East meets Wests. Ching Chong meets Billy Bong. Fusion food has been a touchy subject for a long while. Purist would frown with disapproval while the more adventurous would hail the 'marrying of both worlds'.
While I may not know much or have had much experience with fusion food, I certainly can taste and know if I like a particular thing or not. Personally, it's not so much about authenticity, originality, fusion or not. It's about liking what I eat.
Call it simplicity but I rather treat each dish in its entity. Learning about the origins, what insipirations it was based on etc is good as it enhances the appreciation of the work that has gone behind the dish. But when it is in my mouth, taste dominates. Do I like it or not?
So with that in mind and with my first Standard Chartered Full Marathon just the next day, this cow trotted down to Persimmon- the venue of Ladyironchef's December 2008 outing.
Saturday lunch started with the Mushroom Soup with Hsao Xing Cream. The soup was not bad with earthy notes but what was interesting was the Hsao Xing Cream. Being a big fan of Hsao Xing or Hua Tiao Jiu (Chinese cooking wine) in my food, I loved the Hsao Xing cream. It was light, creamy and with the distinct clean, floral punch of the cooking wine.
Pretty interesting start I say!
Bread was available and I was happy to load up on these. (Carbo-loading for marathon mah.) But the foccacia was too dense which made chewing a workout! I always knew chewing was great excercise.
This plate consisted of the Hainanese Chicken Salad (in the background) and the White Pepper Crabcake with Mango Salsa (in the foreground). The former was essentially a green salad with poached chicken shreds and tossed in a fragrant soy-and-sesame-oil-based dressing. Now imagine having the flavours of chicken rice in salad, sans the chilli sauce. I thought it was a combination that worked! The rice crisp provided some more crunch and texture.
The latter had a moist inner ball of crab meat that was spiced with white pepper. This was apparently inspired by white pepper crabs. The mango salsa added some sweetness to this. Yums.
But the Kong Bak Pau was a let-down. Rather lean and dry, it proved disappointing. Even a dab of mustard failed to save this dish.
The Curry Chicken was decent and I went back for seconds and thirds. Not because it was outstanding but rather I needed to carbo-load on them potatoes. The Prata was crisp and I suspect to be of the frozen variety but while it may not be able to beat the prata shop's version, it was certainly still tasty. Worried about running a marathon fueled on curry (if only I had Indian blood!), I scaled back on the gravy.
There was also Rojak which I didn't try as I tried to cut back on fibre. Run light I was told.
More carbs! Yay!! The Linguine Laksa Pesto had fairly fresh clams and prawn but was rather heavy a dish. The Eight Treasures Risotto sounded intriguing but fell flat. I didn't take to its mushy texture nor its uninspiring taste.
Here's a whole load of smaller dishes on one plate. The yellow custard thingy at the back was actually Otak Creme Brulee. O-what??! Yea, Otak Creme Brulee. Lightly caramelised at the top, the squishy spiced fish custard was weakly spiced, over-lemak and had small chunks of dory fish within.
To its right was the Slow Poached Salmon in Green Curry. Exotic-sounding, no? I found the oily fish out of sync with the green curry.
And finally in the foreground we had the Grilled Ribeye with Balsamic Chye Tao Kway. Bah-what??! Yea, Balsamic Chye Tao Kway. The beef was a tad too sweet (in the sugar sense unfortunately) and tenderised. The Balsamic Chye Tao Kway was funky alright! The acid was so sharp it made me sit up straight.
There was a spread of desserts which I didn't really sample. Was still suffering from palate shock. Lol.
Overall, I found the food interesting though I think Persimmon should work towards flavour harmony over contrast. A number of the dishes really confused my taste buds, not in a teasing way but such that the flavours just didn't come together right.
I certainly am happy to have given it a shot. Those whose taste buds are jaded and are looking for oriental/local touches in Western dishes should check Persimmon out.
I shall not confuse my personal preference with the efforts that have gone behind this lunch. So thanks to Ladyironchef for organising and Sharon & Helena of Persimmon for hosting us!
Group picture credit to Ladyironchef.
Glad to have met Jaime-La-Nourriture, Evan's Kitchen Ramblings, Alice and Ee Ling who were all seated at the same table.
By the way, Persimmon now offers a very affordable ala carte weekday buffet lunch at $20nett and dinner at $25nett! Just add another $5 for weekend buffets. This is a good way to try their food. I see some interesting new items for the buffet. Pork Rib Soto or Prawn and Bamboo Shoot Ravioli with Tom Yum Sauce anyone?
Check out Black Tie White Lie's more recent visit here.
The Link Hotel
50 Tiong Bahru Road
Tel: 6227 2271
Chew On This:
Is this persimmon real or fake?