We caught up award-winning Tokyo-based French guest Chef Olivier Rodriguez at The Knolls where he presented us a healthy Mediterranean fare of signatures featuring Japanese rice with fresh fruits and vegetable sauces. Finally, we’ve met a chef who whips up healthy dishes jsut to excite our taste buds. Capella Singapore is a perfect location to introduce his well-loved signatures where you can enjoy some healthy and clean cuisine, peacefully. I love the lush greenery that surrounds Capella Singapore. Its tranquillity simply puts you at ease. It’s like going on a retreat within home, away from the hustle and bustle. This dinner menu is part of the healthful campaign initiated by Capella Singapore that caters to health-conscious individuals. Yoga retreats and healthier menus are just some of the wellness initiatives that this island resort is adopting. Food, after all, should be tasty and nourishing for the body. It should leave us feeling energised, satisfied and inspired.
At The Knolls, you will get to enjoy a gorgeous view of the cascading swimming pools and the South China Sea. And yesterday evening, we were honoured to be invited to an exquisite dinner and met Chef Olivier himself personally.
Chef Olivier is the chef of ＆ éclé, a neo-bistro restaurant in Tokyo. Coulicious is a new genre of rice-inspired cuisine and it will make you see Japanese rice in a new light. For as Asians, rice is a staple food and it’s something we eat just to add carbohydrates to our diet and to fill us up. Rice isn’t always the main or star ingredient in a dish. But under the hands of Chef Olivier, he managed to bring out the beautiful taste and texture of Japanese rice. To me, that’s pretty impressive!
Coulicious is coined from the two words ‘coulis’ and ‘delicious’. Chef uses coulis (in french), a form of thick vegetable or fruit-based sauce, in his special menu. This method of preparing sauce is unique as the flavours of the vegetables or fruits used in the sauce are retained and not overpowered by herbs, spices or other seasonings.
We witnessed Chef Olivier’s impressive culinary finesse during our 5-course dinner at The Knolls where the food served was splendid. That evening’s dinner was like a true culinary journey with the man behind the dishes being there with us to explain his inspirations behind each dish.
Let me take you through the culinary experience that we’ve gone through.
Wine and bread served helped whey our appetite. The ultra-soft and aromatic bread has got us excited as we expected great food to be coming on our way.
There are 3 options for each course and each of us was served a different dish so that we could share and try different dishes – creating a more intimate dining experience for diners.
For a start, I had the lime-flavoured avocado chilled veloué snow crab rillettes & pink peppers. I was glad I had this dish because the greens were more outstanding in this dish and I like how the avocado sauce helps to cleanse the palate.
My partner had the Black olive-flavoured ‘gin no Mikazuki’ rice with carrot coulis and red wine-stewed beef cheek. He was blown away by this dish as the beef cheek was so tender. The sweetness of the carrots pairs really well with the savoury beef slices and the rice gave the dish that amazing chewy texture. The Chef has cleverly made the rice a featured ingredient in this dish. Without the chewy flavoured-rice, the dish would have lacked the varying textures.
I enjoyed my Coulicious dish as well. I had the Spices-flavoured whole rice with beet coulis, beet and aromatic herbs. I could only say that the beet coulis was pretty divine. It’s the only vegetarian dish on the menu, besides the desserts. If only there were some options for vegans or vegetarians but I am pretty sure that their kitchen can whip up some vegan-friendly dishes upon request.
We had a couple glasses of good wine to accompany this 5-course dinner. It was very well-paired I must say. Great selection of wine there!
The Delicately pan-fried herring fillet with seared lettuce and capers with spring onion coulis would have my Dad grinning from ear to ear as he loves to eat fish and the herring was so fresh. For the fish lovers, they might be able to appreciate the sea fish taste that is present in fresh herrings. Like sardines, it has quite numerous fine soft bones in it which might hinder the gastronomic experience. Instead, I would recommend the Cumin-crusted turbot fillet with chickpea and eggplant coulis. It’s an interesting dish with a good play of flavours.
The dish which was presented to us just got better and better. For their farm selection, I tried the Chicken breast blanquette with young carrot, glazed shimeiji mushrooms and parsley coulis. The crowd pleaser would have to be the Grilled Japanese beef loin with asparagus, sauteéd fiddlehead and morel coulis. The beef loin literally melts in your mouth as your teeth sink in. The explosion of flavours of this dish has delighted everyone at the table.
The desserts we’ve tasted made our night every sweeter. Much thought was put into desserts to ensure that the sweetness doesn’t overpower the tanginess in fruits. The killer for me was the Crémet d’Anjou with oregano-flavoured strawberry compote and strawberry coulis. The Citrus composition was pleasant but nothing can be compared to the strawberry compote which has stolen our hearts for that evening.
Each course requires time for the chefs to prepare but I believe it’s worth the wait for something so delicate. I would call it a fusion of Japanese with French food and it’s definitely designed to suit Asian palettes as the flavours were more subtle.
Toast to more ‘healthilicious’ meals!
Coulicious Set Menu
14 to 15 April 2017, The Knolls
12.00pm to 2.00pm; 6.30pm to 10.00pm
$88++ per person for a 4-course lunch
$108++ per person for a 5-course dinner
Easter Sunday Brunch with live demonstration
16 April 2017, Grand Ballroom Foyer
12.30pm to 3.30pm
From S$188++ per adult and S$78++ per child
*All prices are subjected to 10% service charge and 7% government taxes.
For enquiries or to make a reservation, please contact The Knolls at +65 6591 5046 or email email@example.com.
Tel: +65 6377 888