the Tokyo bigwigs so Lips got second dibs!). We spent about $60 between the 2 of us and still walked away hungry (oh yes, we went off for a second dinner at Beng Hiang thereafter). It's not to say that the food wasn't good. In fact, the food was sublime. It's just that it wasn't enough. I would advise budgeting about $150 per person if you want a properly substantial meal.
Also, we had to eat standing up the entire time we were at Savour 2014. Just about every table was occupied with pretentious fops who didn't look like they cared to share. Ah well, the food portions were so small anyway that we finished our food in a flash, and so, a table to plop our plastic plates down wasn't really missed.
The saving grace was the cool weather and light breeze permeating the air with tantalising smells wafting out of the various booths. We weren't too hot or bothered.
I suppose it all boils down to this burning question: would I go to Savour if I didn't get complimentary passes? Nope. I'd rather go to the restaurants directly (yes, even the overseas Michelin-starred ones) for a proper sit-down meal. With white tablecloths and full table service. Even if that means forking out more moolah. BUT, if you like the convenience of sampling tasting portions of over 10 different celebrated chefs' superb creations, and don't quite have the money/time to spend chasing these restaurants down, then Savour the gourmet food festival, should be right up your alley.
So, anyways, onto the food. It was a good
thing that I'm such a picky eater because everything we chose was due to
elimination. Which resulted in us only picking 4 dishes, in which all 4 of them, yes, ALL, were fantastic. First up, in order of preference (it was a damn close fight!), was the booth starring Julien Royer from the lauded Jaan. This restaurant is so getting a fastpass on my to-eat list.
The 55' Smoked Organic Egg ($12) with smoked potato, iberico chorizo, buckwheat was just about the most perfect marriage of flavours and textures, you'd swear it was Cupid who brought them all together.
Next up was the booth featuring the oh-so-cute-it-hurts Chef Moon Kyung Soo from Mikuni. My passing crush wasn't a sentiment shared by Lips, who thought he looked really ordinary. I realised, later on, that the chef is Korean, so I guess I've sort of got a thing for Korean men. I blame the Hubs for kickstarting this.
The Kanpachi Truffle Soya ($16) with chrysanthemum flowers, was unbelievably delicate and clear. The truffle complemented the light soy and enhanced the natural clean flavours of the sparkling fresh sashimi.
The third booth helmed by Chef Kentaro Torii from Forlino, highlighted his minimalist Japanese refinement to hearty Italian cooking.
The luxurious 5 Cheese Tortellini ($14) with saffron cream sauce was, despite being loaded with FIVE cheeses, was light as a fairy. A couple of melt-in-your-mouth slow-braised kurobuta pork cheek cubes, beetroot puree and winter truffle completed the sensational dish.
Last but not least was the booth spotlighting Chef Daniel Sia from The Disgruntled Chef, The restaurant has been on my to-eat list since forever.
The meltingly tender Braised Pork Cheeks ($18) with sweet miso daikon, and light-as-air mousseline potatoes, hit the comfort button squarely. There was just something about this that would fit right in with cotton flannels, cool weather, a beer and binge-watching on Netflix.
My grateful thanks to Jael and Leroy of FoodNews PR and the awesome peeps of ToTT for the invitations and reception!
The Promontory @ Marina Bay
5-9 March 2014