Friday, November 6, 2015

Mitzo $100Gourmet Michelin Menu - Where Swiss Precision Meets Cantonese Elegance

$100Gourmet by Citibank is pairing Chef Rolf Fleigauf, a two Michelin star chef from Switzerland with resident chef, Chef Nicky Ng for 4 days from 6 to 9 November at Mitzo, Grand Park Orchard.

I was on hand last night to sample their dinner menu, which goes for $100 per person. They also have a trimmed down lunch offering, going at $100 for two.

For those who are fortunate to be savouring this amazing clash of cultures and styles, it will be a night to remember.

European fine cuisine paired with classic Cantonese amped up flavours and presentation, every plate will leave you spellbound. Everything is well thought out and well paced, and it is one of the best meals of the year.

Veal Cannelloni

The starter by Chef Rolf really sets the tone for the rest of the night. Veal rolled up to look like cannelloni, paired with a goose liver ice cream, foie gras crumbs and pickled onions that demonstrate the mastery of techniques in one single dish.

The flavours are exquisite and intricate, each component finely balanced against one another. And the contrast of different textures keeps your palate constantly challenged yet delighted all at once. With its elegant presentation, this is an appetiser to remember, and one of the very best I have had.

Double Boiled Abalone Soup

Not to be outdone, Chef Nicky's seemingly simple soup course epitomises what I enjoy about Cantonese soups. Doubled boiled to an almost consommé clarity, the engaging flavours come like a wave of soothing and tasty comfort with its use of porcini mushrooms as an added flavour enhancer.

Pieces of winter melon and wai san give it an extra crunch and a gentle perfume to the superbly crafted broth, that is as good as it comes with both its subtle, clean notes and earthiness.

Dim Sum and Roast Platter

Chef Nicky's popular char siew takes centerstage on this platter of classic Cantonese favourites. The roast is well executed with a pitch perfect glaze to give the meat both sheen and fortification. The fatty choice of cut lives up to my motto of "go lard or go home" perfectly.

Elsewhere, the har gow or shrimp dumpling is the best variant of its kind. Lovely thin layer of skin wrapped around a superbly seasoned shrimp mixture, it is the refined level of dim sum craftsmanship that elevates this simple dim sum classic to a piece of masterwork.

The chicken dumpling swimming in a bowl of Chinese wine is another revelation. Looking so dainty in an oversized glass bowl, it is immediately familiar with its classic drunken chicken flavours, albeit presented here in a stylish rendition that puts almost every other dim sum establishment to shame.

Salmon Poached in Hay

Chef Rolf is not about to let Chef Nicky run away with all the accolades, it seems. His dish of Salmon Poached in Hay looks simple yet elegant. But the accumulation of flavours will just dazzle your tastebuds as you try to fathom the ongoings of his sophisticated culinary masterpiece.

The salmon executed to perfectly pinkish flakiness. The hay ash dusting the fish with a hint of saltiness just to elevate the flavours to the next level. The light creamy finish gives it a purposeful moistness to the entire dish.

Finally, a smoother than baby bum puree adds some finely honed sweetness to the plate and provides the ideal garnish to a creation that is stunningly simple in its looks, but ultimately bewildering in its combination of flavours. Like I said earlier, a gastronomic masterpiece.

Seafood Duo

After all the duelling of dishes from the two masters, they decide to collaborate on the last two plates. The seafood duo sees a classic yam nest filled with scallops stir fried in bonito sauce by Chef Nicky and a jumbo prawn in lobster bisque by Chef Rolf.

The scallops are expertly fried and is a classic play on zhe char, while the lobster bisque is mind blowing. Smooth and creamy with the addition of coconut cream and a hint of lemongrass for some Asian infusion. The jumbo prawn on the night was just a bit overcooked, but nevertheless, the entire dish is still very enjoyable.

Black Diamond and Fliegauf's Cheesecake

The two maestros of cooking combine again for the final dish and brings it all home with a deconstructed cheesecake and a memorable salted egg yolk pastry.

Everything you know about cheesecake is basically reinvented here, with lovely bursts of citrus lighting up the dairy elements, it is pretty and cleverly constructed.

The notorious Black Diamond ball with its sesame and charcoal powdered shell requires a hard slice to crack open the obstinate crust. The salted egg lava is never in doubt. A rich, creamy consistency with the requisite sweet and savoury punch.

The dishes are well thought out with a journey of crescendos that resemble movements from a symphony. From the lilting opening allegro of the veal, to colourful flourishes of the dim sum platter, to the waltz-like poetry of the salmon, and finally to the sweet sonata finish of the desserts.

Throughout the six courses, you get a sense that it is as much about crossing kitchen swords between two continents, as it is about getting the best of both worlds to create an indelible pairing of gastronomic cultures.

Ultimately, it shows that great food is never about selfishly protecting and adhering to one tradition, but expanding that linage of great food history with ideas from other regions to heighten and transcend what has gone before to produce something better and even more memorable.

This menu clearly demonstrates that philosophy. Exacting Swiss culinary precision is clearly a match for the classic elegance and clarity of Cantonese cuisine.

Heavenly match indeed.

$100Gourmet
Mitzo
Level 4 Grand Park Orchard
270 Orchard Road

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