WWF-Singapore organizes Singapore’s first Sustainable Seafood Festival (8-15 Jun) with more than 30 participating establishments, including select Cold Storage, French cuisine at Absinthe, and international buffet at Silver Shell Cafe. Sustainable seafood is responsible eating, sharing the earth with other living beings, and ensuring our future generations can inherit the earth. Seafood is harvested with care so as not to destroy the marine ecosystem. Oceans then can replenish themselves to ensure food for the future.
If you’re visiting any of the 30 establishments, post a photo of the seafood dish on instagram, hashtag it #picktherightcatch and #wwfsg, and stand a chance to win a one-night stay at Deluxe Sea View Room at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa (inclusive of breakfast for two). But sorry, dudes and dudettes, I’m going to win it! It’s mine, mine, mine! (See our staycation review.)
Gentse Waterzooi ($28)
We killed two sustainable birds with a stone and reviewed one of the participating restaurants, the newly opened Seasons Bistro. As the name suggests, the restaurant serves seasonal ingredients from all over the world through clean cooking, mostly influenced by Americas cuisine. The ingredients are traceable to their sources. Dips, sauces and even stocks are made from scratch. Chef Benjamin Fong, graduate of The Culinary Arts School of Ontario, helms the kitchen.
Given such high quality ingredients and considerable effort, the food is affordable, with mains from $20-$32. Seasons Bistro’s Sustainable Seafood Festival promotional menu has equivalents in their normal menu. For instance, Patagonian toothfish ceviche taco (above, $15) is a variation of the normal menu’s seared Yellowtail tuna taco ($14); they use different fish, but share similar flavors. The toothfish was citrus-cured on a crispy taco topped with spiced avocado mayonnaise, pickled onions, crispy shallots, Cotija cheese, and cilantro watercress salad. The flavors were explosive, robust, complex, yet still refreshing, and zingy. Must order.
There are two others dishes on the Sustainable Seafood Menu. The grilled Humpback salmon skewers ($16) had starburst of burnt ends that contrasted with the soft pink raw insides – marvelous! This should be the criterion on how salmon is judged. Gentse Waterzooi ($28), a tradition Belgian dish inspired by the boss, was done admirably but a tad hard for me. Hake is supposed to be a delicate fish but perhaps the tough texture was because hake doesn’t travel well.
We also took advantage to try the normal menu. The foie gras ($16) on brioche was paired with chocolate ganache, bacon jam and granola crumbs. Sweet and savory, the flavors blended well together. I liked it, and even Chiobu, a stickler who believes desserts are sweet and food is savory and never shall the twain meet, didn’t mind it.
Gumbo is such hearty comfort food. This surf & turf ($27) version had wonderfully charred shrimps, chicken, okra, pickled onion, cilantro, chow chow relish, french beans, and a chorizo that is Chef Fong’s own recipe in a spicy tomato stew. It used long grain rice, instead of the usual short grain, because Fong wanted it to have texture, instead of being gooey. There was, indeed, a clean, bright bite. But it was closer to the Louisiana style of sharp, tart taste, whereas I am accustomed to a South Carolina’s sweet, warm tomatoey stew. This is a matter of preference, of course, and the dish is excellent in its own rights.
Mojito tart ($12) is a coconut tart with mint lime curd and rum cream. The tart shell needed to be more decisive and crisp, instead of a limp doughiness, but the flavors were good.
TripleOne hasn’t had much good fengshui. Restaurants come and go even though some were pretty decent. And Seasons Bistro is an uncommon restaurant that is socially responsible and has tasty, delicious food within an affordable range. Surely, its good karma and Herculean effort can defeat the fate of geography.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
ps: Thanks, Chenyze, Michelle, and Ben, for the tasting.