I was recently invited to the media launch of Ethan's Gourmet, a boutique grocer of fine foods and produce. Just think of it as an amalgamation of Meidi-Ya and Jones the Grocer, but waaaaaaaay cheaper and notably exclusively curated. I love this place already!
Its spartan brick-and-mortar shop couldn't be any more ulu-fied, but the good news is that they're about to launch an online site (by 15 April, I hear) on which to buy its wares.
Set up by a trio of enterprising retailers, who've close personal networks with Japanese suppliers, Ethan's Gourmet is thus able to pass on substantive savings to us as the end consumer. Here, Elaine and one of her partners are introducing Ethan's Gourmet to us food bloggers at the media launch. A personal nugget: she'd apparently named the store after her beloved son! Aww...
Only kobe, kagoshima and tajima wagyu beef are sold here, and I note that the meats about 20% cheaper than at Meidi-Ya. Being one of the very few suppliers and the first online retailer of the uber-luxe tajima wagyu beef, Ethan's Gourmet supplies to famed Japanese steakhouse The Fat Cow.
They also sell premium sashimi-grade fish and seafood (snow crab legs, YUMS!!), as well as the prized amadai fish.
They've also a select wine and sake range, carefully curated, mostly mid-range but very drinkable.
I couldn't resist buying a bunch of stuff, and these were my picks at Ethan's Gourmet: Marusho Tomatoes ($5.90), otherwise known as rainbow tomatoes.
I've never been known to snack on typically healthy fare, but these little juicy balls of heaven were so awesomely sweet I'm now a convert!
Another must-buy is the Amadu Strawberries ($19.80), bright red morsels of fruity juiciness bursting with ripened sweetness. The Hubs practically inhaled them ALL...in just ONE sitting.
Inspired to cook something with black ink, I also got the Black Squid ink Linguine ($9), but if you so prefer, there's a saffron-flavoured linguine for sale as well.
I'm a sucker for cheeses, and while plain table crackers are typically used to set up their flavourful pungency, The Fine Cheese Co. Rosemary Crackers ($8.40) and TFCC Red Hot Chilli Crackers ($8.40) heighten the cheeses beautifully.
Red Hot Chilli Crackers are better paired with mature cheddars, while Rosemary Crackers are more suited for soft cheeses.
I also got a packet of Frozen Edamame ($7.45), I love steaming them and then sprinkling them with truffle salt, also sold at the store (Ethan's apparently retails the ultra-fine Truffle Gourmet range of truffled salts, pastes and flavouring). Ethan's Gourmet also retails other frozen greens, like spinach, and broccoli.
We were gifted with a goodie bag: a few citrus-infused ume, kelp (which I'm gonna use to make dashi stock), green tea bags (always useful as I'm a big fan of green tea), a citrus-flavoured green tea, Maria Sharapova's sour gummies, a umami goma-kombu seafood snack, Korean designer water, and a packet of compressed paper wipes (so convenient and such space-savers!).
The congenial Aussie Chef Peter Rollinson of Flutes Restaurant was invited to cook up Ethan's produce. Even with a makeshift barbie stand, his food managed an exquisite sublimity, that I've since put Flutes on my to-eat list!
The Tajima Wagyu Beef Striploin with yummy marusho tomatoes and yuzu dressing was melty and decadent and luscious. My favourite of the lot!
The moist and tender Kurobuta Pork Chops with caramelised apple sauce, sauteed spinach and radish was well-balanced.
The Grilled Amadai Fillet was exquisitely crunchy, but flaky and moist underneath. I particularly loved the curried cauliflower puree and lime. It brought out the mild creaminess of the Japanese fish beautifully.
The plump Grilled Scallops with mushy peas and truffle squid ink was a little too moreish for my liking. I thought the squid ink overwhelmed the delicate scallops.
Many thanks to Ada, Leroy and Nichole of FoodNews PR for the invite, and Elaine Yee of Ethan's Gourmet for hosting! xoxo
50 Tagore Lane
Tel: 6372 8809
Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm; Closed Mondays