Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM
All rights reserved
All Food photos are of real food with NO photoshop
The audacious and debonair Travelling GourmetTM journeys to the Mecca for the filthy rich and the…
MYSTERIOUS Russian Mafia…
which is W Hotel Singapore in Sentosa Cove. I hasten to add that I am not a member of the Russian Mafia, but I am connected to…Never mind, that is another story…
The occasion was to taste Celebrity Chef Peter Kuruvita’s “Seafood with a Heart Buffet” in the Kitchen Table restaurant. First I made a beeline for the avant-garde WOO Bar…I really like the mod furnishings which include cocoon like chairs that dangle from the ceiling on Chains. There are two cocktails to grow hairs on your chest. One is the Swimming Carp which has a tasty Hibiscus Gelee in the shape of a carp swimming in a mix of Moet and Chandon Champagne plus Vodka.
After all the Russian Mafia love their Vodka, nicht wahr? The other has little Passion Fruit “Caviar” which explode on your palate as you roll them with your tongue and exert some pressure…It is always good to have an Aperitif before feasting…
Then I strolled down a long curving flight of stairs to be warmly welcomed by approachable and affable Chef Peter Kuruvita. Chef Peter is the exact opposite of that foul-mouthed sorry excuse for a cook, Gordon Ramsay. Chef Peter explained, “Why we call it “Seafood with a Heart” is because ALL the seafood we serve is sustainable!” I told him that I really like this concept a lot!
Then it was “Anchors aweigh!” as I set sail on a gastronomic escapade that boasted yummie creations!
There were some outstanding dishes which I tasted like the hors d’oeuvre of Seared Tuna and Roast Pork with crunchy crackling, and something that looked like Yakitori or Satay on a skewer which was very yummie. It is called Popcorn Prawn with interesting crunchy nits on the outside of the prawn. The mildly spicy Jaffna Kool Soup was a nice start to the meal. I describe it a a Sri Lankan version of the classic French Bouillabaisse with prawns and chunks of fish swimming in the slightly spicy soup.
It’s cooool! Jaffna Cool Seafood Soup
At an exclusive interview with Chef Peter he told me a lot about himself and his cosmopolitan family, “My father is Sri Lankan and my mother is Austrian…and I was born in London. We ended up in Sydney and as the only ‘black boy’ I was bullied in school. My father told me there are only two ways to handle it, either you get bullied or you fight back…”
I asked him, “Did you learn the Martial Arts?”
Chef Peter was suprised at my insight, “Yes I did! I decided to fight back so I learned Jin Wu Koon (Double Dragon) and took part in Martial Arts competitions. Sometimes, I came to cook in the kitchen with a black eye!”
I said, “That’s a form of Wing Chun Kung Fu.”
Peter said, “Yes, you’re right.”
Hearing his tale reminded me of my Sensei, Shiro Asano, 9th Dan, Chief Instructor of Shotokan Karate International in Europe. I too have a love of the Martial Arts…but that, is another story.
Curious to learn more, I asked, “So please tell me about your cuisine…”
Peter elaborated, “I cook Sri Lankan and modern European cusine…it is fresh and regional specialities. Food should be about creativity. For example, I created “Tea Cuisine” working with Dilmah Tea. You can always learn a new way…you must look up the line and down the line. When I grew up the kitchen was the centre of the Universe! I have 3 sons and the 2 oldest have to cook 1 meal a week for the family.” Chef Peter smiled and said, “Try the Patagonian Toothfish..”
It was an offer I could not refuse. I used the Studio William cutlery to cut in to the firm, moist Toothfish Glacier 51 with creamy Sauce Veronique. This white fish with chunky flakes is sustainable and came from under the ice in Patagonia! It tasted like Cod only sweeter. The flavours hugged my tastebuds like the passionate embrace of a voluptuous woman. Paired with cute baby potatoes…
Very tasty indeed, especially with zingy gooseberry and lemon grass 2013 Sauvignon Blanc by Kim Crawford from Marlborough in New Zealand.
There was also Crabmeat Squid Ink Linguine which my friend, vivacious Channel News Asia Presenter Wei Du found to be too dry to her liking.
At the Indian Cuisine section, some very appetising dishes were Jheenga Khada Masala with Cashew Nuts and Onions from Hyderabad and Malabar Fish Curry made with Drunken Fish. I also liked the Tandoori Lobster and fluffy piping hot Naan Bread. I liked the whole Barbequed Mackerel with Spices and Shallots too.
Needless to say, but I am saying it anyway (:-)), there are Oysters au naturel with all the sauces including Tabasco and big boiled Prawns plus Steamed suatainable Mussels. All in, there are not one, not two BUT six ‘live’ Cooking Stations!
I took some time out to chat with Matthew Woolford the Director-Culinary of W Hotel. He told me that Chef Peter Kuruvita shall be with W Hotel for one year presenting his exotic cuisine. I also went to converse in hoch Deutsch (German) with Chef de Cuisine Christian Schreiber who kindly commented, “Ihre Deutsch ist sehr gut!” (your German is very good). Meticulous Christian hails from Potsdam which is 24km from Berlin.
Another winner was the mouthwatering Wagyu Beef in a rich red wine reduction sauce and little ‘meringues’ of smooth creamed potato. For carbo-holics, Pork Noodle Soup and ubiquitous Laksa may be more to your taste. Also check out the Raw Bar Tea Sushi…
Chilli Crab Fondue!
Something unusual caught my eye…it was a Chocolate Fountain BUT filled with Chilli Crab Sauce without the beaten egg! I deduced that the bits of egg would clog up the machine. I carefully dipped a small fried Man Tou Bun in the seductive sauce and savoured the myriad falvours. There were hunks of Chilli Crab too of course, made with sustainable Sri Lankan Mud Crab. I particularly like the Crab Claws!
The buffet also has a nice Cheese Platter with Cheddar, Blue Cheese, Goat Cheese, dried apricots, olives, raisins, dried tomatoes and crackers. Mexican Cerviche and Salads too. Alas many of the diners were not cheese afficionados which was good for me, Ha! Ha!
A small but nice selection of Sweeties included the Sri Lankan Classic called Curds and Treacle. I thought it would be cloyingly sweet, but Chefs now know that diners love food BUT also their health, so it was nice but not overly saturated with sugar.
It is a Sri Lankan interpretation of the French classique Creme Cramel. There was also Chin Chow or Grass Jelly in a Martini glass.
Seafood with a Heart is an “Environmentally Friendly” Buffet to relish and savour!
I’m on a special diet…a Seafood Diet…everytime I SEE food I eat it! WaHaHa! Ha!
Eat well, drink well, travel well and live well! Enjoy! 🙂
W Hotel Singapore
Kitchen Table Restaurant
21, Ocean Way
Tel: +65 6808 7258
Hours: Friday and Saturday 6pm to 11pm
Seafood with a Heart is an all you can scoff Buffet priced at S$85++
At the link below is the theme from “JAWS!” It was a movie about a shark eating people instead of the other way round…I’ve actually eaten Shark Steak in Las Vegas…in Bally Grand Hotel.
At this link is the stirring USN Anthem “Anchors Aweigh”…
Sensei Shiro Asano training…Shuto uke, Uraken…