Sunday, April 1, 2012

Crazy for Savour 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012
Molecular Xiao Long Bao, Bo Innovation at Savour 2012
Bo Innovation, Savour 2012
Venison Tartare Pickled kohlrabi, Wild Caught Langoustine, Choconuts, Jaan at Savour 2012
Molecular Xiao Long Bao, $6, Jaan's Offerings

This post is really for everyone still on the fence about Savour 2012, the inaugural large-scale gourmet event combining international fine food and drinks, masterclasses and culinary shopping all in a single location. Here's the deal - if you haven't already gotten your tickets to Savour, get it now! You won't regret it. You won't, not when you can taste two Michelin starred Chef Alvin Leung's signature molecular xiao long bao without flying to Bo Innovation in Hong Kong. Or three Michelin starred chef Alain Passard's signature dishes without flying to L‘Arpège in Paris. I hate to throw their michelin stars around but I hope that got your attention.

Savour 2012
Savour 2012
Egg Waffles (gai dan zai) with black truffle and vanilla ice cream, bo innovation at Savour 2012
Egg Waffles (gai dan zai) with black truffle and vanilla ice cream, $9

The food itself was superb and exceeded all my expectations. The event is divided into three sections: gourmet village (restaurant booths), gourmet auditorium and gourmet market but I'm sure you can figure out which was my priority. Alvin's Molecular Xiao Long Bao was first on my agenda and it absolutely blew me away. I didn't know what to expect, popping that yellow foreign-looking object into my mouth, but just the gentlest bite released a whole ocean of familiar xiao long bao flavours that had incredible depth. I couldn't resist trying his Egg Waffles with Black Truffle and Vanilla Ice-Cream next, which was perhaps the best decision I made today. It turned out to be my favourite dessert at Savour! I am completely in awe of his sheer genious in using Hong Kong's street snack as a waffle base for vanilla ice-cream and topping it all up with a generous sprinkling of crumbled black truffle. The savoury truffle tasted absolutely fantastic with the waffles and I would have gotten seconds if M hadn't stopped me.

Carpaccio of Wagyu Beef tartare-style on crispy potato, Gunther's at Savour 2012
Carpaccio of Wagyu Beef tartare-style on crispy potato, Gunther's at Savour 2012Savour 2012
Chocolate Brigadeiro Truffle candy with cupuaçu, Brasil Sensational at Savour 2012
Carpaccio of Wagyu Beef tartare-style on crispy potato, $18, Chocolate Brigadeiro Truffle candy with cupuaçu, $6

We had Chef Gunther's Wagyu Beef tartare-style on crispy potato next and thoroughly enjoyed it. The beef was sliced really thin and tasted fabulous nestled on what Gunther himself called "home-made potato chips." Since I've never been to Brazil, I thought I'd give Chef Tatiana Szeles' Chocolate Brigadeiro Truffle candy with cupuaçu a shot. It looked just like melted chocolate sprinkled with nuts, but we were pleasantly surprised when we tasted the cupuaçu, a creamy tasting pulp from a tropical rainforest tree of the same name, beneath the chocolate. It's definitely a lot more unique than it looks!

L’Arpege at Savour 2012
Chaud Froid of Egg with maple syrup and xeres vinegar, L’Arpege at Savour 2012
Chaud Froid of Egg with maple syrup and xeres vinegar, L’Arpege at Savour 2012
Chaud Froid of Egg with maple syrup and xeres vinegar, $18

I missed L'Arpège when I was in Paris, so I wasn't about to miss Alain's famed take on la cuisine légumière this time round. His signature Chaud Froid of Egg with maple syrup and xeres vinegar was one of my favourites in the event and I just loved how the flavours were layered. What you get is a barely set yolk topped with a gentle foam flavoured with maple syrup and xeres vinegar. It's a curious combination of sweet and sour at the beginning, and then the yolk bursts, envelops the foam and weaves new flavours around it.

Foie Gras, Three-Sixty Marketplace at Savour 2012
Jamon Iberico, Three-Sixty Marketplace at Savour 2012
Three-Sixty Marketplace at Savour 2012
Oysters, Three-Sixty Marketplace at Savour 2012
Three-Sixty

In between, we took a break and explored the gourmet market. My favourite was Three-Sixy's space. It looked just like a supermarket replica and the whole shopping experience was great. Free samples were also abound. Not for the oysters and fishes, of course, but there were samples of Jamon Iberico! I literally swooned - it has been way too long since the last time I had this gorgeous ham.

Premium Beef, Three-Sixty Marketplace at Savour 2012
Assorted Sausages, Three-Sixty Marketplace at Savour 2012
Beef Cooking Demonstration, Three-Sixty Marketplace at Savour 2012
Three-Sixty

Some of the meats at Three-Sixy were grilled on the spot for complimentary tasting!

Assorted Cheese, Three-Sixty Marketplace at Savour 2012
Assorted Cheese, Three-Sixty Marketplace at Savour 2012
Assorted Cheeses, Three-Sixty Marketplace at Savour 2012
Three-Sixty

But my favourite section at Three-Sixty had to be the cheese section. I felt like I'd accidentally stumbled into heaven, and I'm not even stretching the truth! My favourite was Klaver's Goat Cheese.

Assorted Fruits and Vegetables, Three-Sixty Marketplace at Savour 2012
Delicious Tomatoes, Three-Sixty Marketplace at Savour 2012
Tips to Perfecting Tiramisu by Tammy Mah of Garibaldi, Savour 2012
Complimentary Wine Tasting, Savour 2012
Three-Sixty, Tiramisu Workshop, Wine Tasting Section

There were so many samples at Three-Sixty, it's hard to believe. By this time, we thought we should finally explore the masterclasses and dropped by the "Secrets to Perfecting Tiramisu" workshop by Chef Tammy Mah of Garibaldi. It turned out to be a pretty good crash course for beginners. Next, we headed to the wine tasting section. The vendors were really generous with the wine tasting here. This section was also hands down the most comfortable one in the entire event. There were lots of plush chairs and even water dispensing machines.

Menage-A-Trois, Saint Pierre at Savour 20
Menage-A-Trois, Saint Pierre at Savour 20
Menage-A-Trois, $15

Back at the gourmet village, we tried out Saint Pierre's booth. Chef Emmanuel Stroobant's Menage-A-Trois consisted of green tea smoked salmon, steamed bulot, sushi rice and spanner crab croquette and scallop mousse. It was actually really tasty, but certainly not the star of the event.

Cured Petuna Ocean Trout, with honey pineapple and frozen pineapple coconut, Osia at Savour 2012
Polenta Crumbed Foie Gras with caramelised banana raisin rum, Osia at Savour 2012
Polenta Crumbed Foie Gras with caramelised banana raisin rum, Osia at Savour 2012
Cured Petuna Ocean Trout, $15, Polenta Crumbed Foie Gras with caramelised banana raisin rum, $15

We had the Cured Petuna Trout by Chef Douglas Tay from Osia next, a plate of three generous slices topped with honey pineapple and frozen pineapple coconut. The cured trout tasted remarkably fresh but was otherwise a little plain. The toppings were a lot more interesting than the fish itself. The Polenta Crumbed Foie Gras, on the other hand, was a complete stand out. Don't miss this one if you're a foie gras fan. It's special in that even though it wasn't pan fried, there is still a crisp outer layer that gives way to complete tenderness within. Certainly one of our favourites in the event! The organization was surprisingly well done for a first time event - I completely enjoyed myself and am already looking forward to Savour 2013! Tickets for Savour 2012 are still available for 1st April, Sunday. You know what I'll do if I were you.


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