Chaine de Rotisseurs Non-Professional Dinner 2006

collageThis is an event that I look forward to each year with great anticipation and a little trepidation because of the menu. I fear that I may not be able to try each and every last item. 😛

This is the Chaine Oyster Dinner as it is more commonly known; it is a culinary extravaganza where certain members of the Chaine gather to shuck oysters (all 7,000 of them, in 16 varieties) and cook for the Chefs, cooks and other related workers.

Needless to say, the Chefs, cooks and other related workers of Prego, Inagiku and all other kitchens in the Raffles City area gather in the banquet kitchen to cook up a storm. Just in case, of course. 🙂

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This is a grand affair with huge ice-carvings and impressive decorations, although you hear older members of the society commenting that it used to be grander in the old days.

Nevertheless, it is heartening to see that such grand traditions are still being carried out. It is a great learning experience for aspiring Chefs, banquet managers and security that is rarely to be found elsewhere in Singapore.

Chefs and cooks having fun RIMG0032

Dinner started with a serving of the tiny but sweet Kumamotto oyster at our table.

Kumamotto on Plate

And then we were off for the rest of the oysters. Last year I concentrated on the deliciously fat French Belon oysters, so this year I focused on its Asia Pacific cousins.

Did I tell you I love oysters?

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I love oysters! Of the four different condiments, I felt that the Hot Sauce and the Wasabi Mayo went very well with the New Zealand and Australian oysters.

Oyster spread

Uncle Jeffrey’s Sup Kambing was given a different treatment this year. Based on a feedback from last year, more tripe was added this year. A lot of people do not like tripe, but I think it gave the soup (stew really) more depth because of its texture.

Uncle Jeffrey’s soup kambing Uncle Jeffrey’s soup kambing

My only note on this spectacular soup was that it tasted a little “watered down” perhaps because of the extra tripe.

The other change this year was the Foie Gras station. Traditionally this is the longest queue amongst all the food stations. This is because it takes time to pan-sear them. This year, they decided to deepfry them breaded and served with chutney and a nugget of potato.

Breaded deepfried goose liver on apple & fig chutney and crispy lentil potato cake, chicken cognac glaze Breaded deepfried goose liver on apple & fig chutney and crispy lentil potato cake, chicken cognac glaze Apple & fig chutney and crispy lentil potato cake, chicken cognac glaze Breaded deepfried goose liver on apple & fig chutney and crispy lentil potato cake, chicken cognac glaze

It was successful in the sense that the throughput was increased, unfortunately, the taste of the Foie Gras was diminished slightly because the sweet-sourish chutney competed with the chicken glaze for dominance and the breaded Foie Gras got soaked in the conflict.

Maybe I should eat faster and just forget about taking photos… 😉

There were lots of food. Too many to describe, so I’ll just stick to the highlights. And one such outstanding item was the Braised ox tail with sea cucumber and baby root vegetables.

Braised ox tail with sea cucumber and baby root vegetables

The star of this was not the ox tail, while it was very tender, it was oversalted; no, the star was the root vegetables and sea cucumber because they absorbed all the flavour and was brimming with juice when I bit into it.

The other highlight was the Fennel risotto with Gorgonzola cheese and truffle reduction. Cooked with the savoury blue cheese, it was warm, comforting with bright highlights from the fennel. Served with a DOC Parmagiano, one of the natural sources of Glutamate, it was perfection.

Fennel risotto with Gorgonzola cheese and truffle reduction

This year, I was blessed with a short but amazingly bountiful shower of black Truffle shavings.

Black Truffles

Special mention should also go to the Japanese section where Sushi, Sashimi and Tempura were featured.

Creature from Black Lagoon Brothers of the Creature from Black Lagoon

As you can tell, I was really fascinated by the displays.

Guess what Tuna this is Tuna Sashimi

The Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi was a sight to behold. According to the Chef, this is a 75Kg Yellow Fin Tuna from the world famous Tsukiji Fish Market that cost slightly below US$2,000. The Blue Fin of a similar size would cost US$10,000.

Tuna Sashimi

It was fresh and light tasting. I went off the beaten track and used the Wasabi Mayo. It was very good.

And having spotted more Kumamottos being loaded onto the ice carvings, I took the opportunity to have them Tempurized by a kindly cook. For research purposes. Just to see how they tasted.

Fresh Oysters (Kumamottos) in Tempura

It tasted awesome; sweet, buttery with a crisp outer layer, no sauce required. It is no wonder why Kumamottos are so highly sought after.

Dessert was a walk in a jeweled garden. I was literally walking in a huge display and picking off the desserts that caught my fancy like fruits hanging off a tree with a fountain of warm custard for the berries.

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And finally, the cheese course which floated everyone to heaven with its aromas. 😉

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All in all, this was a fantastic banquet wonderfully planned by the Chaine and executed by the army of trainees, service staff, cooks and Chefs. Their ratio to guests was almost 1:1.

It was a great experience for me.


Posted on 14th Nov 2006 in Chaine de Rotisseurs, Food and Drink


There Are 8 Comments


dimsumdolly commented on November 14, 2006 at 4:07 pm

Wow wow wow!


ivn commented on November 14, 2006 at 4:36 pm

I know!


kalos commented on November 14, 2006 at 9:59 pm

This is a foodie’s dream come through… how did u manage to sneak in there? Can you bring me along next year? I swear I will be a good boy… : )


ivn commented on November 15, 2006 at 10:28 am

It took a cunning plan involving men in black rappelling off stealth helicopters on to the rooftops.


superfinefeline commented on November 16, 2006 at 3:01 pm

Next time u plan to sneak in there…pls include moi…will try to rustle up a catwoman suit for ease of rappelling or simply rolling off the helo onto the rooftop (I hope ze helos ain’t hovering too far away from the ground). » Blog Archive » A Round-up of 2006 commented on January 7, 2007 at 1:32 am

[…] 5. The Chaine de Rotisseurs Non-Professional Dinner […]


Enchantedpiano4 commented on September 18, 2007 at 2:03 am

This is a very impressive banquet. If there is any sneaking into, I am so there for you!!! The oysters looked very plump. All to often, the oysters itself come very small in the shells (depending what species you get). Then, the sashimi tables looked awesome!!! Like I said, I wouldn’t be able to have left the Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi table. You will definitely have to bring us along the next time 😉


Ivan commented on September 18, 2007 at 10:13 am

@Enchantedpiano4: Oh yes, this dinner is the highlight of my year in dining. There were so many oysters that I took quite a few to the Tempura station. Mmmmm… Tempura… 😉

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