db Bistro Moderne is proud to present a new team of chefs heading the French-American kitchen down at Marina Bay Sands. Newly appointed Executive Chef Jonathan Kinsella and Executive Pastry Chef Benjamin Siwek, together with Chef Daniel himself promises a slate of new dishes that is set to excite senses this season. Look out for highlights such as the Whole Herb Roasted Organic Chicken and even touches like the Durian Souffle with Mangosteen Sorbet, for the restaurant’s take on the king of fruits as part of its repertoire.
Furthermore, with this year being the 20th anniversary of Chef Daniel’s flagship Restaurant Daniel in New York, guests at the Singapore store will have a chance to partake in Classic NYC dishes every Monday night. This truly is a season for change, celebration and a whole slate of tasty adventures!
Executive Chef Jonathan joined the team at db Bistro Moderne after his tour as Executive Chef of Epicure Boulud and Executive Sous Chef in Bar Boulud before that. He started off as a chef since he was 22, and has learn the finesse of cooking since young from his father, himself a certified Master Chef on the Midwest Culinary Facility. New dishes that feature local ingredients and fresh seafood will become a mainstay on the menu. Highlights such as the Seafood and Market Vegetable Aioli and the Bouillabaisse Royale with Wild Snapper are dishes to look out for.
Freshly baked bread to start with – always a pleasure
For the gents, the restaurant recommends starting with an infused cocktail of Exit the Dragon. A sterling shot of mandarin orange-infused white rum shaken with Chinese 5 spice and a tinge of lemon juice. I posit that this is an excellent drink to start with, especially with the heat all around these days.
An excellent starter to begin with is the Seafood and Vegetable Aioli. In what is almost a perfect combination of cod, prawns, sweet mussels, eggs and a savoury rich and fragrant dip of garlic infused aioli, this dish stood out for me as an impressive beginning to a meal. The lasting takeaway is the aioli dip that resonated strongly with waves of earthy fragrance, combined with a touch of oiliness and creaminess that mellowed in between tangy freshness and hearty flavours. Almost any ingredient that goes with the dip is given another layer of complexity and texture.
Boulud Sud’s Mediterranean Mezze (NYC Classic) with a mix of Hummus, Falafel, Bread Crisp and Cheese. Lightly decadent, tasty. But I still prefer the Seafood and Vegetable Aioli as a starter.
For the ladies, the restaurant recommends the Pink Floyd infusion cocktail. Made with pomegranate-infused tequila and shaken with fresh lemon juice and organic egg white, the cocktail carries a sweeter, almost fruity flavour than Exit the Dragon. A very nice accompaniment as well.
The mains for the night was accompanied with the restaurant’s specially prepared Chardonnay, Au Bon Climat, Cuvee Daniel from Santa Barbara, California.
The Chardonnay was an excellent accompaniment to the Seared Diver Scallops (Dinner only. Appetizer portion displayed.). Crisp and quickly cooked scallops are placed on an English Pea mousse, presented with smoked bacon, quail eggs, carrots and a lemon chicken juice. The flavours of the sea quickly wafted up upon serve, and its sweetness was a nice contrast to the savoury smokiness from the bacon. The pea mousse lent a rich creamy grassy scent that toned down any complex heaviness. A very nice dish in overall.
Cheese Choux Pastry
The next main of Saffron Tagliolini (Lunch and Dinner. Appetizer portion displayed) was served, and we were introduced to a combination of fresh spanner crab, tomatoes, chilli, italian parsley forming the ingredients next to freshly made pasta. The pasta is a home recipe of Chef Daniel and its smooth chewy texture is almost buttery when scented with the slightly creamy base. A touch tangy from the dressing of lemon and olive oil, the pasta was a clear favourite amongst all. The flavours of crab was not very pronounced, but was a accompaniment instead of the main focus of the dish. As I cleared my way through the noodles, I must say that the slightly spicy, slightly creamy base and the noodles reminded me of a dish of Fujian Noodles, except in an entirely different presentation and thorough flavour.
The last main of the night saw Chef Jonathan firstly presenting the whole Herb Roasted Organic Spring Chicken ‘Provencal’ (Dinner special). After a quick snapshot or two, he went back into the kitchen to carve the bird up for the table of four. Upon serve, he quickly glazed the meat with the accompany sauce made from its natural jus.
And as an accompaniment to the Chicken, the sommelier presented the Sancerre Rouge, Les Romains, Gitton 2008.
I found the organic chicken to be exceptionally tasty and with tender meat throughout. The breast meat portion that I chose was soft and creamy to the bite, with a smoothness almost unfounded, especially when you consider most chicken meats are slightly dry, fibrous and tasteless. The sides of heirloom beans, glazed carrots and wild mushrooms were all good. The only caveat in the dish is the slightly salty Natural Jus that I thought should be toned down in flavours as it left a distinctive salty aftertaste that potentially challenged the perfection of the dish.
Executive Pastry Chef Benjamin Siwek, 27, started off his pastry career not as a chef but as information technologist. His foray into the culinary scene began in 2006 when he enrolled himself in the pastry program at the Ecole de Paris des Métiers de la Table du Tourisme et de l’Hôtellerie. In 2010, for recognition of his skills and talent, he was second in command to Executive Pastry Chef Jerome Maure at db Bistro Moderne at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami. He finally moved on to today’s position as Executive Pastry Chef at the Singapore bistro in 2012 where he envisions to incorporate local flavours amongst his desserts.
The acclaimed dessert highlight for the night is the Durian “Royale” Souffle with its accompaniment of Mangosteen sorbet. Light, puffy with a tinge of sweetness traced throughout the souffle, the dessert quietly pronounced flavours of durian that was a good introduction to the King of fruits. Pairing the flavours with the tangy sweet mangosteen sorbet effectively covers the pungent flavour and is a nice tropical touch towards incorporating regional fruity flavours amongst the dishes at the French-American bistro.
The Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake combined layers of different chocolate into a single setting. Sweet, slightly nutty with the occasional variation in texture, the dessert was decent but not overwhelming in flavours.
Something which I highly recommend trying is the Jacfruit Verrine. I particularly enjoy how Chef Benjamin interestingly uses ingredients of coconut tapioca, lime, jackfruit and palm sugar ice cream to create this fantastic creamy smooth sweet dessert that carries the favourite scent of gula melaka. I only wished there were more chunks of jackfruit to enjoy.
The Rhubarb Tart promises that tangy sweet experience as the final palate cleanser to almost any heavy meal. With a crisp experience from the tart, followed by the candied icy flavours from the ice cream, this is a combination that reflects favoured berry flavours that cannot go wrong, at least within my palate.
Petit Madeleine – A signature
The dishes presented in this article are merely but a snippet from the wider range of delectable offerings the bistro has in store for its guests. Not all the dishes are available everyday, and some are part of the promotional Classic NYC dishes every Monday night. At least from what I tried, I’m glad to rediscover the cuisine at db Bistro Moderne under the helm of Chefs Jonathan and Benjamin. As a recommendation, do remember to order the Seafood and Market Vegetable Aioli for its complex flavourful dip, the Organic Chicken for its exceptional meat, and end off with the Jackfruit Verrine for a touch of local flavours in a classic, refined setting. Tasty treats from db Bistro that will find a place amongst many tastebuds this season.
Thank you Marina Bay Sands for the invitation
db Bistro Moderne