Art at Curate with Chef Esben of Maaemo, Oslo
Organised by Resort World Sentosa and CURATE, Art at Curate is a dining series that sets the stage for visiting celebrity chefs to showcase their culinary prowess. Supporting by Michelin Guide Singapore and Robert Parker Wine Advocate, Art at Curate is the first and the only dining revenue that dedicated to showcases the worldwide Michelin Star experiences in Asia. This year (2016), Art and Curate will feature four chefs to create special menus to be served until the next event. After the successful round off of the 1st edition with Chef Massimiano Alajmo of Le Calandre, Italy, and 2nd edition with Chef Guy Martin of Le Grand Vefour in Paris, now Art at Curate has announces the 3rd edition with three-Michelin-starred Chef Esben Holmboe Bang of the ground-breaking restaurant Maaemo in Oslo, Norway.
'Maamo' is an old Norse word stands for ' Mother Earth', representing the restaurant's focus on creating a narrative around the clean and bright flavours of Norway. With Chef Esben brings his own philosophy to life on the plate by using only the top organic, biodynamic or wild produce that available in season. It was opened in late 2010 at gained two stars only within 15 months after opening. Earlier this year, Maaemo became the first and the only three Michelin-starred restaurant in Norway.
The Michelin Nordic Guide 2016 describes Chef Esben's cuisine as 'intricate, original and visually stimulating with some sublime flavour combinations'. Besides that, he was also named the 100 Most Influential Chefs in the World by Time Magazine in 2013.
I never been to Maaemo but it was such a prestige to have a discovery of his unique Nordic creations in Singapore.
Art at Curate holds at CURATE restaurant in Resort World Sentosa (RWS), its name symbolises the careful selection of the best curated menus by the famous chefs. The restaurant makes a striking first impression with an enchanted garden-ic entrance. Then greeted us an elegant setting of warm wood, luxe marbles, copper accents and comforting blue and grey tone interior space. The magnificient standalone wine cellar showcases a prized collection of wines and Champagnes with over 365 top-rated labels sourced by Robert Parker Wine Advocate.
Chef Esben is in town from 16 September to 25 September, serving a 4-course lunch with wine pairing at $280++ and a 8-course dinner menu with wine and champagne pairing at $480++. The co-created menus by Esben Holmboe Bang and RWS resident chefs is avilable from 27 September to 29 October 2016, prices range from $158 to $268 for 5 courses or 8 courses. A la carte menu is also avilable from $28++ for a main course.
Our lunch starts with complimentary bread service of homemade sourdough with French butter.
We started we an amuse of Potato pancake, crab meat and tarragon. The umami flavors wonderfully awakened our palates.
The Elmulsion of raw Norwgian oysters distills the pure flavour of oyster and present it in a more accessible way. The oyster is served as a cool emulsion covered with a disc of mussel gel and served with a warm sauce made from mussel and dill. It was packed of oceanic flavors and the warm sauce left an enjoyable aftertaste.
Followed by Maaemo's signature Scallop from the coast of Trondheim, grilled in the shell over burning embers, winter apples and celeriac. It was a tiny bite but very clean and tender. The apples jus works well with the scallops, and the celeriac brings a crunchy texture to the dish.
For the main course, you may choose from either Skate with fermented white asparagus, caviar and ramson, or Grilled duck with jerusalem artichoke, truffle and lavender. I had the grilled duck which arrived in a much larger portion than i expected. The jus has a depth of flavors along side the lavender puree and truffle to marry the medium-cooked duck. Unfortunately, i found the duck was a bit fat and tough for my liking.
Dessert was fabulous - Brown butter ice cream, molasses and roasted hazelnut. Chef Esben mentioned that diary production is a big part of Norwegian agriculture, and this dessert is made in honour of this ancient tradition. I thought it might be heavy but surprisingly delectable, left a mouthful of milky flavors. One of the most impressive dessert i recently had.
It was a really nice meal that allow me to experience a connection with Norway and its history. My experience with Curate stimulate interests to make a trip to Norway to have a full experience at Maaemo. Also, i cannot wait for the fourth edition of Art at Curate in November, which will be headlined by Chef Ramon Freixa of the two-Michelin-starred Ramon Freixa in Madrid, Spain.
* Thanks RWS for invitation!
Art at Curate
Address: The Forum, Level 1, Resort World Sentosa, Singapore