Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Review of Alma by Henrique Sá Pessoa - A True Star of Lisbon

I just got back on Sunday night from a week in Portuguese wine country.  I can't say too much about the trip for now as I am writing an article for Epicure's July edition.  But I need to share something with you, and that is the genius of the chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, who owns the one Michelin-starred Alma restaurant in the heart of Lisbon.

Owner-Chef Henrique Sá Pessoa at Alma's open kitchen

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Jaan and the Mysterious Case of the Heated Mineral Water

I was at Jaan for lunch the other day, my first visit since Julien Royer's departure and the ascension of his faithful sous Kirk Westaway to the top post.

I was expecting brilliance. After all, most of my previous meals at Jaan has coincided with Royer's periodic absences, and Westaway had proven himself numerous times to my delight.  Royer has since won two stars for Odette (while it is very good, I believe that one star would have been a more realistic assessment based on the standard applied by Michelin in France) and Westaway one at Jaan.  If nothing else, there was a forensic interest in seeing if the difference in ranking was justified.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Review of Alma by Juan Amador, Singapore - Good but Unfairly Burdened by Expectations?

What is in a name?  Are you, presumably a discerning diner, entitled to lofty expectations of a restaurant simply because it has a famous star-spangled name attached to it?  If so, can you then expect that the restaurant serves food which, even if it wasn't created by the famous chef, at least bears the same DNA as his (and it is almost always a "he") cooking?  Such were the questions / first world problems seething in my mind as I walked to lunch at Alma by Juan Amador.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Review of Whitegrass, Singapore - Dude, Where's My Star(s)?

It has been a sloooow 12 months on the Singapore dining scene.  The economy is not exactly going gangbusters at the moment and the ambition of new restaurant openings is noticeably modest.  Even Gordon Ramsay, that temperamental purveyor of chilli crabs and Katong laksa, decided to open only the very mid-range Bread Street Kitchen at Marina Bay Sands.

Now I care a lot about my food; you don't keep a food blog running for four-and-a-half years if you don't care about your subject matter.  But I have found more in the way of exciting new openings in our northern neighbour than here, and I was beginning to get rather disillusioned with the local dining scene.

And then I went to Whitegrass.