ieat Team 2011
We kickstart 2011 with the target of organizing one makan session each month which is going to be a lot of work. So I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the guys who will be helping to do all this work.
1. Liverpool: Byron is our forum moderator who happens to make a darn good cup of kopi at Good Morning Nanyang Cafe. I met Byron in the early days of the blog when he invited me to visit him to help him take a few photos of his food. You can still see these photos on his menu when you visit his cafe.
2. Drazarel: Derrick is our event organizer and is also the team counselor as well. He works as a psychiatrist in IMH and is very handy when things get stressful as he has access to good stuff that can calm people down.
3. Rockett Girl: Lisa is the real boss of ieatishootipost. Final approval of any makan sessions has to go through her.
4. Cactuskitty: Shirley is the wife of Cactuskit and thus the real boss of the ieatishootipost forum since Cactuskit is the moderator of the forum. She determines how much time the forum moderator can spend in front of his computer.
5. Champagne: Alice is our event organizer. This lady knows a lot of good cze char places and is our secret agent at other makan forums.
6. IF: Irene joined us just last year. She is our event organizer and has experience organizing charity gala dinners where she fleeces the rich to give to the poor.
7. Holydrummer: Greg is my first fan. I met him at Astons just weeks after I started blogging and we shared the first ever ieat Superburger. Greg is our event organizer and associate writer.
8. Holybro: Ben is our ambassador for Gen Y. He is also our photographer and in charge of security. If anyone signs up for a makan session and does not turn up, we send him over with a little “gift” to remind them never to do that again!
9. iJeff: Jeff is our forum moderator and resident events photographer. He is also our Chief Technology Officer. If there is any new gadget on the market, he will be the first one showing it to us!
10. ieat: Me, you don’t need me to tell you about me right?
11. Soundman: Jimmy is our Chief Makan Officer. He is in charge of making sure we organize one makan session each month. So if the target is not met, you can write a complaint to him. Jimmy is also Chief Logistics Officer and takes care of all the Audio Visual requirements of our makan sessions.
12. Joao: Joel is our Associate Writer and photographer. A graduate of the ieat school of food photography, you will see more of his reviews this year starting with the review of our Ieat Team lunch at L’Operetta.
13. Cactuskit: (behind the camera) Cactuskit is our Forum Moderator and PR manager. He is an international man of mystery and you will never get to see his face on this blog. Trust me, it’s for your own good.
We are now working hard at coming up with a list of restaurants who would be open to hosting a makan session with us. So if you know of any suitable places, please do write in to let us know! We had a great lunch meeting over at L’Operetta and the food was exquisite so I thought we have to share some of the highlights with you. So here is the review by Joao.
Hi, everyone! Joao here. Ieat wrote exclusively about L’Operetta’s pizzas in his last post and I gather from the comments that quite a few on-the-ball readers have gone to check the place out since the VPN review. Unfortunately it sounds to me like most people ordered almost exclusively from the pizza menu. Travesty!! Because — as the ieatishootipost Team found out over the weekend — the rest of L’Operetta’s menu is quite inspired.
The meal began withCapesante di Hokkaido al Forno con Burro Aromatizzato (Oven-baked Hokkaido Scallops flavored with Aromatized Butter). Huge juicyHokkaido scallops seasoned with Sicilian salt, covered in fragrant pesto, rich Italian butter and then baked until the top just starts to brown. A very well-balanced dish — despite the richness of the butter, the sweetness of the seafood was not overwhelmed. L’Operetta’s head chef Seita-san proselytized that Hokkaido is home to the best seafood in the world; he may well be biased, but after tasting this dish, I am not inclined to disbelieve him. A must-order if you’re eating at L’Operetta for the first time. 4.5/5
The meal proceeded with pasta in the form ofTagliolini Al Ragu Bolognese (Tagliolini with Red Wine-braised Minced Meat). Now here I must caveat that the term “minced meat” does not do this dish justice at all. The first thing I noticed when tucking into this pasta dish was that the main flavorant is not tomato as is so often the case with lesser meat-sauce pasta dishes — rather, the first thing that hit me was a hearty full-bodied beef flavor. This could not possibly be regular minced beef! We asked Seita-san what kind of beef he used for this dish, and he cheerfully explained that he usedfive different cuts of Angus beef, each chopped up and cooked separately in five different ways. Talk about being a perfectionist! But for all the work that goes into this dish, it’s good… but not fabulous. Order this if you’d like to try Piemontesestyle meat-sauce pasta. It’s definitely something different to what most of us are familiar with. 4/5
Risotto (I forgot to check the name and price. Sorry!)
The next dish was a Risotto that was served in a hollowed-out half-wheel of parmigiano reggiano. (I apologize, dear readers, for forgetting to get the name and price of this dish; this will be rectified the next time I’m in the area.) Here L’Operetta’s kitchen staff displayed their solid grasp of the fundamentals of Italian cuisine. Carnaroli rice is slowly cooked in a broth made from two different stocks (made from scratch, of course — here we see Seita-san’s OCD nature at work again). The result is as fine a risotto as I’ve ever eaten, with an uncomplicated flavor that belies the thousands of hours of practice that must have gone into mastering the art of risotto. 4.25/5
At this point in the meal I was certain I had seen all that the restaurant had to offer. I couldn’t have been more wrong, because we were next served this:
Grilled Pork Rack smoked in Cherry Wood (400g) $68
Braciola di Maiale alla Griglia Affumicata con Legno di Ciliegio (Grilled Pork Rack smoked in Cherry Wood). Oh my goodness. Take a juicy 400g rack of Japanese kurobuta pork, cold smoked in cherry wood to impart flavor, and then roasted to perfection (pardon the cliché). I happened to pick up a piece that was medium-well done and it was a revelation. Succulent doesn’t even begin to describe it. Accompanied by roasted vegetables and a delectable jus, this dish made the meal one to remember. I don’t want to oversell it to you, lest it falls short of my hyperbole, but this dish gets a 4.6/5in my book. I highly recommend it. Okay, I will shut up now. You need to try this! Argh!
Some people may be skeptical about Italian food cooked by non-Italians, but I put it to you thatL’Operetta has a winning combination of Italian flair and Japanese attention to detail. Furthermore,Japanese and Italian cuisines have something in common — and that is their emphasis on fresh top-grade produce. Subtle differences in ostensibly generic ingredients can work together to produce something that’s far greater than the sum of its parts, and I believe that’s what Mizutani-san and his dedicated team have done here, resulting in anexquisite dining experience. So the next time you visit L’Operetta, by all means, sample their pizzas, but make sure you don’t stop there lest you miss out on something quite special.
Don’t forget to check out the previous blog post for the ieatishootipost special!