Trading hand torched langoustine for squid ink beef, there was really no competition for the eventual winner of this culinary standoff.
Lakshmi, who started the now famous Heavens hawker stall at Ghim Moh Market, has passed down her cooking prowess to her son, Daniel.
Daniel loves to put his own twist on his mum's classic dishes, and is a smart chef that knows how to infuse modern cooking techniques to bring some of these classic dishes into the new millennium with much a renewed sense of presentation and flavours.
|Coconut and Chili Kerabu Sslad|
From 9th until 19th July, Lakshmi and Daniel will be presenting some of their classic dishes at Fullerton Hotel's Town Restaurant as part of their dinner buffet offerings.
This starter of coconut and chili salad is just the perfect way to begin a meal. Refreshing, light and thoroughly appetising, it will open up your palate to the treasure trove of gastronomic riches to come.
|Appam and Putu Mayam|
I used to remember my dad buying putu mayam for breakfast when I was growing up, and these days this once familiar breakfast staple is almost gone from sight. Daniel and his mum will cook this on order at Town and one mouthful of this with a little brown sugar will transport you back to the good old days.
The appam was something I heard people raved about and now that I have finally tried it myself, I could understand why. A wonderful thin and light crisp crust around the edges, followed by a thick and moist center. Infused with cheese in the center, it was both fluffy and delicious. A perfect pancake in every sense of that word.
|Trio of Indian Savouries|
The squid ink beef rendang has to be one of the best things I have tasted this year. Or in any other year. Rich with coconut flavours, the beef was cooked to a tender submission. Lightly spiced with just enough heat to dance on your tastebuds, the resulting dish is a culinary marvel of creativity and execution.
The biryani was nicely cooked as well, with beautiful long grained rice richly coated with a saffron infused broth and spices that was again, adequately spicy without overkilling your palate with too much heat.
The braised pork masala was another revelation. It looked and had the taste of a classic Babi Pongteh, but the use of traditional Indian spices took it to another dimension that I have never encountered before. Totally surprising and utterly addictive, this is the type of dish you will ask for more bread to wipe the plate clean.
|Trio of Desserts|
Daniel likes to put a spin on things and it is no surprise here that he has made the classic ondeh ondeh into something different. Infused with peanuts and mung bean, it enhanced the traditional gula melaka and coconut combination with a slight savoury tinge of playfulness.
The vajit, which is glutinous rice cooked in palm sugar and coconut was superbly rich and tasty. It has kind of a sticky rice consistency but with the addition of a gula melaka sauce, I bet it will be just heavenly for the dessert eaters of this planet.
The getuk lindi is a cassava cake mixed with a savoury palm sugar caramel that is a match for any western dessert. A mischievous mix of textures and sweetness ensures that you will be digging this until the last bite.
It is a pity that the Heavens folks will only showcase their amazing dishes for only 10 days. Daniel is such a passionate cook that you can see it in his eyes as he was explaining some of the ideas behind his new creations with such aplomb and enthusiasm.
It is also a generous and much appreciated gesture by the Fullerton Hotel's staff to work with Daniel and Lakshmi to bring their food into a high end setting that will not only elevate their food to a fine dining experience, but expose this beautiful cultural cuisine to a wide range of visitors as well.
Yes, Heaven has just arrived in Town. Go get some!
Heavens at Town Restaurant
1 Fullerton Square