A special collaboration between Niigata City and ‘Best Chinese Fine Dining’ Tong Le Private Dining at the recent RAS Epicurean Star Award 2016 brings to Singapore some of the finest specialty ingredients from Niigata City, Japan’s ‘City of Water’, for an extremely limited period, available only 14 to 30 December 2016.
Situated on the west coast of Japan, the area is located at the mouth of Japan’s longest river, the Shinano River, blessing Niigata City with fertile land and water, and also its quality ingredients. If you have yet to visit the city, this masterful and exclusive ‘A Night in Niigata’ 6-course set menu by Senior Executive Chef Ken Ling provides a condensed food tour of the land.
The ‘A Night in Niigata’ set menu starts off with saccharine sweet flesh of fresh snow crab. It is prepared excellently, almost melt-in-the-mouth smooth, with pops of wine- and sake-marinated ikura and thin, fine tomato slices to accentuate that natural sweetness from the sea.
Highly return-worthy is this perfectly executed dish of Niigata’s prized Nanban Ebi, prized for its exquisite sweet taste and delicate velvety texture, in a comforting, rich pumpkin soup. The orange concoction then elevated with a slice of Hungarian white truffle for that extra oomph and aroma.
Beef-lovers will rejoice with every bite of the intensely marbled Wagyu Beef. Here, it is enjoyed simply, as it should always be, with braised green radish, Japanese leek and a hint of Yuzu sauce.
Almost like a palate cleansers of sorts, Chef Ken dishes out a flavoursome yet light Tai-Madai Soup, with taro and enoki mushrooms. Chef explains that the pleasantly mellow soup helps strip away any of lingering oiliness from the beef and prepare the taste buds for the next course.
A spin on quintessentially local dish, soy, steamed and roasted chicken meets Uonuma rice in this Japanese-Singaporean fusion ‘Chicken Sushi’ dish. The Japanese short-grain lending this extra depth of sweet nuttiness to the seemingly pedestrian creation.
While I was not able to stay for desserts, I heard Chef Ken uses the robust Le Lectier Pear from Niigata to create a swooningly sweet, Osmanthus-infused pear dessert paired with a refreshing pear sorbet.
The ‘A Night in Niigata’ 6-course set menu at Tong Le Private Dining is available only 14 to 30 December 2016.
This was an invited media tasting session, though all views expressed are my own.
Address: Level 8 & 10, OUE Tower, 60 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049322
Tel: +65 6634 3233
Opening Hours: Closed Sundays, Monday-Saturday 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-11pm