I have been treated with a special invitation by Horizon Bistronomy to learn about the Chef’s passion in his craft of preparing food that tastes of memories close to his heart
The chef at Horizon Bistronomy tried to challenge tastes of Singapore heritage, his own childhood memories with modern French cuisines. He wanted diners to discover his skills and his sincerity through different interesting palette.
In my opinion, he had accomplished it, of course; the taste of his cuisine leaves a permanent mark in my brain and my heart, a lasting memorable experience long after I left the restaurant.
Now before you continue reading, you have been warned: Don’t be fool by what you see. It doesn’t taste like what your brain tells you when you see it.
Curry Chicken Rillettes
Sakura shrimps, thail basil pesto, curry leaves, brioche.
Without giving away of the name; at first glance, one would associate this thin crisp canape to a seafood palette but your taste buds will jolt your senses when this taste entirely like the signature Old Chang Kee curry puff.
Small and decadent, one is seriously not enough, but it is more than enough to show the Chef’s intention to prank your sense of taste to create a whole new experience.
The chef chose this because curry chicken has been a part of his childhood. I do too, I always miss that taste of what I would describe as “primary school curry”, the chicken curry that is more lemak(coconut) and less spicy but yet not lack in flavour.
Horizon’s Angel Hair
Chilled Angel hair. Spanner crab, tobiko, ikura, chorizo oil.
My dinner partner that evening is very much an advanced foodie who takes time to understand ingredients and food, since my best friend — his wife, is a great cook too. His eyes lit up when he saw the mention of chorizo oil in this dish.
Chorizo, if one do not know, is a kind of Italian sausage. Unlike regular pasta that uses olive oil or garlic oil, the flavours from this chorizo oil brings a different flavour palette to the dish and the freshness of the spanner crab really liven up the other (in my opinion) heavier, saltier ikura.
Sous vide egg, potato puree, enoki mushrooms threads, lardons, cous cous herb jus.
The challenge of this dish is on the balance of food texture and the taste from the simplest ingredients that were readily available in local supermarkets, technically proving that once can do french cuisine at home too!
The delicate balance from the smooth potato puree to the crunchy enoki mushroom is impeccable. Add on a coat of rich velvety sous vide egg york into the marriage, the trio ensemble creates a beautiful melody in the mouth.
Even though this is a favourite dish amongst the guests, I may be bias on its taste because I love egg dishes.
Home cured salmon confit, prawns, peas, carrots, baby zucchini, tomato consomme.
Now, this is my favourite starter/appetiser dish. Tomatoes and salmon are two of my favourite food. Although there are very little dish that harmonizes these two ingredients, my top compliments till date still goes to this clear tomato consommé.
It takes 8 hours and lots of care in brewing the tomato soup, constantly removing the fluff that were produced in the process of making to acheive this clear clarified crisp tang of the tomatoes in this clear orange liquid gold.
The soup is a divine treat indeed. I may not have sample enough of the world’s cuisine, but this tomato concommé was definitely memorable, crystal!
Not to forget the visual feast of this dish, the chef complimented the orange hues with contrasting colours using peas, cucumber and mini craunchy prawns that snap with every satisfying bite.
fresh halibut, cauliflower puree, daikon, cauliflower, burnt onion, white asparagus.
This first main was quite a surprise when it was presented with a black plate, and I soon realised that the mains on this culinary show were all presented on a black surface.
This dish was aptly named Blanc, ‘white’ in French. However, the colour palette was closer to a Sauvignon Blanc – a pale gold. The variety of creamy whites that sharply contrast from the black plate presented a form of simplicity which the chef was trying to illustrate — ingredients for such a delicate plate could be easily found in local supermarkets.
The taste of the fish and the vegetables were pretty pale, as to its colour. However, the original flavours of the ingredients itself snuck its way through and what you get is a very minimalist palette.
The sweetness of the asparagus and the cauliflower puree presented a mild creaminess. Add the burnt onion, it increases the intensity of the flavour. The halibut was fresh, indeed, and the sauce that accompanies the dish gives the punch this dish seriously needed.
Overall, the taste for this is mild but decent, however for purist, this is a pretty delicious plate.
Pork Belly 2 Ways
Crispy pork belly confit, 24 hours sous vide pork, carrot puree, baby carrots, caramel apple, green asparagus, pork jus.
After a mild plate, now comes in the wild child. This dish is flavourful right from the beginning from the complementary vegetables to the caramel crispiness of the pork on every sides.
My favourite among the two types of pork would be the 24 hour sous vide pork. The meat was slow cooked to perfection and the meat was juicy and velvety, it broke apart like melted chocolate.
The carrot puree, asparagus cleans out oiliness of the pork belly, and the caramel apple brings some tart and tanginess to the plate to balance out the entire taste of this dish.
This is one dish to savour without being overwhelmed by the animal fat.
Deconstructed Yuzu Cheese Cake
Yuzu curd, whipped cheese mousse, truffle popcorn, green tea nama, cinnamon soil.
It was a little difficult to comprehend that I was staring at a Yuzu cheese cake since I don’t really see any cake on the plate. The dish was presented more like a mousse dessert than a cake.
Again, like I have repeatedly emphasized in this gastronomy feast, nothing was what they seem to be.
The whipped cheese mousse and yuzu curd brought out what my taste buds were familiar with – cheesecake, and the cinnamon soil gave that yuzu cheese cream that cookie / biscuit base.
While I was not too impressed with the overall presentation… (many dishes were served on a black plate) but the taste of this deconstructed yuzu cake does score some points in elements of surprise and familiarity.
Peanut Butter 2016
Vanilla chiboust, beuure noisettes financied, apple puree, aged pickled apple, chorizo caramel, brioche.
My dinner partner anticipated this dish because of the chorizo caramel. He picked up that word almost immediately as chorizo meant meat.
So, meat caramel?
Interestingly, the peanut butter cake came in a same dish that highly resembled the old-school style peanut buttercream cake one can easily purchase from the neighbourhood cake shop or the toast box joints. When we both took a bite, the faint peanut butter taste brought back the familiarity.
However, if you took another look at the ingredient list, there were no peanuts in sight. That fact sent us both into an investigative mode trying to figure out how that peanut buttery taste was achieved.
We conclude that the combination of the vanilla, chorizo caramel and the brioche or noisettes were the mastermind behind this charade.
Cilantro pearls, lemongrass sabayon.
I assume that the chef must be some kind of part-time magician!! Famous for his deceptive pot of tiramisu plant in punggol, he was back with his sleeves rolled up to conjure up another David Copperfield worthy performance exclusively for Alexandra.
This may look like a cream-based spaghetti dish, but in fact, when it hits the tastebuds, your brain gets instantly confused with this particular sweet. The citrus soba had a bite of “overcooked-soften pasta” but the fragrance of the cream sauce with the soba filled my nostrils and tricked the brain with a serene picture of an orange orchard. The cilantro pearls added a myriad of firework bursts of minty freshness to the dessert overall.
Definitely one to try if you are the Horizon bistronomy Alexandra.
Milo Truffle, Kaya Macaron, mango Lollipop and Peach Pate de Fruit
This dish would be hard-to-forget if you have tried it, especially the kaya macaron, the peach pate and the mango lollipop. My dinner partner loved the milo truffle as well, but I did not taste much of the milo to give a comment to justify that.
While I do love the mango lollilop and the peach pate, it was the macaron that really took my breath away.
The kaya macaron just instantly brings me back to Yakun’s kaya toast! The macaron shell really brought out the taste of the toast, which I felt, a seemingly impossible taste. Then again, that’s is the philosophy of bistronomy.
The chef wanted us to leave the place full of memories, and many I did. Not just the experience at the bistronomy but also recalling the many late nights that my best friend and I had over simple local coffee and books, just enjoying each other’s company.
Lemon & Rosemary Meringue
This last dish was a surprise, something the chef dished out as a finale to his stunning presentation. The fresh, fragrant, citrusy meringue cleanses away any residue of oiliness or heaviness from the long dinner and the fluffiness of the meringue does not carry too much of a sugar burden to the stomach.
Definitely have to try, even if it is a once in a lifetime. The concept of bistronomy will alter your perception the way we view food. It can be a sensory art experience for one to discover and the pleasure of sampling pure simple flavours in the most extravagant display ever.
Horizon Bistronomy Alexandra
Address: Fragrance Empire Building, 456 Alexandra Rd, Singapore 119962.
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm, Mondays to Fridays only.
How to get there:
Nearest MRT Train station: CC27 Labrador Park
More stories soon,
Special thanks to Horizon Bistronomy for their invitation to sample their delicious menu.
All opinions were my own.