Sunday, 22 May 2011

Iggy’s, Asia's Best Restaurant - Singapore

When in Singapore you should try your hardest to secure a reservation at Iggy’s restaurant on the first floor of the Hilton on Orchard Road. The best restaurant in Asia (according to the Miele Guide) and number 27 in the S.Pellegrino list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants 2011 (up one to 26 in 2012).

Iggy’s is a masterpiece: everything about it oozes excellence. Restaurants are often compared to theatres and artistically arranged fine-dining dishes with vibrant colours and textures arranged in a flourish by chefs with creative vision can be as picturesque as any canvas. 

On arrival, you are led through a dark wooden corridor into a plush contemporary dining space filled with vibrant artworks. Iggy’s mastermind, Ignatius Chan’s background is as a sommelier and the exceptional wine list is distributed from the central island by the front of house team who glide as fluidly as brushstrokes around the room. The real masterstroke of Iggy’s however is the food – where exceptional ingredients are crafted into works of art in their own right.

Our lunchtime show got underway with a stunning amuse bouche featuring a melange of tomatoes served atop a refreshing snow peppered with delicate, peppery flowers. The tiny tomato was a real treat - bursting with flavour.

The theatre continued with my starter of Salmon, Savoy Cabbage and Basil Seeds – I’m a sucker for a gimmick and am always wowed by the culinary use of liquid nitrogen; pleasingly, once the smoke had cleared the biggest wow factor came from the best quality smoked salmon that I have ever tasted.

My wife chose the  Foie Gras, Figs, Tarragon, Cassis – which she loved.

Capellini, Sakura Ebi, Konbu, Scampi Oil – was how the menu described my next course. A simple dish, flawlessly executed with phenomenal flavour. The thin strands of angel hair were light and delicate; the crisp Sakura Ebi although tiny were packed with flavour; the konbu and scampi oil dressing was immense!

My main course was the Seasonal Market Fish, Fennel, Caper Berry and Pernod – sadly, I can’t remember the type of fish (maybe someone who knows more about them can tell me from the picture) but I can remember the that it was cooked perfectly and complemented by the sweet aniseed flavours of the fennel and pernod and the plump salty caper berry. 

My wife plumped for the Duck, Carrot, Sesame with Natural Jus – the duck was cooked beautifully and the sesame crust/dust provided both great flavour and an interesting texture.

For dessert, we both opted for the Rhubarb, Salted Sable, Vanilla Beans with Blood Orange and moved to the kitchen-side counter seats to watch them being assembled by the pastry chefs. Chatting to the two Americans running this section, we learnt that Tetsuya Wakuda had been in the day before. We also noted that sat along from us were two world-class chefs, Ryan Clift of The Tippling Club and Brent Savage from Sydney’s Bentley. Iggy’s is undoubtedly the place to eat in Singapore. The best restaurant in Asia? I’d say so; the Miele guide says so… go; you won’t be disappointed!

An Iggy's take on the traditional Golden Egg (and hammer) that was brought out as s gift for my wife's birthday. 

(By the way, do save room for some Macaroons from the patisserie in the Hilton foyer – they are the best I could find in Singapore. In fact, dare I say, they are the best I have ever had; beating my previous favourites from Alain Ducasse.) 

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