When I heard that we were going to dinner at Iggy’s (Ranked No.45 on the S Pellegrino World’s 50 best restaurants List 2009) I made sure my camera had batteries in it.. and that my hair looked great.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really care as much, if a restaurant has great ambiance, subtle subliminal music, or if the place looks chic and smells like the air that surrounds Harrods florist or that the food is wine paired to perfection. I do care however, if the food tastes good, is made with the freshest and most exquisite ingredients and is worth the mega bucks (yes, us poor Malaysians .. convert the currency and weep) I am paying for it.
At Iggy’s whilst the deco and ambiance of the place is not something you would call super modern (the main dining room looks cozy rather than clinical), the food itself is really rather cutting edge, beautifully presented and encompasses all the subtleties and style of modern cuisine. Iggy plays with textures, colors, and flavours like how a child plays without inhibitions at Kindergarten art class.
There is only one thing on the Dinner Menu. The Gastronomic menu of $195++ (without booze) whether you walk in at 9pm or 11pm, that’s what you get.
So is it any wonder that the waiters are really good and well informed on the menu? Not really.
We were served two amuse bouche, on the house , which was a rather nice touch, I thought. How generous.
The first one you see is the sashimi-grade sea urchin served on a bed of shiso jelly topped with cauliflower mousse. Wow, this sea-urchin was smooth on the palate and really pleasing to the eye. It looked like someone served up spring on a white plate.
Dishes here are served in incredibly small portions .. very elegant.. but it kind of makes you gulp at the amount you are paying for that tiny morsel of food. Do the math and you will see that you are paying approximately SGD50 for each dish served. Holy Smokes.
Anyway, speaking of smoke, this second amuse bouche (also on the house) was smoke trout, and cherry wood was employed to produce the white fumes inside that futuristic looking semi-metallic semi-perspex orb. The waiter said – "please take it up in one swift motion and stick it in your mouth, for maximum satisfaction". I like this place. You get to be uncouth with your food. Iggy’s is really cool.
Smoky, woody, and fishy.. I really dig caviar (not lump fish either.. but beluga). So high class, so much finesse.. so gone in 2 seconds.
One of our dining companions dropped her portion when she lifted up the fine cracker. The waiter was upon it like a hawk and replaced the whole orb, with a new one, in 5 seconds flat. What a champion. I wanted to swoop in on the fallen morsel and chuck it in my mouth but he was too fast for me. Yes, service is good – discreet yet attentive, with lightning reflexes.
Looking at the Hamachi, you could say that the Japanese Kaiseki dining style has also been an influence at Iggy’s. Classy, delicate and ‘no rush’ are words that come to mind, eating this young, sweet yellow tail. Be prepared to dine for at least two and a half to three hours here.
At Iggy’s you get to eat rare Japanese mushrooms gathered at their apex of maturity and served at the exact correct point of mature-ness. (Is there such a word?) Not only that.. you get to play with foam while you eat your food.
Yes, that’s right… the waiter says.. TOSS your food in the foam for maximum satisfaction. These people at Iggy’s .. they are pretty narcissistic.. everything is sung to the tune of maximum pleasure.. maximum satisfaction.. maximum wallet deflation.
Sanma on wild rice , olive and thyme. I hate eating rice. Ask anybody who has tried to serve me rice.They’d tell you. This wild rice however… is so good it does not taste like rice. It taste like sweet, aromatic pearls of fibre, masked in the form of rice. I could eat this everyday. I was told by the waiter that the Chef himself, Chef Dorin Schuster likes to employ a light touch in cooking his food, and that is how he so successfully brings out the subtle flavours in a dish. Of course, make no mistake, the fact that the produce is super fresh contributes to how fantastic things taste.
Why would someone serve you oats (healthy) and gizzards(unhealthy bordering on grisly) with something as posh as lobster. Because, it’s the perfect ensemble, that’s why. Exquisite. I would not have thought to cook this myself, but now, I might actually contemplate cooking this for my friends this weekend!
Then comes the palette cleanser, Self explanatory photo. Another one of our dining companions muttered that it was pretty useless washing your palette, when the food tasted so damn good so far. But when they brought out the next dish we soon understood why.
Grade 9 wagyu – very brave and original to serve the almost ’slimy’ wagyu (because it was so rare) with the even slimier vegetable, the lady’s fingers.
Sigh. You should know by now, that at Iggy’s, they can near pull anything off.
Of course. That’s why they are Iggy’s. Hands down, my favourite course of the night. I gave up my magic flute and changed to the Burgundy for this course.
For the dessert, the juicy sweet seed pulp, and slightly gritty flesh of the feijoa was purposely converted into a smooth jelly – complete contradiction in texture. So molecular. Lovely and refreshing. I felt like I could start the entire course over.
Enter the Petite Fours, which literally translated to Little Oven. The little cake was rich, and thick with cream nuts and fruit. A gorgeous mini tiramisu.
If you are a big kid at heart, like I am, then you will love the “pop-rocks” tart.. on the house. By the way, one can almost be sure that one’s bill will be directly proportional to the number of items you are given, ‘on the house’ – I may be wrong.. but no, I think I’m right. Hugely entertaining, these cute bite size morsels explode and crackle in your mouth. Our waiter’s advice, "kindly consume in one swift mouth full and do not chew, rather SUCK for maximum satisfaction". Sounds like a comment I’ve heard one too many times but not at the dining table.
Well a fantastic experience. What can I say, except… for maximum satisfaction, just visit Iggy’s!
Written and contributed by Ciki