Slow Food at Dolce Vita

collage20 minutes late and I was hurtling out the door and bearing down towards a taxi that wandered into my housing estate.

"The Oriental" said I.

"Oriental at Suntec ah?"

"No, Marina."

"Ah ok."

Time passes…

"Sir, we take a U-turn at Suntec to go to Conrad ok?"

"No! I want to go to the Oriental Hotel!"

"Pan Pacific Hotel?"

"Oriental Hotel!"

"Oh! Ritz-Carlton ah?"

"No, Oriental Hotel! Next to the Esplande!"

"But Ritz-Carlton also next to Esplande leh."

Thoughts about the National Association of Bilingual Education began circling my mind.

Finally, I was gratified to be greeted with a more than cordial reception at the door. I actually had a escort who guided me all the way up to the restaurant.

Dolce Vita is located at the brightest spot in the Oriental Hotel, right next to the swimming pools. Upon entry, I was greeted with loud cheers and smiles.


Thus started the 67th Slow Food Convivium (Singapore) luncheon.

I relaxed a bit after a glass of very fine Gonet Triolis Champagne and started looking for places to seat my friends and I.

Unfortunately, I could only find enough seats for three out of the five of us. The other two had to be seated with what was referred to by people as the queen bitch of the universe who was offended that seats have to be reserved for people who were late.

Fortunately, she was not a queen, otherwise heads would have rolled.


And I ended up sitting with a fun group of lawyers and rather self-concious law students (and their parents). 😉


Lunch started with a brief tutorial by Chef Edward Voon on how to eat what was known as "Spaghetti that was not made from flour or eggs".

Parmesan Spaghetti

Basically you take one end and slurp it all down the way that Mother spent countless hours teaching you not to as a child.

In any case, the Olive oil drenched noodles with peppercorns tasted like peppercorns drenched with Olive oil. The making of said noodles is complex and is part of this new movement called Molecular Gastronomy.

Making Flourless and eggless Spagetti

No more simple-minded alchemic mixing of ingredients and cooking over a slow fire in the out-moded traditional way. No sir, Molecular Gastronomy deals with the chemistry of errr… taste components activated by a (usually heat) catalyst.

Chemistry and Physics?

It’s all Greek to me.

Closer to home and my experiences, is the Two Faced Scottish Salmon.

Two Faced Scottish Salmon Two Faced Scottish Salmon

Like most people in that position, I liked one face better than the other. The Trout roe gave the seared Salmon a distinctive contrast, but somehow I felt it was vaguely non-Kosher.

Nevertheless, the very fine Gonet Champagne covered it all up nicely.

Now, people would have gathered by now that I like Foie Gras. And that I have never tasted bad Foie Gras before.

Sauteed Foie Gras / Onion Tajine Sauteed Foie Gras / Onion Tajine

Until that day. It was really quite untouchable. Seriously, with all that fat in Foie Gras, the last thing I would have expected was something dry and hard.

Sauteed Foie Gras / Onion Tajine

At least I enjoyed the Brie and caramelized onions in a tartlet. Yum!

Suddenly, the room was filled with the dreamy aroma of mushrooms. I mean, is it any wonder some people roll them up to smoke?

Veloute of Farmed Chicken Veloute of Farmed Chicken

While I think the Truffle oil was a little off, the creamy mousse, delicious mushrooms and warm broth restored and revived everyone.

Attention dieters and Bulemics, it does not get any better than this:

Veloute of Farmed Chicken

Moving right along, anyone who has seen the movie The Matrix will be able connect with the Spanish Omelette “XXI” Century, created with foam from tubes.

Spanish Omelette “XXI” century

Actually, the Spanish Omelette “XXI” Century was pretty good considering it was made out of 50% foam and I am not absolutely sure there were eggs in it.

Spanish Omelette “XXI” century Spanish Omelette “XXI” century

But there was definitely bacon. So all was swell.

It’s surprising how foam can fill you up, because by the time the Sea Bass arrived, I was quite full.

Striped-Bass Shallots Rissotto, Preserve Lemon & Apple Emulsion

My heroic attempt (aided with some tartare sauce) was rewarded by the subtlety of the lemony Risotto which was the perfect compliment to the generous portion of Sea Bass. Like what Budak said, a little more Risotto would have been nice.

What threatened to push me off the edge of gastronomic delight to the abyss of expanded waistbands was the 6 Spice Duck Confit.

6 Spices Duck Confit 6 Spices Duck Confit

Sadly, the 6 Spice Duck Confit did not hold a candle to what I consider to be the most excellent Duck Confit ever. I found it to be a tad too dry and the spices drowned out the flavour of the duck.

The meal was nicely rounded out by the Fourme d’Ambert with Vanilla Pear with Frisse Leaves, Walnut Dressing and the Tahitian Crème Brulee with Grand Marnier & Blood Orange Sorbet

Fourme d’Ambert

The Fourme d’Ambert was an excellent blue cheese that was very well complimented by the Vanilla Pear. Definitely a highlight for me.

Tahitian Crème Brulee

The Tahitian Crème Brulee was a slight let-down because everyone was looking forward to cracking that thin crust of caramel. No, having it standing around is just not the same.

Lunch was a little rushed. We actually ended early at 4.30pm, which is almost unheard of in SFCSS history. According to hearsay, Dolce Vita had another party later, so they needed to dress up the place again.


No matter as this particular lunch was one of the better SFCSS luncheons for the year so far. The service, while a little short-handed, was polite, thoughtful and efficient.

And I had a great time.


Posted on 30th Jun 2006 in Food and Drink, Fusion, Slow Food Singapore


There Are 3 Comments


carrie commented on June 30, 2006 at 4:58 pm

Can I be YOU for a day?


Ivan commented on June 30, 2006 at 6:33 pm

You mean happy and handsome?



carrie commented on July 3, 2006 at 12:36 pm

Happy and handsomely well fed!

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