1. It was at the S.E.A. Aquarium at RWS Sentosa
How often does one see the opening of an event in an aquarium? The fact that the organizers put thought into the setting up of the entire event within the ethereal realms of an aquarium where guests were entertained by the colourful sea creatures and the fabulous tastings of what the World Gourmet Summit was to offer impressed us greatly. What diners don’t realize is that ambience plays a big factor that subconsciously sets people at ease if planned well.
2. The Fishes, the Starfish, the Jellyfishes etc etc
And we’re not even talking about the food yet. Admittedly eating fish/sashimi right next to see-through glass panels that house the amazing array of colourful fishes may be slightly inappropriate, but they were the perfect backdrop of moving visuals that a usual dining experience wouldn’t be able to provide (unless of course, you are dining at Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, but that would be another story altogether). We got the opportunity to touch the chocolate starfishes, gaze at the huge manta ray from the amphitheatre and look in awe at the jellyfishes amongst other amazing sea creatures.
3. The Chefs
With the likes of chefs from the partner restaurants such as Alkaff Mansion, Absinthe, Kinki, Hashi, Oso Ristorante, Tatsuya, The Disgruntled Chef and participating chefs like Bruno Menard, Sam Leong and masterchefs from the likes of Corrado Assenza (hosted by Gattopardo Italian Grill & Pizzabar – read about our review here!), Sanjeev Kapoor from Song of India and even hosting the inaugural Youth Chefs’ Day (read about our review here!), you know that it’s going to be gastronomic heaven. And indeed it was, from meeting the charismatic chefs to of course, the foooooooood (refer to no. 4 below).
4. The Food
Whisked away on this amazing food journey, the trail that ended at the giant amphitheatre was one that was progressive yet exciting. Greeted with wines from Germany to open up our palettes, we were then greeted by tapas with strong Asian influences such as beef carpaccio, beef sushi, oysters in clams, chu toro courtesy of chefs of Kinki Restaurant & Bar . Eu Yan Sang was also on hand to provide cocktails and mocktails in shot glasses infused with Chinese herbs such as ginseng. Trust us, it is nothing like what our grandmas/mothers force us to gulp down and we were perfectly content to throw back a few!
Aside from all the champagne (which incidentally, was the noisiest and most boisterous table from the whole event), the one that left the biggest impression of the night was the Foie Gras on toast from Au Petit Salut. Being a big fan of foie gras, it was creamy and rich without being too overpowering. There’s nothing quite like having something savoury and delicious linger on your tongue, but that’s what Au Petit Salut achieved.
Unfortunately not everything was a hit. While the food was pretty awesome, the desserts did not end the buffet-styled meal on a note that we were looking for. Granted, they were pretty decent but were not in line with the overarching theme from the World Gourmet Summit press conference. Perhaps it was because the rest of the food brought us up to such high expectations that when sampling the desserts, they fell rather flat.
5. Artisan – The Art of Dining
While the theme for this year’s WGS may seem arty-farty, or as cynics term as cliche, we beg to differ. Consider for a moment the evolution of food for its purpose of sustenance and necessity till today’s modern approach of elevating the typical perception of how food should be eaten (think fusion, molecular gastronomy etc.) and we do realise that the preparations for dining is in itself an art that is worth celebrating and respect given to conventional artists.
And that is what WGS aims to do. Celebrating gastronomy in a series of themed events, workshops and masterclasses to spread the love of food and give recognition to the people who labour behind that perfectly plated dish.
For pictures from the events running from the 16-26 April 2013, visit WGS 2013’s gallery here.