It all started when an acquaintance (and someone from a place I used to work at in another life-time) sent out her regular email concerning her Himalayan produce.
Somewhere along the line, she said she might do meals too, asking those who were interested to “kee chiu”. Actually, she didn’t say that. She just asked for indications.
I was and I knew HWSNBN would be interested as would CK, as both of them had been to said acquaintance’s farm in January and might have been the last lot of guests there, as owner isn’t taking any more guests temporarily, due to the embedded unrest in Nepal.
To cut a long story short, I also contacted my other three erstwhile travelling companions of mine to ask if they would join us but because of the immediateness of the “debut” HO (Himalayan Organics for the uninitiated) dinner on June 18, one couldn’t make it because of a packed social program that day; another couldn’t simply because of a packed program period and the third couldn’t come because she was would still be overseas on business.
If we thought there would be just the three of us for dinner — HWSNBN, CK n moi — we were wrong. The HO hostess had a table of 12, that included herself and her husband, the intrepid entrepreneur Hans Hoefer, a guest cook called F, her husband, a French-German couple, a Filipina educational trainer and another two German ladies.
The food was healthy — coming directly from Mr n Mrs Hoefer’s Nepal farm — but tasty; there were many courses, made up of tasting portions. Food apart, the company was excellent, made better with the eye-popping accounts by Mr Hoefer on how he built his travel book publishing and printing empire, sold it and is now on the cusp of another stage of his living adventures.
We began with a welcome glass of fresh watermelon apple juice and then proceeded to dinner, kicking off with warm beetroot soup in a demi-tasse cup. We then had a taste of the beetroot soup done cold somewhat like gazpacho soup.
Next we had finely shredded baby carrots with sunflower seeds followed by cold broad white beans in a picquant sauce. A salad of Himalayan greens in a subtle yet zestful dressing had us finishing every bit of this salad.
Bolder tastes came from the two mains: a robust risotto of wheat grits cooked in vegetable broth was followed quinoa udon in yet another picquant sauce.
The dinner ended with plum compote in quark sauce. Don’t know what quark is? Neither did I but the two German guys sitting next to me explained it’s a sort of liquified yogurt. I would have preferred a non-milk based sauce but then this isn’t my dinner!
At $38 per head, set in a rambling house in the heart of Bukit Timah Reserve, it’s a small complaint not to like the dessert sauce!
Now for some pix of the food which alas my shaky Sony Ericsson phone camera didn’t do justice to. (Note to myself: time to upgrade!)