Ikeda san giving a welcome speech and introduction to Niigata City and its produce.
A special two-week gastronomic food event was held at Lewin Terrace, featuring fresh produce from Niigata City. Traversed by two great rivers – the Shinanogawa and the Aganogawa, Niigata City is famed for its rice and sake, a rich variety of seafood (such as Amadai aka Tilefish) that is nurtured by the Sea of Japan, freshwater fish (Nodoguro aka Rosy Seabass) from the rivers and as well as vegetable and fruits (tomato, eggplant and watermelon) grown in the fertile soil of the city.
Chef Keisuke Matsumote from Lewin Terrace
This is why at Cultlinary.sg, we labelled Niigata, Japan as a homechef’s paradise. It is blessed with abundant of agricultural and marine products. We were thrilled to have Chef Matsumoto (Lewin Terrace) who flew down to Niigata City to personally hand-pick the ingredients used for this special 4-course lunch. Are you ready to salivate?
While waiting for the event to start, delectable sashimi hors d’oeuvre was served.
Horse mackerel / Midi-tomato / Round eggplant / Lemon Grass
This beautifully-plated starter is a very well-played fusion of French herb and Japanese vegetables with a hint of Thai lemon grass. Aromatic truffle oil was scattered across the plate to warm up your nasal sensory.
Black ivory shell / Niigata champignon / Garlic / Kurumafu
This innocent small cup is filled with highly prized black ivory shell, champignon mushroom and Kurumafu. Garlic cream soup slowly soak up the crunchy cubes.
In between the courses, we were constantly offered with Le Lectier Pear Wine. The smooth and fruity pear lingers after every sips. This easy-to-drink wine is definitely a crowd pleaser. I am just wondering if Chef Matsumoto created the dishes to pair with this wine or is this a wine that goes well with everything! Food for thought.
Amadai / Koshihikari / Kohirakata cyamame
The highlight of the day is this indisputable dish. The baked soy sauce coated koshihikari rice is stacked with Amadai which was salted and air dried overnight before grilling till perfection. The subtle sweetness from the edible purple flowers blends beautifully with the savoury lower decks.
Just when you thought you are ready to eat this tower of umami, a pot came by and load up the bowl with pipping hot dashi. At this moment, I just want to devour the yummy calories into your tummy. You will feel that your world is finished as you licked clean this bowl. This could easily be one of the last dishes you MUST eat before you die. (Ok it is getting a little morbid) Thank you Chef Matsumoto for this labour-intensive dish. It is indd
Japanese peach / Vanilla / Yogurt / Kaffle Lime
No meal is complete without any dessert. Those juicy momo just melt in your mouth instantly. The lightly zest yogurt gave a terrific finishing touches to your palate. With dessert like this, you always have room for it.
All 4 dishes were the masterpiece of Chef Matsumoto and it felt like it teleported me to Niigata and France simultaneously. Each dish felt like a poem of the season. This certainly inspired me to create appetising dish using Niigata ingredients.
You may be wondering where to get fresh Niigata produce. They are easily obtained from http://www.washita.co.jp Though the website is in Japanese, you may email them for a current listing of ingredients and arrange it to your doorstep.
Video by www.city.niigata.lg.jp
Now I “Nii” to go to Niigata. You “Nii” too! Never Wok Alone!