I had such a fantastic time at the Spoonful cooking workshop last time that I attended another workshop recently. It’s a hands-on cum demo workshop held at Lewin Terrace and I got to learn how to make Japanese-French fusion dishes taught by Chef Kano, chef de cuisine of the restaurant. The 3-course lunch we made in class:
Fresh Fish Carpaccio with Marinated Spring Vegetables, Anchovy, Dashi Jelly and Mimosa
Chicken Roast with Anchovy, Garlic and Ponzu Oil Sauce
Vanilla Creme Brulee, topped with Marinated Strawberry and Spices
I was nearly an hour late for this class and missed the beginning when Chef Kano demonstrated how to make dashi jelly, using gelatine leaves. I also didn’t get to see the part when he macerated the strawberries in spices for the creme brulee. :[
What happened was, my taxi driver that morning was a total idiot who didn’t know where Lewin Terrace is and asked me for directions. (Tsk #1.) I only knew roughly which area it’s at and was counting on him for the exact location. That’s his job after all, isn’t it!? And then after I told him to launch his GPS, somehow the system which he used (neither Google map nor Apple map, but some built-in GrabTaxi map thingie) was leading us to Bukit Timah area which I knew was way off from my destination. (Tsk #2.) Long story short, after making multiple turns back and forth and still no where near the actual street (Tsk #3), I asked the driver to stop the car. I’m usually a very nice person who’d just let stuff slide, but this driver’s incompetence was totally unacceptable. It was a hot afternoon and I was very late.
By this time I was yelling at him but friggin’ taxi uncle kept insisting he was just following the GPS. That was it, I flipped and put away the niceties. With my voice raised (since his was louder than mine), I asked what does he normally do to look up an address without GPS. Lately I’ve been encountering people who simply aren’t delivering what they said they would (and supposed to) so I had enough of this shyte. He was blubbering like a moron and couldn’t answer me. I wasn’t going to pay him a single cent, but gave him money anyway even though he completely fucked up and should not be driving a taxi in the first place. I ended up walking under the bloody sun to get to Lewin Terrance and fire was coming out of my nostrils by the time I reached. I was swearing in my head the whole time that I must complain big time to GrabTaxi about this driver… which I (still) haven’t, coz the fun I had at the cooking class elevated my mood so much that I forgot about it afterwards.
I enjoy Spoonful classes coz I get to find out about new ingredients/sauces and how they are used/made. Even though I missed the demo and had to cop notes from a fellow classmate later, the dash jelly and anchovy mayonnaise are such cool ideas!
Chef Kano also taught us this technique of making ‘mimosa’ which as far as I know is a flower or a cocktail. But not here, a mimosa is made by separating the white and yolk from hardboiled eggs, and then breaking down each separately across a sieve to create fine bits. This mimosa is then sprinkled over a dish to add texture and color.
I was fascinated by this Kombucha grains. It’s ground kombu seaweed that’s sprinkled over our fresh fish sashimi. Mmm, umami in powder form that’s not MSG.
Kirei ne~~~ Can you see the blobs of dashi jelly and mimosa on the plate? Microgreens make everything look amazing too, I need to start buying these and style my food with them.
The secret’s in the sauce: olive oil, thyme, anchovy, crushed garlic, ajipon (ponzu soy sauce). And then topped with Oba chiffonade.
Watch the demo video:
The chicken roast was so delicious that in the next seven days which followed after this class, I made it at home twice. I kid you not, twice. The first time I forgot to add oba leaf, a critical ingredient which imo elevates the flavors of this dish and it was travesty on my part to have missed it. Luckily the Japanese market near my apartment sells it and I didn’t have to trek all the way to Meidi-ya in Liang Court to get it.
Oba = shizo = sesame leaf = perilla = MEGA LUURRRRVVV.
Made chicken roast again for the second time with Oba chiffonade and my belly was happy. Essentially, and incredibly, I ate this dish three times in a week! This elegant dish is so simple and fast to prepare. Both times I didn’t bother adding anchovy into the sauce, and was still happy with the sauce’s flavors. It will impress dinner guests and I’m definitely filing this one as a quick and error-proof main course whenever there’s company around.
Last but not least, dessert! The creme brulee which Chef Kano made is light and creamy. <3 <3 <3 Mine always turns out dense coz that’s the only way I know how to make it. Too darn bad I totally missed seeing how this was mad as it’s one of the first things he did in class so that the creme brulee had time to set in the chiller. *sigh* I’ll have to follow the printed class recipe and try making it at home by myself.
I asked Chef Kano, in my broken Japanese, what inspired him to cook Japanese-French fusion cuisine and he replied, French Iron Chef on tv. I laughed coz I’m a fan of the show too and Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai rocked!
Posted a short video of the first attempt I made Chef Kano’s chicken roast recipe sans oba leaf on my Instagram. If you haven’t followed me, do it now for more good eats videos! Oh, and the last Spoonful class I joined was the wagyu beef class, check it out.