Boasting top-class farming households with high-standards producers, Niigata prefecture is a treasury of seasonal fresh fishes, fruits and vegetables. Thanks to the good people from Niigata City Food Fair and hosting restaurant, Tóng Lè Private Dining, you do not have to travel all the way to Japan to sample some of their amazing produce.
From 14 Dec to 31 Dec 2016, a special six-course menu has been carefully crafted by Chef Ken Ling who flew all the way to Niigata City to hand-pick the ingredients used.
I am extremely excited to sample the items from the dinner menu.
This chilled starter comprises of peeled sweet and flavorful snow crab meat topped with jumbo-sized ikura and picked kakinomoto (edible chrysanthemum). The marinated tomato provides that extra zip and prep my palate for what’s to come.
A jewel in the crown of Niigata’s gastronomy is none other than the Nanban Ebi (Shrimp). The extremely fresh shrimps are carefully placed in a bowl of warm, rich pumpkin soup and Chef Ling finishes off by topping it with a sliver of Hungarian white truffle. I absolutely adore the sweetness from the red shrimps and the creaminess of the pumpkin soup lingers long enough for a smile. I’m not sure what role the white truffle plays in this dish.
Next comes the prized Wagyu Beef. The ratio of marbling to meat is so gorgeous, all of us unanimously agree this is indeed our favorite dish for the day. Chef Ling manages to give the respect it deserves without overpowering the beef with any strong seasoning.
Known as “King of White Fish”, the flesh of the Tai-Madai is delicate, silky and sweet. The texture of the fish is extremely smooth and the broth reminds me of a light chicken soup. With a relatively mild taste, the broth is a refreshing contrast to the previous beef course.
Featuring the best Japanese rice, Uonuma rice is noted for its slightly sticky texture and a sweet, nutty taste. Inspired by our very own Singapore Chicken Rice, this course also notches up another win. With the rice creating a playful picture on the roasted, soy and steamed chicken meat, this is truly a unique Asian-Fusion that impresses.
The ending of the meal is the Le Lectier Pear. Only available for a month, starting late November, Le Lectier Pear is also known as “Phantom Pear”. For someone who is not a fan of pear, I am quite intrigued to know how this extremely rare pear tastes like. The osmanthus-soaked pear is served frozen with a dollop of pear sorbet (yes, le lectier) and an accompaniment of crispy taro chip. While it sends my palate to cloud nine, I wish I could taste the actual texture of the le lectier.
Overall, the culinary experience is on point. Chef Ling has definitely done justice to the beautiful ingredients from Niigata prefecture. This collaboration reminds us that great food should be celebrated regardless of whether it stays close to its roots or strays far from its nest. And if you get to experience both sides of the spectrum – as you do here – then you’re in for a really good time.
“A Night in Niigata” set menu is available for lunch (4-course) and dinner (6-course) from 14 Dec – 30 Dec 2016. For more information, please call 6634 3233.
*This is a collaborated post in partnership with Niigata Food Fair and Tóng Lè Private Dining.
Tóng Lè Private Dining
OUE Tower, Level 8 & 10, 60 Collyer Quay Singapore 049322
Tel: +65 6634 3233| Website
Mon – Sat: 11:30 am to 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm