Sunday, August 27, 2006

food bloggers @ sage

Sage, The Restaurant
11 Unity Street #02 -12

Robertson Walk
Tel: 65 6333 8726

I guess if you're an avid food blog reader, you would have found out by now that the floggers met for dinner! Before I go into the "food" section of this post, I'd first like to thank Colin for putting this whole thing together. A job well done!

I'd have to admit that initially I didn't know to expect. It was like it I knew these people (through their blogs) yet in real life, I didn't. However, as it turned out, converations flowed freely through the night. I'm always talking about food with my friends to the extent that I have to tell myself to shut up once in a while. However, I didn't feel this way at all during the dinner because we all had one thing in common; Food. We were sharing our dining experiences, whipping out our cameras (imagine more than 10 people snapping away at their food all at the same time), sharing our "pains" of food blogging such as times when we ran out of adjectives to describe the food we were writing about. Conversations pretty much revolved around everything about food. So you know Singlish is not the language of Singaporeans. It's FOOD! This get-together made me realise some things and reinforced some beliefs I had. Here's a couple:

1. Food is one universal thing that brings people together
2. I'm not the only one who loves my food but knows nuts about appreciating wine with it
3. I'm not the only one who doesn't really fancy chocolate much
4. I don't take the longest when it comes to taking pics of my food (the one who took the longest of course, took beautiful pictures. You'd be able to see them here.)

5. I must turn my macro function on when I'm taking pics. I keep forgetting that!!
6. People actually know about my blog!!

I think Colin made an excellent choice with choosing Sage. I loved the cosy and small environment. I like how it's untouched although I'm not so sure how it'd be like after all the rave reviews it will receive after our dinner. The service was good; the host was hospitable. The food was great and I was in perfect company. So yes, now to the food. I liked the menu that was planned for the evening although there was a hiccup somewhere in the middle. There were one or two stars which I thought deserved a whole lot of credit. A rundown of the evening's menu..

fricassee of burgundy escargot with lentil du puy and field musrooms, poached egg and italian parsley foam
I liked this dish quite a bit. At least, it gave me a good idea of how the food was going to be like for the evening. First impressions always count right? This dish reminded me of Anthony Bourdain's visit to El Bulli where he tried carrot foam. Chef Jusman was quite generous with the amount of escargots and I loved the poached egg that was in it.

chestnut mousseline with oxtail consomme and truffle oil
It got even better when this course came. For a couple seconds, fellow bloggers around me were wondering whether we should eat this in layers or just mesh everything up together and drink it out the cup. So we then found out from the waiter that it's up to us although it's best when all the layers are mixed. The bottom layer was shredded oxtail I believe, followed by the chestnut mousseline which was so creamy and smooth. After that was the oxtail consomme topped with truffle oil on the foam. It's good that I at least managed to try the chestnut before I mixed everything together cos that was my favourite part of this dish. I don't think this is on the regular menu but if you manage to see it, you'd have to give it a try.

baked fillet of sea bass topped with tiger prawn mousse, braised fennel and a lemon-basil emulsion
This was the hiccup that I was talking about. I think most of the rest felt the same way. Somehow, the sea bass had an odd texture; tougher than usual. I remember my sea bass flaking off in other restaurants when I ordered them but somehow the sea bass that day tasted like snowfish. I couldn't taste much of the tiger prawn mousse either. I liked the braised fennel though.

US corn fed beef shortribs braised in red wine topped with slices of foie gras and bone marrow, glazed root vegetables and a mousseline of butternut pumpkin
This tops everything we had that evening. The beef shortribs was so tender and paired so well with the foie gras. I loved the creamy and sweet pumpkin too although I learnt that night that eating too much of it will turn me yellow. 2 thumbs up! There's really nothing I didn't like about this course except that I wished I had more.

fromage blanc panna cotta topped with candied strawberries, champagne jelly and a strawberry sorbet
The final course was a sweet ending to the wonderful food that was served that evening. Although the texture of the panna cotta is a bit firmer than what I'm normally used to, it was nonetheless good. I especially liked the champagne jelly with the strawberries. The sorbet was smooth and not too sweet or sour. Definitely the kind of dessert that I would have usually ordered.

Besides the delicious food that we had that evening, there were a lot of other surprises. First, we were each given a box of Straits Chai Tea courtesy of
Gryphon Tea Company. Apparently, this tea was specially blended for the IMF meeting is still currently not available in the market.

I also brought home a Kasumi utility knife and a Masahiro sashimi knife, of which the latter was a prize from a lucky draw. Both were sponsored courtesy of Razorsharp. I could have seriously scared people if I opened up the 2 boxes in public. So yes, I'll try to make full use of them both in the kitchen but thanks to Aun and Razorsharp for making all these goodies possible. I just wished that I could have that fondue set that was provided by BATS Singapore. That fondue set would have been perfect for a themed party. I should get one of those soon...

There were also some truffles courtesy of Julius Truffles and there was also this nice chocolate cake cos it was Colin's birthday!! Thanks also to Ivan and See Wah for providing the wines and the limoncello although the limoncello proved too strong an alcohol for me.

So that was it. I thoroughly enjoyed myself; the company and the food. Can't wait for our get-together again next year.

P/S: I forgot to mention that it would be a long entry at the beginning but if you're reading this right now, congratulations!! You've made it to the end.

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