Gordon Ramsay’s Slow Roasted Belly Pork Experiment (Simply Delicious) on 6Aug2016

Gordon Ramsay's slow roasted belly pork

Gordon Ramsay’s slow roasted belly pork

saw Gordon Ramsay’s slow roasted belly pork on youtube the other day.

decided to give it a try. very interesting! ^^

i used just 200g belly pork (instead of 2kg in the video), cut a smaller piece from 500g frozen belly pork bought at sheng shiong.

& didn’t have fresh whole fennel & host of other stuff, so used 1 small carrots + 1/4 corn.

din want to open a white wine so used red wine.

anyhow the belly pork turned out almost perfect – texture perfect & very tasty….

only thing is couldn’t produce the crackling skin…though it sounded crackling when ran with a knife, the skin was actually chewy & not edible. other the pork was excellent.

2 ways i thought i will adjust this, either reduce the time at 180degC then do 250degC for say 10 to 15mins, or just cut away the skin.

Gordon Ramsay's slow roasted belly pork

Gordon Ramsay’s slow roasted belly pork

so method was same but my ingredients quite different from Gordon Ramsay-

  • 200g pork belly (cross-scored the skin)
  • 1 small carrot cut into 2 or 3 pieces
  • 1/4 corn
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cut chilli padi
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp fennel powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

fry the garlic, star anise, bay leaves, chilli padi in an oven proof mini wok. fry the carrot & corn & remove to allow space for the belly pork.

salt the skin & fry belly pork skin down. then stand the pork skin up held by the carrots & corn, & add –

  • 2-3tbsp red wine
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

then put 180degC oven for 1.5hrs.

as Gordon Ramsay mentioned the nicely flavoured braising liquid reduced & cooked the pork belly while the skin is cracked (but this part i couldn’t get right yet).

Gordon Ramsay's slow roasted belly pork

Gordon Ramsay’s slow roasted belly pork

the pork was delicious, just the perfect texture & wonderful flavours.

i will do it on a bigger 500g square slab later on when i have the numbers (of diners) to do. ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 200g pork belly (cross-scored the skin)
  • 1 small carrot cut into 2 or 3 pieces
  • 1/4 corn
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cut chilli padi
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp fennel powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3tbsp red wine
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. fry garlic, star anise, bay leaves, chillli padi in an oven proof mini wok
  2. fry carrot & corn & remove to allow space for the belly pork.
  3. salt the skin & fry belly pork skin down. then stand the pork skin up held by the carrots & corn.add red wine & white wine vinegar.
  4. put 180degC oven for 1.5hrs.
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Valentine’s Dinner at Home on 14Feb2016

valentine's day 2pax dinner

valentine’s day dinner at home

for this year’s valentine’s dinner, i had planned to do a small 2pax dinner for my wife on 14.2.2016. ^^

we usually do not go out on the actual day as most places ridiculously ex & quality of food & service not great vis a vis price.

this time, i got some IQF (individual quick freeze) frozen cooked lobsters from giant couple weeks before, so i would do a gordon ramsay grilled lobster. ^^

white cucumber gazpacho

white cucumber gazpacho

we started with a white cucumber gazpacho with croutons.

it was very good, wonderful refreshing flavour of cucumber tempered with yogurt, red wine vinegar & olive oil. croutons were ok very crispy & moderate cheesy.

prawn pasta iin pink sauce

prawn pasta in spicy tomato sauce

prawn pasta in spicy tomato sauce was very good. very tasty & wonderful tomato taste.

pasta spicy tomato sauce

pasta spicy tomato sauce

i used prawn stock, papa alfredo traditional italian pasta sauce & canned tomatoes, and reduced before tossing.

my gordon ramsay grilled lobster was the best.

i spooned the chilli garlic butter marinade over the lobster & left it in the fridge for 3hrs.

lobster was very flavourful with the chilli garlic butter, brandy flaming & hot grill.

gordon ramsay grilled lobster

gordon ramsay grilled lobster

lobster was very good really, meat was bouncy & very tasty, even though it could not compare with live lobsters.

gordon ramsay grilled lobster+prawn pasta in pink sauce

gordon ramsay grilled lobster+prawn pasta in pink sauce

the tangy tomato pasta complemented the lobster perfectly. ^^

australian wagyu ribeye

australian wagyu ribeye

my last course was the wagyu ribeye.

now i use the new method, rubbing the steak liberally with sea salt & pepper & placing in a 60degC oven for 2 hrs. that provided consistent medium rare interior & also did a bit of dry edging.

australian wagyu ribeye

australian wagyu ribeye

after that just 1 min each side on a very hot pan. it was such a flavourful steak.

the evening was one to savour, excellent food & wine & music, spending time together.

c.h.e.f andy

Pork Collar Slow-braised in Red Wine Sauce

slow braised pork collar in red wine sauce

slow braised pork collar in red wine sauce

this slow braised pork collar in red wine sauce was my second attempt.

it was as good as the first, and if i may say, a really great recipe i created myself.

thoroughly pan-browned before braising3

thoroughly pan-browned before braising

i browned the marbled collar (like gordon ramsay said “no colour, no taste”).

thoroughly pan-browned before braising

thoroughly pan-browned before braising

for the sauce-

i used 1 cup red wine, 1 tbsp flat sugar, 1 tbsp mirin, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp salt.

thoroughly pan-browned before braising

thoroughly pan-browned before braising

then i fried 1 cut carrot, added 1 cut yellow onions, & added vegetable stock & softened the carrots then added the red wine sauce.

slow braised pork collar

slow braised pork collar

slow braised pork collar

slow braised pork collar

then i placed the pork collar in a casserole & added the sauce & vegetables to cover & slow-braised in the oven for 6hrs at 90degC.

slow braised pork collar

slow braised pork collar

pork has a good amount of fat marbling & connective tissues, and slow braise at 90degC helped turn the connective tissues to very flavourful gelatine.

slow braised pork collar in red wine sauce

slow braised pork collar in red wine sauce

the meat texture was very tender, marbled & well infused with the red wine sauce & vegetable sweetness.

slow braised pork collar in red wine sauce

slow braised pork collar in red wine sauce

the pork was very flavourful & so tender yet not sinewy & falling apart like the usual braised meat texture.

i served this as part of my homegourmet adventure 4-course dinner on 15.11.2015. ^^

i think this is really an excellent recipe. ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients :-

  • 500g pork collar (i used frozen pork collar from sheng shiong S$9.95/kg)
  • sea salt
  • coarse black pepper
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 small yellow onions

red wine sauce

  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp flat sugar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt.

Directions :-

  1. pan-browned the pork collar on all side over high fire  (like gordon ramsay said “no colour, no taste”)
  2. fry 1 cut carrot, add 1 cut yellow onions, & add vegetable stock & soften the carrots then add the red wine.
  3. place pork collar in a casserole & add the sauce & vegetables to cover & slow-braise for 6hrs at 90degC.

Gordon Ramsay’s Bloody Mary Linguine Recipe with Dry Wok Garlic Prawns

linguine with dry wok prawns

linguine with dry wok prawns

making use of my leftover bloody mary linguine from yesterday’s Gordon Ramsay’s grilled lobster with bloody mary linguine. daughter ate out & we did not want to take too much carbs. 🙂

so i cooked some dry wok prawns to go with the leftovers bloody mary linguine. this was on 15.5.2015.

i had some large prawns from chinatown. these are probably 20-22 to a kg. i had cooked some jumbo & super jumbo prawns previously, 11 to a kg & 7 to a kg.

the key to dry wok prawns is high heat & dry wok. i have recently switched to a heavy stainless steel pan for high heat cooking, rather than have the non-stick coating breakdown.

so it is a thin film of veg oil & high heat. prawns must be dry. do not remove heads & shells. add chopped garlic then prawns. do not add water & do not cover. covering traps condensation & make it wet so the effect is steaming & cancel out the charred bbq smell. the charring is on the shell but gives a bbq flavour. the prawns are basically baked in the shells.

as i had only 7 prawns, i kept the pan on high heat most of the way & that was enough to cook the prawns. if i am cooking 1 kg prawns like for a big party like the recent 22pax on 6.2.2015, then after the initial high heat, i turn down the heat to cook the prawns w/o covering, to make sure the prawns are cooked.

only at the end turn on high heat & add fish sauce liberally. you can feel the excellent aroma wafting up. because of the shells, the prawns will not be too salty.^^

prawns were really very flavourful with bbq flavours. it’s a bit like spanish tapas Gambas al Ajillo (garlic prawns), but seriously i think mine was a whole lot better. wife thinks it’s better than the lobster. i am good with the lobster. haha!^^

bloody mary linguine

bloody mary linguine

the bloody mary linguine was actually kind of “bloody” good.

bloody mary linguine

bloody mary linguine

second time round i was eating it, and i was getting use to it, though i would not say yet that it is a favourite. after reheating on a pan, it was not as perfect al dente as the day before, but still pretty ok. 🙂

linguine with dry wok prawns

linguine with dry wok prawns

& it was really excellent together with the dry wok prawns. when no lobsters, just have good prawns & you will be fine! ^^

linguine with dry wok prawns

linguine with dry wok prawns

a very enjoyable dinner for 2 at home. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Gordon Ramsay’s Grilled Lobster with Bloody Mary Linguine

Gordon Ramsay grilled lobster with bloody mary linguine

Gordon Ramsay grilled lobster with bloody mary linguine

saw Gordon Ramsay’s grilled lobster with bloody mary linguine a while back & wanted to try it out.

frozen cooked canadian lobster S$26.96 for 2x375g

frozen cooked canadian lobster S$26.95 for 2x375g

i bought some frozen cooked canadian lobsters from cold storage earlier, S$26.95 for 2x375g lobsters.

i used 2 lobsters recently for a 4pax 6-course anniversary dinner for my wife & daughters. & had 2 more in the freezer, so decided to try out GR’s recipe today on 14.6.2015.^^

i followed the usual method cutting the lobster in 1/2 & shelling the pincers. they just looked great with the roe & tomalley (above photo).

lobster with chilli garlic butter2

lobster with chilli garlic butter

lobster with chilli garlic butter

lobster with chilli garlic butter

i followed Gordon Ramsay’s preparation for the chilli garlic butter.

i cut 1 large chilli, added 3 cloves of chopped garlic, large pinch of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of dried parsley & ground them in a mortar, then added 40g of unsalted butter

then i spread the chilli garlic butter over the 1/2 lobsters & left in the fridge for 4hrs.

bloody mary sauce

bloody mary sauce

for the bloody mary sauce –

i chopped a large red onion & fried in 2 tablespoon of oil, added 2 cloves of chopped garlic & fried till translucent & beginning to brown.

i added 1 teaspoon of sugar & just 1 teaspoon worcester sauce, & not being certain of the taste, i added 2 tablespoon flat oyster sauce instead. then i added 1 can (14oz) of cut tomatoes, & reduced the sauce (above photo)

grilled chilli garlic butter lobster

grilled chilli garlic butter lobster

grilled chilli garlic butter lobster

grilled chilli garlic butter lobster

when ready to serve, i used a heavy stainless steel pan (i recently switched over from non-stick coated pans to stainless steel pans for high heat cooking)-

added oil to give a thin coating, and waited for oil to begin to smoke under high heat.

then placed the 4 halves lobster, chilli buttered face on the hot pan, & grilled for 30secs.

then i added 3 tablespoon brandy & flamed the lobster (turning of the hob fan) to give nice liquor & grilled flavours.

bloody mary linguine

bloody mary linguine

bloody mary linguine

bloody mary linguine

for the bloody mary linguine,

i had earlier prepared the linguine al dente, drained the pasta in a colander & stopped the cooking with water & ice.

i heat up the bloody mary sauce & tossed the linguine, & then plated it as shown in Gordon Ramsay’s youtube video.

i also prepared the breadcrumbs with just 1 teaspoon olive oil & added some dried parsley, & had them sprinkled over the top of the pasta.

Gordon Ramsay grilled lobster with bloody mary linguine

Gordon Ramsay grilled lobster with bloody mary linguine

& voila!

the lobster was very flavourful with the chilli garlic butter, brandy flaming & hot grill. 🙂

this time i made doubly sure that the lobster was not overcooked. it was very good really, quite bouncy & most importantly very tasty, of course not to be compared with live lobsters.

the bloody mary had excellent tomato taste. taste though was a bit complex, with nice stand-out, slightly tangy tomato taste. it was a very good tasting sauce. still, it was not (yet) my favourite. i was in 2 minds & decided to prepare a pink sauce (creamy tomatoes) which i knew would be very good in any case.

in the end, my wife & i decided we should try this new bloody mary sauce since i had already prepared it, rather than just stick to some old normal & comfort level with the pink sauce. haha!^^

it was a very enjoyable dinner. it was a first attempt, and i was able to reproduce the dish quite well, so it was a repeatable dish. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Sous Vide Duck Breast & Tea Smoked Duck Fettucine (Gordon Ramsay’s Cold Pan Method)

6hr sous vide pan-roast duck breast

6hr sous vide pan-roast duck breast

was in 2 minds whether to make this post.

anyway i had 1/2 duck leftover from my recent 15pax homecooked dinner for friends on 3.10.2014. i used 1/2 duck to make a 盐水鸭.

& i read 2 interesting recipes & thought i would try out sous vide duck breast & use the drumstick for a tea smoked duck fettucine. 🙂

the results were not that great so i thought of not posting it as a recipe. anyway, i will give the tea smoked duck another try to see if i can get it right.

6hr sous vide pan-roast duck breast

6hr sous vide pan-roast duck breast

6hr sous vide pan-roast duck breast

6hr sous vide pan-roast duck breast

the 6hr sous vide pan-roast duck breast was fine actually. i made quite a good one for my canard l’orange anyway, so the main difference was just the sauce.

the grape ginger sauce was kind of an overkill. next time i will just do it as a small dip. pouring it over the medium rare duck breast actually killed the photo & also masked the taste. i tried the duck w/o the sauce & it was quite good on its own. unfortunately i did not take a photo of the nicely medium rare duck after slicing it. 😦

i would rate it as passable but not great.

tea smoked duck fettucine

tea smoked duck fettucine

the tea smoked duck fettucine was an exciting recipe for me, as i can use this method to smoke meats (duck, belly pork, pork kuckles, even beef i think) w/o a real smoker.

however my first attempt wasn’t right in terms of timing. i did only 45mins in the oven at 130degC after smoking the tea & other condiments on a aluminium foil in an oven-proof wok over high heat & crimping the foil to make a fully sealed “smoking chamber”, i placed it in a preheated oven at 130degC for 45mins. for the crispy skin i used gordon ramsay’s cold pan method.

removing the aluminium foil, the tea smoked duck gave off a nice aroma in the room but the flavours could not really infuse to the meat..need longer than 45mins. i will probably try it for 2.5hrs to 3 hrs instead.

the fettucine recipe was actually ok & my 2 daughters ate up the pasta on the day & next. but the tea smoked duck achieved nothing & the texture was a bit tough nearer the bones as it was not smoked for long enough time.

my current standard of sous vide duck breast (much ado about nothing) is no match for my simple & easy to do 盐水鸭…

i can use both methods – 6hrs sous vide at 70degC OR smoking chamber method to produce the tender meat & then the cold pan method to produce the cripy skin. then a small grape ginger sauce dip would do.

i will post the recipe later when i get the correct preparation & results for the tea smoke duck.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Wagyu for Dinner

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australian wagyu MBS 6/7 – mushrooms & onions

mmmm was having offer on grain-fed ribeye at S$29.90/kg. i bought some earlier & did 1 of my best pan-grilled ribeye steak, tagliata di manzo for RI buddies 10pax dinner on 24.3.2014.

offer ends on 31.3.2014, so i decided to get some more. it turned out 1.5kg more! it’s quite ok really. i can put most of it in the freezer & eat 1 month later…haha. 🙂

i needed S$50 to get free parking at west coast plaza so i need not rush & try to get to the car before 10mins grace was up, so i picked up a 220g piece of wagyu MBS 6/7 to make the goal past S$50.

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australian wagyu MBS 6/7

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australian wagyu MBS 6/7

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australian wagyu MBS 6/7 – mushrooms & onions

decided to cook the wagyu steak in the evening. for the side i used what was in the fridge – a leftover 1/2 yellow onion, & 1/3 of an open packet of shitake mushrooms (about 50g to 60g) in the chiller.

the technique is quite simple – very high heat (so vegetable oil best as higher smoke temperature than lard or butter or olive oil) & i usually flip once (can add butter at this time if required) or if the first side is not charred enough, i flip a second time. the charring, maillard reaction, gordon ramsay method and heston blumenthal’s video on resting of the meat were discussed in the post tagliata di manzo. 🙂

for the evening, i had a beautifully charred wagyu steak, rare to medium rare. simply heavenly! 🙂

my wife’s friend bought me a torch some weeks back when they came for dinner. i have not tried it out yet. will probably do on some of the grain-fed ribeye later, and experiment on the japanese aburi (烧) & torch recipes.

c.h.e.f andy

Relaxed Fine Dining at Friend’s House on 20Nov2013

slow-roast chuck tender (1hr) salad with fish sauce

slow-roast chuck tender (1hr) salad with fish sauce

a friend’s wife did a wonderful 6-course homegourmet dinner at their lovely home for a few of us last year, so my wife & i were really looking forward to the invitation to their home last evening on 20.11.2013. 🙂

their house sits on difficult terrain but is very well designed with good layout, quality finishes & furnishing. we had a relaxed pre-dinner wine chat (barolo red not that i knew what it was) at the sitting area before moving to dining, which had pool & water feature on 2 sides & LED downlights. 🙂

it was a very relaxed dinner, good food nicely paced, conversation, sharing & chill. 🙂

the first course was a delightful slow-roast chuck tender (1hr) with cabbage & tomatoes. the slight saltiness brought out the flavours of the tender beef (chuck is not an easy cut to make tender). i thought of “chimcharlo” but it was just fish sauce (which i use for my dry wok garlic prawns also with great results of a very “pang” dish). 🙂 the treatment to create a tender meat out of chuck is similar to my chuck pot roast.

cream of mushrooms with chicken dumplings

cream of mushrooms with chicken dumplings

the cream of mushroom was smooth with intended mushroom bits & not too creamy (health reasons?), and had the added treat of  tasty chicken dumplings.

slow-roast oven pork ribs (5hr at 100degC) with pasta

slow-roast oven pork ribs (5hr at 100degC) with pasta

next was a very tasty tomato sauce pasta dish with fork tender pork ribs (5hrs at 100degC). i tried number of times & my only decent dish was a pork rib arabiatta (spicy tomatoes) but had yet to do such tender ribs. will probably try again soon.

crackling belly pork with fresh apple compote

crackling belly pork with fresh apple compote

next was a crackling belly of pork with a lovely fresh apple compote, the slight sour sweet matched & enhanced the flavour of the tender belly pork. i had tried couple times gordon ramsay’s pressed belly of pork & loin of pork recipe. it was very difficult to get right (& i still didn’t & gave up trying, so i gravitated to my own miso belly pork recipe, and before that my japanese chashu recipe). my friend was talking about the touch & go situation with the crackling skin, this time a little less successful than what they had last. well, i am not fussy or specially enamoured with crackling skin (bonus if have) & that’s why i did not pursue the GR pressed pork belly & in fact my miso belly pork is done sans skin. 🙂

cake & strawberry mousse

cake & strawberry mousse

the cake with a sweet jam & the strawberry mousse was wonderful curtain closing to an excellent homegourmet dinner, the slight sour strawberry balancing the sweet cake. 🙂

these dinners are really fun for me, food, company, conversation, sharing of knowledge, views & perspectives. i will be doing one soon. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Set Lunch @ Pollen on 22Jul2013 (Part 1)

pickled anchovies, orange salad & olives & chilled fennel soup

pickled anchovies, orange salad & olives & chilled fennel soup

i first dined at Pollen Street Social at Pollen Street Mayfair in Oct2011 when my wife & i were visiting our son in London. at the time Jason Atherton had just started the London restaurant for 1/2 year & already gained his 1st michelin star. while he did have pedigree association/partnership for 10 years with various Gordon Ramsay restaurants including Maze, he obviously collected quite many accolades in his own right & we had excellent lunches at Pollen & revisited it a few times. the set lunches were GBP22 for 2-course & GBP25.50 for 3-course then. I checked the website – it is GBP26 & GBP29.5 today.

on this day (22.7.2013), my dining quartet decided to lunch at Pollen @ Gardens by the Bay.  Pollen offered a S$55pax 3-course lunch inclusive of admission to Flower Dome (S$12). with DBS card there was a free wine (which cost S$18) or mocktail for each (promotion till Dec2013),  together it was a rather good deal. and so it was even better when the food was truly good, and the service too (they have a free buggy from carpark A pick-up point to restaurant doorstep as well). 🙂

Pollen Restaurant @ Gardens By The Bay.

Pollen Restaurant @ Gardens By The Bay.

Pollen was just located with the Flower Dome, so ambience was great!

S$55pax 3-course set lunch menu

S$55pax 3-course set lunch menu

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& nice crockery. 3 of us had a red, 1 friend took a mocktail.

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there were bread (with apple mustard puree, black sesame butter & herb butter) & some small bites to get started – crispy pig skin & risotto croquette with truffle & aubergines. nice! 🙂

texture of potatoes

texture of potatoes

3 of us took the pickled anchovies & chilled fennel soup, & 1 took the texture of potatoes & clearly enjoyed it. i liked the combination of somewhat salty & savoury anchovies with the chilled soup.

aussie ocean trout, gnocchi, pea puree, shimeji, garlic emulsion

aussie ocean trout, gnocchi, pea puree, shimeji, garlic emulsion

for the main i picked the pan-seared trout. the crispy skin was done very well. i generally enjoy sea perch, chilean seabass or cod better than salmon (which i find one gets satiated easily), but this trout was very flavourful.  i liked it. 🙂

roast kurobuta pork belly & asparagus, black sesame, miso

roast kurobuta pork belly & asparagus, black sesame, miso

my other friends all opted for the kurobuta pork belly with miso & black sesame. it was very good too. i thought then i would try out a miso pork belly at home.

thai peanut, green apple, kaffir lime

thai peanut, green apple, kaffir lime

banana with madras curry ice cream

banana with madras curry ice cream

70% dark choclate, coffee, rum raisin, truffle honey

70% dark chocolate, coffee, rum raisin, truffle honey

all the desserts were very good. i liked my banana & madras curry a lot. the thai peanut & kaffir lime was very refreshing & the dark chocolate everyone liked even if it was more common place. 🙂

petite fours

petite fours

we had petit fours (chocolate, nougat, pastilles & cookie)  & coffee. 1 friend was educating us that petit four meant “small oven” nothing to do with 4 items. indeed she was right & it was a good fun thing to learn while enjoying a great meal. 🙂

i will do a separate post on the complementary visit to Flower Dome, which i enjoyed very much.  my friend made a very good lunch choice with Pollen indeed. even w/o free wine, 3-course+coffee & entrance to Flower Dome was a fair deal. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Esquina Degustation Did Not Happen/Other Restaurant Promotions

6 of us had planned to go to esquina to try out the dinner tasting menu. the menu items (including beef tartar, beetroot salad, kingfish sashimi, scallop ceviche etc) & gallery photos from esquina website had looked awfully exciting & most alluring. 🙂

esquina is a tapas bar, sister of Pollen at Marina Bay by Jason Atherton who had worked with Gordon Ramsay in his restaurants including Maze in London for 10 years & received 1 michelin star within 6months of starting out Pollen Street Social at Mayfair London.

i called & emailed esquina to make a reservation for 6pax on a friday. there was no reply to the email (does not look like i will get a reply). when i called to reserve a table for 6pax, the person who answered said they do not take reservations as theirs is a walk-in tapas bar with counter seats.  i told him it was kind of difficult for me to arrange for 6pax to come and try out a S$95 tasting menu if we could not get a confirmed reservation & we have to eat at the counter trying to have conversation among the 6 of us. i asked for the manager and he replied that he was the manager, and the name was Ashburn when i asked for his name. he said perhaps we could be seated outside, so i asked if i could make a reservation for the outside table if there was one. he replied that he would check with the chef & revert to me. he never did – perhaps he was too busy or had misplaced my handphone number haha. 🙂

i decided to google hungrygowhere & tripadvisor (i had earlier saw 1 or 2 good reviews of esquina by bloggers before deciding to try out esquina with my friends). i must say that the majority of the reviews & comments were actually favourable. there was one that stood out rather ominously for us=Waited 1.5 hours for a table and food. Walked out. Scary! 

  • The biggest inconsistency I’ve found with Esquina is the service. I’ve visited 3 times and on the first occasion the service was horrendous. Rude and unaccommodating…. I guess it was stress from the busy Friday night

a second review helped me drop the idea altogether.  A great buzz and original tapas was actually an overall favourable review & i guess quite balanced as it included the not so good parts as well. the only reason i extracted the above was not to highlight the bad part but just that it was immediately relevant to our specific needs as we were going on a friday evening. 🙂

many things are a matter of matching expectations. the restaurant is probably right. if they are positioned as a walk-in tapas bar, and if that is well received by patrons, then they probably got it right. having introduced a 9-course tasting menu (& from the gallery photos a rather exciting array of dishes) perhaps to please its regular supporters & to introduce new patrons to its tapas dishes, whether they should extend the service to include a proper table degustation with full service experience is of course something for the restaurant to decide. 🙂

so it would be that the venue & setting are just NOT matching the needs for our dinner get-together – in the end, food is not everything & we cannot trust every food photo…if service & ambience are not right then the experience is not quite there..(will have to try esquina another time)..

i found though a few other restaurant promotions so giving an update here-

  1. sichuandouhua at Parkroyal has a second anniversary celebration Suckling Pig Feast set at S$288 for 6pax (& S$48.80pax) until 31.7.2013, with added 20% discount for UOB cards.
  2. Oso has a amex 5-course set dinner at S$78 (usual S$98) until 31.12.2013.
  3. Xin Cusine has continued the very good set i reviewed here=S$118 1 for 1 Lobster & Abalaone Set until 18.8.2013.
  4. Azmaya is still offering its 50% discount for wagyu/pork shabu shabu & now sukiyaki (S$45pax & S$50 respectively after discount) all-you-can-eat shabu shabu for the month of sep2013 (updated on 14.9.2013)

well, for this friday, we will be going to sichuandouhua. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Tagliata di Manzo (Italian Sliced Beef) – Gordon Ramsay’s Pan Grill Method

tagliata di manzo

tagliata di manzo (added on 7.11.2014)

I rarely order steak when I dine out these days (unless it is at some famous grill restaurant or fine dining) as I can buy very good meats at a meat grocer (eg mmmm) & cook them at home easily myself! It seems like steak is the easiest thing to cook when you have a good piece of meat & I sometimes wonder how many restaurants can do it so bad – mostly because done at the wrong temperature!

There seems to be very many approaches to cooking steak. For now, I find the GR (Gordon Ramsay) method of a chargrilled steak suits me fine (Heston Blumenthal use a very different method of flipping the meat every 15 seconds! ).

tagliata di manzo (USA grain fed ribeye & australian wagyu MBS 4/5)

tagliata di manzo (USA grain fed ribeye & australian wagyu MBS 4/5)

pan-fried wagyu marbling score 6/7

pan-fried wagyu marbling score 6/7

Basically you need to have the meat at room temperature (means you take it out of the fridge for at least 1/2hr), lightly season with sea salt & coarse black pepper, grease a very hot skillet (I use the fat cut from the striploin or ribeye to grease the pan), and place the steaks on the the skillet w/o crowding, turn once, lightly touch the meat to feel for done-ness, add a small blob of butter to give it a nut brown finish, base the sauce over & let the steak soak in the flavour. You then turn off the fire & lift the steak off the pan to rest on a serving board & rest for 5minutes or longer to let the meat relax & redistribute the juices (please do see Heston Blumenthal’s very entertaining video here on the human press..lol.,to understand why). 🙂

panfried ribeye using GR (Gordon Ramsay) method

panfried ribeye using GR (Gordon Ramsay) method

The ribeye in the top picture (& in the plated tagliata di manzo below) has been aged in the fridge for 48hrs. Aging is supposed to intensify the flavour & also tenderise the steak. There is a lot of literature on this. For now I do not find significant difference whether the meat is aged for 48hrs or not, and I am happy just having the steak w/o aging. My views may change later though if I know more!

tagliata di manzo

tagliata di manzo (added on 7.11.2014)

tagliata di manzo

tagliata di manzo (added on 7.11.2014)

For the tagliata (Italian sliced beef), we just need to plate it nicely with rockets & 1/2 cherry tomatoes lightly tossed with sea salt, extra virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar on a serving board, like so below.

c.h.e.f andy