Saturday, September 22, 2018

Grissini @ Grand Copthorne Waterfront

Was at Grissini recently for a tasting omakase menu by Head Chef Mirko Vinci. An Italian omakase? That's a first for me. At the moment, I understand that the number of courses may change depending on the request from guests.

Grissini, interior

Grissini serves its complimentary rye bread, in style. To be more precise, it was a candlelit dinner style. A rather novel way of getting your bread dip. The edible candle will be lighted up and the warmth melts away the candle 'wax' and dripped onto the dipping saucer.

edible candle, rye bread

The oil was fragrant from the herbs and loved it with the soft rye bread. But one need to work fast as the oil will harden once it is cooled down enough. 

But do leave some space for the next courses. The entree dish was Panzerotto pugliese. The name was quite a mouthful and this dish is native to Chef Mirko's hometown of Puglia. It looks pretty much like a curry puff or a calzone. It is made of flour, water, yeast, sugar, olive oil, salt and is filled with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and herbs, and baked.

Panzerotto pugliese

It looked puffy and the dough was slightly chewy. The cheese and tomatoes fillings were enjoyable. A light starter, provided you stopped at one.

mozzarella cheese and tomatoes

Next up, was a cold starter of grilled Mediterranean seafood salad. Lightly grilled seafood such as chunky squid, scallop, prawns and octopus, accompanied by crunchy asparagus. Loved the sweetness of the scallops and the prawns. 

Grilled Mediterranean Seafood Salad, Green Asparagus, Olives and Lime Dressing

Then, we were served with a warm starter. When the eggplant parmigiana was brought out, there were some silent 'oohs and ahhs'. At least, that was me. The presentation was not quite the usual and the eggplant parmigiana served in that shiny brassware (not sure if it was brass, but still shiny!) was quite interesting.

Eggplant Parmigiana with mixed leaves and pearl tomatoes, white balsamic

Enjoy the baked layered eggplants with cheese in tangy tomato sauce. This was big in flavour contrast from the previous cold starter. While the cold starter felt like the kiss of cool breeze and nuances of the sea, but for this one, it felt like a warm passionate hug. I enjoyed it by piling the soft eggplant with the charred cheese ontop of the bread and munching on those. The greens had sprinkles of sea salt and that added an extra kick to the tangy balsamic dressing.

lovingly layered

Next, we moved on to Primo. The first main course of a pasta dish. Tagliolini with white onions and sage sauce. Interesting. First impression, was the prominent sweetness from the onions. Sage sauce was light and mild. Was reminded of summer that was just ending, and of the fast approaching autumn.

Tagliolini, white onions, butter, sage sauce and shaved black truffle
For the secondi, we were given a choice of either seabass or veal. If you are still hungry at this stage, then veal would be a better choice, otherwise, go for the seabass. 

The presentation for the veal was so pretty. Veal scaloppine, chargrilled zucchini with red capsicum tapenade and lemon sauce. The milkfed veal was light in flavour, with tender texture and highly enjoyable. Ate it together with the grilled zucchini and that lent a burst of freshness in each bite with a hint of smokey end. Interesting, detected the flavour of perilla amongst the combination of capsicum tapenade and the lemon sauce with the micro-greens.

Veal Scalloppine with chargrilled zucchini, red capsicum tapenade and lemon sauce

Now, the seabass. This was one of my favourite dish that night. It was a small square of fish but was big in flavours! This was a 'wow' dish for me. Tried the cherry tomatoes and the intense sweetness that oozed out was simply amazing. The fillet was cooked perfectly. Molto bene!

Pan-seared seabass fillet with parsley and garlic crust, cherry tomatoes, olives, white wine sauce

Truth be told, I was stuffed at this point. But then, do we still have room for dessert? Why, of course! Chocolate lava-cake with sea-salt and coffee, hazelnut crumbles, berries and ice-cream sounds about right. We got pistachio ice-cream that night.

Chocolate lava-cake with sea-salt and coffee, hazelnut crumbles, berries and ice-cream

Chef Mirko said, this was a cross between lava cake and souffle. Expect light and fluffy exterior with moist and soft interior. On first bite, one could taste the coffee. Each subsequent bite with the sea-salt especially, and moist chocolate was divine. Am loving the chocolate, coffee and sea-salt combo.

lovely dessert

For the ladies and the smaller eaters, the 6-course meal may be a tad too much to handle. Perhaps, a choice of 4-course omakase to be considered?

Kudos to Chef Mirko and thank you for an enjoyable meal. This experience offers a glimpse of his culinary vision, his take on traditional recipes and looking forward to many more unique dishes.

Special thanks to Gilbert for the invite and Grissini team for taking care of us that night.

limoncello to end the night, saluti~


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