Things weren’t that topsy turvey at Shangrila Hotel’s Blu Challenge dinner on Oct 10 as implied by the title of this post.
It’s just that chef Kevin Cherkas named the dessert Breakfast (pix below) even though what he served wasn’t a poached egg sitting on a muffin, with the usual accompanying fried sausages and grilled tomato. Rather, sausages and tomato were optical illusions — just a picture on the plate.
I think the “egg white” was coconut cream and perhaps real cream from the cow while the “yolk” was some mango puree and juice with gelatine. I also think the “muffin” was laced with passion fruit extract of some sort.
Please note I use the word “think” deliberately because I was, and still am, not sure what went into making up the dessert. The “ingredients” I had gleaned from what the waiter told us would be in the dessert when he was kindly re-organising my menu to avoid serving me beef, lamb, duck and goose.
“You can eat passion fruit, coconut and mango?” he asked, apparently throwing caution to the wind: my five dining companions would be taking the challenge to guess the menu’s ingredients, even tho I wasn’t, and they could hear every word. (or perhaps that’s Blu’s way of dropping hints?)
Pity the wait didn’t also ask whether I could eat cream made from milk, as I’m somewhat lactose intolerant and had a mild tummy upset the morning after the dinner, leaving me suspecting all the more strongly that the “egg white” had at least some cream in it!
The dinner started with something which looked like a mushroom cap (left) but wasn’t. It’s amusing to look at and quite pleasant to taste but it won’t be something I would die-die must eat again.
This was followed by something I’m more familiar with. A generous portion of lobster meat, lightly cooked in a delicious stock (see below). I was less comfy with the foamy clump at one end of the plate and it stayed right there.
Guess I’m not for the sort of cooking a la Fat Duck, molecular cooking, whatever, altho for a once in a blue-moon meal, it’s OK.
Otherwise, give me something simple, clean and natural like Sakura don (at between $7.80 and $9.90 takeaway), and I would be in gourmet (my version) paradise.
The lobster was followed by a soup, which I think looked very pretty as well (below left) but its taste wasn’t particularly memorable. Again, there was the ubiqitous blob of cream! This brought an end to the “common” items which I was served, just like the others taking the Challenge menu.
While those in the Challenge ate pan-fried foie gras (very generous pieces, cut heart-shaped and pronounced great by those eating it) I was served monk fish. With plenty of foam again, just as again I couldn’t fault the dish for its prettiness but wish ang mo cooks would learn to serve meaty fish in thin slices rather than like a thick rump steak!
What followed was the main-main course. The competitors were served tenderloin beef cut in medallions which all pronounced great. Unfortunately, I overlooked taking pix of dishes not on my menu.
For me, mains was cod in an emerald sea of pea or spinach puree– I couldn’t make out exactly. But it was avery decent portion, made more so when the restaurant threw in a small but still decent portion of risotto, although I hadn’t expected that. Blu at least made the dinner worth the $139+++, tho I won’t say the same for the Evian we were served, even tho we asked for PUB water.
As stated in the earlier post, no one won the Challenge, so we had to pay for our dinner in full, plus all the other incidentals.
However, there was a sweet ending and I don’t mean just the “cotton wool” candy tree which came with compliments of the chef. Rather, it was the 15% we were given off our total bill because TK paid with American Express, though the waiter added, we would get the same discount with an UOB card.
Instead of us having to pay $234 per head for an evening’s indulgence, we found we needed to pay just $198 each. Well that’s why we left Blu in high spirits even tho we didn’t drink ourselves silly and almost choked over the price of Evian!
And of cos at Blu, we spotted a celebrity couple, Dr Susan Lim, Singapore’s first surgeon to carry out a liver transplant. With her equally famous Citibanker husband. Just like we spotted UOB president Wee Ee Cheong at Gunther’s and City Developments chairman, Kwek Leng Beng, at our repeat visit to GOTO!