Fergus Henderson at Osia


As part of the World Gourmet Summit event this year, Fergus Henderson came to Singapore and participated. You have no idea just how happy I was to hear of it. His recipes are a joy to read and experience.

And when I heard that a lunch featuring some menu items of St. John’s, without looking at the menu, I wasted no time in signing up.


I should have, on retrospect, looked at the menu before signing up for the lunch. Of course, I didn’t expect Fergus to be cooking and I wasn’t really enthused about Osia’s cooking, having attended another function there the previous month which didn’t impress me. It wasn’t bad but just run-of-the-mill uninteresting. So expectations were fairly low.

The lunch menu that day was described by a prominent local food critic using the word “paucity” which basically means he’s probably been looking up big words on the Internet.

I would describe the Osia menu as strange because the first two courses were Brown Shrimp and White Cabbage and Roast Shallots with Green Beans and Anchovy. I mean why would you serve two salads serially?

In fact, if you visit the RWSentosa Magazine site, you can see that the original menu offered is very different from what we got.


Anyway, the Brown Shrimp and White Cabbage was refreshingly crisp but it was gone in a few forkfuls and the Roast Shallots, all two of them, competed with the Anchovy for dominance on my palate, but because it was served cold, the Anchovy won the day.

And as quickly as that was written, the table was cleared of the two salad starters and I was looking forward for the main course.

Which was almost an unbearable wait as because we were hungry and we saw platters of bread being delivered to certain tables. We were told that the bread was not part of the menu but after much begging, a platter was delivered to our table.


For the main course, we were given a choice of Pork Loin or Ox Heart. This was unfortunate because the Grilled Ox Heart is served as a starter in St. John Restaurant. But this is Osia and the menu printed at the table said we had to choose.

This being a Fergus Henderson menu, you cannot help but choose the Ox Heart. Anyone who’s handled or ate heart before will know that it is fairly chewy but has a full beefy flavor (unlike a Wagyu Ribeye), so I was in for a treat.

The Ox Heart was everything that I expected and more. It was tender and flavorsome and it was served with the best Horseradish I’ve tasted that didn’t come out of a jar.

I did not cross the sea and travel to Osia just to eat Pork Loin, but I was given a generous slice of the pork loin and it was excellent. Paper-soft and slightly pink, it was the pork loin that all pigs hope to become when they die.


There were 4 wines served. The Louis Roederer NV Champagne provided a much welcome relief from walking from the car park to the restaurant in the heat. And the Emilio Lustau PX was delicious and wanting of some vanilla ice cream to drizzle over.

The two reds were: The Vincent Girardin Volnay Vieilles Vignes 2006 from Cote du Beaune was an light but elegant Burgundy that overshadowed the Penfolds Bin 389, a Cab-Shiraz, also known as the “Baby Grange”, that unfortunately didn’t go as well as the Volnay with the Ox Heart.


The company I had was brilliant and we had fun observing the other tables around us, including a prominent local personality subtly flirting with a waiter as his lunch companion looked on.

The Fergus Henderson lunch at Osia was good but, as I left hungry, I can’t help but have this niggling feeling of discontent; I mean, service was good but you feel as if someone discovered that a menu switch of serving two salads and limiting bread service to only the favored few, might be a more cost-effective option.

I think what set the tone for me was when the waiter, as he was pouring the Bin 389, said, “This is the Penfolds Bin 389, also known as the ‘Poor Man’s Grange‘”.





Posted on 10th Jul 2012 in English, Food and Drink


There Is Only 1 Comment So Far


Rebecca commented on July 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

LOL! Interesting note on the local prominent fella flirting.
I was there at the WGS launch. Didn’t get to taste any of the chefs’ menu on its own though. Perhaps next year!
Dropped you a note by the way. Looking forward to your reply!

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