Embark on a Exclusive two-night only Sweet Odyssey with Porta

CONTENT: Yiew Kai Jie
IMAGE: Luxe Multimedia

Think back to the time when you were a child and your sweet tooth reigned over every saccharine craving you had. You just wanted to pour chocolate syrup over everything that was right in front of you and consume it- no matter how weird the combination was. For those who still wanted to relive their childhood experience and haven’t lost their sweet tooth to time- continue reading this until the end.

Located at Park Hotel Clarke Quay, PORTA Fine Food & Import Company’s Executive Chef, Alex Phan and his team of cooks have conceptualised an exquisite four-course chocolate dinner menu. The intricate menu was created in collaboration with award-winning Philippines-based premium Chocolate, Malagos. The chocolate’s unique identity and taste has been creatively incorporated with the various dishes in order to take guests on a true chocolate discovery.

Milk Fish

The menu started off with the Milk Fish with 85% Dark Chocolate. The delicate milk fish is home-cured with sugarcane and vinegar, and bathed in a beautiful blend of Malagos 85% dark chocolate and a dash of fish sauce. Taking its inspiration from Thai and Mexican cuisine, the fish is placed on a fried wonton while being topped off with a Thai-inspired slaw that has a slight sour taste to it. The chocolate lent a mild bitter taste to the dish that helps to compliment the protein but not overwhelm it as the fish is the main star of the dish. However the dish could have functioned better without the fish sauce as it only serves as a distraction and acts as the devil in the dish. This uncharacteristic pairing demonstrates Chef Alex’s forte with modern European culinary techniques to produce bold new flavours.

Porta

Chef Alex’s strong culinary roots have inspired him to ensure that his ingredients and produce comes from the finest sources, which is clearly exhibited in the Foie Gras Terrine with 65% Dark Chocolate. The delicate foie gras terrine is served with a classic French pairing of balsamic and chutney sauce. This dish displays a deft balance of complex flavours, with the homemade grape chutney infused with 65% dark chocolate, and topped with roasted Malagos cacao chocolate for an added texture.

The foie gras went surprisingly well with the chocolate as one wouldn’t expect two very rich ingredients to go together in harmony as they would threaten each other’s unique flavours and would overwhelm the palate. The nuts helped provide some bite to the soft texture of the foie gras, while the mild bittersweet taste from the chocolate coats the tongue well that it prepares the palette for the foie gras. Pair this dish with a glass of François Cazin, Cour-Cheverny Cuvée Renaissance 2015 from Loire Valley, France, which elevates the sweet dark chocolate and rich, buttery taste of the home-made foie gras terrine. The wine also works as a palette cleanser as the dish rich aftertaste could ruin the palette for the next course.

Beef Cheek

The warm and comforting Braised Beef Cheek with 72% Dark Chocolate is Chef Alex’s rendition of a Filipino favourite, Kare Kare – a traditional meat stew complemented with a thick, savoury peanut sauce. The beef cheek has been cooked sous-vide style for 12-hours till its completely tender, with its natural jus infused with a thick peanut butter sauce. The peanut butter sauce was a bit far fetched as it was a rather weird combo that didn’t work as well as expected. The nutty taste and texture of the peanut butter sauce just kept on clashing against the rustic and tender texture of the beef.

Additionally, the taste of the chocolate was non-existent as the problem with using chocolate with such a heavy flavoured protein is that the meat is king- the flavour of the beef completely overwhelms the taste of the chocolate! The dish will be paired with a glass of Bernard & Matthieu Baudry, Chinon 2016 from Les Granges Loire, France.

Dessert

The night concluded with us indulging in the Malagos 65% Dark Chocolate Sponge with coconut cream and maraschino cherries, topped with Malagos roasted cacao nibs. This dessert is just like an asian version of a typical black forest cake, with a warm and inviting chocolate cake that has the right balance of sweetness and bitterness! If the cake is still be too bitter for diners, apply a spot of cold cream or the cinnamon smoked maraschino cherries to balance out the bitterness. To complement the sweetness, this delightful dessert was paired with a glass of Domaine du Trapadis, Rasteau Vin Doux Naturel 2016 from Southern Rhône, France.

The menu was served at PORTA last 18 and 19 October 2018, If you missed this special, make sure don’t miss the next one.

Porta is located at Park Hotel Clarke Quay, 1 Unity Street, Singapore 237983.

For reservations or enquiries, please visit www.porta.com.sg, email hello@porta.com.sg or call +65 6593 8855.

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