Published on Friday, 06 January 2017 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
The Chinese Lunar New Year is the biggest festive occasion that all Chinese look forward to celebrating every year – it is one of the most important Chinese festivals because it promotes the reunification of families, the merrymaking of people coming together from all walks of life, and especially centralizes on a whole lot of feasting. And feasting is what FORT By Maison Ikkoku best caters for.
The FORT dream team
As soon as you step foot into the sophisticated dining quarters of FORT, you will feel the stress of everyday life rolling off you like water off a duck's back as the lighting dims to a comfortable warm hue, with shards of reflected light glinting like sparks off the golden bartop. The chill jazz music softly playing in the background adheres its tranquil notes to the back of your mind, pulling you into a sensual mood for wining and dining.
Within the confines of this chic enclave, Chef Ethan Leslie Leong and his dream team will assiduously aspire to cater to your every whim and ensure that you are thoroughly pampered with delicious culinary delights and intoxicating tipples.
This spring, FORT has cooked up the perfect oriental omakase for you to properly usher in a prosperous new year in style and in comfort. A lot of love and thought have been poured into the 12-course CNY omakase, with each dish specifically created as an ode to chinese new year blessings. The CNY omakase is priced at an auspicious value of $88++ per pax, featuring a feast so opulent that it is befitting of an emperor.
Shout “YAM SENG” to a blooming year of good fortunes ahead as you clink glasses of delicious bespoke cocktails and indulge in an extravagant feast in the lap of luxury.
Fatt Choi Lou Hei 恭喜发财
Before anyone digs into a Chinese New Year feast, it is customary to toss the yusheng (lou hei). A yusheng is a teochew-style raw fish salad, also known as a prosperity toss, served wth julienned vegetables, sauces and other condiments. Tossing the salad while shouting out various New Year greetings in Chinese idioms is symbolic of prosperity and good luck while welcoming in the year.
FORT serves up a generous plate of yusheng individually for you to have fun making a mess out of the dish and loudly proclaiming your own blessings of the year. Fresh salmon sashimi, golden pillow crackers, pomelo pulp, sliced radish, diced beetroot, rum infused raisins, ikura and julienned carrots, cucumbers, lettuce and purple cabbage go into FORT's version with a wedge of lime and a sweet sauce on the side.
The rum raisins give a fiery vanilla pop of flavor and really stood out in contrast to the green and refreshing salad. The sweet sauce that goes along with the salad is delicate and light with a thinner consistency as compared to the traditional recipe where it is a thick as molasses, the latter gets sickening after awhile where as the former keeps the dish sweet and delicious without being too overwhelming. The salmon sashimi is fresh, creamy and buttery, a nice diverse mouthfeel and texture to the crunchy vegetables and deep-fried crackers. The citrusy flavors of the pomelo and lime juice help in balancing out the sweetness and adding a pop of brightness to the salad.
Cheese Baked Live Irish oyster 好事发财
The deeply-cupped Irish giga oyster imported from Ireland is shucked live in FORT and baked in cheese. It is a simple dish bursting with flavors, attributed to the premium quality of the oyster. The cooked oyster is fat and succulent, exploding in the mouth with rich, briny and slightly sweet juices. The melty and gooey cheese intensifies the creamy and luscious texture of the butyraceous oyster meat.
Smoked Goose Nigiri 金鸸报喜
Smoked to release its savory juices and tempting aroma, the smoked goose nigiri is then double “smoked” when it is set infront of you. Oil is spritzed over the dish and a sprig of rosemary is ignited so that the evergreen pine-like fragrance and woody flavor of the rosemary inundates the juicy slice of goose meat when the fire dies off. Just keep in mind that if you keep requesting for the smoked goose nigiri to be set aflame in your quest for that perfect instagrammable gif, the savory and smoky juices of the goose will dry up.
Buddha Jumps Over the Wall 吉佛献瑞
Served piping hot in a whiskey glass that concentrates the aroma of the sweet and hearty broth, FORT's version of this Chinese delicacy consists of abalone, bamboo clam, dried scallops, fish maw, ham and enoki mushrooms painstakingly stewed in a pot of goodness for hours. The delicate flavors of the sea from the premium seafood have been infused into the soup, giving it a pronounced umami sweetness. It carries just a hint of a gentle woody herby fragrance that evokes a sense of childhood nostalgia for diners brought up in a Chinese household where herbal soups were regarded to play a crucial role in the development of the mind and body. This prized little glass of soup will seduce your tastebuds and warm the cockles of your heart with its classic Chinese taste melding into an innovative multi-dimensional weave of textures and flavors.
Truffle Tuna Maki, Seaweed 大红大紫
Cooked tuna flakes incorporated in Japanese mayo and truffle sauce, accompanied by a slice of cucumber are encompassed within a piece of seaweed and sushi rice before being rolled in aonori seaweed flakes. The thin layer of aonori seaweed flakes coating the exterior gives a crumbly and crispy texture to the maki, complemented by the creamy tuna that carries the distinctive earthy and musky taste of truffle while the slice of cucumber provides a crunchy green aftertaste. This maki is rich yet refreshing, a duo flavor combination that is difficult to achieve, but once perfected, is undeniably delicious. Smear a little bit of the wasabi served on the side for that quick and intense kick of sharpness.
Miso Abalone 招财进宝
A whole abalone the size of a child's fist is braised and served drenched in red miso. The abalone is springy and chewy with a naturally sweet, buttery and salty taste. The miso paste interestingly does not mute the mellow sweetness of the abalone, the sweetness comes through, combining with the briny flavors of the sea that the miso enhances to create an umami marine taste with each supple yet tender bite of the mollusc.
Lobster Udon, Kaffir 龙马精神
Spicy, tangy, piquant and full of umami, this bowl of udon inundated in a thick and creamy tom yam lobster bisque is pure bliss with every slurp. Each strand of the light and springy udon noodles is copiously coated in the rich and velvety broth saturated with the naturally sweet flavors of the lobster shell. It is topped with generous chunks of lobster meat and a dollop of caviar that adds a briny taste of the sea. The tinge of spice from the tom yam seasoning and touch of zing from the kaffir lime gives the creamy soup a lighter palette.
Homemade Matcha Creme Brûlée Tart 甜甜蜜蜜
The tart is comfortingly warm to the touch with a crumbly short crust circumferential to the soft matcha custard within. The matcha is creamy and sweet with just a hint of bitterness and a mousse-like texture. This decadent treat marks a sweet end to the Chinese New Year feast with the thoughtful blessing for your life to always be sweet.
We only covered 8 out of the 12 dishes served at this prosperous feast so that you can discover first-hand all the other culinary masterpieces that FORT cooks up. The 12-course omakase would differ from day to day, depending on the freshness and availability of the produce, but rest assure that FORT always strives to create the most innovative and sensational dishes in its opulent feast that even the God of Fortune will approve of.
Address: 5 Cox Terrace, Singapore Pinacotheque De Paris, #01- 02/03, Singapore 179620
Opening Hours: Daily 4PM till Late
Tel: +65 6336 0507