We enjoyed the hearty seafood flavours present in the soup in the style of menudo and pozole.
Eight-time Michelin-starred chef Saul Bolton from New York whips up some chef-d’oeuvres
There are many challenges of being a guest chef in a foreign kitchen — unfamiliar culture, and not knowing the source of local produce — and it takes a truly talented chef to master the odds to work in their favour.
One such chef is the Michelin-starred Saul Bolton, who makes an appearance at The Cliff at The Singapore Resort and Spa Sentosa this July. His restaurant, Saul, has held a Michelin star rating for eight consecutive years and is one of the top restaurants in New York.
Bolton tells us that preparing the special 6-course menu for The Cliff is like “arriving at someone’s house to cook your mother’s recipe, but they were the ones who bought all the ingredients.” He rose up to the challenge, and experimented with unexpected ingredients to create an unusual menu of global epicurean chef-d’oeuvres.
Starters inspired by flavours around the world
Among the starters we tasted, it was the chawanmushi or ‘steamed tea cup’ of sea urchin that stood out for its smooth texture and rich flavours of seafood, custard and warm black truffle vinaigrette. Unlike other thicker custards, the soup-like texture of Bolton’s chawanmushi blended the umami of the East and the musky earthiness of black truffle known in the West.
Saul Bolton’s version of the chawanmushi is a refreshing take on the popular Japanese dish.
Then, the soup in the style of menudo and pozole (a thick, hearty meat stew that’s popular in Mexico) transported us to the South. Instead of tripe or beef stomach, which is traditionally used, the broth is seasoned with fruits de mer, or an array of seafood. While the menudo was rich, it was a tad bit too salty for our liking.
Main meat: Australian Lamb
Foodies can choose between two mains — the Australian lamb with almond and currants or the North American hard shelled lobster with coconut rice and curry.
The Australian lamb has just the right amount of tenderness and the use of spices adds a zest to the dish.
While lamb is usually devoured alone, Bolton provides the perfect companion of North African and Indian spices. Adding to that interesting combination is yoghurt on top of a risotto-like grain that was not too mushy. Those who love their lamb will not be disappointed, especially with an additional tender lamb shoulder on the side.
Towards the end of the dinner, we were treated to two yummy desserts. We liked how the use of creamy coconut complemented the mango and passion fruit sorbet with tapioca, strawberry and lychee, and the pleasant lingering taste of orange in the cheesecake.
This orange-scented cheesecake is fluffy soft, unlike the cloyingly rich ones that are usually served.
Bringing together various ingredients and cuisines from all over the world in a single menu is not an easy feat to achieve. When we asked him for his personal favourite dish, Bolton surprised us by revealing that he’s the guy who doesn’t like anything, even if it’s his own concoction. He admits there’s always room for more potential.
While his menu at The Cliff was not perfect, there were definitely more hits than misses to remember.
For details, menus and reservations please visit www.singaporeresortsentosa.com. Chef Saul Bolton is the third in a series of Michelin starred chefs coming your way at The Singapore Resort & Spa Sentosa. Look out for British chef Alyn Williams, who will be coming to the resort from 13 to 17 August 2014.
The Singapore Resort & Spa Sentosa, 2 Bukit Manis Road, Sentosa, Singapore 099891, +65 6275 0331,www.singaporeresortsentosa.com
View my original review on Lifestyle Asia.