I did a tasting of One-Ninety Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore’s Dom Perignon menu last evening, showcasing the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2005.
Before the meal, I interviewed Chef Giovanni Speciale who started cooking in Italy since he was 12, started training in a Michelin-starred kitchen there and has spent the last 21 years helming kitchens around Asia including China, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines. His influences show in the menu, where there is always a surprising Asian twist to his dishes that were designed to go perfectly with the vintage 2005 Dom.
So what’s so special about the vintage 2005?
As many of you may know, Dom is vintage-only champagne and is produced with the best grapes in the year. Overall, my take on the 2005 is that it’s delicate, opens with very light floral notes and is definitely a drink that goes with most seafoods and even heavy meat dishes. While it’s somewhat one-dimensional, it’s a great accompaniment to most foods and is definitely lends a refreshing, appetising start to each course.
So let’s get right to the menu. I’m going to come right out and say that this is one of the more enjoyable meals I’ve had this year. Despite the hefty price tag of this particular menu, the ambience at One-Ninety is somewhat relaxed and the staff warm and attentive.
We started the meal with an amuse bouche of Ahi Tuna Tatare, Water Chestnut, Black Sesame Seed and Root Vegetable Chips. Remember what I said about Chef Giovanni always leaving an unexpected Asian touch to his dishes? The tuna (maguro) was fresh, and while lightly tossed in a creamy sauce, actually had a hint of spiciness to it! What a pleasant surprise. It lifted the palate and the chips gave it an interesting contrast of textures as well.
Then, the First Course of Alaskan king crab, Almonds, Ossetra Caviar, Cantaloupe Melon and Ginger. If you don’t like your seafood sweet, this might not be for you. But I found that the cantaloupe and ginger actually accentuated the sweetness of the crab meat which was fresh firm and topped with a generous portion of salty Caviar to balance the flavours. I slurped up every drop
Then, with our appetites whet, we were treated to one of my favourite disheson the menu — the Second Course of Pan Seared Foie Gras, Roasted Pineapple and Coconut Essence. The pineapple was roasted over a fire and applewood smoked for extra flavour before being topped with firm, perfectly-seared foie gras, a drizzle of port and some coconut foam. What a mouthwatering combination of fat, citrus and wine flavours all melting on the tongue! Absolutely gorgeous.
In between flutes of champagne that helped balance out the heaviness of the liver, our Entree arrived — a beautiful mess of Slow Roasted Milk Fed Veal Loin, Saffron Risotto, White Asparagus andShaved Summer Truffle. To be fair, you can’t really go wrong with truffle or a well-seared Veal loin, but the White Asparagus lent a sweet crunchy texture to the dish and the saffron risotto was cooked to perfection though I expected nothing less from an Italian chef.
And finally, while we barely had room for it, the dessert was a refreshing Apricot and Yuzu Chiboust, Hazelnut Brittle, Sicilian Pistachio Ice-Cream. The pistachio ice-cream was light and the textures of the fruit and brittle went quite well with the soft, citrus cake.
Overall, i’d definitely recommend this meal. With their bottle of Dom Pérignon 2005 priced at around $500, the meal for two including a bottle of Dom at $788++ was delightful, satisfying and well worth the experience. For special occasions, maybe? Otherwise, their regular buffet and dinner offers are much more affordable if you want your meal without the extravagance of champagne.
One-Ninety, Four Seasons Hotel
190 Orchard Blvd, 248646