Tuesday, August 30, 2016

OCF Singapore - Refined Modern French Cuisine

Elegant and refined cooking is almost a rarity these days. Too much emphasis on gimmicky fusion food has taken the focus away on what's most important in the culinary scene.

And that's sublime cooking skill and fresh ingredients. Both of these critical factors are happily in full evidence at OCF Singapore at the Arts House.

Chef Jonathan has worked in some of the top establishments in France and his classic training shines in an otherwise foreigner dominated French gastronomy world here.

His insistence of choice ingredients is also a vital reason why this establishment should be considered from some French tyre related stars next year and when compared to some of the lackluster aforementioned starred restaurants, this one ranks just as high. If not higher.

Rabelais Tomatoes

You can hardly wrong with such meaty and juicy tomatoes that give a superb rounded flavour on the palate. A vanilla perfume is just the lilting touch to give it a regal composure to the juicy occasion. The black olive is an acquired taste yet it adds that anchoring component both in terms of flavour and colour.

Scallops and Caviar

Thinly trimmed scallops with lemon and caviar gives the necessary punch to the ocean protein. An eye for plating gives this a vibrancy and freshness that most other establishments will struggle to match. Simple, effective and a very accommodating appetiser.

What I would caution is the caulifower puree which felt a bit extraneous for my liking and somewhat dulls the overall composition of an otherwise fine dish.

Lobster and Barley Risotto

The mains are where Chef's culinary prowess takes centerstage. The barley risotto is executed with aplomb and crunch and the perfectly flavoured bisque is what you would expect from a French master.

Full of crustacean notes and immaculately seasoned, it is his perfect handling of the lobster protein that wooed me to no end. Bouncy bites of succulent Maine lobster goodness is simply culinary joy to the fullest. It looks gorgeous and tastes even better. One of my favourite dishes of 2016.

Hida Striploin

Chef's handling of meats continues its winning streak with this sort of beef two ways dish. The striploin in its medium rare glory has both the ideal texture and flavour, and the classic pairing of onions is rendered as a caramelised marmalade that oozes smoky sweetness that pairs magnificently with the beef.

The cartilage is the second beef construction and it is braised to its maximum potential. Pulling all the elements together is the silky smooth, luscious jus that is as good as a beef sauce as you can ever get on a plate in Singapore.

Brittany Pigeon with Chocolate

I have yet to taste a decent pigeon and chocolate combination until now. Chef Jonathan has finally step up to the plate to deliver his superb rendition of this French classic.

His perfect balance of bitter dark sweetness from the chocolate and the on point cooking of the fowl makes the ideal pairing. Plump cherries with its rustic acidity does just enough to lighten the mood and oh my, does it look wonderful in its final presentation.

Overall, this is a restaurant for the serious food connoisseurs. If you are looking for fancy east meets west concoctions, look elsewhere as I am very serious myself about the right folks willing to part their hard earned cash for cooking this exemplary. And being able to appreciate it all.

As for the tyre man, it matters not about achieving starts. Chef Jonathan need only pay a bit more attention to some of the pairings on the starters and he will be a culinary star of his own in no time.

OCF Singapore
The Arts House
1 Old Parliament Lane

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