Posted by - 05 September 2010 - No comments

Iggy Iggy Iggy

Fine dining can really leave a dent in your pocket, particularly in the current economic situation.  However, this doesn't mean you have to give them a wide berth.   Fine dining on a budget is all about eating smarter.   Most restaurants serve set menus for lunch and also dinner, and relatively reasonable price.  It's just they'd prefer you went for the a la carte, or full blown tasting menu.

The AB and I were on a bit of a budget after our jaunt to HK and Oz, so much so that by the time we reached Singapore our pockets were a lot lighter.  However, the AB and I live by the mantra that money is there to enable you to do the things you enjoy.  That's why there was nothing going to get in our way of visiting Iggy's.

Awards and accolades at Iggy's
Iggy's has won lots of admiration and awards over the years, and this year featured in the top 50 list of The World's Best Restaurants.  So you'd think that these top honours you'd need credit to dine here, but to our surprise Iggy's serves a very reasonable set lunch.  The 'Table d'hote Lunch', four courses for $55 (around £26.50) with a choice of two hors d'oeuvres, one main course and dessert; or five courses for $75 (around £36) with a choice of three hors d'oeuvres, one main course and dessert.

The set menu is incredibly varied and we were really hard pressed to decide what to choose, but as we were dining with the AB's mum and uncle we had the opportunity to sample quite a few dishes on the menu.

To start we're presented with an amuse bouche, a Japanese tomato and a clear tomato consomme.  Served cold, the soup was incredibly refreshing, and was the perfect way to whet our appetites. 

Next follows a dish called a slow-cooked egg served with bacon, mushroom in a pinot jus.  I absolutely loved this dish.  The AB and I are big fans of Les Cocottes de Constant in Paris, and the presentation of this dish brought back memories a weekend we spent in Paris at Christian Constant's joint specialising in dishes cooked in these small iron pots.

It was an absolute delight to watch the bright yellow yolk seep out of the whites of the egg.  The crispy, salty bits of bacon perfectly complementing the rich eggy yolk . It was perfection in a pot, and if there had been any bread, I'm sure the AB would have mopped up all of the yolk so it was clean dry.

The mushroom flan and fricasse of mushrooms was equally delightful, rich, warm and earthy.

The  pan-fried foie gras (extra $10 supplement), served in a warm pear soup, with  cubes of mango and bread crumbs was perfectly cooked and beautifully presented, but there was so much of it.   It would have been more preferable for it to have been served with some toast.

The mains were equally successful.   The cappellini tossed with sakura ebi, konbus and homemade scampi-oil was a generous serve, but I have to say I wasn't too enamoured with the texture of the ebi (prawns).

The slow-cooked wagyu cheek, served with daikon, jamon in a pinot noir jus was rich and intense.  while the slow-cooked red snapper served with an interesting medley of baby aubergine, gruyere, tomato confit and poultry jus, got the thumbs up from the AB's uncle who ordered the main.

At first glance the desserts may sound like quite ordinary: fruit with cream, cake with cream and chocolate pudding and ice-cream, but that's the beauty of the food at Iggy's.  All of the dishes have been given inventive twists which are designed to provoke the taste buds.  My particular favourite was the black sesame, a sesame flavoured sponge served with a warm milk foam and sesame ice-cream.

Mango - mango served with creme fraiche, dill, grapefruit and Greek yogurt

Black sesame - warm pound cake, milk foam and white sesame seed ice-cream
German Chocolate Cake - chocolate pudding served with kumquat and earl grey ice-cream
Verdict:   Something that I've often pondered on, is why some of the world's finest restaurant's are based in hotels.   More often than not the bland corporate look and feel of the hotel is mismatched with style and cooking of the restaurant.   Iggy's was one such place, it's since moved from The Regent - A Four Season Hotel, to The Hilton so it only remains to be seen whether the Hilton can match the creative cooking of Ignatius Chan.  One things for sure, I'd definitely be back.

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