On a signature epicurean quest around the world, we ingest fine culinary creations of celebrated chefs
Gourmet destinations spread across the globes are nothing but havens of exquisite cuisine that stand out distinctively from the herd. Signature gourmet engraved by celebrated culinary wizards and food craft maestros take fine dining to an exalted level of excellence that can only bear their intrinsic, individual holograms.
@ Tin Lung Heen, The Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong
This is the most distinguished and eclectic Michelin-starred Chinese fine dining restaurant in Hong Kong. Its mesmerising Oriental- contemporary décor invites gourmands to its finest-in-town Cantonese delectable dining fare presented by the experienced and innovative Michelin-starred Chef de Cuisine Paul Lau Ping Lui. His expertise is matched by assistant manager, seasoned Sommelier and wine guru Benson Yan. The splendid world wines and a seven-course menu pairings are a privilege to experience.
Chef Paul fires his creative instincts with upper crust nuggets like Steamed Crab Claw with Egg White and Hua Diao Wine which is a culinary masterpiece. The softness and subtle finesse stands out as sensory memory, the combination of home-grown cooking with international fusion is an accomplishment. The mildnatured yet keenly effusive chef goes on further to wow guests with his exciting and imploring ‘Double Boiled Chicken soup with fish Maw in Baby coconut’ which reflects the thrilling combo of coconut’s sweetness with the feather soft ingredients. His double waltz extends into a wonderful vegetarian marvel, ‘Braised Bamboo Fungus with Spinach and Black Truffle’ with its light and ‘green’ flavours. On the same creative anvil is the ‘Stir-fried White Asparagus with Japanese Gingko Nut’ –also light, crispy and lingering, a Michelin jewel indeed!
MODERN BAVARIAN CUISINE
@ Residenz Heinz Winkler, Aschau
Am Chiemgau, Bavaria, Germany
Spearheaded by one of the world’s most celebrated 3-Michelin Star chefs –Heinz Winkler, this grand Venetian-themed landmark in picture postcard village Aschau, is a living tribute to it’s creator’s passion for Nouvelle Cuisine. Beginning his career with the team of the iconic internationallyrenowned Chef-Restaurateur, Paul Bocuse, Chef Heinz Winkler today commands his signature creations with singular finesse. This multi-award winning, most famous chef in Germany has had A-listed global luminaries as his
guests, names like Jean Paul Belmondo, Brooke Shields, former German President Walter Scheel, FIAT Chief Gianni Agnelli, John Rockefeller and Pia Zadora.
His ‘Gebratene Entenbrust – Rote Beete’—roast duck breast, beet root, Quinoa, horse radish in balsamic juice, is a hot favourite with diners who swear by its succulent flavours. Another masterpiece, ‘Gebeizter Coho Wildlachs’ Wasabi, marinated wild Coho salmon with Wasabi, sour cream, potato and egg is his path-breaking innovation in Nouvelle cuisine. The Salmon and Wasabi plays diverse waltzes on taste buds. Chef Heinz’s next jewel rates superlative too! ‘Lauwarmes Saiblingsfilet – Spargel’ - (Tepid char on asparagus) is light and invoking— the asparagus melts away in an exciting vanishing act!
Capping his symphony of culinary melodies, Chef Heinz scores a high with a sweet number, ‘Crêpes gefüllt’– Grand- Marnier-Schaum Crêpes filled with Grand-Marnier-Foam and orange filets paired with the finest Franconian aromatic Sylvaner and Spaetburgunder vintage wines.
@ Dar Belhadj, Tunis, Tunisia
In the heart of the capital of this colourful north-African nation on the grand Mediterranean, in the bustling traditional marketplace, Medina, is an absorbing signature dining experience one can’t forget. The ambience of this fabled restaurant in Tunisian mosaic splendour, the mellow ‘Haandis’ with soft glows, the graceful arches and intricate high-ceiling ceramic wall artistry adds to the ultimate Tunisian gastronomic romance. Celebrated Master Chef de Cuisine, Mounji Debousi presents his typically endearing and mouth-melting signature flavours in Tunisian epicurean excellence here. His gallery of accomplishments span Mediterranean dishes of Tunisian legacy in typically traditional flavours. Our feast began with a cheery ‘Slata Tunisiyya’– Tunisian salad that comprised of simple but refreshing ingredients in a comforting platter local cheddar cheese, boiled eggs, prunes, black grapes, green olives, cucumber, diced tomatoes and red chilly slivers whipped up in excellent extra virgin olive oil and garnished with fresh coriander. His egg-and-meat broth with mild spices and Tunisian Extra Virgin olive whipped up our appetite to the core. Fascination leapt alive in Chef Debousi’s ‘Cous Cous de Tunisie’ which is a myriad magic of boiled eggs, cous cous, potato chunks, red peppers, Harissa beans, chickpeas, shallots, onions, baby carrots and jalapeno in thick tomato gravy. The flavours are fantastic and fresh, yet imploring with a regional twang that highlights the liberal use of excellent local extra virgin olive oil. Contrasting tastes and sensations excite one’s curiosity as the astringent, the sweet, the citrusy, the spicy and creamy all dance to a merry signature tune!
CONTEMPORARY FRENCH QUEBECOIS CUISINE
@ Europea, Montreal,
Jerome Ferrer, executive Chef of Europea, one of Montreal’s most celebrated dining beacons, makes waves with his absolutely remarkable gourmet wonders that blend his immaculate Frenchflavours with modern Quebecois presentations. He is a member of Académie Culinaire de France and of the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France. A Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux since January 2011, he was elected Chef of the Year in 2012. Europea has been rated amongst the World Top 10 restaurants by Travellers’ Choice 2012 on the Trip advisor’s web site. In 2013, Europea was included as a member of the prestigious association “Les Grandes Tables Du Monde”. The cuisine is fascinating and evocative here. Chef Jerome’s signature repertoire comprises Pan-Seared Scallops and Lobster Cappucino. Both dishes bring out the refreshingly light palates in an enchanting way; the scallops soft and silky with the greens add zing. The marvellous Lobster Cappucino satiates your taste buds, the creation leaves one wondering how magical the flavours are. The other remarkable creations that we savoured, were Cavatelli Cream cheese, Stansted rabbit confit Yuzu, Gremolata fresh Thyme and lemon peel—it uplifts with subtle yet invoking flavours. The chef ’s other nuggets are prize winners in their own right, namely Filet of Mignon Beef aged 45 days, crispy potatoes, gravy and béarnaise and Paw Alaska Crab gratin with sweet garlic.
CONTEMPORARY SOUTH AFRICAN CUISINE
@ The Dining Room, Thanda
Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Deep inside the Kwazulu Natal Province at Hluhluwe is an abode of the Big Five magnificent beasts within the carefully protected, award-winning Thanda Private Game Reserve. Here amidst the unhindered tracks of the lion, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, wildebeest and the leopard is a serene, pristine luxury five star resort haven offering a world class high-end lifestyle experience, some of the finest signature dining nostalgias to cherish in South Africa. Talented and amiable executive chef, Nomalizo Nkosi whips up distinguished dishes over fine South African wines. Our candlelight moments were sparkling with other striking fare. One of his exquisite dishes was the ‘Pan-seared beef fillet with horse radish potato cream, steamed green beans and red wine jus’. The individual flavours of each ingredient stood out handsomely while we gorged over the delectable dish. Chef ’s other remarkable creation was spellbound—Lemon and Herb grilled Prawns on Guacamole and Health Bread Croute. It was packed with unusual fine crisp flavours and had a lingering smoothness. This highlights the growing keenness of enterprising South African chefs’ spirited enthusiasm to create a truly global nouvelle cuisine repertoire using fine locally sourced quality
ingredients with international appeal.
CONTEMPORARY JAPANESEWESTERN CUISINE
@ Tetsuya’s, Sydney, Australia
The love for food towed me to Sydney in 1982. And we were amazed by Testsuya’s cooking style. Japanese–born Australian chef, Tetsuya Wakuda blends Japanese philosophy of natural seasonal flavours with French technique at his self-owned restaurant, Tetsuya’s. Wakuda has won acclaim in Australia and has also received a 3-hats rating in Sydney amongst other awards. Moreover internationally, the restaurant has been voted consistently as one of the world’s best restaurants by The S.Pellegrino Worlds 50 Best Restaurants, (voted by some 800 critics and chefs globally, since the lists first edition in 2002). Greeting us warmly and sharing his privileged creativity with us, the mild and graceful Chef Wakuda conducted his outstanding 14-course degustation menu paired with fine world wines for us, leaving us with the permanent gourmet nostalgia. His wonders included his designer-signature jewel, ‘Confit of Petuna Ocean Trout with Konbu, Daikon and fennel’. The mouth-melting flavours unravelled some suave sensory discoveries. His petite yet fascinating number ‘Marron Salad with Truffle’ left us bewitched by the most daring combination of tastes ever. The voyage of discovery sailed into ‘Roasted Scampi’, a studio signature marvel with ultimate succulence of prawns accompanying seared seaweed. The precision, the calibration and immaculate presentation of tasty dishes served with equally imploring fine world wines was to say the least, a lifetime and an unforgettable privilege.
MODERN TYROLEAN NOUVELLE CUISINE
@ Neuwirt, Hotel Schwarzer Adler,
Kitzbuehel, Tyrol, Austria
Erudite and affable, award winning Chef de Cuisine, Stefan Hofer spares no effort to make this gourmet landmark in the world’s Number One Ski Wonderland, the finest dining haven for international cognoscenti. Winner of Two Toques – Gault Millau awarded and 1 Michelin star rated, this petite, wood-panelled, classical Tyrolean-themed restaurant spells understated class on all fronts, from its extensive wine list to super-fantastic culinary wonders.
Chef Stefan Hofer utilises his imagination to create his outstanding traditional Tyrolean-Austrian cuisine with strong Mediterranean influence. The fusion factor is stunning, we discovered. Our ‘Marinated Zander, herbs, pickles, mustard and buttermilk’, gave us radically contrasting tastes. ‘Scallops with green asparagus, pearl barley found in smoke flavour and calf ’s head’ are rapturous in innovation. You have got to be there to relish the unique creations. ‘Roasted shoulder of Styrian Mangalitza pork with pepper and cauliflower’ is another marvel, while if you pick ‘Sheep cheese with Hola flowers, lemon thyme and black bread’ you are in for a thrilling melody on your palates!
The signature wonders also scale hits with dishes like our ‘Veal from Pinzgau, spring beet variation, Sorrel and lemon thyme’ and Chef Stefan’s concluding masterpiece for us, —‘Apple cream, Brioche chips, salty caramel ice cream and popcorn’. It was an exhilarating Alpine gastronomic journey likenone other.